MAILBAG

What about the Native Americans?

Just a short comment and thank you relative to the comment by Albert Knight on Oct. 17 titled, “Mass killings happened here, too.”

While we talk about the Holocaust, the Cambodian and Armenian genocides and sympathize, in varying degrees, with the Jews, the Cambodians and the Armenians, we rarely, if ever, discuss, or even bring up, the Native American genocide!

As Knight indicates, we white Europeans, by way of government policy and otherwise, sought to exterminate the Indians, as we called them, by stealing their land, raping their women and slaughtering them by the millions! Those who were left were gathered up and placed in reservations where they, in general, were neglected and abused, as many of them are today.

Let’s concentrate on admitting our genocide and seek to correct the many problems still existing among Native American tribes. The people of Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Asia are the ones responsible for their history and should seek to solve their own problems.

Perhaps we could all even work together to create a better, violence-free world in which to raise our children and grandchildren, but don’t count on it!

DICK SEELEY

La Crescenta

The evolution of dumbing it down

It’s all about context.

I am agnostic. Yet, I read “In Theory” with passion. I’ve read, studied and analyzed “The Origin of Species” by Charles Darwin. What a work of science, and art!

I believe in evolution. In Theory still provides certain insights. And I receive booklets from the “United Church of God” including their Bible study course. Can I be converted?

I find the Faith page unique with a relevance even beyond much of what is in its granddad, the Los Angeles Times. The Rev. Bryan Griem strikes me as an intelligent individual, one who can think for himself (with help, of course). I don’t always agree with his thoughts, but that’s OK. The inherent logic of the other pastors is also nutritious food for thought.

However, Rector Amy Pringle’s column (if you will) left me puzzled. She stated for example, “A landowner hires laborers to work in the fields early one morning. Later in the morning, and again at noon, and even as late as 5 o’clock, he sees more laborers standing in the marketplace needing work, and sends them into his fields as well. At the end of the day, he pays all of them the ‘same wage.’ Those who had worked all day were enraged that those who worked only the last few hours received ‘equal pay.’

I see Pringle has never worked the fields. Hard work. Sure, the aforementioned is an allegory from the Bible, but that notwithstanding, excuse me? People, study the last two sentences carefully, and read again.

Standards have been set in many disciplines (arts, sciences, et. al.) over many years allowing for a certain evolution for growth. Did President Obama deserve the Nobel Peace Prize? Griem said that the “Nobel has seemingly devolved into such ho-hum significance.”

Devolution, dumbing-down, “sound bites,” instant gratification — these terms are alarming in an age when enlightenment is crucial on many levels. Politics is beside the point. Pringle describes the ordeal, the Obama backlash as “pettiness.”

Well, I’ve considered waiving my rich vocabulary, throwing my dictionary away and using monosyllabic (whoops!) language too. Great, huh?

And did you know my beginning-artist neighbor just bought a few art supplies? I studied his sketches. They need work. He expects a Nobel Prize in art. And now.

NORM J. ZANGL

Burbank

In Theorist’s words struck a nerve

Aside from the issue of whether President Obama deserved his Nobel Peace Prize or not, I find the Rev. Bryan Griem’s piece in the Oct. 17 In Theory, “Fixing one’s eyes on the peace prize,” to be so vain, I find it laughable that he considers himself a Christian.

Griem stated that he could support the Nobel vote “as long as this prize winner pursues war against the unborn, marriage and red-blooded Americanism . . . ” — I’d particularly like to know what he thinks “red-blooded Americanism” is, and why he thinks it’s best for our country. At the very least, by using such inflammatory rhetoric as “pursues war,” it suggests to me that Griem is sure he knows what’s best for this country, which is just about as vain as a normal citizen can get.

And back to “red-blooded Americanism.” Is that the kill ’em all attitude that allows for the executions of dozens of inmates every year? Is it the hypocrisy of the conservative Christian politician that sleeps with every lobbyist who bats an eye at him? Or is it the regressive idea that this country should be white, Christian, heterosexual and mistrustful of everyone but our closest ally?

I read the Faith section every week to keep up with the reactionaries in Southern California (not that all Griem’s column mates are). I’ve never felt compelled to write until reading his column today because he struck a nerve with his last sentence.

And, no, I don’t think Obama has done enough to deserve the prize. Yet.

GREG THOMAS

Burbank


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