Email letters, April 4, 2014

Laws preserving our freedoms ironically being used to curtail them

It is becoming increasingly difficult to wave off the aggressive efforts of the American Civil Liberties Union regarding the Fellowship Church activity center, panhandling in the city, Ten Commandments on display and their myriad of other forays against our American way of life.

At what point does atheism, humanism, or any other nontheistic system become less of a belief system than Christianity, Judaism, Hinduism, Islamism, etc., etc.?  Isn’t atheism  the diametric opposite of theism, and as such isn’t it a religion?  And isn’t it one whose efforts are a vector directed at imposing its minority beliefs on the majority?
 
It is a fact. Our forefathers, who put together the documents guaranteeing the freedoms we all enjoy today, were god-fearing men.  Whether they belonged to a religious assembly or were Deists, they believed in a being far superior to themselves and made judgments and acted accordingly. 
 
The biggest threat today to suppress freedom of  speech and religion, are by the very ones making the most noise about defending them.  The irony is that they use the laws guaranteeing our freedoms to dismantle our freedoms.
 
ROBERT A. TALLARICO
Grand Junction
 
County needs constitutional sheriff who will protect liberty

Without a doubt, the sheriff has duties that are discernable as being the protector of the citizenry of his county. The Sentinel provides hyperbole to its readers, a distorted view of John Pennington, one of the candidates for sheriff.

Apparently it is fine with the Sentinel that our Congress, our president and our state officials determine which laws and which parts of our Constitutions to uphold while misinterpreting them — and which ones to ignore. But it is not all right with the Sentinel if Pennington tries to live up to that oath he will be taking and defend our county by following those very laws broken by our leaders.

Correct me if I’m wrong, but isn’t that also part of being a sheriff? Isn’t that what our way of life is all about?

Shouldn’t a sheriff be concerned with protection? Protection from officials who bend laws, ignore rulings from our Supreme Court, ignore the very laws we live under as a republic and ignore our states’ rights. Protection from those who ignore the mandates allowed the federal government by these same states and protection from agencies bent on serving their own needs. This republic is not a country that can ignore its citizenry and the god-given rights written into our Constitution.

It makes sense to me to have stability in our county, following our freedoms, enjoying our liberties as set forth in our very Constitutions while not worrying about the encroachments from an out-of-control government.

Sen. Steve King has introduced several laws that were passed that encroach on our rights as citizens of Colorado. As a result, we now are forced to live with diminished freedom and diminished liberty and are exposed as never before to an out-of-control federal government.

The last thing this county needs is a “king.” What we need is a constitutional sheriff.

TIM FENWICK
Grand Junction

Teach academics and arts at school, morals at home

The recent column about showing of a religious video in our public schools has some strange implications. All societies have morals and rules of conduct , but that does not mean that any one religion should be promoted in
our public schools.

It doesn’t take an extremist to feel that schools are for teaching academics and arts, and churches and homes are where we should teach our children morals. I would not want my tax dollars to pay for a history teacher to show a video promoting Islam or an English teacher to show a video promoting Buddhism.

LEE CASSIN
De Beque

Wagner’s column prompts philosophical questions

  I am a freethinker, and I would like to comment on Rick Wagner’s clumsy and confusing opinion piece about moral authority and religious belief. Among his many errors, Wagner claims that we secularists wish to eliminate religion from society. This is not true.

The wall of separation that many secular and atheist groups fight for allows secularists and those who follow religious teachings to practice their belief systems without government intervention. Between his jabs at nonbelievers, global warming, unsuccessful cultures (?) and communists, he may have missed the answer to his questions.

Where do the rules come from? What is right and wrong? The Seventh Amendment should take care of that. Common law. As Thomas Jefferson wrote to Thomas Cooper on Feb. 10, 1814, ” Christianity neither is, or ever was a part of common law.”

I have some questions for Wagner. Do religion and worship actually produce moral behavior? What is a society that rejects knowledge and reason for superstition and fear?

JEFF LENAHAN
Grand Junction

School activities that collide with Christian views protected

Maybe members of Western Colorado Atheists and Freethinkers should change their organization’s name to the Western Colorado Atheists and Freak-outers because freaking out seems to be what they do best. They really shouldn’t have the word “freethinkers” in their name, since it doesn’t appear to be what they do a lot of.         

For some reason, it is OK to foist the theory of evolution on Christian students who attend, but when a teacher shows a short video about an optional activity that involves a Christian viewpoint, someone decides that people shouldn’t be allowed to think that freely.

Plenty of optional and mandatory activities at schools collide with the Christian viewpoint of some students, but they are protected because it promotes freethinking. Why shouldn’t people be exposed to the Christian side of thinking and be able to decide for themselves?

EMMA GARDNER
Grand Junction

Next sheriff must be both an ideologue and executive

The Sentinel’s editorial Tuesday caused this old educator to quickly review the meaning of the term “ideologue.”

After I read Webster’s definition, it would appear an ideologue is a person who holds definite ideas concerning current issues — be they political, spiritual, financial — and espouses them freely.

I like folks like that because you know where they stand. Not knowing any of the candidates who are running for county sheriff, I certainly want to know where they stand. Foremost: Will they swear to uphold the laws of the land?

The current person in the Oval Office has told us on numerous occasions that he is not an ideologue. One thing, however, is for sure: He decides which existing laws to follow and which laws to ignore. He has done this over and over.

The successful candidate for Mesa County sheriff must be both an ideologue and an executive.  I hope that we can learn right away where each stands on this matter, including Sen. Steve King. Will we?

I absolutely detest any notion that the result of an election is a foregone conclusion. And the suggestion that a departmental budget affects which laws to uphold is very troubling indeed.

FRANK ROGER LITTLE
Grand Junction


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