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LETTERS: Sunday (Was Jesus homeless?)

February 12, 2010

Doing God’s work costs

Most of us don’t realize how expensive it can be to do God’s work. In order to more fully appreciate the efforts of pro life organizations (Focus on the Family to be exact, though many more organizations throughout the country have a similar priority) one must grasp the size of the monetary expense this group is willing to sacrifice to further its mission. Hopefully during the Super Bowl a whole lot of people don’t get up to grab a cold one, relieve himself of herself, or simply discuss how the game is going. Otherwise this hugely expensive effort directed at those people remaining on the fence will not be heard or appreciated.

The monetary output is mystifying. A thirty second commercial runs three million dollars according to a CBS web site; holy Moses that’s one hundred thousand dollars a second! Practically all of us have seen those commercials on television where for less than two dollars a day we could feed some impoverished soul somewhere in the world. Doing the math (assuming two dollars a day is fairly accurate) we could feed one person for one million, five hundred thousand days; that’s a shade more than four thousand years, but who among us would want to live for four millenniums? On the other hand we could feed one million, five hundred thousand people for one day. It’s be a heck of a serving line!

Being economically conservative I just hope Focus on the Family gets a real bang for all those bucks. The commercial is a great story: heart warming, positive, loving, and caring. But doggone it, many of us already know the storyline, plot, and conclusion. Will people still stick around and watch it like a beloved rerun of “All In the Family?” Probably the oracle Nielsen will eventually reveal either the wisdom or folly of such an expenditure.

Dave Gaggi, Ret.

Colorado Springs


Respect founding principles

I am very saddened as I read the articles in The Gazette about the cross and the pagan worship site. Regardless of how I feel about the morality or respectability of the act of placing the cross by the rocks, I am simply sad that now at the Air Force Academy a pagan worship site exists. I am sad that the entire Academy is being conditioned to respect paganism, and that anything Christian is becoming a hate crime. What used to be a basically Christian nation with a basic belief in God is becoming more and more pagan, and it is simply sad.

If “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion,” what authority did Air Force Superintendent Gould have to order Air Force chaplains, engineers and heavy equipment operators to help build the pagan worship site? Superintendent Gould could have allowed the pagans to have their worship ceremonies at the site, but he had no constitutional authority to order anyone of any other faith to move one pound of dirt or one stone. If any Christian or Jew or person of other religious belief had to capitulate to those orders, it is Superintendent Gould who should be prosecuted for ordering something unconstitutional. And any Christian, Jewish, or chaplain who placed one rock on that pagan worship site is not worthy of the faith they endorse. They may as well have bowed to an idol.

It’s not just about mutual respect. It is about whether we are respecting God and the principles our nation has stood for all these years or whether we are respecting paganism with its stones and rocks that can neither see, hear, help or protect the ones who trust in them. If the worship site is on federal property and does not belong to the pagans who are using federal property to worship on, why is it any more a hate crime to place a cross on those rocks than it would be for some overly zealous pagan worshipper to place a rock in the Air Force Chapel in front of the cross? Would such a furor arise as has arisen about the cross in the pagan worship site? Why could not either side simply remove the cross or the rock and proceed with their worship instead of making criminals out of someone who disagrees with them? Making such an issue about railroad ties on rocks is disgraceful.

Anna Lucas



Decision could unite citizens

Thanks Supreme Court! Thanks for your recent ruling giving big business the same rights as an individual U.S. citizen has! Our beautiful country had become so polarized! The Democrats on one side and the Republicans on the other and the Libertarians to yet another side. Luckily the Supreme court’s recent decision to grant corporations the same rights as an individual citizen of our fine country might just be the answer to help to unite the various ‘sides’ again! In order to fix this we’ll have to work together. We need to keep the goal of restoring our individual rights and not letting big business have any more power than they already do!

