Email Letters: September 25, 2017

The reality is that U.S. is a secular country, not a theocracy

Some people carry on with the belief that the U.S. is a Christian nation. The U.S. Constitution is clear that it is not and makes no mention of God. Still, we have things like “In God we trust” on our coins and many choose to say “under God” when reciting the pledge of allegiance. The coins and the added under “God” thing in the pledge do present a sort of conflict yet it does not change the way our laws are executed.

The reality is that we are a secular country, not a theocracy. A U.S. judge, at any level, is required to make decisions based upon the laws of the land, not by consulting the Bible or any other religious doctrine. Their oath of office is very specific in this area.

A Mr. Kearsley submitted a letter claiming that poor Christians are being oppressed because the ability of a judge to make decisions based upon our laws has been questioned when some have openly indicated they would allow their religion to take precedence or written things that describe transgender children as “Satan’s plan.” He claims there is a connection between morality and Christianity. Do these supposedly oppressed Christians have a problem understanding the U.S. Constitution? There is no evidence to suggest that religion leads to morality any more than no religion does.

The Christians are free to practice their religion at home, in their church or in their neighborhood but when they want to practice it as a guide for government rule they are the oppressors. It has been proven throughout history time and again. There is no “secularization movement” as claimed by Mr. Kearsley. People who accurately understand the laws of the United States know that we always have been a secular country.

ROBERT FISK
Delta

City needs to address the issue of deadly 1st Street curve

While they are going about expanding Two Rivers Convention Center with a hotel and ballroom I hope the city doesn’t forgot to address the issue of the deadly 1st Street curve. They say they plan to tear down the old pawnshop and build a parking lot. No. They need to realign the curve before they do anything else. Period!

JEREMIAH HABECKER
Clifton

Perception that District 51 wastes money is not based in fact

I am a Republican, a fiscal conservative, and also the vice president of the Mesa Valley Education Association. As I’ve been talking with people about why they should vote yes on 3A and 3B, I hear some talk about how much money District 51 wastes.

If anyone should be concerned with our district wasting money or spending too much on administration, it should be the teachers’ association! Any dollars wasted are dollars that aren’t going to classrooms. So MVEA sent the district’s budget to our parent organization in Denver, the Colorado Education Association. CEA combed through the budget for several days and they reported back to us that District 51 is incredibly lean and incredibly efficient. Only about 3 percent of the budget goes to administration. CEA could not find any misallocation of funds or any waste. They basically said, “There’s not much money there and what is there is wisely spent.”

It’s important to know the facts when voting. The perception that District 51 wastes money is not based in fact. I’m voting yes on 3A and 3B for two reasons: the ballot language states exactly where every dollar will go, and I know the district will be held accountable to continue being good stewards of our tax dollars.

DAN WORTH

Scenic Elementary Teacher & MVEA Vice-President
Grand Junction

Western Colorado Contractors Association supports Public Safety Measure 1A

The Western Colorado Contractors Association board heard the presentation regarding the proposed Mesa County Public Safety Measure 1A.

After seeing the breakdown of concerns that prompted the proposed sales tax measure, Western Colorado Contractors Association would like to support the Mesa County Public Safety Measure 1A for the following reasons:

• By implementing a sales tax measure that will meet the current needs of our public safety officials, Mesa County would be able to create a safer environment and a lower crime rate that is more attractive to businesses and families looking to move into the area. Growth in the community leads to additional infrastructure and development in the area, which creates more work opportunities for our area businesses.

• Increased presence and public safety response times would eventually result in decrease of crimes including areas of construction related sites, equipment and businesses.

• An adequate budget source would be established to maintain efficient public safety departments that will not be taken from previously established resources or reallocated to other areas.

Western Colorado Contractors Association supports the 2017 Mesa County Public Safety Measure 1A, and will encourage community members to consider supporting this measure.

SHAWNA GRIEGER

Grand Junction

United States has never been a Christian nation

I’m writing in response to the lady who was afraid that “In God We Trust” was going away. That phrase has only been used since 1952 when Joe McCarthy and his fanatics demanded it be put into the Pledge of Allegiance and on our money. And for attacking “Christian” values: Those “values” gave us an excuse for the Confederacy to justify slavery. Those values are used to discriminate against gay marriage and for racial discrimination.

We have never been a Christian nation. There are a lot of Christians in America, they vote and elect other Christians and then say, “We own it all.” Sorry, no. The Founding Fathers wanted religion kept away from government. Christians control both houses of Congress, the Cabinet and the Supreme Court. Tell me again how powerless and persecuted you are. Your Bible has no more power than my Lord of the Rings. Yours “proves” the existence of God; mine proves the existence of Frodo Baggins. Keep your religion to yourself.

