Printed Letters: July 27, 2017

Workshop a good start to reducing child abuse

The numbers in Erin McIntyre’s report, “Parental assistance the goal of workshop,” are alarming — 300 children were placed outside their homes by child-protective services and 700 abuse or neglect cases substantiated by child-protection officials among 4,200 referrals to CPS in 2016.

Thanks to the support of Janet Roland, executive director of Court Appointed Special Advocates and funding donated by Santiago’s Mexican Restaurant, the workshop is addressing a very complex issue: the abuse of children. One scenario discussed was the polite, well-meaning intervention to an already agitated individual acting inappropriately to a child’s misguided behavior in a public setting. A cautionary note: Intervention may put you at risk due to the volatile nature of our society: hair-triggered, short-fused time-bombed sociopaths proliferating exponentially. How do you assess this situation, what to do? The workshop will bring solutions to these delicate questions.

The array of abuse in all aspects is a barometer of a far greater problem: the erosion of the human condition. The Daily Sentinel brings disturbing accounts of very inappropriate human behavior on a daily basis. Case in point: recently, the Sentinel reported that we had 21 murder cases in Mesa County. Two days later a horribly tragic event on Orchard Mesa adds the 22nd.

I have no viable answers, but I relate this: In my formative years, I was forewarned of actions requiring the application of the board of education. Six infractions during my childhood brought swift appropriate action as promised, providing poignant lasting lessons of right and wrong as prevalent and clear today as in 1955.

We have gone soft; time-outs, non-use of electronics, go to your room and “you’re grounded” appear to have minimal effect in the formation of young minds. The board of education has been taboo for decades; thought a form of child abuse. Well, look where we are now. Mental state and health, history of being abused, drugs, (prescribed and otherwise) stress and upbringing are but a few of the causes of child abuse. The workshop is charged with a huge challenge, but it’s a great start to proactively reducing an ugly social trait.

Grand Junction

Gardner needs to give the facts about proposed BLM move

In 2014 Cory Gardner was inducted into the Dirty Dozen program by the League of Conservation Voters. He earned a 9 percent lifetime score on the National Environmental Scorecard, a nonpartisan yardstick used to rate members of Congress on environmental issues. His current voting record keeps his membership firmly intact.

Two of his most recent votes include; voting to confirm Pruitt as head of the EPA when Pruitt’s record shows him to have undermined the protection of the environment; and voting against the Methane Gas Rule. These are the headline issues. Other votes show he is against mitigating impacts on fish and wildlife, attacking the Clean Water Rule, and not encouraging energy-efficient homes. The list goes on but my space in this letter cannot.

He is also on record and has voted that, while climate change is real, human actions do not significantly cause it. So when he touts moving the BLM west I am suspicious. His campaign donors and allies include Club for Growth, the Koch Industries, Anadarko Petroleum, and Noble Energy.

Gardner stated in a recent article, “Every U.S. senator representing a Western state should want to give their constituents a louder voice when it comes to a federal agency’s decision-making process that directly impacts their constituent’s everyday lives.” While that sounds good on paper, Gardner himself does not practice open dialogue and town halls with his constituents.

Gardner also states, “…partisanship is on the rise in Washington, it is increasingly difficult to achieve real results…” He is leaving out the fact that his party controls Congress and his party owns the presidency. If Washington can’t manage the BLM in its current location under this scenario, how can relocation manage it better?

Gardner has dangled the possibility of the BLM move to Grand Junction. More local jobs could be a benefit to the move to Coloradans, but to be fair, the move might be better suited to northern Nevada if we are looking at proximity to the largest BLM area.

If any other senator proposed this legislation, I might give it clear consideration. But coming from Sen. Gardner, I need nonpartisan transparency, facts and a clear reason to make a move. Give me the facts and not generalizations. What would be achieved with this proposed move?


Atheists and freethinkers should not give invocation

I am appalled that our city council would even consider having the Western Colorado Atheists and Freethinkers give invocation at their meeting. (Not the first time?) Whatever happened to “In God we trust,” or “Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord?”

