Letters to the Editor

Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado

Lately, political debates on TV and local letters to the editor have given us a clear reminder of why our founding fathers attempted to prevent the folly of mixing religion, politics and government. Somewhere between the outlandish claims and fervent hopes of the name-calling fundamentalist extremists who are certain we are in “the last days,” and the sincere attempts at rational discourse by religious people of good will and common sense there is the reminder that no one has all the answers. Not even close.Last week’s YouTube Republican debate was a dance on that slippery slope. One questioner demanded to know whether each candidate believed every word of the Bible as absolute fact. The candidates’ responses were everything from a simple yes, to pointing out that some things are allegory or metaphor, never intended to be taken literally. They split every hair in between while making a desperate attempt to not turn off the religious right or look like fanatics themselves. The Democratic candidates would hardly have fared better.The point is, when one’s actions are based on “belief” or “faith” rather than the observable, testable facts of the issues, it seriously affects the likelihood of coming to a workable, real-world resolution. There are ample examples of this problem throughout history. When the “whose belief has God on their side” question gets into the political arena, we get heretics burned at the stake, Jews gassed in showers, suicide bombers and nuts who shoot abortion doctors. The bizarre reactions only serve to point out the problem at an extreme level. It exists and it permeates the society at every strata; right down to those who call their neighbors traitors because they question the policies of a president who has lied us into a war for oil that has serious religious overtones.Be very wary of politicians who seek to tailor public perception of their alleged faith to the demographics of the electorate.”When fascism comes to America, it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying a cross.” – Sinclair LewisRobert W. BoyleNew Castle

Well, after 17 years of living in this valley I finally feel the need to respond to some letters printed concerning my wife Audrey’s response to an article by Kathleen Parker, which stated a disappointment in the lack of support from Christians for Mitt Romney, a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Audrey’s original intent was to explain the many differences in beliefs between mainstream Christians and Mormons. It was never her intent to condemn or criticize Mormonism, on the contrary, she respects and admires anyone willing to stand strong in their faith.She has studied, attended classes and read more books than I care to count about The Church, written both by members and non-members alike. In her over 40 years of faith, she has talked to people of all walks of faith from atheist to non-Christian to evangelical. Never in that time has anyone told her to shut up about her faith, and that she is too ignorant to understand the Bible; that is, until last Tuesday when a Mormon Elder was sent by Mr. Tilley to our home, under the guise of an honest debate, to demand that Audrey stop her letters to this paper, and that she is not allowed to talk about The Church. The Elder then became rude and belligerent and was nearly physically thrown out of the house. Mr. Tilley, you were not here, so don’t go putting words in my wife’s mouth that she didn’t say.My wife’s concern for her fellow man is genuine. Her attempts to discuss and understand the Mormon faith are sincere, not antagonistic. She was surprised that this man who had been invited into her home would choose to insult her intelligence and then attempt to deny her right to freedom of speech. Nevertheless, she would like to continue the discussion she had been having with the other, more polite, young elder. Either with him or with any visiting teacher who may be sincerely interested in helping her learn more about The Church.Kelly ThorntonSilt

I am inspired to write a last response to John Herbst.I read, “Impossible to follow Jesus and not the Bible” with an open mind. Your letter is well-founded with information and Biblical knowledge. I appreciate both. I respond with an open heart. The viewpoints on this subject promote a change in my mind, not a change of heart. By that I mean the lenses of the camera of my life have shifted to see, perhaps, a little more clearly, what can be done to promote harmony in this vast, controversial world that is based on so many belief systems. You may be “right” or are “right” in your convictions. So it is, and it is so good for the ego. Do your right convictions make me wrong? The only controversy I would have is believing this to be true. I do not intend to change anyone but myself. Then is when my shift is taking place. The intellect needs time to develop and accrue facts and figures, and gather and scatter that information. All this is susceptible to understanding or misunderstanding. Thus, the “righteous” continue their arguments. I share these words.Unkindness comes from certainty. When you throw out certainty, you have the basic state of consciousness and another word for that is the power of love. Love, without conditions, to give our fellow man. There are six words. They are effort, generosity, patience, ethics, concentration, and the last is wisdom. Wisdom is caught, the other five are taught.These words can become our daily moment-by-moment actions. Can you believe our actions are our only belongings? I wish you peace and harmony. Annig Agemian RaleyGlenwood Springs

On Wednesday, Dec. 12, the citizens of Garfield County get a second chance to voice an opinion on perhaps the most visible development in the Highway 82 corridor. I’m talking about the future zoning of the Cattle Creek Crossing (formally known as Sanders Ranch/Bair Chase).Last spring, The Garfield County Commissioners rezoned the 282 parcel between Glenwood Springs and Carbondale from a PUD with a golf course and 230 units to zoning that allowed for much greater density. The new owners of the property, Related WestPac (who also own the development at the Snowmass Base Village), are contemplating a 970-unit project with 10 percent being allocated to affordable housing.After concerns were raised about the adequacy of public notice to the recent zoning change, the commissioners are giving us a second chance. I encourage anyone who is interested in this issue concerning the future of this most important property to attend the Garfield County Planning & Zoning meeting at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 12, in the county meeting room, 108 Eighth Street in Glenwood.Affordable housing, open space, building density, transportation, water and air quality and wildlife habitat are all on the table. Show up and be heard!Mary NooneGlenwood Springs

I agree with Hal Sundin’s article regarding the Glenwood Springs Airport. The sooner that Glenwood Springs City Council realizes the importance of relieving congestion on Grand and Midland, improving the safety of homeowners and their families located north of the airport, and utilizing the airport property to its fullest potential, the better off Glenwood residents will be.A very good report. Are you listening, City Council?Phil MaassGlenwood Springs

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