The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas on April 2, 1998 · Page 10
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The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas · Page 10

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Thursday, April 2, 1998
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B2 THURSDAY. APRIL 2, 1998 THE SALINA JOURNAL George B. Pyle editorial page editor Opinions expressed on this page are those of the identified writers. To join the conversation, write a letter to the Journal at: P.O. Box 740 Salina, K8 67402 Fax: (785) 827-6363 E-mail: SJLetters® saljournal.com Quote of the day "Idon'tknow how anyone in their right mind can prepare to watch someone die. Iliad to think about it long and hard and I had to talk to God and myselfpretty deep." Tom Jones Thomas County sheriff, on witnessing Tuesday's execution of Daniel Remeta in Florida. OPINION By GEORGE B. PYLE / The Salina Journal Dissing the messenger THEHSW The 'Life or Meth' campaign THEARfiUMBUT Ads are fine, but prosecutor is miscast Y oung people think they are going to live forever. That is why they sometimes seem to drive too fast, stay up all night, eat whatever junk they can find and otherwise risk their beautiful, healthy bodies. It is also why we send them to war. They think nothing can hurt them, and that anyone who tries to tell them otherwise is a killjoy old fuddy-duddy. And it is why a well-intentioned ad campaign to warn young people of the dangers of methamphetamine is going to be a hard sell. The difficult job is being made more difficult by the chosen messenger, the U.S. attorney. The feds have coughed up $8 million to air a series of public service "Life or Meth" announcements on TV stations around the Great Plains. The spots lay out the really serious risks of metham- phetamine, a.k.a. meth, a.k.a. crank. It is nasty, nasty stuff, made more nasty by the fact that it doesn't have to be imported from Columbia or Burma, but can be cooked up by any amoral idiot in a well-equipped kitchen. If, that is, the idiot doesn't mind the stink or the threat of explosion. It is highly addictive, can cause heart failure, brain damage, stroke and convulsions and addiction is hard to treat. At least, that's what U.S. Attorney Jackie Williams said on a Kansas kickoff tour this week for the ad campaign. He is almost certainly right. But the message would get a little further, and sink in a little deeper, if someone else would be the messenger. To trot out the state's resident federal prosecutor to deal with a drug epidemic is like bringing out a doctor to stop embezzlement at the local bank. And people, young people included, know it. Drugs are not a law enforcement problem, and the problem will not faU to a law enforcement solution. Drugs are a public health problem, and our only hope of dealing with it is to mount a public health campaign, led by people whose training is in health, such as doctors, nurses and emergency medical technicians. Whoever tries to tell young people that they should not do something has a tough task ahead of them. There is always the risk of turning deadly poison into forbidden fruit, perversely increasing its attraction. But we should try. The ads are a good idea. Well worth a measly $8 million. But prosecutors should stop playing doctor. T LETTERS TO THE JOURNAL Anti-gay minister wants an apology T POINT OF VIEW English will survive The children of immigrants prefer to speak English O AKLAND, Calif. — This has been a decade of cantankerousness toward multiculturalism. Polls show a majority favors a ballot measure on June 2, Proposition 227, the Unz anti-bilingual edu- *" cation initiative. WILLIAM Lurking behind WONG the majority votes 5an Fmncisco of the contrarians Examiner is a fear that our ^ way of life is in danger of being overrun by burrito trucks, sushi vendors, dim sum parlors and vats of kimchee. And the cacophony of tongues! Doesn't anybody speak English anymore? Guess what? In these brown, yellow and black huddled masses yearning to breathe free, the children prefer English to the languages their families left behind. That's the conclusion of the three Cuban scholars after their multiyear survey of adolescent children of immigrants. They interviewed 5,200 young people in Southern Florida and the San Diego area in 1992, when the youths were eighth and ninth graders. Three and four years later, they found 82 percent of the youngsters and interviewed them again. By then, the teens were mostly seniors in high school. Almost 90 percent of them told the researchers they would rather speak English than the native language of their parents. They also believed the United States was the best country in which to live, despite personally experiencing some discrimination here. The findings suggest that the linguistic outcomes for the third generation — the grandchildren of the current wave of immigrants will be no different than what has been the age old pattern of American history: The grandchildren may learn a few foreign words and phrases as a quaint vestige of their ancestry, but they will most likely grow up speaking English only, says Prof. Ruben G. Rum- baut of Michigan State University. Rumbaut also found that children of immigrants had higher grades and lower dropout rates, on the average, than other American high school students. There were differences among different groups, but the overall findings area loud rebuke to the idea that the current generation of immigrants seeks to create linguistic and cultural fiefdoms in California. What we have in this latest incarnation of the American immigration story isn't too far removed from earlier waves of European immigration. The Americanization process is very strong. I am not sure why some Americans those — who voted yes on 187, 209 and will likely vote yes on 227 — have so little confidence in it. What may appear to be a significant difference between today's immigrant experience and that of previous generations — the desire to retain