Our nation and our city council is so succumbed to the pressure of political correctness in our desire to be inclusive that we honor other gods as though our true God is just one of many. We must confess that we no longer fear God and have lost all wisdom. May God have mercy on us!

Grand Junction


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Mr. Reeder, as is true of many, are looking for something (anything) which allows them to claim superiority over others.  In their case it is a brand of religion, and what they believe is that one “god”.  In that type of zealousness, they would silence everyone and anyone that would dare disagree with them.  That always results in persecution by elevating themselves above others;  “I am a superior human being”.

Some believe in one “god” while others believe in another, while some believe in no “god” at all.  However, all of them are human beings, something which most cannot abide.  And, it is also a hard and true fact that they will seek to rationalize whichever way they can that they are superior, a great many of them based upon material gains.  Thus we have the fastest expanding branch of Christianity, what is known as “prosperity theology”, or “God wants you to be rich”.

Others of us would rather keep in mind that we are but human beings here and now and, as such, our obligations are humanitarian obligations.  People may believe in one “god” or other (or none), but that is incidental as we make every effort to see them as human beings and expect them (although we are frequently disappointed) to see us as the same.

Such as Mr. Reeder have either forgotten, never learned, or do not understand the meaning of the phrase “The road to hell is paved with good intentions”.  If that is the case, then what happens when the motivation is claimed, not to be only “good” but noble and exalted. 

Those such as Mr. Reeder will then return with the old excuse that “This time it is different”.  Yet it never is, now is it? 

No, Mr. Reeder, the problem is not “too little god”, but far too much “god” and too little humanitarianism.

So Mr. Reeder, the invocation is great until someone with beliefs that differ from yours wants to say it? And your point of view should be the only one ever represented?

While Gary Reeder’s discriminatory letter (“Atheists and freethinkers should not give invocation”) presumably reflects the prevailing contra-Constitutional religious views of our community, his plaintive questions deserve answers.  Thus:

“In God We Trust” is itself the product of “political correctness” – first gaining currency during the Civil War when it “was placed on United States coins largely because of the increased religious sentiment”—which presupposed that God was on the Union’s side.

In 1954, faced with the Cold War threat of “godless Communism”, the Republican 83rd Congress added “under God” to the Pledge of Allegiance.

In 1956, not to be outdone in pandering to the growing electoral influence of organized religions, the Democratic 84th Congress passed legislation adopting “In God We Trust” as the official motto of the U.S.—which Republican President Dwight Eisenhower promptly signed into law.

Prior to 1956, the official motto of the U.S. was “E Pluribus Unum” (“From Many, One”) – reflecting the Constitution’s implied endorsement of secular collectivism to “promote the General Welfare” (as reflected in economic/social policies favored by Democrats).  Since then (and particularly since the election of Ronald Reagan in 1980), Republicans have embraced the wishful thinking implicit in trusting reliance on divine intervention. 

Meanwhile, perhaps the single most legally significant legacy of the Civil War was the 14th Amendment, which guaranteed “the equal protection of the laws” . . . “to any person within its jurisdiction” – regardless of their religious faith or lack thereof.  That is why our Supreme Court building bears the hortatory admonition “Equal Justice Under Law”.

That is also why our Supreme Court has repeatedly ruled that local governments cannot favor one religion over another (or over non-religion) without running afoul of the First Amendment’s Establishment Clause.  Invocations at public meetings are an exception to the strict separation of Church and State because mere “ceremonial deism” arguably lacks any “significant religious content” – whether Christian, Jewish, Muslim, etc. or Satanist.

Similarly, atheists no more believe in Satan than they do in god – but recognize and reject the civic Evil that is too often hypocritically perpetrated in the name of religion and/or the Bible.

Gee, where is John Borgen’s attack on Gary Reeder?  Since Mr Laitres had infered that you all collude on your comments I am suprised he hasn’t chimed in!

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