Letters for August 30, 2007

Good catch
Re “Strangely Familiar” (Filet of Soul, Aug. 23):

Brian Burghart always presents an interesting report in his Filet of Soul column. But in this piece, a correction is required. He said the sermon he heard at the Korean Baptist Church was based on Psalm 36:1-13 which he said includes the phrase, “The meek shall inherit the earth.” That verse is actually Psalm 37:11: “The meek shall inherit the earth; and shall delight themselves in the abundance of peace.”

This verse was quoted by Jesus in his Sermon on the Mount at Matthew 5:5: “Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.” In the Bible the word “meek” does not mean timid but teachable. How will the meek inherit the earth? After saying this, Jesus said to pray for God’s kingdom to come, for it will cause the will of God to “be done on earth,” just as it is done in heaven perfectly. God’s kingdom is his heavenly government that will remove all earthly governments replacing them with his own government with Christ as king.

That is why he called the preaching of the kingdom message “good news” and said, “This good news of the kingdom will be preached in all the inhabited earth for a witness to all the nations; and then the end will come” (Matthew 24:14). When the message of the kingdom blessings has been preached to God’s satisfaction, Earth wide, not for a conversion but for a witness, to inform, to give people a chance to make their choice, then He will bring an end to his temporary permission of human rule of the Earth.

Diane Church
Rescue, Calif.

The truth hurts
Re “It’s fear of death” (Editors note, Aug. 2):

When I read Brian Burghart’s editor’s note in the Aug. 2 RN&R, I was flabbergasted and appreciative. What a brave act for him to admit in print that the fear of death is what drove him to change his life. I have thought for years that the fear of death is the driving force in everything we do, and now we have someone to admit it for the whole world to see. It took a lot of guts for him to expose his deepest fear and then tell us how he reacted to that inevitable reality.

The situation-induced midlife crisis he spoke about is so typical of many middle-aged men. They start seeing the physical evidence of their demise while examining their past life. This compels them to make superficial changes that they feel will somehow delay the inescapable process. This may entail trying to alter their physical appearance, amassing more material possessions or choosing a younger partner. In trying to have it all, they could end up losing everything. Who would ever think that we would get such profound examples of insecurity and fear from an editor’s note? Burghart is to be commended for illuminating the bottom line of life and then illustrating how this fear can lead to irrational conclusions.

Robert Thompson

School is for learning
Re “Go to school, then to work,” (Right Hook, Aug. 23):

My, my: Mike Lafferty discovered I was a liberal! And I wasn’t even hiding behind a tree.

I believe that today’s children and young adults, even those with “bolts through their noses,” need a comprehensive, thorough, liberal arts education. It starts in preschool, even earlier, and goes through post secondary. It requires a lot of time and, in a word, we are not providing enough.

It’s wonderful that Lafferty had an “Ozzie and Harriet” childhood and was able to earn his varsity letters and a respectable GPA. Congratulations! But today’s young people have enormous pressure on them to be competitive and productive in our global workplace. It requires that all our young children be well educated and highly skilled. We are making progress but still have a long way to go.

As for our students working, even with increased time for learning, there’s plenty of time to do household chores, yard work, baby sitting and still earn money and learn workplace skills. But the “job” of children is school and play, not work.

We do find that many of our high school students work well beyond the part time 20 hours per week currently allowed. They work to support their cars, insurance, if they have it, and clothes and music. Some actually work more to help support their families. But that’s another issue.

The issues facing public education are complex and require thoughtful analysis of what changes and improvements need to be made. Relying on what worked for Mr. Lafferty during his childhood is not the formula that will help us solve today’s education issues.

As for Harry Truman’s assertion, “The C students run the world,” you need only look to the current White House leadership to see the folly of that notion!

Eugene T. Paslov
via e-mail

Speed racers
Re “Get set. Go.” (Feature story, Aug. 16):

Great article. Really, really great article. Enjoyed it immensely! I’m an old desert rat, transformed due to fatherhood into a pedestrian fire-road cruiser. Good stuff.

Tommy Sargent

Re “Freedom Fighter,” (15 Minutes, Aug. 16):

Sandy Bandy was not fired from her job as a school counselor with Douglas County School District, as we reported. She stayed three more years after the discrimination charge was filed. We regret the error.