The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas on May 17, 1995 · Page 5
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The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas · Page 5

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Salina, Kansas
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Wednesday, May 17, 1995
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Page 5
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The Salina Journal Wednesday, May 17,1995 AS POINT OF VIEW Josephine Hernandez FOR THE SAUNA JOURNAL 'Justified' violence can lead to the other kind prevention is jyorth a lot of problem-solving Ai n ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. •, — -^Healthy functioning fam- rilies produce healthy participating citizens, who can prevent itjiany of society's problems, -jjpany keynote speakers at semi- Tiars and workshops tell this sto- "V with variations, about soci- jty's need for prevention of prob- 'i*There was once a river from which authorities kept fishing out )iSany dead bodies, and spent so flftich time, energy and attention identifying and burying them that no one had resources left to £olve what was happening upriver, from where these bodies (fame. M)r there was a cliff floor Jjmere authorities kept treating people for injuries from their falls off the top of that cliff. At both the sites, of the river's edge and of the cliff floor, great programs and agencies were developed to solve the problems of floating bodies and people injured by falling. in the Saline County area we have local statistics about juvenile and adults crimes (Koch Commission study), plus local, state, and federal statistics about child and adult abuse, neglect, transgressions and crimes. There are so many programs and services that try to solve the growing number of problems that I have trouble keeping track of them, even when I participate in as many of the planning, task force and family support groups as"l do. In this area there are also prevention-of-problems programs that are limited by qualification criteria and unavailability to all families: Head Start, Healthy Start Plus, Parents as First Teachers, Grandparents as Mentors and others. In the prevention stories, people upriver repaired a bridge and dead bodies stopped floating by. People at the top of the cliff built a tall fence and people stopped falling off. In this area people in their own family need to interact and function in safe and healthy daily manners; then people will stop looking for love, belonging, protection, meaning and gratification from "mood-altering" chemicals, experiences, and other increasingly expensive and in- adJEjquate "instant gratification" that today's society advertises. The paramount need of every human being is to "belong" in our own healthy functioning family. The zygote we became shortly after conception, contained all the capabilities and potential we will ever need to grow and develop until we die; we only need safe and healthy daily nurturing to get what we need and want in }ife.'Safe and healthy daily nurturing works best in the family circle whose adults make the lifetime commitments to love family members unconditionally and especially to prepare their youth with skills and abilities for their own healthy adulthood and community citizenship. The current political talk is about how important family values are for society. Actually, today's socioeconomic system yalues, pays more attention to and money on "problem" families than to help families become and remain healthy. In this problem- solving society, all behave like parents who are so busy scolding their children's misbehaviors that they have no time or energy to teach and discipline them for the correct behaviors they want. Society spends so many resources on the problems that result from unmet developmental needs that there are no resources left to support healthy functioning in families, when such sup- portcould have prevented many of the problems in the first place. "It takes a village to raise a child" is the often used quote to encourage community members to work for "the good of our children"."' The paramount need of all our "children is for their own parents to effectively meet their own and^their family members' neeZls. A whole community's effqrts works only if and when all members support parents, not compete with them, nor try to substitute for them. The whole community can invest in universally available education for more healthy fami- x ly functioning, to prevent many of today's social problems; or it can stay busy problem-solving with-more expensive and less adequate other-then-family "inst'ant" corrections. • Josephine A. Hernandez, LMSW, LSCSW, is a Salina social worker. T he dust from the Oklahoma City bombing may have settled, but that is all of that tragedy that has settled. The victims have been found. It will be many years before the survivors are comforted, and many will never be. All of us (probably even brethren and colleagues of the perpetrators) remain in a state comprised of shock, grief, and righteous indignation. With the greatest respect for our grief and righteous indignation, with the greatest respect for the columnists and editorial writers who have attempted to sort things out, with the greatest respect for President Clinton, I must say that I believe that the consensus regarding the central problem is in error. The consensus seems to be that the central problem is that criticism of government has created a climate conducive to terroristic violence. I propose an alternative identification of the central problem. I believe that the central