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There never has been a separation of church and state in this country, or more correctly a separation of Christianity (of all sorts) and our various levels of government `"We dodged a bullet," Sept. 11`. I lived in rural North Carolina and it was impossible to get a job with the school board unless you were a church member. I've worked at several Orange County schools and I once heard a principal tell two girls who were holding hands that homosexuality was a sin and they were going to hell.

The current Amendment 2 vote is just another such intrusion of religion and fundamentalist Christianity into our laws and government. There is no other reason (of which I'm aware) to want to ban gay marriage, except (misguided) religious beliefs. Almost all of our laws that intrude into people's private lives are based on preventing harm to self or others, like driving drunk, having sex with minors or the mentally disabled or animals, abuse of animals, etc.). Gay marriage intrudes on no one, causes harm to no one and is only objectionable to self-righteous religious zealots because of their beliefs. So, to them I say concentrate on your own divorce rate, teen pregnancy and domestic abuse, and you'll have no time left to force your beliefs on me through a constitutional amendment.

And if you or your church objects to homosexuality or gay marriage, don't marry a homosexual and don't perform the ceremony in your church. This intrusion of religion into our government and laws costs me and my future husband — we're getting married in California Nov. 1 — 1,138 rights, privileges and benefits that married heterosexuals get automatically just by purchasing a marriage license.

Terry Hummel, via the Internet

How dumb we is

Bravo for your article on this circus `"Our Dumb State: The Casey Anthony edition," Sept. 11`!  I had to finish the entire article even if it means I'm late for work.

I say if Casey doesn't want to tell the truth, get her trial underway and maybe that will frighten her some. My mom called me from California just to ask what this story is about. She hears it on their news constantly and she remarked that it's all repetitive. You have to love the volunteer searchers who aren't even sure there's a body, or if there is, that it's still in Orlando.

Thanks for telling it like it is in our dumb state, which I hope to retire from very soon. Keep up the good writing!

via the Internet

Casey uses the john?

Thank you for reaffirming sanity exists in Central Florida `"Our Dumb State: The Casey Anthony edition," Sept. 11`. The only thing we haven't heard is how often Casey uses the john. Does Orlando law enforcement often try their cases in the media so the jury pool is so tainted it looks like a tea stain on white shorts?

Keep up what appears to be the only real journalistic work in Central Florida.

Douglas Levy, via the Internet

Who killed Bear?

While I believe Stellios Billis should be punished for putting his adopted dog Bear in a small kennel with three aggressive dogs who wound up killing him, the veterinarian from whom he obtained the dog bears some responsibility for his death `"Toothless," Aug. 28`.

Dr. Randall Cannon should have done a home visit and obtained a veterinarian reference from Billis before giving Bear to him. Had he done so, it's unlikely the doctor would have let him take the dog home, even for a night.

Bear might have survived had the agencies Cannon contacted had the resources and authority to rescue him. Regrettably, governments, and particularly their non-revenue-generating agencies, are slow and inefficient, whether they be on the city, county, state or federal level. Hurricane Katrina is proof of that.

Cannon, his staff and all concerned Orange County residents need to lobby their commissioners to double the number of Animal Services investigators. In addition, we need to lobby our state legislators to create laws that make it easier for authorities to protect neglected and abused animals.

via the Internet

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