See more of the story

We're heading into the July 4 weekend. We should remember what made this country great and a place everyone in the world wanted to live: The rule of law. The laws and the fact that politicians were not a special class above the law is what made us different from any place on Earth in all of history. It used to be important to be an American; now it's more important to be a certain race, religion, conservative or progressive. Secure borders, a common language and the desire to be an asset to America made us the greatest country in the world. Common sense, the rule of law and the original intent of our founding fathers' Constitution is what will save us from ourselves, but that will happen only with big changes in Washington and St. Paul. It's time to be proud to be an American again. It's time to bring back the reasons to be an American. Memories are the only thing an oversized, overbearing government can't take away from you.

Jeff Carlson, St. Louis Park

Criticisms of ruling are overwrought

Thank you, recent letter writers, for all your concern, but Hobby Lobby will still offer seven kinds of contraception to its employees. The other three terminate life, in the company's opinion. So to say that this ruling is going to limit life planning or contraception is at best misleading. If a person cannot pick one contraception product from a list of seven vs. a list of 10, then we have a much larger issue in society. This is no war on women.

Paul Lubeley, Elko

• • •

Explain to me why people outraged by the Supreme Court ruling saying that corporations will be able to deny health coverage and health procedures based on religion are fine with having the government dictate that I have to buy health insurance — including coverages that I don't need. The one thing I do understand is that if I do not like the health coverage of an employer I can go someplace else. I can't say the same thing about the government mandate, unless I leave the country.

Dave Zimmerman, Coon Rapids

• • •

By now, everyone who is paying attention should acknowledge that the U.S. Supreme Court has evolved into a 5-4 split favoring conservative philosophy. Court retirements and presidential appointments after close elections have caused it to happen. The Hobby Lobby ruling is but one example of this shift in court philosophy.

Those who long for a return to a more progressive nation should be deeply concerned. Before an earlier election, James Carville quipped: "It's about the economy, stupid!" For us progressives, and especially for women of all political stripes, the hue and cry for the upcoming presidential election of 2016 should be: "It's about the Supreme Court appointments, folks!"

John F. Carlsted, St. Cloud

Stop cutting down a good man's reputation

So this is what it's come to ("Archbishop faces new sex claims," July 2): That a decent man can be driven from his work by unsupported accusations and innuendo because he is a Catholic priest or bishop. This is the Salem witchcraft trials all over again. And we are the ones doing it.

The Rev. Leonard Freeman, Minnetonka Beach

• • •

Revelations of allegations and allegations of allegations. No new names, only an attack on an archbishop the Star Tribune hates because of the teachings of the Catholic Church, which he represents very well. It is not only he who is against the evils of homosexual marriage and sodomy and the like, but Catholics by the millions. When you unjustly grind up old false data against a good man, you are attacking every loyal Catholic as well. It is past time for you to move on.

James L. Cardinal, Minnetonka

• • •

Archbishop John Nienstedt's continued presence as head of the archdiocese is only causing more turmoil. If he truly cares about the archdiocese, he will resign. My guess is he will not.

Patrick Foley, Northfield

Trustees' actions raise some serious questions

As a volunteer who has contributed countless hours to nonprofit boards, I was shocked by the report on the trustees of the Otto Bremer Foundation ("Charity watchdog questions Bremer," July 1). There are red flags galore. Do the three trustees' responsibilities warrant a nearly ninefold increase in compensation over eight years despite "no fundamental changes in how they operated" since 2004? How is this not a blatant attempt to enrich themselves and not a gross violation of their fiduciary responsibilities?

How does the rationale that the trustees "directly and actively manage the foundation staff" square with the presence, until they just forced her out, of an executive director? Does the foundation staff of 14 really require three "co-CEOs"? And why did they terminate the highly regarded executive director?

I appreciate that the National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy and the Star Tribune brought this questionable activity to public attention. Now it is time for the attorney general to investigate.

Steven Foldes, St. Louis Park

The state of the state is looking pretty good

What a pleasure to pick up the Star Tribune (delivered to the top step outside my front door) with a hot cup of coffee and read that the state of our state is great!

• The Twin Cities jobless rate is the lowest in the nation.

• Manufacturing in Minnesota is at its highest level in three years.

• Minnesota budget reserves are the highest in state history.

• Despite terrible damage from flooding across the state, we actually have the financial resources to help our neighbors.

• Abortions in Minnesota hit a record low, having fallen 7 percent in the last year.

Thank you to Gov. Mark Dayton, to legislators and to dedicated citizens who work every day to make Minnesota better.

Linda McEwen, St. Paul

Militant group looks like a sitting duck, no?

The Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant is now considered a threat to the United States. Why don't we revisit the tactics used during the Gulf War, which lasted only 100 hours? Saddam Hussein's invasion force was obliterated on Kuwait's highways from the air while trying to flee. News footage shows ISIL forces on open highways, where they can't hide from our planes and drones.

Ted Loch, Minneapolis