Letters: Coal Energy, Gays and Christians in School

Steve Inskeep reads from listener comments and corrections, including questions about the environmental impact of coal mining.

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STEVE INSKEEP, host:

And now we have more of your comments. Our report this week on turning coal into cleaner burning gas drew many responses, with many of you pointing to the drawbacks of mining coal. "While the technology is interesting," writes Rebecca Moore in Boone, North Carolina, "it does nothing to wean us from our dependence on fossil fuel." She goes on to say, "Coal mining is a nightmare on many fronts. The environmental pollution and ecological devastation caused by mining practices is an extremely high price to pay. It's hardly as cheap as dirt."

Our report on the day of silence in schools to protest discrimination against gay students, and the counter protest by some conservative Christians, prompted this letter from Jeremy Bergburf(ph) in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Being staunchly on one side of the issue, as many people are, he says, "it was nice to hear both sides. Thanks for presenting a balanced story."

But some people thought the story presented a false divide between gays and Christians. Reverend T.L. Steinward(ph) writes from Winthrop, Massachusetts, "As a pastor of a mainline ministry for gay and lesbian persons, I must point out that there are many faithful Christians who are gay and lesbian."

And we have some corrections this morning. Earlier this week, we aired a report on the funeral of an orthodox Hasidic leader, Rabbi Moses Teitelbaum. The report stated that the Satmar sect is opposed to the State of Israel because they are waiting for the return of the Messiah. The report should have said the Satmar are waiting for the coming of the Messiah.

And finally this morning, retired firefighter and listener, Wayne Beechy(ph) of Richmond, Virginia wrote to correct a detail in our story on a disaster drill in Houston, describing firefighters as laboring behind oxygen masks. "We have never entered a fire with oxygen masks," he says. "The tanks we use are filled with air from the same atmosphere that you and I breathe. If we entered a fire environment with oxygen tanks and masks, we would probably blow up."

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