Printed Letters: August 27, 2017

The Daily Sentinel fights the good fight

Though I no longer live in the Grand Valley, I grew up here and it’s a place I’m proud to call home. I still visit my family in Grand Junction multiple times a year, and one of the ways I keep connected with the community is through The Daily Sentinel.

Unfortunately, whenever I read their stories online, they’re almost always accompanied by a slew of comments from people who attack their journalism for whatever reason they deem fit. I studied journalism in college, and though I did not end up pursuing a career in journalism, I want to voice my defense of their journalistic ethics.

Right now, the leaders of our country are leveraging an attack on the free press. They deem any news they don’t like as “fake,” and do their best to discredit the press at any opportunity. Many people are frustrated with the press, and want to blame them for biased reporting and for curating falsities. Though some news agencies do bias left or right, the majority of the staff working in journalism are sticking to the journalistic code of ethics, and reporting fact-based information. The crew at The Daily Sentinel is fighting this good fight.

I’m not a liberal, and I’m not a conservative. I look to bipartisan news sources to form my opinions — as should everyone who strives to come to a balanced outlook on politics and life as we know it. The culture that the Trump administration is trying to sow is very dangerous to our democracy. They have even gone as far as to launch a “news” station known as Trump TV, with the goal to influence its viewers to adopt the beliefs held by the administration. This walks the line of state-mandated propaganda, and should not be a source of news for the American people. It’s neither fair nor balanced news, and it’s unethical journalism, if we can even call it journalism.

We’re living in an age where our own people are attacking the very fabric of our democracy. My ask is this: Instead of going out of our way to try and discredit our local newspaper, why don’t we do our best to hold them accountable for providing fair and balanced news? I assure you they are striving to do this every day.

Let’s stop assaulting our free press with nasty comments and start supporting them to keep doing better and better.

STEVEN FOSTER
Littleton

NFL players’ protest by 
kneeling is disrespectful

I’m truly depressed about those spoiled NFL football players who take a knee to protest during our national anthem, while there are thousands of U.S. soldiers missing their legs for those turds’ freedoms. Those guys don’t even know what the protest is. It’s shameful and I am very disappointed in the people who tolerate this type of disrespect to our soldiers and country.

ROBERT MARTINDALE
Clifton

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.

BILL FORBES
Whitewater


COMMENTS

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Perhaps Mr. Martindale, whether veteran or not, and despite all of those noble sounding terms, does not understand what his own country, or the military is all about.  He complains about people “kneeling” during the national anthem, but does not ask the question as to why they do.  So, in his mind, they are disrespectful of those who have served in the military.

Giving it further though, he would come to the realization that such is exactly what those in uniform fought for, that an individual has the right to express him/herself.  That is what those serving in military fought for.  Those that don’t realize that, service member, veteran or not, do dishonor to that service.

Any service member or veteran who believes that his/her military service somehow makes him/her a superior citizen, and thereby entitles him/her to then dictate what others should do (or say)is merely looking for praise or admiration or “Look at me and what I did”. 

The military has one role, and one role alone.  It is physical defense of others, first allowing them to be themselves, and second to say what they wish to say. Anything else can only be construed in one way, advocacy of militarism and totalitarianism, something which many apparently want for this country.

Mr. Forbes, as has been consistent with those who criticize Mr. Ford for leaving his church (something which was undoubtedly painful for him) were not really concerned with his reasons for doing so.  So, all of them attribute his decision to other reasons, what they “think” were the reasons.

He made it quite clear, at least to some of us.  What he pointed to was the hypocrisy he saw within the “ranks” of his own church, of those who preach one thing yet practice another.  He was being honest.  One must question whether his critics can be as brutally honest as he was.  Some of us believe that they are not, and only because they believe themselves involved in some noble and exalted cause, choose instead to ignore what is right in front of them.

According to the “gospel”, a book, which many like to quote, there is an admonition in there to never forget that one is but a human being. That somehow gets lost in all that “zealousness” and “god talk”.  Perhaps they should do that first, and constantly keep it in mind - that is for those are still capable of doing so.

Mr. Foster has an admiration for those involved in journalism and journalism itself.  Some of us were formerly of that same opinion as well.  However, our own experience with journalism, as well as those involved in that occupation has (at the very least) tarnished the shining image we once had of both.

As is true of most such happenings, the ones responsible for it (and totally consistent with other occupations or industries) the decline in prestige and reputation, generally follows the rule that “one is all too frequently one’s worst enemy.” 

One individual whom some of us have respected and listened to (although we may not always agree with him) is, I believe, Bill Moyers. 

That individual stated that the problem is not that people who go into journalism are not adept at writing or speaking, but that (not having expended the time to learn the subject) they all too frequently do not know what they are writing or speaking about.

The Daily Sentinel has made improvements in attempting to present both sides of issues. However, they have also shown their biases (we all have biases), primarily those of the publisher and the editorial staff. But then, just like everyone else, they are just human beings (not super-humans), just like everyone else.

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