letters to the editor
Let kids play soccer

Note to self: the old adage “Get on the ball.! Be on the ball!” heard playing soccer as youth, still holds true.

As summer came to a close, the smell of fall ripening filled the air; I discussed the seasonal activities with my 9-year-old son. As was standard, he made the decision to play soccer. Last year, his mother was an assistant coach, the year before, I was. After the discussion, I went online and pursued fulfilling the registration application. At this point, it was two days prior to the deadline for registration. Once I made my way onto the Mt. Lebanon Soccer Association (MLSA) website and continued on to their registration site, I was prompted to provide login information and password. I came to a standstill. I did not have an account on the registration site, so how was I able to provide this? I wasn’t. So, I attempted to set up an account. That went fine. Now to enter the player, my son onto my account. Failed! It stated that he was already assigned to an account and could not be assigned to more than one. Again it requested the login and password for the account. And still, I did not know of any.

So, I then began a long line of attempts to gain knowledge of that information and have my son registered. To make a long story shorter, I never received the login info. His mother attempted, but at that point, it was a day after registration had closed. MLSA stated in an email, “Sorry registration is closed. Should have contacted me last night. Better luck next time.”

I continued on requesting to MLSA that the president of MLSA be given this to consider. I asked that due to my documented attempts to register my son prior to the deadline, that an exception be made and that my son be considered registered. I received no correspondence back in writing ever. I did receive a phone call that lasted more than 30 minutes late one evening while my family was on vacation, and I was told several reasons why they (MLSA) do not make exceptions and are not going to start. I was explained to that the maximum capacity had been reached. I was informed that field space was limited. None of the reasons took into account that I attempted to register my son prior to the deadline, nor did they justify my son not having the ability to play on the field this season. Also, they offered no waiting list of any type, no option. He’s not playing here in Lebo.

I took it further and spoke with PA West (local oversight committee, soccer specific) and to US Youth Soccer (national), also spoke with Mt. Lebanon Recreation Department. Some have a view that there should be a place for a 9-year-old to play on a soccer team. I have contacted other local clubs and they had room and would take him despite their registration being closed. However, MLSA will not be governed by their peers or by their big brothers. No exceptions. I have heard recently about how allowing another player on the field would in turn limit another’s time. I know. My son is limited completely. He can’t even step on the field. He’s 9, and he wants to play.

Limiting a child’s ability to play at 9 years of age. Why? Let them all play.

Justin Beinhauer

Mt. Lebanon

Allegheny County Council made the right vote

In 1872, when the Great Seal of the United States was created and adopted, the unofficial motto of the United States was “E pluribus unum,” Latin for “Out of many, one.” It wasn’t until 1956 that we went from unofficially “E pluribus unum” to, officially, “In God We Trust.”

A brief history lesson on “In God We Trust:” It first appeared on U.S. coins in 1864, and has been on paper currency since 1957. It seems to have originated from “The Star-Spangled Banner,” as a line in the fourth stanza of the poem reads “In God is our Trust.”

Obviously, a lot has changed since 1956. As many in the United States have become more progressive with their thinking, a plethora of religious beliefs is now accepted. From Catholics to atheists, Muslims to Jews, our religions are as diverse as our ethnic makeups, which is why we were quite surprised when self-described evangelical Christian and Allegheny County council member Sue Means (R-Bethel Park) began pushing for a bill that would allow “In God We Trust” to be displayed within Downtown Pittsburgh’s Allegheny County Courthouse.

Thankfully – and perhaps in part to Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald’s promise to veto the bill if it passed – council voted against the proposal.

With religious wars ongoing in the Middle East, we struggle to understand the need to push religion on anyone in a political setting. The discussion and vote were a waste of council’s time and resources. Church and state need to be kept separate, and while “In God We Trust” is indeed our national motto, it isn’t something that needs to be taken a step further and shoved into the faces of people who don’t necessarily believe in God, or in one particular god.

Far-right leaning members of the Republican party should take this to heart and keep religion out of what they are trying to accomplish politically. It is a distraction, it is unnecessary, and while the separation of church and state isn’t officially in the United States Constitution, it is one of the many things that makes our country great.

Justifying his opposition to KDKA-TV, Fitzgerald, a Catholic, stated, “I understand that other people have different beliefs and we should be tolerant of those beliefs. In fact, not just tolerant, but welcoming.”

We couldn’t agree more.