Letters to the Editor | PostIndependent.com

Letters to the Editor

Dear Editor,On this Earth Day, I would like to say thanks to one environmental group for their work in preserving the finer things on the planet. Although seen by some as a “radical” group, their accomplishments are awesome, and will have lasting effects.In the 1970s, Greenpeace led the charge to end commercial whaling. There are filmed accounts of Greenpeace members placing themselves directly in the line of fire between the whaling ships and their exploding harpoons, and the whales themselves. Due to their willingness to risk their own lives, we now have whale species that are doing quite well and are part of a multimillion dollar tourism industry that is worth more economically than the whaling industry ever was. We also have healthier ocean ecosystems.During the 1980s, Greenpeace also actively and aggressively worked to put a stop to the proliferation of nuclear weapon testing – especially by the French government – in the coral atolls of the South Pacific. Coral atolls are unique ecosystems, where corals grow up from submerged volcanic islands to the surface of the ocean. They are home to many unique species of plants and animals found nowhere else in the world. Their persistence put an end to France’s careless destruction of these places. Some Greenpeace members paid the highest price with their own lives as the French blew up one of the boats. Perhaps most importantly, Greenpeace has helped change the world’s “ethics” toward the conservation of our natural resources. It is now considered wrong to hunt a species to extinction. It is also wrong to destroy the beauty of a natural place such as a coral atoll. As our conservation ethics have changed, we are now beginning to reap the benefits. Many species that would have otherwise gone extinct, hold chemicals in their bodies that can provide cures for such diseases as cancer, heart disease, diabetes and mental illness. We have also found chemicals to help sufferers of chronic pain, and chemicals that can safely destroy agricultural pests and provide food to millions of people. Thanks, Greenpeace, for all your help. Happy Earth Day!Joe MollicaGlenwood Springs

Dear Editor,I’m writing to update Mike Blair and others on Atheists Against Religious Ignorance. I decided to form this group in response to the weekly faith listings in the Post Independent. There was a small response by people committed to fighting the growth of religion in politics, but my personal time to spend forming the group disappeared. More importantly, I didn’t want to jeopardize my job. That fear diminished as I expressed views different from some co-workers, yet we treated each other with the dignity many such as Blair can’t do. In spite of Blair thinking atheists “need to find … a real basis for life, and quit foolishly presuming to take over thousands of years of established meaningful culture,” may I remind fundamental Christians our founding fathers wrote the Constitution to ensure freedom from religion as much as freedom of religion – after centuries of religious persecution.Countless atheists and agnostics have contributed to humanity – including Einstein, Darwin, presidents Madison and Lincoln, Paine, Hemingway, and one who recently made the ultimate sacrifice for his country: Pat Tillman. Atheists Against Religious Ignorance invites all wishing to fight the coercion of those like Karl Rove, who rejected his Mormon upbringing, yet uses religion to manipulate millions of well-meaning people to legitimize his agenda of war, injustice, and greed. Agnostics, deists, freethinkers, pantheists are all welcome, although the title “Atheists” has the “shock and awe” weight often needed these days. A Web site has been established, which will grow. We’re searching for public space for meetings on local projects, like literature distribution and providing youth with intellectual alternatives to myths too often presented as “education.” We will demand equal treatment offered to religious groups, such as free listings, discounted advertising, and federal faith-based funding. Individuals interested in our e-group should e-mail RantRaven@comcast.net. The PI (and any press) is invited to follow up soon. And Mr. Blair, I’m sure I’m already on Bush’s fascist watchlist (a badge of honor), since I forward most of my political e-mails directly to him, including this one. David JohnsonAtheists Against Religious IgnoranceCarbondale

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