Letters to the Editor: May 20, 2016

Pray in private

I’ve read a number of times about people being unhappy with the public prayer before the county commissioner meetings — particularly with Allen Springer’s participation.

If the proponents of this would read the Bible, particularly the Matthew 6:5-6, they’d find that the God they worship is against it in no uncertain terms. Showing off your piety in public is a definite offense in God’s eyes.

“And when you pray, you must not be like the hypocrites. For they love to pray in the synagogues in the street corners that they may be seen by men. Truly, I say to you, they have their reward. But then you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret, and your Father who sees in secret will reward you.”

Fred Fawcett



Time for aliens, not evangelism

The UFO Festival again provided a fantastic time and another reason I love my town.

The parade was exciting and filled with oddities. A didgeridoo player filled the corner of Cowls and Third streets with spacey jams, and a Grateful Dead tribute band had the McMenamins tent rocking.

However, what I found more out of this world than all that was the loud preaching on the corner of Davis and Third streets. I would have really liked to explore the merchandise and other tents in the US Bank plaza directly behind the outspoken crusaders of Christ, but couldn’t hear my children talking to me or concentrate on anything other than the loud voices over the PA system.

I get it. You’re destined to read the word and share your holy experiences. But must you take advantage of our town’s celebration and the inevitable crowd of people to hijack the fun for the sake of your message?

I understand our free speech rights. A street corner is usually deemed a traditional public forum without much limitation. However, I didn’t feel this was the time or the place for it. Imagine if the religious group were, say, Muslims using the same rhetoric and instead of saying Jesus, it was Allah? Would that make people uncomfortable? I think so.

Similarly, I am uncomfortable with any religion being shoved in my face. Perhaps the most irony comes from Ben Franklin, quietly sitting in the background — the man who once said, “I have found Christian dogma unintelligible. Early in life I absented myself from Christian assemblies.”

Jerod Harney



Stealing our voices

Once again, I am dismayed to find that in our great little town of Carlton there is a person or persons who interfere with our First Amendment right to political expression — specifically, removing campaign signs on private property (over and over again) due to intolerance of opposing political views.

As a precinct committee person, I know that each of those signs represents a conversation with the property owner, probably an endorsement and perhaps a vote. As candidates will attest, this also represents their time and effort to get to know their constituency. For this person to trespass and cause mischief/removal of these signs is theft.

Both trespassing and theft are crimes.

Although these signs are just pieces of plastic, like the pieces in a game of checkers or chess, it is more important how you play the game. As a person who believes deeply in our right to vote, registering people and educating people on ballot initiatives and bond measures in my precinct, I leave you with this:

“You can cut all the flowers but you cannot keep spring from coming” (Pablo Neruda, poet laureate of Chile, Nobel Prize winner in Literature, 1971).

Annette Fernandez-Madrid



Horse with no name

Fred and Jerod - Thanks for the thoughtful comments regarding the current aggressive marketing of religion as envisioned by evangelicals of the Christian persuasion. I submit it's not about religion per se but rather political control. Springer and his ilk see it and use it for control, without the filter of common sense and logic. Heck that’s why Stan Primozich only felt like he had to campaign on his being a conservative Christian. It’s the secret password.

When you're a politician making a big show of walking arm-in-arm with a religious leader, or having such a magical/powerful faith, they believe it demonstrates to the believer that they are part of a magic link of communication to God. That's quite a piece of marketing to a believer/potential voter. If you're a bit more discerning in your thinking it's absolutely ridiculous.

Religion makes politics much simpler for those that don't want you to question or think too much. It makes life simpler for those without the capacity, or that are just too lazy to employ critical thinking. All they have to do is smile, look good, tithe (you have to pay to get better), maintain the delusion of being in constant communication of the creator of all there is, and go along with the rest of the delusional so they can feel like they are going to be taken care of in this world of unknowns. It's very encouraging to see Yamhill County voters trending toward good sense with the election of Olsen over Springer.

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