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Letters to the Editor

Published: Sunday, April 17, 2005 at 7:58 a.m.
Last Modified: Sunday, April 17, 2005 at 7:58 a.m.

Look in the mirror

EDITOR: As a fiscal conservative and social moderate, I have to take issue with the Rancho Cotate High Conservative Club's recent anti-gay rally. Not because the club's members don't have the right to have it, but because I think there are many much better uses for their efforts. I also have to take exception to the Tuesday letter by Bill Carretta Jr. in which he lambastes them and all conservatives as hatemongers (the usual liberal attempt at labeling others you hate). Personally, I've never said, nor have I ever heard any other conservative say, "I hate liberals" or "I hate so-and-so Democrat." I do, however, hear on an almost daily basis, liberals saying they hate Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, etc.

Just because a person believes that the Bible says that gays are sinners doesn't translate into hatred. The Conservative Club has been a good model for other groups who don't like the status quo to get the dialogue started, and I'd hate to see them silenced by a bunch of hate mongers who don't want other opinions heard. So to Carretta, I'd suggest he take a look in the mirror, and he will no doubt find the person who hates others for how they think.

ROD WALLACE

Santa Rosa

A great miracle

EDITOR: This has been a sorrowful time for all of us, not just Catholics, as we have lost a wonderful holy leader in Pope John Paul II. You cannot imagine the joy we felt as we read the April 3 edition of The Press Democrat. There on A8, to our surprise, was a picture of our colorful President Bush and beneath the picture it said, "On Saturday, President Bush celebrated Mass in Washington."

I always thought it took years for a man to "celebrate Mass." What a great miracle. Not only did Bush become a priest, he celebrated Mass (only an ordained priest can celebrate Mass). We are so full of joy that we may become Republicans (just kidding).

VERN and JEAN HUNRLACH

Bodega Bay

Sound advice

EDITOR: "There is no problem at the JC," regarding liberal bias, declared the April 8 Close to Home article by Santa Rosa Junior College English instructor Marco Giordano. The piece went on to characterize a student-led forum on liberal bias as something like an angry mob with pitchforks. While it is fine for teachers to question the legitimacy of complaints from conservative students, the author of this article doesn't want to accept that the complaints even exist. His denial reflects an attitude of faculty that marginalizes students and causes backlash like the "red star" fliers.

I suppose expecting instructors to take a step back and consider reasons why the "red star" posting happened would be like expecting George W. Bush to take a step back from Sept. 11 and ask why that happened; it is much easier to label the crime mindless and cowardly. I think one teacher even used the words, "They did it because they hate our freedom." Noam Chomsky said in a speech about 9/11, "After any criminal act of this scale, you look at the circumstances and analyze the problems; often times they are legitimate and aught to be addressed independently of the crime." I think this is also sound advice for instructors, post-"red-star."

DANA WRIGHT

Editor-in-chief, SRJC Oak Leaf, Santa Rosa

Separate or equal

EDITOR: In his Wednesday letter, E. Ernest Engle proposes that church and state separation is, in actuality, non-existent in the United States of America. What Engle is also proposing, whether he intends to or not, is that churches and religions are subject to taxation and regulation just like any other organization. Fine with me; let's give it a shot.

JON NILSEN

Windsor

Flippant view

EDITOR: I picked up the Thursday paper and was saddened to read the letter from John Trubee of Santa Rosa. In his response to a previous article in The Press Democrat, he compared sex to oxygen, food and money. He made it clear that it was his opinion that encouraging teens to abstain from sex before marriage was a waste of time and in fact impossible.

I am a happily married man with two children. I have both a son and a daughter and will do everything within my power to ensure they both abstain from sex before marriage. While a large portion of society may have a flippant view of sex before marriage, there is a growing population that shares the views and opinions of the teens depicted in the article Trubee was speaking of. While Trubee is entitled to his opinion, I wish he would think prior to speaking for the population of teenage boys.

How ironic that I would agree with his last statement, "We live in horrifyingly idiotic times." I do find it horrifying and idiotic that someone would make a comparison of sex to oxygen, food and money.

MARC VAN RIPER

Cotati

Exposed to violence

EDITOR: A boy beats someone to death with a baseball bat. Another tragic killing and another community is surprised that it could happen in their midst. As usual, taunting leads to violence. Surprise.

If we are going to allow our kids to play violent games, watch violent movies, the evening news, TV shows and read violent comics, and we laugh when Randy Moss moons the opposing fans (or mimics it), why should we be surprised when the occasional serious violence occurs?

My kids objected when I tried to shut down their video games because they said they were not violent. Fair enough, they aren't. However, if every home receives violent TV and movies and kids play endless rounds of violent computer games, then we should not be surprised that someone in the audience is taking in the wrong message and will act on it.

Columbine didn't just happen. That 13-year-old didn't just happen to kill the other kid with a baseball bat. It is the predictable result of a totally permissive society.

I'm not saying that we should take all that really cool violent programming away, but I do think we should stop acting surprised when kids and others learn from their entertainment and take it out on real people. If we want to keep our violent entertainment, we should simply accept that the price is the occasional violent death by someone from whom we never expected it.

HANS BEERBAUM

Petaluma

Contemplate this

EDITOR: This is a response to Susan Swartz' column, "Tending to unfinished business" appearing in the April 3 issue. I quote, "We have leaders who boldly seek to outlaw abortion and feel they have the right to meddle ... because their church tells them so." I would like to advise Swartz that it is not the church that tells Christians to speak against abortion. Abortion is murder. It is God who made the commandment, "Thou shall not commit murder." Read Deuteronomy 5:17.

Look at a sonogram and see a beating heart. Is this beating heart not a living, human being inside the mother? When we all come to the end of our life, we won't be standing before a "church" to give an account, we'll be standing before God. Contemplate this.

TONI DIMATTEO

Santa Rosa

Scarlet plates

EDITOR: A driver convicted of DUI should have his car license plates exchanged for those bearing DUI in red letters -- in huge red letters. This exchange could take place at the court parole session. The relevant information of the driver would be readily available.

Steal a car? Borrow a car? Well, there would be no parole. Go directly to jail.

MARY CLARE CHAPMAN

Santa Rosa

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