This is our country! We may disagree, argue, whatever, but we all love and are proud of it and it’s unique constitution! I don’t think that any of us want to see the changes that this recent ruling will evoke. So thanks Supreme Court, thanks for helping to heal us a bit, and now let’s do all we can to change that ruling!

Jacquelyn Hill

Colorado Springs


Beggars’ code of ethics

Recently I have noticed individuals strategically located at the off ramp on South Academy Blvd. at B Street outside of Fort Carson. I have also noticed individuals strategically located at the off ramp on Highway 24 westbound at Peterson Road outside of Peterson AFB. The individuals have signs stating they are hungry, need money, stranded, and so forth. Other than asking for money, I know why they are there. Several thousands of vehicles make their way onto the military installations every morning during the work week, a gold mine of potential givers. I somewhat sympathize with their situation, however, I have no sympathy for any person who begs outside of a military installation.

I can speak from experience. I came up through the enlisted ranks. Military personnel have given enough and keep on giving every day of their lives — service before self!. Their spouses give, their children give, the military member gives — to defend this country. Do you have any idea of how tough it is for an E-5 or below with a wife and two children to survive? Military personnel are giving people and I’m certain that some money exchanges hands during the morning commute. My point: If there is a Beggars Code of Ethics, I am sure rule number one would be: Never beg outside a military installation,

Never. It doesn’t look good!

Sam Turner

Colorado Springs

Disappointed in city

I am so ashamed of this country and the people of this city. We pour millions of dollars into help for Haiti because it’s on the “world’s stage” and don’t we feel good about it? Ex-presidents make several trips to Haiti to see how it’s going at our expense and don’t we feel good about that. Sigh!

And then we toss our homeless people off public ground because they do not have the world’s ear in the news every day. We will send and set up food kitchens, medical care centers, doctors, security, shelter camps and other supplies to into another country, yet we do not have the time to do the same for our own people. Instead the Colorado Springs City Council votes to ban camping on public property. Who really owns the public land? And where does our loyalty really lie?

I’m betting that we spend more on homeless dogs and cats than people living in the homeless sites. BTW, I will bet that of the people that are complaining most have never been homeless.

Ronald Bowser



Not in my backyard

I have a couple of questions I really would like an answer to. If anyone can.

The first is about the homeless. I have a friend that is homeless and camps along the creek. He has a physical disability that makes it hard to find a job in the best of job markets. He spends 4-5 days a month at my house, doing his laundry, showering, getting a few good meals, and feeling safe while he gets a few good nights’ sleep. He is not scared of work and helps me out however he can, cutting wood. fixing fences, painting, laying sod, or whatever. He gets $200 a month disability, and food stamps. He may actually get off the street into a Section 8 rental soon. He is one of the “lucky ones”, if that can be considered lucky.

He has been kicked out of Manitou, off of railroad property, out of the National Forest, out of Bear Creek Park, and now off public property, if some of the people have their way. ‘not in my backyard’! So one of you “good people”, please tell me, and the homeless, where?

My next question is about medical marijuana. The people of this state voted to make medical marijuana legal. Now my question is, where do I get it?

I know, not in my backyard. After all, the federal government says it is bad, and we all know that our government would never lie to the people about anything. Right? I will agree that some regulations are needed. The dispensary that opened a few feet from a school was ill-advised and in my opinion, stupid. That is asking for trouble. A regulation is needed there. Three hundred yards from a school would be reasonable to me. I am sure that reasonable regulations make sense to me and all the people I know that have their medical marijuana license.

I do not have to go to the dispensaries as I grow better quality than they have. Now I don’t own a farm, even if I did, it would still be illegal, as the law says “Not in public view.” So, if I can’t grow outside, and I can’t afford a building in the country, and it can’t be in the public’s view, then where should I go to get my medicine? Because with the pain I have to live with on a daily basis, it is medicine for me. Where do you “good people” suggest. I know. NOT IN YOUR BACKYARD. Or evidently, not even in my basement, out of sight.

