If a policeman follows me while driving to work, they would probably pull me over for possible DUI. I would not be driving under the influence, but dodging huge potholes.

To keep the roads in good condition in our abutting states, New York's gas tax is $0.4275 per gallon, Ohio's is $0.28 per gallon and Pennsylvania's is $0.5931 per gallon. My question would be, "where is that almost 60 cents per gallon spent?" The confiscated tax is supposed to be used to keep the roads and bridges safe. That 60 cents must fall down a rat hole because it certainly is not spent on road or bridge repairs in Erie County.

The government in the state of Pennsylvania doesn't manufacture a darn thing, yet it taxes the drillers and manufacturers of the product, who then incorporate the tax into their costs and we pay for the end product at the pump. In other words, we, the consumers, pay for the imposed tax at the pump.

I wish the governor would cease claiming he is taxing the oil producers when he knows darn well consumers end up paying for the increases. My gas usage per year averages out to be 500 gallons per year, or $300 in taxes. Now multiply that by the number of drivers.

I'm asking state Sen. Dan Laughlin to advise your readers where this money is spent.

— J.E. Casella, Fairview

 

Democrats need to censor

the party's Trump hatred

In another political theater move, the Democrats, after anti-Semitic comments from one of their own, who was not censured or removed from the Committee on Foreign Affairs, passed a resolution against hate, neglecting to address hate against President Donald Trump. I guess that hatred is approved.

So the social justice warriors, aka the electronic-age lynch mob, can continue their attacks, knowing big leftist media will not report them while focusing on fake hate crimes enacted by leftist activists. The entire Democratic Party has become Jussie Smollett.

— Matt Evans, Erie

 

Churches must pay taxes if

they want to electioneer

Roger Sargent of Albion asserts in a March 5 letter that churches should not be restrained from "influencing those who represent us." It was immediately evident that he has a misunderstanding of tax-exempt status and the difference between individual choice and organizational function.

Individual citizens and institutions (including nonprofits) are always permitted to express their opinions to their prospective or elected officials. But that is entirely different than institutions organizing to support political candidates for the purpose of electioneering. In other words, everyone, even institutions, has the freedom to express their opinions. However, nonprofits, because of their tax-exempt status, are not permitted to be for or against candidates for office.

The reason for that is that it is a trade-off between being taxed (revenue supporting the function of government) or not taxed (provides no revenue.) The fact that churches may provide community services makes no difference. Those organizations do so willingly within their own financial capabilities and they are not compelled to do so. Many churches do nothing but help support their own following. The same applies to other types of nonprofits that serve a specific class of clientele.

All in all, it's a fair trade-off. It does not restrict individuals from supporting any candidate they wish, but as institutions, they cannot run political campaigns or even voice institutional support for or against political candidates because of their special tax-exempt status. That status could allow them to accumulate undue financial influence while not having to pay taxes.

— G. Wesley Bennett, Erie

 

I believe in monopatrism,

not Filioque doctrine

The controversy over the eternal procession of the Holy Spirit, among differing Christians, is known as the Filioque controversy.

My testimony, as a new Christian in the Orthodox Church, is for monopatrism (John 15:26), the belief that the Holy Spirit proceeds "ek monou tou Patros" (in Greek), "from the Father alone."

Without intending any triumphalism against those who may differ on this, as Christians, I set up a new website on WordPress.com, Scott Robert Harrington, Saint Andrew of Valaam Association, "dedicated to defending monopatrism against Filioque." (I hope that you will, if interested, check out my website.)

Saint Mark of Ephesus (1439) said: "The Latins are not only schismatics. ... However, the church was silent on this because their race is larger and more powerful than ours ... and we wished not to fall into triumphalism over the Latins. ... We did not separate from them from any other reason than the fact (of their Filioque). ... This is precisely why we must not unite with them unless they dismiss the addition from the creed Filioque and confess the creed just as we do."

— Scott R. Harrington, Erie