Church should stay out of immigration
I am so sick and tired of the immigration debate and the intrusion of the church into the mix. It seems too many churches don't read Romans 13:1-7 about our mandate to follow government rules (in those that do not contradict the Bible). Immigrants from other countries who do not follow the immigration rules of this country are illegal. People might want to look up that word and see what it means. It means "against the law." It is like stealing or cheating or committing murder or a multitude of other crimes. We can humanely deport illegal immigrants. We can provide them food and clothing while processing their return to their country.
"Social justice" is not a church phrase. You'll find neither it nor its concept anywhere in the Bible. The church needs to do what Jesus told it to do; make disciples of all nations by teaching the gospel. It needs to stay out of the illegal immigration business.
Keep an eye on EPA cuts
I see that the Trump administration has proposed a budget that trims the size of government, which is good. Smaller government and less bureaucracy is a good and worthwhile goal to pursue. One thing to keep an eye on, however, are the proposed cuts at EPA, which could impact about 200 people in Region 8, and impact many more contractors who work on Superfund sites. In Colorado, that level of reduction would definitely be felt, and we must be certain the cuts that are made result in compensatory economic growth.
Can the administration pull off that type of trick? I'm optimistic that it can, but we must rely on our leaders - Sens. Cory Gardner and Michael Bennet, along with Rep. Doug Lamborn - to advocate for their constituents.
Flawed litmus test for hate
The Southern Poverty Law Center's hate map is contradictory to the tolerance that the left constantly advocates for. I searched several definitions of hate and found none that included disagreement with or difference of opinion with. It is clear that the SPLC has redefined hate to include anyone's beliefs that are not aligned with those of the SPLC. Tolerance includes a fair, objective, and permissive attitude toward those whose opinions, beliefs, and practices differ from one's own.
I would put forth that any opinion or belief about others that is expressed in an insulting or profane manner or involves aggression or violence would fall in the hate category. Denigration of any group based on immutable characteristics also is unacceptable. However, keeping these parameters in mind, peaceably expressing one's values, morals, beliefs or opinions or even promoting those on a larger stage does not meet the definition of hate. The hate map included some Colorado Springs organizations that did operate within the above parameters, but nonetheless were included in the hate map. The litmus test for hate should be grounded in abusive language and violent methods used to persuade others and express dehumanizing ideas about other people.
Mission accomplished in Vietnam
I would like to echo Dr. Joe Barrera's sentiments in his column on Sept. 28.
I am proud of my service in Vietnam. I spent March to December 1971 in the mountains of Thua Thien province west of the city of Hue. The 101st Airborne Division's mission was to keep North Vietnamese ground army forces out of the heavily populated lowlands and prevent indirect fire attacks on Hue and villages. We accomplished that mission.
We are all talking now
The anger demonstrated in the letters section of this newspaper in recent days is not without merit. When one has served their country or holds a deep and well-deserved love for their country, every perceived slight to that nation or its symbols is understandably painful. I have the utmost respect for that pain, and for those who have served our country valiantly. I am constantly inspired to stand for our anthem because of these people and for the promise that flag carries.
However, what is forgotten in this outrage is this: protest is supposed to be uncomfortable. It is intended to rankle the masses and upset the powers that be. Anything less is ineffective and merely a grumbling in the face of a much louder status quo. Protest is a call to action on all sides - a highly visible demonstration meant to trigger conversation. The actions taken in this effort - in this case kneeling for the national anthem - are not the final intended maneuver, they are merely the opening salvo in a much longer struggle. For all those asking why these athletes do not protest on their own time or in a different manner, remember that if they did, we may not be having this conversation. Protest is most effective when it is peaceful, yet incendiary. We are talking now, and that is a start.
These kneeling athletes aren't breaking laws and are protected by the Constitution in their right to demonstrate, and as of this writing, these men and women are violating no requirements of employment. You are similarly protected in your right to boycott the leagues and their merchandise. However, while doing so, I challenge all of you to rise to this call of action and engage in the conversation of why they are protesting, rather than how.
The United States of America was founded by protesters and demonstrators. While we are a great nation, we have never been a perfect nation. Our founders trusted us to keep improving, keep talking, and yes, keep protesting to always maintain movement toward our ideal republic. If there is inequality in this country or even the chance of it, it is our duty to seek it out and eliminate injustice.