Printed letters, August 26, 2010
Mosque would honor those lost
As leaders in Grand Valley Faith Community and participants in the Grand Valley Interfaith Network, we respond with sadness to the flurry of misinformed editorials and letters that fan the fires of religious prejudice against Muslims.
Our concern is that editorials such as a recent column by Charles Krauthammer and the recent Daily Sentinel editorial feed anti-Muslim hysteria and reinforce false cultural stereotypes. In the editorial, the Sentinel said there’s no question why so many Americans oppose the center, and then the Sentinel blithely accedes to the fear mongering of religious prejudice by saying that such a center would be a slap in the face to those who lost loved ones in the tragedy.
We would assert that a center representing the best values of Islam would not be an insult, but would be an honor to those who died. A neighborhood center built on their principles as “a living monument to mark the tragedy of 9/11 through a center dedicated to learning, compassion, and respect for all people” would honor not only those who died, but would honor the best values of all of our faiths.
The Sentinel editorial asked how those in Srebrenica would feel if a Christian center were built near to where the murder of 8,000 Muslim men and boys took place. Perhaps the best way to answer is to point to the peace march that occurred in Srebrenica last month with 50,000 Muslims, Orthodox Christians, Catholics, Protestants and others to observe the 15th anniversary of the tragedy. Maybe we could learn from that example of reconciliation.
As a community, if we are to weather difficult times intact, it is important to counteract those who would fan the fires of fear, prejudice and hatred against any minority. Perhaps it would be best to let the neighborhood handle the issue. The community board that represents the sites and the Manhattan neighborhood voted 29 to 1 in favor of the center.
REV. MICHAEL J. BURR, Chair
Grand Valley Interfaith Network
Quote source correctly if you use it in a letter
Hans Croeber provided a quote from Thomas Jefferson in the closing lines of his Aug. 16 letter to the editor. It is unfortunate that many like him, who have arguments that might otherwise be persuasive, do not cite their sources for such historical annotations. However, this particular quote is actually a misquote, so it is understandable that Croeber would not or could not cite a source.
The correct quote is: “To compel a man to furnish contributions of money for the propagation of opinions which he disbelieves and abhors, is sinful and tyrannical.”
The Jefferson Cyclopedia with this quote, and many others, can be found online at http://www.etext.virginia.edu/jefferson/quotations/foley/.
But then, as another U.S. president once said, “Facts are stubborn things; and whatever may be our wishes, our inclinations, or the dictates of our passion, they cannot alter the state of facts and evidence.” — John Adams, “Argument in Defense of the Soldiers in the Boston Massacre Trials,” December 1770.
Variety of hospice care is impressive
A dear friend of mine was recently put on hospice transitional in-home care. I suspect few of us realize the high quality of care available in our community. Previously I thought hospice only provided care for terminal cancer patients, but it is not limited to that.
At the first interview with the patient, four professional care givers meet in the home with the patient and a family member or friend. The team includes a registered nurse, certified nursing assistant, social worker and chaplain. The patient will have continuity of care with the same caregivers each week. The nurse keeps the medication dispenser filled, medication orders renewed, assesses the patient and calls the doctor when necessary. The patient can call the hospice number day or night and a nurse is available.
As a retired nursing administrator, it takes a lot to impress me — but I’m very impressed with our hospice service.