some measure of their native identities in language and culture — isn't much of a difference after all. The progeny of immigrants, then and now, appear to want very much to be a part of the American mainstream, English language and all. It seems obvious that children of immigrants realize they must be proficient in English in order to avoid being ghettoized. If they are to compete in tomorrow's economic environment, they must do so in English. That doesn't mean they won't want to speak their native languages and celebrate unique cultural customs. They may choose lives that are ethnic and American at the same time. And what's wrong with that? The survey findings of the three Cuban scholars ought to render the ill-considered Unz initiative moot. And mute. W ell, I must have really struck a nerve! To bring Dan England, the master of clerical slander onto the field is quite a dubious honor ("Hateful people claim to speak for God," March 18). This places me in line with Bishop Bruskewitz, whom Mr. England so maliciously maligned at about this same time two years ago. I hope my district superintendent doesn't find out, he'll think I'm after his job. Please allow me to set a few things straight. If you have a problem with something I said, attack the argument, not me. If you cannot refute anything I wrote, then you have absolutely nothing to say. So please stop the personal character assassination campaign you are waging. None of you who wrote to the paper, none of you who made obscene phone calls to my home, none of you who sent nasty anonymous letters from Smith Center, have, under any circumstances, the right to do so. Why? Because you know absolutely nothing about me, other than that I refuse to join the crowd in saying how beautiful the king's new clothes are — when actually he is naked. Just because I have known and loved some who are practitioners of homosexuality (and I have and do) does not obligate me to close my eyes to their destructive antisocial behavior. Just because you rather rabid advocates of this practice have traded emotion for reason does not make me a purveyor of hate nor someone reacting from fear. If I know someone who is a drug addict or a child abuser, I suppose you feel it would be more compassionate for me to tell them by my silent acquiescence, "Carry on," than confront them. Destructive unhealthy behavior is just that, destructive unhealthy behavior — homosexuality included. I did not bother to bring the truths of the Bible to bear for the simple reason that those who advocate this lifestyle have evidenced that they won't even listen to reason much less absolute truth. And I didn't bring God into it because I thought, "Why talk about someone they don't know anyway?" But since God was brought into this rather sordid argument then know this: God's great compassionate love toward us must, because of His very nature, be balanced by His great intolerant hatred of sin. If you see hate in anything I said, it is hatred of a destructive, unhealthy lifestyle being foisted upon the American people as though it were normal. And, since I do not agree with this, then I am to be personally vilified. You may call black white and vice versa but that doesn't make it so. Those who practice homosexuality are more than welcome in our church, because we can separate who a person is from what they do. To us people are "whos" not "whats." You will never hear a sermon in this church personally condemning anyone. Judging (condemnation) is not in any Christian's job description, but judging (discerning between good and evil) is. Your confusing the two only demonstrates your ignorance. The practice of homosexuality is not harmful because it is sin. It is sin because it is harmful. Before I go, answer me three last questions. If you were to substitute "drug addict" or "convicted mass murderer" for homosexual, then how many of you would so rudely come to arms for my being so "intolerant" in the defense of our children regarding what I deem (with just cause) to be destructive antisocial behavior? And what would have been the reaction if I were not a minister? Talk about intolerance and prejudice! And number three is to editorial page editor George Pyle. Was printing the letters you printed in the March 14 edition really your way of unofficially printing your own reply? As a newspaperman you should print diverse opinions, it is one way we learn and it is essential to our form of government. But when you receive that (which is to all intents and purposes) slander and libel you are under no obligation to print it — indeed it is your duty not to print it. So much for professionalism. You tread a very fine legal line, my friends. I do think the Journal owes me an apology, both from you and from young Mr. England. — Rev. B.J. KELLOGG Herington Growing up is hard to do when you are gay I was born and raised in Salina. A good friend of mine sent me Rev. B.J. Kellogg's March 9 letter to the Journal, and I was enraged. I'm not going to bash Rev. B.J. Kellogg, instead give a different view of the situation. Growing up is a difficult thing for every child, each one has its hard lessons and pitfalls to deal with and learn from. My biggest fears growing up were centered around the fact that I knew I was gay. And yes I was a Boy Scout, Troop 1 in fact. I wonder how things would have been different for me if I had a Troop leader who was openly gay. Would such a man have been able to explain to me that I would not grow up to be a child molester? Throughout my childhood I was ISfever trust anyone, over thirty. AHEAD is weu n> ins -^ 6fcwP uiHo THoitour uf TH AT JcotAfJ. guilt stricken for something I hadn't done, but that I had been told I would do. I feared my own brothers and sisters would never let me see my nieces and nephews again if they ever found out that I was gay. I went to church every Sunday and often Wednesdays as a child in grammar school. Praying to God to make me "normal," and to help me turn away from the evil that was inside me. When I realized