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Letters to the Editor 9/9

Candidate’s ideas old and unrealistic

With a headline that read “Education better under McBride,” the article that followed should have offered proof, or at least an explanation, of how education would be better.

Instead, Mr. Roma, much like Bill McBride, simply bashed Jeb Bush and offered no real solutions.

A cigarette tax seems like a great idea; too bad New York tried it, and it failed. New Yorkers simply went across state lines, to Indian reservations and to non-taxed Native American smoke stores, or they mail-ordered cigarettes.

New York’s tax revenue from cigarettes decreased when the tax was raised.

Mr. Roma would have us believe that if elected, Bill McBride would raise teacher salaries and shrink class sizes, without raising taxes.

Bill McBride supports the proposed constitutional amendment (No. 9) that would put state-mandated class size restrictions into our state constitution. This amendment should help public schools, right?

To achieve the required class size, students will be bussed away from neighborhood schools and placed in portables.

After paying for the cost of added busing, new portables and additional teachers for the smaller classes, teachers will not get raises.

Why is Mr. McBride so concerned about class sizes? A closer look at recent FCAT scores reveals that schools with larger class size scored higher than schools with smaller classes.

Does Mr. McBride not see, or not want the public to see, that overcrowding is taking place in rich suburban schools?

Taking high-performance students and moving them to a low-performance school to even out class size is not a way to help education.

As for vouchers and spending on public schools, I suppose Mr. Roma would rather Florida continue throwing tax dollars (our money) into failing schools and not hold them accountable.

Florida provides about $5,000 per student each year for public schools; vouchers remove a student from a failing public school and give approximately $3,500 to that student for private education. Now the public school system has one less student and an extra $1,500.

Timothy Hobbs is a student in the MBA program.

McBride best choice for students

I was more than pleased to see that those who participated in the USF straw poll for the Democratic gubernatorial primary, chose Bill McBride, and in turn would also send him to Tallahassee.

Though he is about 35 years older than most of us, he has been where we are today.

Many of us at USF grew up in Florida and went to public schools.

So did he.

Many of us are either on academic loans that will have to be paid back or are taking on one or more part-time jobs to pay our way through college.

After he gave up a football scholarship due to a career-ending knee injury so that someone else could use the scholarship, he worked his way through college by working a couple of different jobs.

So he knows what we are going through, as opposed to someone like Bush who was born with a silver spoon in his mouth.

I know McBride well, and I highly recommend him to anyone who wants a better education system, better jobs, and a better future for Florida.
Dave Cutler is a junior majoring in political science.

Respect and love is Christian legacy

In response to Mr. Wagler’s letter in Wednesday’s issue of The Oracle, “blasting” Christians, their beliefs and the efforts of the Miami-Dade Christian Coalition’s efforts to end the Human Rights Ordinance.

I am not writing this letter to defend all of the actions of the Christian Coalition. In addition, I’m not attempting to dispute Mr. Wagler’s claims to have “personally witnessed some of the outrageous propaganda” or about the chairman of the Miami-Dade chapter being arrested on grounds of falsely swearing to having witnessed signatures.

I have no direct link/connection to the Christian Coalition, nor do I have firsthand knowledge of their efforts in Miami. However, as a Christian, I agree with the Christian Coalition’s opposition to the Human Rights Ordinance.

Mr. Wagler proceeded to classify Christians as intolerant, hateful and disrespectful to others’ rights and human dignity.

There are a number of organizations on campus that bear the name Christian or are closely affiliated to such a name (Baptist Collegiate Ministry, Catholic Student Union, Chi Alpha Christian Fellowship, Crosswinds United Methodist Campus Ministry and USF Gospel Choir).

In addition, has Mr. Wagler considered the Jews’ and Muslims’ beliefs regarding homosexuality? According to Mr. Wagler’s letter, all of these groups, their affiliates, members and sponsors are intolerant and hateful. I think not.

The majority of evangelical Christians believe that homosexuality is a choice. We don’t believe that people are born gay.

Should we, as Christians, apologize for our beliefs? I don’t believe so. In addition, that doesn’t mean we hate people who are gay or lesbian.

I resent Mr. Wagler’s preposterous assumption that because many Christians believe that homosexuality is a not a choice, we are automatically classified as intolerant, hateful and having no respect for human dignity.

Did Mr. Wagler forget about the many Christians who hid Jews (in risk of their lives and their families) from the Nazis during Hitler’s reign of terror?

It was Christians who protested slavery and helped operate the Underground Railroad.

It was Christians who marched with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. It was Christians (escaping the tyranny and religious persecution of England) who settled and established the greatest superpower in the world (the United States of America).

It is Christians who are currently giving up the comforts of life in the United States and giving up their families to help feed the hungry in the most remote corners of Africa.

It is Christians who are spearheading the effort to help free the thousands (if not millions) who are enslaved in the Sudan.

Let me make it clear that Christianity is a religion of love. Christians do not hate homosexuals. We may disagree with their lifestyle and their decisions but we love homosexuals as our fellow men.

Mr. Wagler also stated there is ample scientific, psychiatric, medical and psychological evidence to show that sexual orientation is not a choice.

However, there are many studies that prove otherwise. There are thousands of people who have turned from that lifestyle.

I don’t agree that homosexuals should be given the same rights as other minority groups because homosexuals, as a group, are not disadvantaged. Politically and financially they are among the elite in society.

As a group, homosexuals don’t need special protection under the Civil Rights Act. A minority can’t decide to stop being a minority (I can’t stop being black).

As a resident of Miami-Dade County for more than 18 years, I can honestly say the HRO is about granting special protection to a group who doesn’t need it. In addition, the HRO is about forcing religious organizations such as churches to hire practicing homosexuals when it’s against their beliefs and principles.

Should the Democrats elect Dick Cheney as their political strategist when he leaves the White House?

As a Christian, I proudly say I don’t think homosexuals should be disrespected, hated, harassed, spit upon, treated as inhumane or be banned from society.

I think Christians should love homosexuals just as Christ loved us. Christianity is about love, not hate.

Any Christian who displays hatred toward his or her fellow man (regardless of age, religion, race, sex, class, gender, gender identity or sexual orientation) is not living up to the Christian name and is violating the very basic foundation on which Christianity is based.

Frandy Benoit is a senior in the MBA program.