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Letters to the Lynbrook/East Rockaway Editor (Jan. 24-30)


Bigoted Democrats against Knights of Columbus

To the Editor:

I thought that bigotry and attacks on the Catholic religion in politics ended with the election of President John F. Kennedy.

But nearly 60 years later, liberal Democrats are again attacking the religion and one of the world’s largest Catholic fraternal organizations, the Knights of Columbus. Two of those Democrats are, U.S. Sen. Kamala Harris, of California, who allegedly attended a black Baptist church and a Hindu temple when growing up, with now no known religion, and Sen. Mazie Hirono of Hawaii, a Buddhist. They brought up the issue of the Catholic religion and the Knights of Columbus during a hearing for the appointment of a federal judge named Brian Buescher, who is Catholic and member of the organization.

The K of C was founded in 1882 and was started as a society to benefit poverty-stricken Catholic immigrants. It has more than 2 million members and donates nearly $200 million per year from roughly 15,000 chapters across 12 countries.

But Harris and Hirono described the K of C as an “extreme” religious organization. Both have been pressuring the judge nominee to resign from the Knights if he wants to be a federal judge. They also said he should recuse himself from any Catholic-related issues. They said they believe that the judge will have an inherent bias, effectively disqualifying him from the opportunity to sit on the federal bench. Harris also described the Knights as an “all-male society.”

I thought that the U.S. Constitution forbids any religious test to seek and hold public office. Except, I guess, if you are a Catholic, according to these Democrats.

Steve Grogan, Lynbrook; Knights of Columbus member

I know the real Hilary Becker

To the Editor:

I told myself I would not get involved with the politics around the Lynbrook election and the comments people are making about Hilary Becker. However, I can’t bear to see and hear the false rumors that people are spreading about him. People who don’t even know him are making comments that they cannot justify.

It’s discouraging to see how far people will go to tarnish the reputation of someone they have never met. The accusations circling around need to be silenced. For example, people believe he was for the Cornerstone project, when really he was 100 percent against it. If individuals just took the time to listen to what he had to say, then they would know that.

I’d like to take the time to tell you about the Hilary I have had the privilege to know over the last 15 years. Not only was he my coach, but also a mentor and a friend. The first time I met him was at the Lynbrook Titans Wrestling Program when I was 5 years old. The Titans program takes up four hours of his Saturday and meets twice during the week. Most coaches who run a program like that would charge hundreds of dollars per child, but Becker does it for free.

I remember when Hilary was at my 11th-grade qualifiers match. It went into overtime, and I defeated my opponent by two points. He was the first person I thanked when I got off the mat. On top of that, Hilary encouraged me to get my real-estate license. He hired me at his firm and taught me the ropes of real estate. I don’t think I could ask for a better boss, and I believe that every person in our office would agree with me. Our office isn’t just a group of people who work together, it’s a family.

You can say all you want about the man, but he is the most humble, selfless and kind-hearted person I have ever met. He is someone who will drop everything he is doing in order to lend a helping hand. On top of that, he is successful, attends church every Sunday, has two adopted children and donates to many charities. He is truly someone who has devoted his life to the service of his community, and he asks for nothing in return. If there is any man who I aspire to be as I grow, it is Hilary Becker.

Anthony Salamone, Lynbrook