Letters to the editor and op-eds: Los Angeles Times

Religion and BeliefElectionsPoliticsChristianityWal-Mart Stores, Inc.ProtestantismEconomy, Business and Finance

Below is a sampling of recent letters to the editor and op-eds printed by the Los Angeles Times about local issues or local authors. To have your views printed in the Pasadena Sun, please send an email to Editor Dan Evans at dan.evans@latimes.com or City Editor Bill Kisliuk at bill.kisliuk@latimes.com

Wait a minute

Re "MALDEF's misstep," Opinion, Nov. 15

Leaving aside the fact that the warehouse employees whom Harold Meyerson describes are two employers removed from Wal-Mart, the company's positive impacts on Latinos are legion.

By way of examples, Wal-Mart, with the support of Latino Magazine and Impacto, held a Latino business summit in 2009. A Latino has sat on Wal-Mart's board of directors since at least 1998, and Eduardo Castro-Wright is a vice chairman and a former chief executive of the U.S. business. Gisel Ruiz, currently Wal-Mart's senior human resources executive, started her career with the company as a management trainee.

Wal-Mart is not perfect, but the thousands of Latino employees and millions of Latino customers prove Meyerson's breathless accusation that Wal-Mart does not treat its Latino employees "like human beings" is specious.

Michael H. Leb
Pasadena

The writer is a former senior vice president of human resources for Wal-Mart.

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A Mormon is fit for the White House

Some voters are convinced that if Mitt Romney wins the Republican nomination, we run the risk of ending up with a member of a "cult" in the White House. Many of my fellow evangelicals are especially concerned about this possibility. Some are unhappy with me because I have gone on record as saying that Romney's church, the Utah-based Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, is not a cult.

It's not that these folks believe that Mormons are unfit for any public office. Many evangelicals voted for Romney as governor of Massachusetts — and in earlier days Mitt's father, George Romney, got strong evangelical support as Michigan's governor.

The presidency, though, is seen as a special case. John F. Kennedy discovered that when he ran for president in 1960. People who had lived contentedly under Catholic mayors and senators suddenly began weaving conspiracy theories about a president who — so the stories went — would have a direct line to the pope in Rome.

The fact that I'm not worried about the possibility of a Mormon in the White House does not mean that I think religious affiliation has no relevance to the question of fitness for office. Religious convictions have political implications. I would have a difficult time voting for candidates with certain religious perspectives that might preclude them from open and self-examining conversations, or from a commitment to scholarship and the pursuit of truth, working alongside those of other traditions.

Richard J. Mouw is the president of Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena.

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It's free speechRe "Protest buffer zone is imposed," Nov. 16San Marino Police Chief John Schaefer, reflecting on a city ordinance that will limit protesting outside the homes of corporate executives, said, "We have a lot of people who fit the profile to be the victims of this type of crime."Perhaps someone should read the 1st Amendment to Schaefer. Maybe then he will learn that picketing is not a crime. A police officer's job is not to protect the rich at the expense of the Constitution.Bob Lentz
Sylmar

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