MARK DEMIST
Palisade

NFL schedule included disgusting displays of disrespect to our nation

Sunday, Sept. 24 was National Gold Star Mother’s Day. As to be expected, little or no mention was made in the media across our nation. For those 90 percent of Americans who don’t know about this day, it honors those families who have lost a loved on active military duty. We are one of those families, having lost our daughter Sgt. Brooke Caffrey, USAF after 17 years of service and four deployments. Sadly, we are not alone on the Western Slope and the number grows each year.

With that said, today’s NFL schedule included disgusting displays of disrespect to our nation, the flag, the national anthem and to those who have served or are currently serving in our armed forces. Once again the disrespect was to protest real or perceived social injustice in the USA. I fully support the right of free speech, yet abhor the national venues that these overpaid professionals use to show their protest.

As the Sunday games became a showcase for their selfishness, one bright moment occurred. While the Steelers were kept in their locker room during the playing of the national anthem (coaches did not want to put players in “a tough position”), Steeler lineman Alejandro Villanueva took the field alone and with hand over heart stood at attention during the playing of the anthem. Alejandro happens to be a West Point graduate, Army Ranger and served three combat tours in Afghanistan subsequent to his making the NFL. What a courageous and selfless act while his teammates hid in the locker room.

Yes, our president chastised pro athletes for their disrespect. He is being shredded by the media for his insensitivity in telling it like it is. Like him or hate him, the president spoke for millions of Americans when he called out these pampered athletes – I am one of them. I hope and pray that the NFL and the NBA get hit where it hurts them most – in the pocketbook.

WAYNE C. TELFORD
Grand Junction

Sport has become the religion of choice for the unthinking

Let me quote a friend:

“What we have is a group of coddled little boys dressed up in men’s bodies, being paid much more than anyone is worth to play games and believing that their thoughts and feelings are the only ones that count.”

And the majority of the people have made gods of these imbeciles. Sport has become the religion of choice for the unthinking. I will suggest that the same mentality implies to the entertainment industry as well. I would defy any of these prima donnas to go out and get a real job in real life. My guess is that 99 percent of them would not survive a week, or less, working as a cop, firefighter, military, farmer or many, many other occupations.

If this thought steps on anybody’s feet, so be it.

LARRY M. HEAD
Hotchkiss

As long as money is more important than people, no true solutions can come forth

Many put forth ideas for fixing various problems in our society and country with good intentions. But they fail to address the main issue that keeps us chained to failure time after time, in almost every aspect of our modern life. Money is used as a lock and key to allow a small group of “elite” to exert their will over the people in many insidious ways. We are locked in or locked out of various opportunities without adequate funds. We are enslaved through debt to worship this false god, ignoring the needs of other people and of the planet.

As long as money is more important than people, no true solutions can come forth. With profit as the most important goal, the well being of humanity and our planet is left by the wayside. A small group of extremely wealthy individuals will continue to push for their “elite” status through corporations and governments as long as we, the people, allow them to do this. We can make a different choice.

We can choose to include all of humanity in our considerations of the future and of redesigning our societies. We can choose to simply use money as a means of exchange by prioritizing the well being of people, and delegate money to a much lesser role in society. We can choose to release the presently accepted monetary values (which are artificially placed on almost everything but the air we breathe), into a new knowing of collective cooperation.

By putting money in its rightful place, as a servant to human societies, we idealize vibrant wellness, ingenuity, peaceful dialogue, and the various gifts and talents that we each bring to life. This will create a fundamental shift in thinking that will allow more harmonious solutions to come forth for every aspect of community life.

The “elite” are not to be left out of this new abundance, but they will no longer be in control, as the true potential of humankind steps up to master life in dynamic new ways.

KIM ST. GERMAIN
Grand Junction

What have conservatives conserved for our country?

Conservatives believe in personal responsibility, limited government, free markets, individual liberty, traditional American values and a strong national defense. They believe the role of government should be to provide people the freedom necessary to pursue their own goals.
Limited government is code for privatizing public service. We can all agree that big business is not the same as Main Street business. Our middle-class economy has evaporated into the hands of the top 1 percent through trickle down, misery up economic policies. Reducing the state department while increasing and privatizing our Department of Defense will make war our biggest export, and soldiers a commodity. War has not built a strong national defense. It is more complex than that.

Our environment is poisoned through our use of fossil fuels. Industry literally writes policies that Congress debates. Deregulation through denigrating hard-won battles over regulatory protections is not about limited government, free market competition or traditional American values. It is about meeting the conditions of campaign contributions. Climate change is about science, not politics and conservatives continue to denigrate science, a traditional bipartisan resource for decision-making.

Our public lands are not for sale.

We are no longer a nation with equal access to justice. Legal status is determined by whom you know, your economic class, your race, sexual orientation or religion. It is hypocritical to reverse the DACA promise while Sheriff Joe Arpaio is pardoned.

