Email Letters: August 25, 2017

Writer’s reasoning for leaving church is inconsistent

So, Dan Ford is “leaving the church.” It’s true that there are those within the church who think and act contrary to the example and teachings of Christ in the church. But, Ford’s reasoning seems inconsistent. He correctly recognizes the hypocrisy of “twice-divorced” church members using Scripture to condemn “loving same-sex relationships.” However, it is not “mis-using” Scripture to acknowledge that neither divorce nor same-sex relationships are in harmony with God’s plan for human relationships. “In the beginning,” says Jesus, “God made them male and female, and for this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one. Therefore, what God has joined together, let man not separate (Matthew 19).”

Fact is – according to the Gospel – we are all sinners in need of forgiveness and grace. While we are not to judge other people – that is God’s prerogative – we are to be discerning, to know the difference between good and evil, right and wrong, truth and falsehood, whether in our own lives or that of others. Apart from the clear teaching of the Gospel, we merely proclaim our own “truth,” or, as Apostle Paul writes, “a gospel which is no gospel at all.”

As for “leaving the church” because of Trump supporters in the church, one might wonder why he didn’t leave the church during Bill Clinton’s scandal. Lots of church folks idolized Clinton, and still do today.

Ford conveniently avoids any reference to millions of church folk who didn’t support Trump; or, church folk who labor all their lives to promote justice and mercy; or, the billions of dollars given by churches and relief agencies to relieve suffering worldwide; or, hospitals serving the general public, funded by the larger church.

Methinks Ford just wants to leave the church period. Focusing on all that he considers negative in the church is a poor excuse, because there has always been, and always will be, much good done in and by the church. And he’s choosing to leave all that as well.


We all need to stop and think before generalizing about Americans

What do Rick Wagner and President Trump have in common? I know what you’re thinking, but this letter is about statues. Who knew Rick Wagner and Donald Trump are both aficionados of old statues, especially old statues depicting Confederate generals?

This affection for Confederate leaders is really surprising in the case of our president – a man who professes to like winners and hate losers. This is the man who objected to former POW Senator John McCain being called a “war hero.” You may recall Trump telling us that he “prefers people who weren’t captured.” You know – winners. But the Confederacy lost the civil war. And those generals? Jefferson Davis was imprisoned for two years following the end of the war. Robert E. Lee surrendered. Stonewall Jackson was killed by his own side’s “friendly fire.” They sound like a bunch of guys President Trump might call “losers.”

Wagner tells us that removing statues “makes a lot of Americans uncomfortable.” True. However, I also know “a lot” of Americans who are thrilled to see statues of Confederate generals – traitors who attempted to
destroy the American union – being removed. Dislike of these monuments is not limited to “a lot of Black Americans,” as Mr. Wagner writes. “A lot” of white people also don’t like seeing statues of men who went to war to preserve a way of life built and sustained by slavery. “A lot” of Americans (many of them soldiers, some of them generals and at least one of them a president of the United States) cheered when they saw statues of Saddam Hussein being torn down.

We all need to stop and think before generalizing about Americans – and statues.

Grand Junction

Shelters’ refusal to provide safe haven not the answer to homeless-cat crisis

The Mesa County animal shelter is not doing anyone any favors by refusing to do its job and provide shelter to homeless and unwanted cats (“Solving the cat problem,” Aug. 22).

When shelters refuse to accept cats, they give people no choice but to take matters into their own hands. This sets cats up for horrifying deaths by poisoning, shooting, or drowning by people who are irritated when cats kill songbirds, get into noisy fights, climb on their cars, or dig in their flowerbeds.

Homeless cats don’t die of old age. The average lifespan of an outdoor cat is just two to five years, compared to 12-15 years for an indoor cat. Homeless cats die lingering, painful deaths from parasite infestations, deadly infectious diseases, and exposure, being hit by cars, attacks by dogs, wildlife, or cruel people, and more.

Shelters’ refusal to provide a safe haven for cats and instead encouraging cat abandonment is misguided and cruel, and it’s not the answer to the homeless-cat crisis. The effective and humane solution is sheltering all cats, without impediments or conditions, and requiring that all cats be spayed and neutered, licensed, microchipped, and kept indoors.

Animal Care and Control Specialist
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals
Norfolk, Va.

It’s important to understand distinction between ‘sick’ and ‘pre-existing conditions’

A point of clarity with regard to the recent George Will column: “Pre-existing conditions” does not translate roughly to “people who are already sick.” “Sick” is generally interpreted as a currently existing state of debility. “Pre-existing conditions” very often refer to people with an earlier diagnosis, but whose current level of wellness and functioning is within normal limits. Their level of function is often due to maintenance medication, diet, exercise or a combination of all of these. Insurance companies often interpret “pre-existing” as a pass to charge more, even when a person’s chronic condition is well controlled. Think hypertension, diabetes, asthma or alcoholics in recovery. It’s a distinction with a difference and understanding this is crucial to grasping some of what is in the balance in healthcare regulation. Pricing people with well-managed chronic conditions out of the market can lead to their situations becoming more acute…and costly. Ignorance leads to pain and expense.



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Sorry, Mr. Forbes, but Mr. Ford need not leave behind the good in leaving church behind. Many people do good for its own sake, rather than needing to be goaded into it by a belief in a higher power.

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