God couldn't change me is when I started believing that I wasn't a bad person. And maybe my fears weren't true fears, but fear due to ignorance. I battled with all of this throughout high school. The Boy Scouts taught me many things and indeed played an important role in making me who I am today. I am a good person. And I am gay. Those two lines can be, and often are, side by side. Rev. B.J. Kellogg would have us believe that a child will grow out of his homosexual tendencies if left alone. I say that child if left alone will suffer, possibly his entire life. Guilt, loneliness, fear, disgust in oneself, and from these things come physical difficulties like obesity, panic disorders, drugs, and alcohol. If I had someone to talk to, maybe I would have enjoyed more life as a child. No one is going to change Rev. B.J. Kellogg, only add fuel to his hellfire. I only hope that children today have somewhere to turn for help in any situation, including homosexuality. And why shouldn't it be a Scout leader? — P. MICHAEL BREWER Quincy, Mass. MultiBrew@aol.com Clergy should warn us against an immoral lifestyle I, he, or she was born that way. If you had any love then you would accept my lifestyle as perfectly normal. If you don't accept my lifestyles then you are a hater and a bigot. These are the statements used profusely by those who are determined to force society to condone behavior historically condemned. These statements are proving very successful, so successful in fact that soon we might be hearing that pedophiles "are born that way. If you love them you will accept their behavior as normal. If you oppose their behavior you are a bigot and a hate monger." Don't be surprised if the same technique is used for adulterers and thieves. Church leaders, get ready to "vote" on whether pedophiles and adulterers can be accepted into the clergy. The blizzard of letters to the editor condemning the simple truths stated by Rev. B. J. Kellogg should disturb everyone who believes the Bible is the inspired word of God. As a clergyman, Kellogg is obligated to preach the truth. The Bible claims to be the word of God. If it is, then preachers should be teaching what it says. I saw no hate in Kelloggs statements. It is not his idea that a homosexual lifestyle is wrong. That idea comes from a higher power. The Holy Bible, which claims to be God's word, says in first Corinthians 6:9-10: "Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God." I did not say it. Kellogg did not say it. God said it. Any warning against a lifestyle that can destroy one's soul is not hate at all, but love. — GAIL COLSON Mankato DOONESBURY What does our society value? It occurred to me after watching part of the academy awards that our society celebrates a different set of values than it used to perhaps 30 or 40 years ago. But maybe I'm wrong. Maybe it only seems that our entertainment-oriented society applauds beauty, glamor, money and in-your- face moral relativism. Perhaps we really do value courage, honor, morals, commitment and self-sacrifice. Perhaps others, like me, believe that the real heroes and celebrities are the police, servicemen and firemen who risk and sometimes lay down their lives; health care workers who go the ex* tra mile to care for a patient; teachers who really care and sometimes give their lives; pastors who sacrifice their personal lives; and ordinary citizens who occasionally do extraordinary deeds to help their fellow man. Maybe it only seems that we value the wrong things because of our incessant desire to be entertained and the constant barrage in the me : dia about such things as Oscars, Grammys; Country Music Awards, singers, movie and sports stars, some of whom are talented and hardworking, few of whom exhibit morals and character. If it seems that way to me, I wonder what it seems like to our children. ;' — KATHY KINDALL' Wells America should have an honorable leader Ever since we have heard the names Bill Clinton and Hillary Rodham, we have also heard the words liar, illegal moneys, corruption, sexual harassment and bribery, all aimed at the man who the American people elected to govern this, the greatest nation in the world. Millions and millions of our tax dollars have been spent investigating the wrongdoings of this man, Bill Clinton, our president, and it goes on with no end in sight. Incidentally, the fees charged by the lawyers are outrageous. There are those who would lead us to believe that there is no other man in the whole world who could govern this great nation as well as Clinton. They are wrong! We have men with outstanding knowledge of foreign affairs as well as domestic. A man with these qualifications and a good clean moral record would be able to spend all his time and energy with the business of government rather in self-defense such as Clinton has had to do. ; Sexual misconduct seems to dominate the news. Every day on TV and in many editions of the Journal we are informed about the bad behavior of our president. I am inclined to believe the stories told by the gals rather than those told by Clinton. I can not imagine any women telling these stories if it were not true. If Clinton asks for sex and is turned down, the guilt is still there and he can truthfully say: "I did not have sex with that woman." That is the way that he acquired the name "Slick Willie" a long time ago. Some claim that as long as the economy is good, nothing else matters. It does matter! The populace of this great nation must be of high character, must strive to provide the best education it can afford for its youth and set an example of high character. For this nation to remain great, and to survive and to prosper we must provide a direction and a cause for our future citizens. I can hardly wait to see the day when once again, I can address the Commander and Chief of this great nation and say: Honorable Mr: President. — WILLIAM A. KIRK Salina By G.B. TRUDEAU U5CAPA&IZOFPOIM5 ANYTHlN67HATMl6Hr AIW&MAKINSTH&R

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