Letters for October 30, 2003

God fearing
Re “*%$# bless America” [RN&R, News, Oct. 23]:

I’m surprised the obvious fact that God and religion are two separate things has escaped the sensibilities of so many. The Sparks mayor’s God Bless America signs are not religiously patriotic, as Deidre Pike stated in the “*%$# bless America” article.

God and religion are not one in the same. Religion is a tool people use to relate to God, or to something else they believe is higher than themselves. The word “God” itself is not religious. In fact, one doesn’t have to be religious to believe in God; deists for example are believers in God yet they are non-religious. There can also be religion without God, such as Buddhism.

The whole flap about lawsuits pertaining to the mayor’s signs was unwarranted, since “God Bless America” is a non-religious phrase; it does not endorse a church or a religion. Anyone who files a lawsuit over it hasn’t got a case.

April Pedersen

Fear censors
Re “Conservatism is a dirty word” [RN&R, Guest comment, Oct. 16]:

My compliments to Randy Haynes. I’m saving the article for the next time I’m talking with one of my misguided “conservative” friends. On the same page with Tom Tomorrow, double bonus! Thanks, and keep up the good work!

Jim Romaggi

Fear fear
Re “Don’t be afraid” [RN&R, Editor’s note, Oct. 16]:

So the staff of RN&R finally discovered “Bowling for Columbine.” There are indeed two themes to Michael Moore’s latest, and until I saw the film I’d never heard anyone, not even the film critics who supposedly saw the film, explore the issue of the pervasive fear our society suffers from.

Most people in the world live with a lot more uncertainty and a lot less security in their lives than we do. Rather than hiding behind their locked doors and drawn blinds, guns at the ready for imagined intruders or potential deviants, people in other societies actually get to know, accept, associate with, and sometimes even depend on and enjoy each other. Amazing as it may sound, there was once a time when it used to be that way in this country, too.

Imagined fears are used not only as a justification of our obsession with lethal weapons but for a host of other paranoid complexes and obsessions as well. It is for this latter perspective, ignored by the media, that we should be most grateful to Mr. Moore. The truly astonishing thing to me is that (until this film was released) nobody even seemed to be aware this fear-mongering campaign was going on!

Doc Adams

Fear restricted speech
I attended the peace rally in front of the federal courthouse in Reno on Oct. 25 along with others opposed to President Bush’s deadly, imperialistic policies. Across the street was a smaller gathering of people among a sea of American flags expressing their support for war. I love and respect the American flag and treasure the right of the pro-military group to express themselves, but was discouraged that their only purpose seemed to be to spew hateful vile at the peace demonstrators. This group bellowed accusations of carrying “communist flags” at the peaceful group gathered across the street.

Communist flags? I glanced around. Nary a hammer nor sickle in sight; no one carrying pictures of Chairman Mao. Perhaps someone should inform these people of the demise of the Soviet Union some 12 years ago.

Also perplexing were the shouts from the pro-war group demanding that we “get a job!” What made them think we were not gainfully employed and paying taxes? Because we were participating in a peaceful demonstration on a beautiful Saturday afternoon?

Since they were also there, does that mean they are jobless? Yes, there are a great number of unemployed in this country. Since the Bush administration came into power, 3.2 million private sector jobs have been lost. Those supporting the Bush’s regime with blind allegiance would be well-advised to chose another topic for their vitriol.

In short, I was sickened to see our nation’s flag, a symbol of the unique freedoms we have enjoyed for over 200 years, be used as a tool for malicious attacks, spawned out of ignorance, on peacefully gathered Americans.

Anne Williams