Lastly, conservative values appear to be about preserving the GOP rather than understanding how to prevent Russia from interfering in our election, getting money out of politics or improving healthcare access and affordability.

So, if conservative policies have not conserved our middle class economy, our national defense, main street business, our environment, our access to equal justice, our health, safety and education of our children, our public lands, or a fair election process, what have conservatives conserved?

TANYA TRAVIS
Grand Junction

Urge Sen. Gardner to oppose the Graham-Cassidy health care bill

As a Coloradan living with multiple sclerosis, I have a unique reason to urge Sen. Gardner to oppose the Graham-Cassidy health care bill: TABOR. This bill proposes drastic changes to Medicaid funding, which would be disastrous to the 400,000 Coloradans who now have health insurance thanks to Medicaid expansion. If funding is cut, Colorado will have to either eliminate access to Medicaid or figure out how to pay for it ourselves. The Legislature already had to decide between closing rural hospitals and reclassifying the Hospital Provider Fee just to balance the budget due to TABOR.

Colorado’s state budget may never recover if Gardner votes to eliminate federal Medicaid
expansion dollars. The one in four Coloradans living with chronic disease is
depending on a sensible vote.

BRANDT WILKINS
Denver

North Avenue controversy should be about much more than nostalgia

Does anybody else have vague feelings of deja vu? North Avenue versus University Boulevard. Nostalgia for the good old days. A road through Grand Junction, U.S. 6, as part of one of the main ways to go to Salt Lake City. Lots happening. Good old Fifties and Sixties cruising, seeing and being seen.

Now it is just a faded commercial street from the past running through the town/city. Deja vu? Tea Parties and Trumpism. Return to a more satisfying time. Pure nostalgia for a time and situation you really wouldn’t want to return to if you really thought about it.

So, what’s going on? Change is often unsettling. The digital age. Individual parts of a vast country finally being united, first by the Interstate system, then TV, exploding air transportation and now through technology. Are there any North Avenue zealots younger than 40 or 50?

It’s time for local change. We have an impressive, growing university. Naming an adjacent street is part of a rejuvenation effort to make the street over and make it part of becoming a university town. It’s the beginning of trying to make us more than being nowhere and 250 miles from civilization.

It is also related to changing retail conditions. Buy local! Amazon and Wal-Mart killing that idea? I am tired of driving all over town to find something and it not being available locally. I can find it on the internet and it’ll be here in a couple days. Something has to happen that makes local shopping a pleasure and productive.

Maybe North Avenue/University Boulevard can be the catalyst for a transition to commerce that the internet can’t provide.

The North Avenue controversy should be about much more than nostalgia. It is about change for the better and joining the 21st century. The transition has to happen. We can embrace it, or get left behind.

JOHN BORGEN
Grand Junction

Farm animals should merit our compassion and respect

We are a nation of special observances. There is even a World Day for Farm Animals, observed on Oct. 2 (Gandhi’s birthday). Apparently it’s intended to memorialize the tens of billions of animals abused and killed for food.

Like most others, I always thought of farm animals as “food on the hoof.” But when a friend sent me an amazing, endearing Facebook video, it dawned on me that farm animals are much like our family dog, fully deserving of our compassion and respect.

My internet search showed that they get neither. Male baby chicks are routinely suffocated in plastic garbage bags or ground up alive. Laying hens are crowded into small wire cages that tear out their feathers. Breeding sows are kept pregnant in tiny metal crates. Dairy cows have their babies snatched away immediately upon birth, so we can drink their milk.

It was enough to drive someone to drink. Instead, it drove me to replace the animal products in my diet with a rich variety of plant-based meats and dairy items offered by my grocery store. I have since learned that a cruelty-free diet is also great for my health and for the health of our planet.

GLEN ZAUCER
Grand Junction

Broncos player’s actions disrespected the flag, our country, and military

So, 32 Bronco players refused to stand for the flag and honor the national anthem? They lost me as a fan as well as a lot of other Coloradans. Their actions not only disrespect the flag and our country but also the men and women of the military who are willing to sacrifice their lives for our freedoms, as well as our policemen, firemen and all the first responders who serve us selflessly.
Childish behavior by people paid, by us, more than a few million dollars for working less than half a year to play a game shows complete stupidity. These players think they are heroes but they are not. They contribute zero to society or to the social order. If this represents freedom of speech, count me out. When attendance starts falling and we refuse to buy the overpriced paraphernalia they push, you will see Bronco management rethinking their support for this fiasco. If you think the problem is President Trump then the answer to the problem is the ballot box. Alienation of the fan base is not a logical solution.

DONALD MCCLUNG

Parachute

Former Raider fan happy to see them lose

I have been a Raider fan for 30 years until Sunday night. It was so thrilling to see their sit down butts get creamed in their loss, as it should be. Maybe they can do it every game.

R.M. SHERMAN

Grand Junction


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Thank you Robert Fisk!

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