problem is that people have been led, allowed, induced, encouraged to think that deadly force and violence against other human beings are permissible, legitimate, justified, even required under some circumstances. Once human beings assume a license to kill under certain conditions, then the boundary of the required set of conditions becomes a function of individual or corporate judgement, national interest, political climate, the degree of irrationality of an individual mind, or the "rightness" of a cause. POINT OF VIEW Weeden Nichols FOR THE SALINA JOURNAL Violent, paranoid, right-wing groups demonize the government and government officials and employees. Governments that need a foreign enemy in order to unify a divided electorate demonize foreign governments and the ordinary citizens of those countries. It is assumed that God is on our side, and that those we are killing are less human than we, or that they are not human in the same way we are. When national interest changes, those who were our subhuman enemies and the enemies of God are suddenly our friends and allies. There is no guarantee, after-the-fact, that the persons who have been killed were absolutely and certainly within the category of those who may be or must be killed, or even that the parameters of the category were correctly defined. How much better, and how much safer for all of us, to share the understanding that never, under any circumstances, is human life to be taken. A charitable statement would be that Christianity, in general, has failed to emphasize the very central teaching and example of Jesus that deadly force and violence against other human beings are not permissible. A less charitable statement would be that Christianity, in deference to the interests of the secular rulers who have been its protectors, has suppressed those central teachings of Jesus. (This statement, however, smacks of paranoia and "conspiracy mentality," which is certainly a factor in our present problems.) Fundamentalist Christians might reply to either statement that war, death, killing and executions of the death penalty are described in the Old Testament and are, therefor, legitimized. My reply to that reply would be two-pronged: First, that they are, in many cases, failing to distinguish between descriptive and prescriptive truth. Second, that the Bible, if anything more than an anthology assembled by committee in a religio-political environment, is the Judeo-Christian tradition's account of a growing relationship between humankind and God, and that the moral and ethical insights brought to us by Jesus supersede those tentative ones suggested in the Old Testament. Incidentally, I am convinced that the account of Jesus' driving of the moneychangers from the Temple is intended to legitimize righteous indignation, not violence against other human beings. I should point out, in the face of the present gathering cloud of intimidating consensus, that we have not only the privilege of criticizing •government, but the duty to do so. This does not mean, of course, promotion of hate or violence. It does not mean personal attacks on public servants in place of thoughtful criticism of govern- ment policies and actions. There was a time when the absolute monarch alone was responsible for government policies and actions. Persons of good faith were protected, not from consequences or effects, but from responsibility for what the sovereign did. Persons of good faith could take their consciences and withdraw from the field. Now we are the sovereign. Now we must speak, or the process will go astray, because it depends on us. (Remember that Nixon claimed a mandate from a "silent majority.") It is true that there are times, when the government is most wrong, that it lashes out against its critics, but to fulfill the duties of citizenship sometimes requires a little courage and sacrifice. My idea is that the death penalty for the perpetrators of the Oklahoma City bombing should not be demanded, sought or exacted. (The perpetrators should, of course, be protected from ever again having the freedom or opportunity to act upon their violent inclinations.) This has nothing to do with the heinous nature of the crime or with whether the perpetrators deserve to live. Instead, such a response by us, the collective sovereign, through courts and governmental agencies, would address the real heart of the real problem and help to halt a cycle of violence that has damaged us all. • Weeden Nichols, a retired military officer, recently moved from Salina to Hays. Letters to the Journal P.O. Box 740, Salina, Kansas 67402 Whose credibility is really at stake? Recently, Senate Majority Leader Bob Dole was quoted as saying, regarding his opposition of surgeon general nominee Henry Foster, "This is not about abortion. This is about credibility." Perhaps Bob Dole and all other Republicans leaders should look in the mirror and question their own credibility. The Republican party likes to advocate values based on the Christian belief. This all sounds good, however, their policies are inconsistent with their beliefs. For instance, Republicans would like to bring prayer back in schools regardless of the fact . that there are those in schools who do not share their Christian belief. As it is now anyone is free to pray whenever and wherever they wish. They can, from their desk, pray in silence or they can pray at home with their families before they leave. Jesus ordered his disciples to go and tell the world about him. He did not order them to force the world to worship him. Christianity is not about imposing your belief on others: It is about teaching others