Two letters: Pearl Harbor disrespect and twisting the meaning of our “Christian nation’

The Golden Quill is awarded occasionally for a well-penned letter.

Calling men who perished on the U.S.S. Arizona ‘poor
bastards’ a shameful reference

Dear Editor,
This letter is directed toward Erika Mailman, a Dispatch columnist regarding her column published Jan. 6.
Erika, you should be ashamed of yourself. Your attitude and remarks truly represent the ignorant and self-centered thinking that is more prevalent these days. ” Me, Me, Me,” “It’s Not My Fault” and “He Did It” are growing attitudes. Take responsibility and quit blaming others.
Yes, 9/11 happened and it was disastrous. Now, let me ask you this: What occurred on Aug. 6 and Aug. 8 in 1945? Our country bombed two cities of unsuspecting and helpless citizens, killing between 150,000 and 246,000 Japanese people. Do you justify that?
Worst of all was your reference to “Those poor bastards still trapped … in the U.S.S. Arizona … .” A great number of Americans are related to or had friendships with those 3,684 servicemen killed or wounded in the attack on Pearl Harbor. Those heroes, who fought for your freedom to express your “opinion” in the local newspaper, shouldn’t be referred to as bastards.
Shame on you! The Dispatch should be admonished for their lack of oversight. In allowing that to be printed, they appear to be in agreement.

M. Ayers, Gilroy

Guest column on our ‘Christian Nation’ an example of twisting meanings for political purpose

Dear Editor,
Praise the Lord and pass the ammunition. Wow. In a guest-written column published Dec. 20, the writer bemoans and laments that freedom of religion in our “Christian Nation” is under attack by the Obama White House and many unnamed others. Although I am not a Constitutional scholar or an expert on the many different teachings and interpretations of Christianity, I am a Catholic.
My United States of America Constitution ratified on Dec. 15, 1791, in the very first amendment clearly states that Congress shall pass no law respecting an establishment of religion, nor prohibits free exercise thereof. According to my interpretation, this gives me the right to go to any church or religious service that I want to and pray in any manner that I may wish. Again, this is my interpretation and it doesn’t give me the right to force Native Americans or any immigrants or any other of my brothers and sisters to become Catholics or any other kind of Christian.
One of the most powerful and probably the most recited prayers by Christians is the Lord’s Prayer, which begins with the following two words “Our Father”. It doesn’t say “My Father”, or “Your Father” or “Their Father”, it says “Our Father”. To me that makes every human being on this earth my brother or my sister, but of course that is my interpretation. I believe that somewhere in the Lord’s Prayer we are also “delivered” from evil. I like that because I don’t believe in hurting or killing others just because they don’t think like I do.
Brother Erwin Boggs also quotes several Supreme Court Justices and presidents going way back to Thomas Jefferson, who supposedly initiated weekly Sunday worship services in the U.S. Capital building thus “establishing” us as a Christian nation. It is also “supposed” that President Jefferson owned slaves and that he fathered at least one child from his under-aged servants. It should probably also be noted here that in Thomas Jefferson’s time, the U.S.A. covered just a small area on the east coast and the 13 states had a smaller total population than southern California has today.
Divorced President Ronald Reagan is quoted by brother Boggs as saying, “that if we ever forget that we are a nation under God, then we will be one nation going under!” His Christianity however didn’t keep him from violating a congressional order and selling arms to the evil empire of Iran, nor from supporting and funding despotic regimes in Central America who tried to maintain power over their oppressed populations by such extremes as killing Catholic priests and raping nuns and killing nuns.
I was born near the mission in San Juan Bautista and like brother Boggs, I too am patriotic and a proud American. I am also convinced that our freedom of religion and Christianity and humanitarian and democratic principles will continue to lead our world toward an even better future.

Frank Valenzuela, San Jose



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