To the editor:

Tom McLaughlin’s Sept. 5 column bemoaning the latter generation’s lack of belief in established religion, patriotism and child-rearing may really be their reaction to the way his generation changed these concepts. 

Patriotism was popular in the 1950s and ’60s as we were combating Communist attacks on Western democracy and capitalism. The Vietnam War and the unfair draft system (letting young men defer the draft by entering college at record numbers or getting doctor’s reports of bogus medical conditions like “bone spurs”) targeted draftees without family wealth. Also, organized religion had many vocal and outstanding moral leaders like Dr. Martin Luther King, Mother Teresa, Albert Schweitzer and Billy Graham championing the poor, oppressed and sick.

Today, our religious leaders champion Donald Trump, anti-abortion and attacks on the “takers” even though Jesus called them the poor, blind and sick. And why, if Jesus was anti-abortion, did he not mention it even if it was widely practiced during that time in the Roman empire? He also didn’t seem to like the “money lenders,” even though now they can contribute to political campaigns.

The lack of desire to have children might be linked to expensive college education, and the lack of trust in the future of job prospects in America, coupled with dire climate change predictions. College costs are increasing at  two times inflation and four times wage growth. Current college loan debt for 44 million students exceeds the combined debt in America of consumer credit, plus auto loans. China understands the benefits of Western colleges and funds 600 thousand students abroad studying STEM and management courses. Our government should help fund students because it results in higher income tax receipts over the earner’s lifetime a very good investment.

Susan Rheault

North Conway

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