about Jesus with patience, love and understanding. Second, the Republicans would like to end welfare programs claiming that such cuts are nee- , essary in order to reduce the deficit and that these programs promote laziness and irresponsibility in people. I can't argue that to some extent they are correct, however, it is clearly stated in the Bible that we must provide for the widows and their children. What this means is that we as a society must provide for those single mothers who cannot do so themselves for various reasons. Granted I believe that fathers should be forced to pay support for their children, and that we can't provide for every single woman who wants to have a child even when she knows that she can't afford one. The problem here is not the welfare program itself but the inefficient way it is run. Perhaps one solution would be to deny extra benefits to women who conceive while on welfare, this will make her think twice before having another child if she can't provide for him/her. Also, Republicans claim they want to reduce the deficit, and to do so they are promoting cuts in numerous social programs which affect those individuals with the low income, however, they are willing to give a tax break of $500 per child to those families whose annual income is $200,000. Finally, Republicans claim that television advocates too much sex and violence and it is one of the causes of the decline of family values. I, too, agree with them, which is why I don't understand their proposal to cut funding for public broadcast stations when these stations provide decent and educational TV entertainment. Politicians talk a good game which is why it is important that we as voters not only listen to what politicians have to say, but also observe what they are doing. — D. ARROYO Salina The day of reckoning approaches The day is here of the crushing of the grapes and only the fragrance and taste of the pure wine will be left. First point — The day may be coming soon when you will sit in remorse because you have done nothing. If you think that QPA in our schools is quality performance, you're the biggest fool in your block. This was written for a godless or deluded society supported by the secular humanists and the ACLU. They don't want people to be moral because if they knew the truth, it would fly back in their faces and people would really know what they're like. History will record that those pushing for this will be considered boneheads with the hollowness of an endless echo. Their decaying minds will become as nothing in time. It is one of Satan's last stands to take our minds and hearts away from the soon coming king, Jesus the Christ, Almighty God, the Everlasting One, the King of Kings. Second point — The people who push for the murder of innocent and unborn in the womb and the elderly and insane and handicapped are following the era of Hitler, are no better off and, without repentance, will receive the same fate. Wake up Kansas, wake up governor, wake up Senate, wake up representatives or you may share the same curse you put upon yourselves as others. — HERMAN WIESNER Salina Let us know The Salina Journal welcomes letters from its readers on matters of public concern. Volume of mail received prohibits publication of all letters. Editors reserve the right to reject or condense submissions. Please include a telephone number for confirmation. Write: Letters to the Journal, P.O. Box 740, Salina, 67402. Fax: (913)827-6363 E-mail: SalJournal@aol.com. 24-hour voice mail: Journal Line, 825-6000, category 1550. FREE Landfill Day Time for Spring Clean-Up And Free Landfill Day SUNDAY, MAY 21 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. The City of Salina Landfill will be open free of charge for residential waste on Sunday, May 21, from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. to the residents of Saline, Ellsworth, Lincoln, Ottawa, Cloud and Republic Counties. Only vehicles bearing the above county license tags will be permitted to use the landfill free of charge. No commercial business waste or trucks will be allowed. No more than two appliances and/or four car tires will be allowed. No equipment tires will be accepted. The City of Salina's Landfill is located on Burma Road, southwest of the City Limits, 4 3/4 miles south of Crawford Street. Call 826-7395 for information. SPECIAL REFUSE PICKUPS City of Salina's Sanitation Division customers may call for special pickup for large items such as furniture or limbs. A crew will perform 15 minutes of alley or curb-side loading for only $10.00. Call 826-7380 for details. This service is available year round. Authentic Chinese Food Prepared From Scratch By Our Skilled Oriental Chefs Available Only at our Chinese Kitchen at the following location in Salina: • 'Jill and Magnolia Prices good May 17-23,1995 FIXED RATE 100% Home Equity Loans Take advantage of the equity you have already put into your home with the new 100% Home Equity Loans from Security Savings Bank. There will be no surprises with our low interest rates fixed for the term of your loan. You can now take full advantage of 100% of the assessed value of your home. Whether you need home improvements, tuition for college, or just to pay off credit card debt, there is no easier way to Security Savings Bank's 100% Home Equity Loans offer 'Low Fixed Rates of Interest for terms of up to 10 years 1 Tax-deductibility (in most cases) •Flexible and simple »Structured to your particular needs •Fast turn-around times borrow. Security Savings Bank 317. S. Santa Fe • 1830 S. Ohio, Salina, Kansas • 913-825-8241

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