Letters to the Editor

Letters to the editor | Wednesday, April 17, 2019: The Bible, obstruction politics and Rep. Omar

Why GOP obstruction?

As we watch the Democrats assume their jobs as the first branch of government, and begin to put brakes on the runaway executive branch and actually begin the search for truth, we see obstruction at every request.

Teapot Dome brought into law the right of Congress to request from the IRS tax information, and said the IRS “shall” comply. That does not allow a choice; shall means shall. Then we have the Mueller Report that is being redacted by the AG.

So my question is, if there is no wrongdoing, why the obstruction? If everything is on the up and up with Trump’s taxes, why is he fighting so hard to keep them secret?

The truth is, it is not his decision; the law is the law and even though he has little or no respect for the law, it is what keeps this nation free. This man is supposed to represent the people, not just Trump.

Charlie Lockett, Modesto

Atheist should try church

Greetings, Susan (Re “ Bible is just mythology” Page 2B, April 14): I’d like to invite you to our worship at our church, where you’ll experience hospitality, welcome, and above all, God’s love and grace as we know and experience it in Jesus. Love, joy and peace to you.

Stephen Reddy, Modesto

Interim Minister, Modesto Church of the Brethren

Those with faith “get” the Bible

Re “ Bible is just mythology” (Page 2B, April 14): It seems that people with no faith, atheists for instance, can read the Bible and become immediate experts on what it means. Generally, they read it exactly like the fundamentalist targets they seek to discredit. The history of Bible scholarship for Christians is nearly 2000 years old, and even longer for Judaism.

The Old Testament has been read for centuries by theologians who understand that it contains many different genres of literature, including hyperbole, poetry, didactic and wisdom teachings, as well as historical recollections. To read it as straight journalistic reportage is both naive and embarrassing to unschooled critics.

Scripture cannot be properly understood in all its dimensions without faith, because to do so ignores the very community that wrote it and its rationale for writing it. Was there an ancient historical flood that decimated the earth? Either way, the question to ask is what the author of the Genesis story intended to tell us. Was it that God was so incompetent in creation that he had to start it all over again? Or is this a dire warning about the eternal consequences of sinful lifestyles? Perhaps a spiritual death far outweighs mere physical death for us.

Gary Nelson, Modesto

All God’s children deserve love

In Brunei, those found guilty of gay sex can be stoned to death or whipped. According to Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah, the penal code that allows this barbaric practice should be regarded as a form of “special guidance” from God. That really infuriates me. How can a God whose essence is love guide anyone to commit such atrocities? Jesus was right when he said: “The time is coming when anyone who kills you will think they are offering a service to God.” (John 16:2)

Throughout history, abuses in the name of God have been committed, including in my own church. This is one of the reasons why many people believe in God but despise institutionalized religion.

In our country, gays are not punished by death but are made miserable by “devout” Christians, including clergy. I have heard many stories of gays who feel rejected by my church. Pope Francis says: “The Church is a home, a family, a place of welcome and love in which everyone can feel a part and never see themselves excluded or rejected.” If the pope’s words are not convincing, Jesus says: “Do to others whatever you would like them to do to you.” (Matthew 7:12)

Fr. Misael Avila, Riverbank

Pastor, St. Frances of Rome Catholic Church

911: Not just some people doing some things

As a patriot of these United States of America, I take exception to the stupid people who not only voted Ilhan Omar, D-Minnesota into office but brought her in from a country of religious fanatics bent on destroying those who don’t believe as they do. Wake up, Americans. It’s time to not only stand up for the U.S. of A. It’s also time to defend it against inside terrorist sympathizers.

Joe Dooley, Modesto