examine their goals
While Pope Francis may be on the right track in seeking change in the Catholic Church, it is time for all churches to look at themselves in the mirror and answer four basic questions.
Is this my church or Christ's church? Is this a serve-us or a serve-Christ church? Do we follow Jesus or our own ways? Do we have a loving and forgiving relationship with all people regardless of who they are?
In honesty, how these questions are answered will determine if that church is alive and vibrant or on its deathbed. The church has a God-given mandate to provide hope, vision and leadership. It can no longer sit on the sidelines and watch while others are in need. What then is the church's value?
Don't ignore peril
of using fracked gas
Regarding the Feb. 12 story, "Lawmakers to fight for gas pipeline":
Where are the standardized tests for politicians? It's really sad when public officials such as state Sen. Jeff Van Drew, D-Cape May, Cumberland, who are elected to make important public decisions, choose to remain ignorant of the science when it comes to the damage to the ecosystem that is caused by fracked gas.
Van Drew says he wants to do everything he can to overturn the Pinelands Commission decision denying approval for a natural-gas pipeline and upholding its mandate to preserve and protect. He even says he is going to ask the governor for help.
Yes, of all people, let's ask the governor. Chris Christie, New Jersey's paragon of honor and integrity, has worked hard on pushing this pipeline through for the same reason Van Drew wants it - for the special interests, over the overwhelming objections of the public.
How long are we going to put up with politicians whose real focus is in keeping their campaign honey pots from drying up, not future generations' right to live in a clean and healthy environment? Don't let them get away with it. Fight for solar, wind and geothermal energy.
deserved better play
The announcement that NJ Transit Executive Director James Weinstein has tendered his resignation as of March 2 was buried in the paper. That announcement should have been a front-page story because of the huge sum of money Weinstein's incompetence cost the agency and taxpayers.
Before Sandy struck, Weinstein was advised to move transit equipment to higher ground in North Jersey. He didn't, and the result was $100 million in damage to the equipment. Still, this man who cost the state $100 million was allowed to remain in place until his ridership projections for the Super Bowl at the Meadowlands were far off base and resulted in major delays for people who could afford to pay top dollar to attend a sporting event.
Once again, only when the privileged few are inconvenienced is anyone concerned; on the other hand, costing the state's taxpayers $100 million in ruined transit equipment got a pass from most of the media.
Weinstein is one more Chris Christie appointee who has cost taxpayers dearly. The announcement that he finally resigned didn't get the attention that it should have. Why is that?
on Bush, Benghazi
The Feb. 23 letter, "Benghazi questions have been answered," set a new record for rambling effrontery and misguided partisanship.
To use the phrase "George W. Bush's 9/11" is a bold insult to those who lost their lives that day and those who sacrificed in the effort to deliver justice to the maniacs who attacked this country.
It was our 9/11, and Bush had no more to do with it than Barack Obama or Colin Powell or Hillary Clinton. Accusing a sitting president of either party of participating willfully in the deaths of 3,000 people shows remarkable shallowness of thought. And in regard to the comment about Bush's "two wars," I would remind the letter writer that nearly 1,000 more deaths have occurred in Afghanistan under President Barack Obama's leadership.
On the matter of Benghazi, I would ask the author to read "Benghazi - A Definitive Report," written by Brandon Webb and Jack Murphy, a Navy SEAL and an Army Ranger. It is an account of the staggering incompetencies that caused a preventable loss of our best and brightest.
I would suppose, finally, that the letter writer would have us all sit about and drink from the wellspring of knowledge that is The New York Times and MSNBC? Liberalism has gotten this nation into the sorry state that it is in today. No thank you.
Regarding the Feb. 23 story, "Minority heroes await high honor," about the long-overdue awarding of the Medal of Honor to 24 veterans of World War II, Korea and Vietnam:
I was extremely disappointed with the headline, which should have read "Military veterans to be awarded the Medal of Honor." You have diminished their valor, service and sacrifice by highlighting their heritage.
Furthermore, I was incredulous that this story was relegated to the back pages. You repeated the discrimination these men were subject to. You printed stories about celebrities on Page 2, as if anyone cares.
The Medal of Honor is not a prize at the bottom of a Crackerjack box. It is the highest and most honored of all military awards. You should have accorded these heroes the respect they earned and deserved.
ROBERT E. FORD JR.
VFW District 16
to 'Captain Phillips'
After I watched the movie "Captain Phillips," I couldn't stop thinking about Benghazi.
A civilian merchant ship captain was taken hostage by four skinny, drugged out Somali pirates with outdated weapons, and after a distress call was sent out, the White House sent not one but two Navy ships into the area to negotiate his release. Later, a team of Navy SEALs drop from the sky and hook up with one of the ships. The SEALs take out the pirates, and the captain is saved.
Don't misunderstand my short version of what happened. This was a major undertaking by our military. I was in the Marines for six years. The rescue of Capt. Richard Phillips was a major operation and could only have come about by orders from the White House.
Now think back on Benghazi. Our ambassador and three other brave men were under attack by terrorists. The calls went out, just as they did from Phillips. Our U.S. ambassador was in desperate need of help from our military and from our White House - and he got nothing. No ships. The great Navy SEALs didn't drop from the skies. I don't understand.