Letters

Letters 07-06-2015

Safety on the “Bridge to Nowhere” Grant Parsons wrote an articulate column in opposition to the proposed Traverse City pier at the mouth of the Boardman River. He cites issues such as limited access, lack of parking, increased congestion, environmental degradation, and pork barrel spending of tax dollars. I would add another to this list: public safety...

Vote Carefully A recent poll showed 84% of Michiganders support increasing Michigan’s renewable energy standard to at least 20% from the current 10%. Yet Representative Ray Franz has sponsored legislation to eliminate the standard. This out of touch position is reminiscent of Franz’s opposition to the Pure Michigan campaign and support for increased taxes on retirees....

Credit Where Credit Is Due I think you should do another article about the Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund giving proper credit to all involved, not just Tom Washington. Many others were just as involved...

I’ve Changed My Mind The Supreme Court has determined that states cannot keep same-sex couples from marrying and must recognize their unions. This has happened with breathtaking suddenness. It took 246 years for Americans to decide that slavery was wrong and abolish it, but it’s been only a couple of decades since any successful attempt was made to legalize same-sex marriage, and four years since a majority of the American public supported legalization...


Home · Articles · News · Random Thoughts · Bigotry and Christmas
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Bigotry and Christmas

George Foster - December 22nd, 2005
December 11, 2005 - Sydney, Australia: A mob of five thousand whites roam the beaches, trains, and shopping malls chanting racist slogans, waving national flags, and assaulting Middle-Easterners. Scores are injured.
On the next day, hundreds of young Arab men drive to Anglo suburbs with cricket (baseball) bats, smashing the windows of neighborhood cars and creating havoc. It is thought to be the worst race riot in Aussie history.
Actually, Australia has a reputation for promoting multiculturalism and diversity. Having just returned from a vacation in Australia, I found the mixed ethnicity of Arab, Asian, Indian, and European refreshing. It is jarring to know that serious hostilities could have occurred where I was frolicking in the sun only a short time ago. The seemingly laid-back, unconcerned Aussies around me have actually been riveted on immigration and minority issues for years.
I wasn’t the only one caught off guard by the racial tension there. Australian Prime Minister John Howard condemned the violence, but said, “I do not accept that there is underlying racism in this country.” Meanwhile, there are many reports of mass text messaging calling for more gatherings of whites to take place soon in Sydney and Brisbane.
One explanation for the bigoted change in Aussie outlook is Australia’s loss of 89 lives in 2002 from the terrorist bombing of a nightclub in Bali by Islamic terrorists. For a country of only 20 million, the effect of the Bali attacks was almost as traumatic as the 9/11 attacks on U.S. soil. Their world has changed, too.
This is just one of several disturbing episodes of racial strife that has exploded recently around the world. Last month Paris was the scene of Arab youths rioting for several weeks. Their beef was with the French government that Arab immigrants see as discriminating against Muslims. On top of everything else, the nutty President of Iran just launched a bombshell when he declared the Jewish Holocaust is a myth.
A growing tension in many modernized countries including the United States over immigration policies and the presence of growing minority groups seems to be fueling a return to past when racial intolerance was the norm. Isn’t it time to grow up, people?
Closer to home, Michigan has one of the highest rates of hate crimes fueled by bigotry in the U.S. and is growing according to the FBI. Statistically, Michigan may also the most segregated state in the Union. No matter - anyone, who targets others because they are different, might as well be holding a sign reading, “I am a bigot with the I.Q. of a child and am a coward to boot.”
Speaking of intolerance, you may have heard about the conspiracy against Christmas by now. According to talk-show host Bill O’Reilly, there are liberal secularists among us whose goal is to eliminate the word Christmas and take Jesus out of the holidays.
Does anyone really care if businesses refer to the holidays in the Christian tradition (Christmas) or attempt to be more inclusive with general terms such as holidays. O’Reilly and others have called for boycotts of businesses if they don’t use the word Christmas in their season’s promotions. Talk about intolerant...
What would Jesus think? I would hate to be Bill O’Reilly if Jesus ever showed up for an interview in the No-spin Zone on the subject of Christmas. When provoked,
the Lord’s rebuke could be swift and powerful. I could easily see Jesus overturning the interview table, ripping the microphone from its jack, and shaking the Christmas Crusader until he came to his senses about politicizing the commercial side of Christmas.
Jesus might tell Bill that Christmas is about giving, not buying. Christmas is about bringing people together, not promoting divisiveness laced with mean-spirited tirades.
Most of all, Jesus would probably say that Christmas is about going out of your way to love all of God’s children, not just Christians.

 
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