Email letters, February 14, 2014

Colorado senators have backed Second Amendment rights

The recent letter from J.N. Burkhalter regarding the United Nations’ Arms Trade Treaty decrying “propaganda” would be comical if its writer were not so wildly off-target.

The vote the letter decries along with Sens. Mark Udall and Michael Bennet does not surrender Americans’ Second Amendment rights to the United Nations. Nor does this treaty in any way create an “international gun registry.”  The treaty would have no effect on Coloradans’ rights or U.S. policy. It would only prohibit other countries from exporting guns to international human rights abusers and criminals.

Udall and Bennet have worked in Congress to protect Coloradans’ Second Amendment rights. In fact, they stood up to Mayor Michael Bloomberg and his allies when they opposed an overly broad ban on “assault weapons.”  That’s true independence.

Coloradans deserve better than conspiracy theories. Burkhalter should know better.


King’s bill would actually harm seniors

What does it take to get a response from an elected official? I have emailed and written letters to Sen. Steve King, and I can’t even get an acknowledgement from him let alone a response to my concern.

He has proposed a bill, Senate Bill 13, which will cause significant harm to a senior. SB13 sounds good, to allow an individual who is receiving an old-age pension to keep the first $300 a month in gifts or donations, but what will happen is that the senior will then be kicked out of Section 8 (low-income) housing and lose food stamps.

King will not talk with senior advocates about this bill or the harm it may cause. So, why do we elect local senators? It must be so that these persons can feel important enough that they no longer have to talk with people in the district they represent.

Grand Junction

Arguments used by homosexuality proponents can be applied to other lifestyles

The Sentinel’s Wednesday editorial entitled “Sam out to sack another taboo” was characteristic of the many thousands of articles encouraging the acceptance of homosexuality which are being published daily across America.

While nothing new or remarkable is presented, Americans need to be inundated with these articles to ensure the rapid change of societal acceptance of people with different sexual orientation. Although a few anti-homosexual rants are expected, we’re to be congratulated on how open-minded and accepting we’ve become. But we still have a long way to go.

Are we open-minded enough to accept polyamory? Would we be willing to march for the rights of NAMBLA? These are certainly different lifestyles, but by what right, or on what basis, do we reject these people?

I don’t wish to be provocative, but how is it that homosexual lifestyle proponents are disgusted with “homophobes” but not with “beastiphobes”? In fact, those promoting homosexuality often display the same attitude toward bestiality as “anti-gay” people display towards homosexuality.

I realize it’s taboo to mention homosexuality and bestiality together because they aren’t the same. Yet a standard feature of the “accept homosexuality” arguments is to compare the rejection of the homosexual lifestyle with the rejection of people based on skin color. Apparently it’s not taboo to mix apples and oranges when it promotes homosexuality.
Polyamory, homosexuality and bestiality are three very different lifestyles and hardly bear comparison. But check for yourselves if perhaps the arguments for these divergent lifestyles are identical.

I have yet to read any arguments urging acceptance of homosexuality that are not equally valid arguments for the acceptance of polyamory, bestiality, etc. Loads of these articles have been and will be written, so, as you read them, try replacing homosexuality with one of these other lifestyles and you’ll see what I mean.


Grand Junction

Attack on homosexuality does not reflect God, Bible, church

In response to Gary Reeder’s letter stating that “God hates and condemns homosexuality,” I must protest. As a Christian, Bible-loving minister for decades, I can report that God’s essence is love and God regards all people, and all creation, with love.

Furthermore, God expects people to “love God and love one another” (the Great Commandment); to bring “good news to the poor, proclaim release to the captives, recovery of sight to the blind, to set free those who are oppressed” (Luke 4); and to “judge not, lest ye be judged.” (See the beatitudes and following in Matthew.)

Essentially, God’s message in the Bible is one of vast and free-flowing love, which is to be adopted as the prevailing value by those who obey God. God weeps when people hate, condemn, oppress, dehumanize, vilify or otherwise hurt one another. God’s heart is glad when people show generosity and fairness and walk humbly with anyone who is in pain (the Good Samaritan, for example).

Using selected Biblical quotes to vilify a certain set of people as inferior is an old, nasty trick that has been used to justify slavery, promote second-class citizenship for women and advise all sorts of nonsense that grieves God, who desires that humankind live as brothers and sisters, caring deeply for the well-being and dignity of each other, without exception. God expects us to bond together to care for the homeless, the helpless, the hungry, the widow, the orphan, the stranger and the “lost and the least.”  Any deviation from these fundamental obligations is not of God. (See Jesus and all the prophets.)

Reeder’s attack on “homosexuality” does not represent the Bible, God or the teachings of the church. Reeder’s comments represent only his own (saddening) personal vendetta against real people, living real lives, who are our neighbors, friends and relatives and who worship God as faithfully as anyone else.

I trust that other ministers and rabbis, people who love the Bible and teach people about God’s way with humankind, will provide this community with words that bring God’s light, God’s truth, God’s way and God’s love to fullness. God does not hate or despise anyone. Neither ought we.

Interim Senior Minister
First Congregational UCC
Grand Junction

County commissioners are siding with oil and gas industry

The god of Western Slope idolatry is unfettered oil and gas development.

At the behest of members of the oil and gas industry, the Mesa County commissioners are actively working to defeat the adoption of air pollution control rules that would require West Slope operators to detect, monitor, capture and control fugitive emissions from wellheads, processing equipment, pipelines and storage tanks, using technology and practices that Noble Energy, Anadarko and Encana have been using for years to lessen pollution and increase profitability.

When not captured as a saleable product, methane mixed with volatile organic compounds is released to the atmosphere at every stage of oil and gas development, harming people’s health.

So be it, sayeth the Mesa County commissioners, as they adopt the Beijing/Salt Lake City approach to air pollution control and industrial development. Industry wins and people lose, especially the least healthy among us.

Grand Junction


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