More from our inbox:
To the Editor:
Re “Pope, in Break From Doctrine, Backs Same-Sex Civil Unions” (front page, Oct. 22):
Large ships do not turn on a dime, and large institutions rarely do without great risk. Therefore, it is notable that Pope Francis has made a substantial course adjustment in calling for respect for civil unions for same-sex couples.
While we would hope for the time when he would offer a blessing and an official status sacramentally, the ship is not quite ready for that. Nevertheless, as I have a been privileged to officiate at a good number of same-sex weddings in recent years — with tacit acceptance by some Catholic clergy — I am encouraged that the Catholic Church may be slowly seeing the ocean of God’s blessing of human commitment regardless of sexual attraction and help lead all to deeper respect and love.
The writer is a former Catholic priest.
In Small-Town Life, a Snapshot of America
To the Editor:
Re “National Divisions Tear a Hole in a Small Town’s Civil Politics” (front page, Oct. 11):
Living in a large urban area during the Covid-19 pandemic has led me to wonder if I should relocate to a small town, a place where people know and care about one another. Your article about the mayor’s race in Montevallo, Ala., undid those dreams.
How do we explain that neighbors in a small Alabama town turned viciously on Joyce Jones, a young Black woman running for mayor, creating and amplifying falsehoods about her and even temporarily denying her mother and grandmother the opportunity to vote for her with pride?
It’s not just Alabama. We’re in trouble from the White House all the way down. But a little American town, like the tiny canary in the mine, shows us clearly that our American democratic experiment is seriously ailing and perilously close to death.
San Jose, Calif.
Trump’s Taxes: Why $750?
To the Editor:
Like many of your readers, I’ve been digesting the revelations in the Times story about President Trump’s taxes. I’m well aware that the most important elements relate to how little he has paid, his dealings with foreign governments and how much debt he has coming due. But I’m particularly intrigued by the $750 he paid in federal taxes both in 2016 and 2017 (“How a Self-Proclaimed Billionaire Arrived at a $750 Tax Bill,” news article, Oct. 2).
Mr. Trump’s tax returns are exceedingly complex. The odds that the money he owed to the government in both of these years would be exactly the same are astronomical. For 10 of the prior 15 years, Mr. Trump paid no taxes, and I’m sure that in 2016 and 2017 his accountants could have found a way to continue the practice.
But his political advisers likely told him that paying no taxes as president would be unseemly. So, everyone agreed that some amount had to be paid. But why $750?
In light of all of the other disclosures, I know that this isn’t terribly important, but there is a degree of cynicism here that is hard to ignore.
Henry Von Kohorn
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