One must wonder how a butterfly banner and the message of hope that it represents when placed in proper context could ever be linked to pedophilia. The gratuitous attack (June 30) on the Resurrection Parish banner and Bishop Joseph Adamec is wholly lacking in historical basis.

As an art historian and Greek and Roman archaeologist who specializes in funerary custom and ritual, I can support the bishop’s claim that the symbol of the butterfly does indeed represent spiritual resurrection. Since at least 1600 B.C., butterflies, birds and flying insects were used throughout the Mediterranean to represent the resurrection of the soul, and these symbols typically adorned tombs, sarcophagi and urns.

The Mycenaeans, the Bronze Age Greek civilization about whom the epics of Homer were written, were particularly reverent of the butterfly because its transformative cycle of larva-chrysalis-butterfly paralleled the soul’s own transformation from body-corpse-spirit.

Adamec’s call for unity is well-placed – unity not only among the members of the merged parishes, but also among Christians of all denominations (I am Lutheran). It is apparent that careful thought went into the selection of the butterfly symbol, and it connotes an appropriate message of hope and new beginnings, rather than evil.

Carrie L. Sulosky

Johnstown



Banner, artist, bishop to be complimented

In response to Patricia Zenino’s article (“Church banner criticized; bishop re-sponds,” June 30) about the banner for the Resurrection Roman Catholic Church in Cambria City:

First, I would like to compliment the artist for making a beautiful banner.

Second, the term “pedophile” has many definitions, but none of the definitions refers to pedophiles as homosexuals.

Third, I am pleased with Bishop Joseph Adamec’s response. As a Catholic school teacher, I teach my students about the symbol of the butterfly.

During Easter, we discuss how butterflies show new life, and we do several art projects about butterflies. Likewise, I can recall my grandmother giving my sister and I butterfly stickers when we were young. She would tell us about Jesus and the new life represented by butterflies.

I also did research on the Internet about homosexual symbols. From the information I accessed, I understand that the symbol of “gay pride” is a rainbow flag, which represents diversity. If a rainbow was included on the Resurrection Roman Catholic Church’s banner, I would still not be offended.

After the Great Flood, God made a promise to never again flood the Earth. This promise is symbolized by a rainbow.

Therefore, symbols can represent different ideas in different cultures, and I hope readers understand that not all Catholics feel the same about the butterflies on the newly created banner.

Jamie Williams

Lilly



Mountain Playhouse discounts aplenty

We read with interest Zachary Hubbard’s June 30 column, “Filling seats a different way,” and appreciate his awareness of the struggles that performing arts venues are experiencing. Hubbard suggested that theaters and other entertainment venues should offer student discounts and pursue other creative avenues.

For decades, the Mountain Playhouse has offered youth and student discounts.

For $10, youth and older students with an I.D. can see a play, or for $13, a musical.

Every Wednesday night, we offer a steeper discount where a student can see a play or musical for just $8. This student discount serves a dual purpose of making professional theater economical for students while building our future audience by introducing youth to the joys of live theater.

In the next few weeks, we are going one step further. We know that because of the economy many people are not traveling this summer. The Mountain Playhouse is offering a “Staycation BOGO.” Through July 17, patrons can purchase a ticket and get a second ticket free for any show the rest of the summer.

Details are available on the playhouse’s Web site or by calling the box office.

Teresa Stoughton Marafino

Producer, Mountain Playhouse

Jennerstown



Obama has nation on fast track to disaster

Six months ago when the Obama administration moved into Washington with promises of hope and change, my hope was that I would be proven wrong about the type of change I thought it would bring. I thought it would move our country in a direction that would gradually lead to socialism.

I have been proven wrong. But not in the way I hoped to be. This train to socialism is running on a high-speed rail system unlike anything ever before. It may not be able to stop at the socialism station and might have to move onto something worse.

Having taken virtual control of the banking-mortgage and auto industries, the administration has moved one step closer to control of nearly every other industry with the recent passage by Congress of the cap-and-trade bill.

Obama intends to bring us universal health care where bureaucrats will determine who might be worthy of care or expensive procedures based on your possible future value to society.

We now live in a land of unelected czars with extraordinary powers to affect various facets of our lives. These powers are bestowed upon them by Obama alone, without congressional oversight or review.

The Founding Fathers declared independence from the tyranny of England 233 years ago.

As our rights to life, liberty and pursuit of happiness are restricted and corrupted, will we have the courage to stand up and declare independence from the tyranny that appears to be coming our way?

August Gatto

Ebensburg



America needs two strong political parties

At a GOP fundraiser, former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich declared that he was not a citizen of the world. His flippant remark was directed at President Obama, who on a recent trip to Europe declared that he was.

We may not be citizens of the world but, without a doubt, Americans, our nation’s businesses and members of the U.S. military occupy much of the world.

Too often during the past nine years, self-professed conservatives such as Gingrich, Ann Coulter, Rush Limbaugh and Shawn Hannity have stated what they are not and what they oppose. Often their shrill rants for which they have become famous are directed at fellow Republicans.

Rarely do they offer solutions to any of the country’s problems.

The GOP has an overabundance of conservative pundits of Gingrich’s ilk who purport to speak for the entire party. As a consequence, it seems, the party has fallen out of favor with many of its own members.

Hopefully, a party statesman will soon step forward and articulate solutions to America’s problems that appeal to a wider range of Republican and Democratic voters alike.

America needs two strong political parties.

Long live both the Democratic and Republican parties.

Stephen J. Verotsky

Johnstown

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