What ever happened to the concept of "I may disagree with what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it?" How dare our government apologize for our citizens for exercising their free speech rights?

What an absolute insult, even a spit in the face, to every person who has fought, died, killed or otherwise served in the defense of this nation. It is not our government's duty to protect the world from our citizens; it is rather our government's absolute obligation to defend our citizens from a world that would enslave us in a heartbeat were they given the power to do so.

Only an historically ignorant and scripturally illiterate population could possibly believe the events in the Muslim countries has any real connection with some allegedly insulting movie about Muhammad. The issue is thousands of years old. If we still abided by the Northwest Territories Act that Thomas Jefferson signed into law, we would be using the Bible as a textbook in public schools and we would have more than just a clue as to the Middle East's problems. — Jerry Ross, Grants Pass

Everyone I've talked to about the front page article on Monday, Sept. 24, agrees with me that the article "A need for firefighters" was a great job of political "spin." It's everybody else's fault but ours, sound familiar?

The worst thing Gold Hill did politically is do away with their volunteer fire department and hire Fire District 3. They used to have a very active, trained volunteer force. Now they have nothing but a new, empty fire station. Those of us who live in Gold Hill, Sams Valley and the area around Dodge Bridge have virtually no fire or medical services, and response times are far too long.

When I was forced out as a volunteer/EMT, we had very active volunteer forces at all of these stations. We trained weekly and could keep a cap on a fire or medical call until the "professionals" arrived. When the station volunteers were elsewhere for training, a truck and two full-time firemen came to the station to cover for them. It is time for those of us in the "boonies" to demand services that we pay for. After all, we pay the same taxes for the district as those living in White City and Central Point. — Harry LeVine, Central Point

Recently the Mail Tribune published a rambling religious diatribe from John Ogle of Grants Pass, who at one point writes: "Correct me if I'm wrong. This nation was founded on the idea that it would be a Judeo-Christian society."

Well, I'd be happy to correct him because he is wrong. This nation was founded, in part, on the idea that its citizens would enjoy freedom from the very type of religious indoctrination that his letter seems to advocate.

Almost every time I hear Christians complaining that their religious freedom isn't being respected, they're actually just frustrated that they've been restricted in their ability to force their beliefs on everyone else. God bless America! — Anthony Nelson, Ashland

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