Doug Rohrick

Colorado Springs


Jesus was not homeless

I would like to comment on City Councilman Tom Gallagher’s recent statement concerning his vote on the homeless camping issue.

Jesus, as I read the Bible, was not born “homeless.” His worldly guardian, Joseph, was a carpenter and both well-respected and relatively well-paid. Jesus was born while Joseph and Mary were on a forced “road trip” to participate in the Roman census. The innkeeper who found lesser accommodations for the couple was overwhelmed with the influx of people coming into town. There just wasn’t enough space. Bethlehem wasn’t Vegas!

As an adult, Jesus was homeless by choice. He was on a mission to teach us and save us. He traveled to do so.

To imply that Jesus was born “homeless” is an insult to the person of Joseph. Joseph was apparently a kind and loving man who took very good care of a woman to which he was engaged, but did not get pregnant. In the society in which he lived he had every right to reject Mary and break the engagement. Instead he married her and took full responsibility for Jesus as his earthly parent.

I would bring a copy of the Bible to Councilman Gallagher so he could read the Gospel of Luke, but unlike the campers who have stayed on public land for free all these months, I, like the rest of the taxpayers of Colorado Springs, have to pay by the minute for the privilege of visiting the downtown offices or businesses.

Tony Gensic

Colorado Springs


Gallagher and the Bible

Councilman Gallagher could spend a little time actually reading that Bible he keeps referencing. “Jesus came into the world homeless...”. Actually Jesus came into the world with a family and a home. Joseph was a carpenter/mason during a time of many large projects and was probably firmly middle class as a skilled craftsman. Jesus was born in a stable not because Joseph didn’t have any money, he tried to buy a room, but because there weren’t any available. He still had a home and a mother and brothers and sisters when he died.

On the other hand, there appear to be rooms available for the homeless who, unlike the Holy Family, don’t need money to get them.

They do, however, need to make some personal choices, little stuff like being sober, not on drugs, probably can’t keep that large dog or cohabit with a common-law spouse.

I applaud the majority of the council for voting to close our public lands to camping. There are solutions out there, most of them require taking personal responsibility. There is a definite difference between needs and wants; and trying to enable the wants of a few by abandoning the values of the majority is not in anyone’s interest.

Michael S. Welsh

Colorado Springs


Bad interpretation of law

Wow, I would have thought that Colorado Springs already had a law on this subject. If I get it right, there will be a law prohibiting camping out on our property. That makes sense except the chief of police will not enforce the law if there is not room available at the homeless shelter.

Does he/she have that authority on our laws? If he does, then if I rob a bank because I have no money and going through some hard times he does not arrest me? What a pathetic interpretation of law this person has. And, to think that he is the chief of police in our city.

Ed Myers

Colorado Springs


No longer safe at home

With tent campers, their garbage, their bodily waste, and lack of streetlights in our neighborhood, I am very concerned about the safety and wellbeing of my neighborhood where I live and pay taxes!

There is a streetlight out at Ellston Place near the intersection of Ellston Court. There are tent campers behind our house on S. Douglas Creek. The police can do “nothing” according to them. I feel extremely unsafe.

There is a school in this all-residential neighborhood, and there is no way I can let my kids even go outside to play without worrying if they will be molested by a stranger! And, when the “strangers” break into my home to steal what they can — I don’t know who these people are — will the police say, “I can’t do anything about it?”

We never had to deal with this problem in the past! Many of the tenters are not even from here. They are here, because you are allowing them to be — not we the people who are paying the taxes! I’m sick of the people running this town.

There is a reason we don’t have enough money to run this city, and you better be figuring it out! I know that I pay more taxes, and am enjoying my town a lot less…where is the money going?

I can tell you. There is a lot of fancy roadwork going on (in my neighborhood alone — crews of over ten men standing around), but the streets are not being repaired! Building decorative medians in the streets and roundabouts all over town is a waste of tax money that is unnecessary! There is waste all over this town—in the form of letting the infrastructure go down the “drain” while spending ridiculous amounts of money to hire men to stand around building roundabouts! That is only one example.

