Letters for February 23, 2006

Clarification: An article [“Hard Sell,” Newslines, Feb. 16] about Chico State seeking to contract with a vendor to run an on-campus parts store did not intend to lump small, 24-year-old Chico business Universal Supply in with national corporations such as Grainger and McMaster-Carr. The News & Review apologizes for any inconvenience this may have caused.

Die happy
Councilman Larry Wahl and the Enterprise-Record shouldn’t get their knickers in a twist about us oldsters getting to Enloe when our time comes. We’ll hobble down there and probably won’t even need a helicopter.

Meanwhile, we appreciate all that Jon Luvaas does on the Planning Commission to help save the environment and the quality of life in Chico.

Hang in there, Jon. One of these days we’ll make Enloe live up to its responsibilities to its employees as well as its neighbors. Then we can go to our graves knowing that Chico has taken a step forward.

Robert Woods

Better believe it
Just a couple of comments if I may [“God Bless America,” cover story, Feb. 9].

“Atheism” means “without belief in a deity.” By its very definition there is no belief involved. Does it require you to have a “belief” to reject the notion that elephants can fly? Well, neither does it require us atheists a belief to know that the evidence against the existence of any form of “sky fairy” is very strong, and the evidence for one is non-existent.

Second, I’ve been around atheists for 30 years and I can’t remember any saying that “guys like Moss … make them question their ‘beliefs’ [groan].” Because atheists come to their position by examining the evidence, and making a rational decision based on that evidence, someone with an irrational feel-good patter—no matter how pleasant the person delivering the message might be—isn’t going to have any effect on the stance held by the atheist. Could you be more easily persuaded that elephants really can fly (even though we’ve never seen them do so and they don’t seem to have any mechanism for doing such) if the message were delivered by whomever you consider charming, pleasant, etc?

April Dorsey-Tyler

Good God
Kudos to the N&R for its fine article, “God Bless America.” In spite of the inherent difficulties of condensing the debate between conservative and liberal Christianity into a few pages, the author was able to articulate some of the main issues that polemicize the church in America.

For me, the most refreshing aspect of the article was its simple willingness to engage in the debate; to put out different voices; to allow your readers to view several variations of how Jesus is understood and, thus, the differences in how people view themselves and the world around them.

In light of this, I won’t begrudge you for not representing my own position: Jesus himself wouldn’t be caught dead in any of these churches.

Joe Gleason

Holy Wal-Mart
Mega churches are Wal-Marts for spiritually hungry automatons, cloaked in corporate power disguised as the word of the Lord. Chico Community Church should be ashamed of the glossy, super-sized postcard sent out to all of Chico with the title “Super Heroes,” soliciting members.

Neighborhood Church spends $25,000 each Christmas to put on a pageant. If you have not figured out who Jesus really was, that he was not born in a stable in December, then you’re amongst the sleeping many.

How many hungry babies could be fed with that money?

Lani Lila

Poison lunch
Hey, Chico, have you dropped into your children’s cafeteria to see your kids chowing down with Styrofoam plates and other disposable plastic wares? Parents should do some research on the chemicals in these products, which are absorbed by vulnerable, developing bodies; chemicals like BPA, an estrogen-mimicking chemical linked to breast cancer and endocrine disruption.

For supposed economics and convenience we risk poisoning our children and filling a canyon with non-biodegradable, toxic plastics. Also, the production of these wares is very destructive to our commons. Whatever happened to stainless trays, washing or biodegradable products made from cornstarch, sugarcane and plant waste, which are readily available? The city of Berkeley has banned the use of Styrofoam containers for food take-out. Wake up, Chico. Teach your children well.

Rev. Robert Seals

Sounds familiar
I want to thank you for your fine article about Nazi camp survivor, Bert Schapelhouman, in the Feb. 2 issue [“A Good Shepherd,” cover story]. This is a man who knows that sacrificing one’s freedom for a moral cause has honor where giving up one’s freedom for comfort has none.

Especially compelling was his parallel between the bombing of Rotterdam and of Baghdad. To be woken from our sleep knowing our civilian population is under attack from another sovereign nation without provocation is something Americans have never had to face.

Mr. Schapelhouman’s account reminded me of the heroic story of Anne Frank, who hid from the oppression of a foreign invader, suffering privations of body and spirit rather than obey the law and give herself up for imprisonment and/or deportation. When one’s options are simply fighting or certain death, the choice of fighting is an easy one to make. It makes no difference if the enemy is “lebenstraum,” King George III or “spreading democracy.”

While we so righteously talk about moral right and freedom, as our media and smugness wash over us in a wave of self-satisfaction, let us not forget the German government too claimed they had history, the future and God on their side as they bombed Rotterdam and sent the Gestapo to round up Dutch “enemies of the state.”

Robert Catalano

Too much
As a voter in the larger Chico area I am disappointed, angry and astounded that our representative in Congress, Wally Herger, has voted approval for a budget that allocates $120 billion more to support the president’s war while cutting $39.5 billion that would support senior citizens with disabilities, student loans, child care and Medicaid! He certainly is not my representative when it comes to morally supporting our nation’s idealism nor my idea of what we should stand for. We can do without this kind of war support and we can do without the lack of support for our children and seniors.

Joyce Staples