Christ not characterized by term ‘community organizer’

(Regarding article, “Conaway: Obama is no Jesus Christ,” Sept. 12.) Jesus Christ was not a “community organizer” acting behind the scenes, setting the paths to be followed by the poor, underprivileged and often oppressed peoples to achieve economic and social equality. Nowhere in the Bible does Jesus call for protests; or the liberation of, or an uprising by, the Jewish people against the Romans. In fact, He made the point “to render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s.”

The Jewish people were waiting for and expecting a Messiah who would rescue them from the Roman authority, by force if necessary, and Jesus was rejected, as His message was not in keeping with God’s direct actions in the Old Testament on behalf of His chosen people.

Jesus never cursed or condemned the Romans and He healed their sick. “Community organizer” is a term Jesus Christ would not have recognized or condoned, as his message was spiritual — love your enemy — and directed to the individual. …

Pleasantville, N.Y.


Sen. Burr shouldn’t filibuster tobacco bill

From Kerry Scott Lane, M.D.

Sen. Richard Burr (R-N.C.) introduced S.3127 to reauthorize the Select Agent Program by amending the Public Health Service Act and the Agricultural Bioterrorism Protection Act of 2002, and to improve oversight of high-containment laboratories. This is a commendable goal regarding nature’s most potent toxins and infectious disease agents.

Despite Sen. Burr’s goal to protect Americans from these dangerous agents, he is threatening to filibuster a Senate bill to allow the Food and Drug Administration to regulate tobacco, a crop that kills nearly 500,000 Americans each year. Aflatoxin, the fungal carcinogen found on tobacco, has been regulated by the FDA on all other crops since 1966. Aflatoxin was formerly a listed Select Agent, having been withdrawn mysteriously earlier this decade.

Saddam Hussein mass-produced aflatoxin as a weapon of mass destruction in the first Gulf war. The National Agriculture Biosecurity Center at Kansas State University lists aflatoxin as a disease agent. Indeed, aflatoxin and the heat-resistant fungal spores in primary and secondary tobacco smoke likely cause 60 percent of human cancers associated with tobacco use. …

In the groundbreaking trial of United States v. Philip Morris et. al., which ended in 2006 and whose judgment is now under appeal, U.S. District Court Judge Gladys Kessler found the tobacco companies committed numerous violations of the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO). In the appeal, I have filed a friend-of-the-court brief arguing that tobacco company scientists who authored aflatoxin research articles were mute when asked in this trial as to the cause of tobacco-related carcinogenesis. In the brief, I state that the reason I felt they did not mention aflatoxin was that, if in fact the prime causal agent of tobacco-related cancers was already regulated by the FDA on all other crops, it would be compelling argument for further FDA regulation of tobacco.

Will Sen. Burr hold Americans hostage to further tobacco RICO tyranny with a filibuster of this important FDA bill — or will he vote his conscience and side with the American people?

West Palm Beach, Fla.

Editor’s note: The writer holds three worldwide patents relating to aflatoxin and tobacco.