We need new blood in the city government — people who really care about our town and have the desire to spend wisely. Letting what we have deteriorate while wasting tax money on unnecessary “beautification” is preposterous.

People who are homeless are not always decent people with no place to go. The decent folks who have lost their homes or jobs would be welcomed by their families. But many, many of them are people who are there by choice. They chose to drink and take drugs. Their families won’t have them. They are not welcome at home.

They should not be welcome at my home, either.

Rather than letting them camp all over the city, they need to be placed in one location…a campground might work…with proper toilet facilities and water. There could be a bus a couple of times a day for when they need to go to the grocery store. But, allowing them all over our town is the most dangerous and ugly situation for the safety and protection of our people.

If the police have to be on watch over them all the time, where are they when they are needed elsewhere?

With all the new houses and all the taxes being paid to this city, it is absolutely ridiculous that you have to turn out our streetlights and allow tent campers in our neighborhoods.

Kay Runyan

Colorado Springs


Backyard camping option

One recommendation I will make on helping the homeless that are living in tents now is that those that have homes to open their backyards up. Generally, this would be for only one, or at the most, two (a couple). Though they will be in a tent still they wouldn’t be living in the river bottom any longer. Those of you that do this will be helping solve the problem.

Brian Bigelow

Colorado Springs


A lack of compassion

I am surprised in the lack of compassion from the same people that are sending money to Haiti, What is actually wrong with homeless people camping on public property they helped in the past to pay for? I do not hear the same about the people of Haiti. So they are homeless you would think that they were not human considering some of the city police and our so-called compassionate left out there. Boy, our city has changed in the last 20 years. The problem as I see it is not the homeless, it’s us, we should be ashamed to call ourselves human for failing to help these people, not moving them so bikers can ride in a park or businesses feel better for themselves.

What I see is a lack of organization. In the military all camps are organized. I say hire about 20 ex military personnel and organize the camp, setup some cleaning crews, maybe a church or churches could buy a CP tent and set up a mess area for families and other could get a hot meal once a day.

Hire some of the homeless at minimum wage and have them patrol the area cleaning up and taking care of the bath areas. In Kuwait we set up metal containers and made showers, we dug slit trenches for bathrooms with folding chairs with holes cut in them.

Compassion for others is America’s greatest trait, but the lack of it for our own is our greatest failing.

I put out a call to all in the city. Have some compassion, ignore our city government and police and help a fellow human. Just because we have not fallen that far, nothing says it can not happen to you.

Take a blanket, old clothes or a sleeping bag maybe get your church or school to hold a clean- up or buy some food or even MRES and give it out to those that need the most. Because it comes down to you not our Scrooge city, police and local businesses who seem to have no human compassion unless something is in it for them.

Joe Seifert

Colorado Springs


Troubling the troubled

City police have committed harassment and discrimination against persons perceived to be homeless or poor. The city has targeted a specific group of people (those in so-called “tent cities”) due to what the city perceives to be those Americans comparatively from “low” socio-economic status and/or disability.

Such is immoral, discriminatory and likely, illegal.

The cops have had a completely un-American and unconstitutional, not to mention grossly immoral, approach to homeless persons. No police have any business even questioning, let alone sticking their head inside the tent of, an American citizen.

The city has created a class society and class warfare. In the absence of actual (and not staged or falsely-reported) crimes, cops have no business involving themselves in benevolent matters. Cops are completely unqualified. They cannot even spell constitutional, let alone charity!

It is no coincidence the city has had a rash of robberies, stabbings, murders, fires and shootings. The city is in repeated violation of universal laws God set forth in his universe.

When you trouble the troubled more than they are troubled, you, yourself, will be troubled.

Jean Lillie

Colorado Springs


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