Letters of July 15, 2022

Christian Patriots

In response to Reverend Paul Grave’s column (“Pastor Eyes Christian Nation,” June 27):

History is full of various so-called Christian groups that do not reflect Christianity. Throughout history, Christianity has been tainted with cult-like names, whether it be the “Jesus movement”, Christian Science, Gnosticism, etc. who try to embellish Christianity. White Christian nationalism adds a political and racist element to the mix.

But adding white nationalism to Christianity is illegitimate. If I defined “patriot” as a white American nationalist, it would distract from the meaning of patriot.

People who identify with white Christian nationalism would misrepresent the meaning of “Christianity”. If I see myself as a dedicated and loyal lower extremity practitioner, it can somehow distract from the fact that I am a podiatrist, whether I am loyal or dedicated!

I don’t know if I would even give the time of day to describe these “Christian patriots”. Nothing in my study of Christianity relates to it. I agree it’s toxic. I don’t agree that religions offer their wisdom and “ways to live that wisdom”. Wisdom comes from God and is reflected in the person of Jesus Christ. This is opposed to a “worldview” or other religious view. Likewise, I disagree with your insistence on love as an all-encompassing characteristic of God. Adolf Hitler loved Eva Braun and her dog. God is love but not all love is God. However, I agree with much of what you have said.

Wayne Moyer, DPM, MDiv

Spokane

Thoughts and Prayers

I blame members of Congress, regardless of political affiliation, for the current gun violence.

I am 82 years old and grew up after WWII in Germany as a war orphan. Because the allies had banned all possession of firearms, I was never afraid to go to school or experience any gun violence. I came to the United States 60 years ago and I can tell you that the United States has changed and not for the better. Crazed politicians voted to ban people under 21 from buying or consuming alcohol or cigarettes, while allowing 18-year-olds to acquire firearms without any restrictions. Persons under the age of 21 could enlist in the armed forces and be sent into combat.

Many friends in Germany and Switzerland love the United States, especially our national parks, but they cannot believe the madness of our current gun culture.

By the way, latest stats from Memorial Weekend 2022: 179 killed, 463 injured including 15 mass shootings with nine killed and more than 70 injured. Per capita, our United States has 38 times more gun-related deaths than Great Britain!

I get my big game every year with my bolt action rifle. Automatic or semi-automatic pistols, large capacity magazines have no sporting use. Self defense? Ridiculous. We should follow Australia’s example and ban the possession of such weapons.

After all, false thoughts and prayers never helped.

Jürgen Nolthenius

Coeur d’Alene

It’s how you die that’s important

A minute on Google gave me this information: In 2020, 38,824 people died in traffic accidents or about 106/day or 4.4/hour. According to NHSTA estimates for 2021, 42,915 people died in traffic crashes, or 117/day or 4.9/hour. Two million are injured each year, ie 5,479/day or 228/hour.

Although this is a great tragedy, why are the deaths of children in Uvalde and of Chicago’s middle-class white commuters deeper than the deaths on the roads that far outnumber them?

Is it because we seem to be obsessed with mass casualty events?

I have another theory. In the first two examples, it’s easy to blame guns for the problem. Politicians love it, it gets them votes. The media love them, they bring in excellent ratings. Non-gun owners love them because they don’t have to give up anything, and they feel noble and morally superior when watching from afar.

But are deaths in traffic accidents less dead than someone killed with a gun? Is the driver who loses a leg less disabled than the same injury caused by a firearm?

I saw a young Chicago pastor on TV the other day wanting to know why the equivalent carnage in his South Side Chicago neighborhood every weekend didn’t get the same level of attention.

Unfortunately, I come to the conclusion that how you die is more important than the fact that you died. Shame on all of us.

jerry paulin

Spokane

Gun violence

Flying the American flag at half mast is meant to signify the nation in mourning. The President may, at his discretion, order the half-staff display of the flag on all Federal buildings, as is customarily done after the deaths of prominent Americans and following tragic events. Using the definition of a mass shooting as an incident in which four or more people are shot or killed (not including the shooter), there were 324 mass shootings in 2022 through July 8, an average 1.7 mass shootings per day.

I think one way to raise awareness of the magnitude of this tragic behavior and hopefully motivate change would be for the President to order the flag to be flown at half-mast for three days after any mass shooting. The result would of course be that until our society meaningfully addresses gun violence, our flag would fly exclusively at half mast.

Jean Charyk

Spokane

adopt don’t buy

It makes me really, really sad to see all the pictures of “puppies for sale” in the newspaper ads every day.

I think of all the invisible puppies in shelters who don’t get adopted because all the backyard breeders, puppy mills, and pet stores keep pumping out litter after litter.

Right now, animal shelters and rescue groups are overwhelmed with adorable, adoptable puppies that need to be rescued.

Please do not buy from a breeder, puppy mill or pet store. Adopt from a shelter or rescue group.

Many shelter dogs live in foster homes where they are raised, trained, and taught to get along with other dogs and cats.

Adopting a shelter dog from a foster family is a win-win for everyone.

Kerry Masters

Liberty Lake