Letters published Feb. 25, 2018

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Secular humanism bears the blame

It’s no surprise to read about another mass shooting in one of country’s schools — it’s become all too commonplace. So too are the responses: outlaw guns, more security, stricter controls and more scrutiny of those who may be “mentally ill.” But few are asking the question of why this is happening. One of the main causes is undoubtedly founded inside of the doctrines of secular humanism.

We didn’t have any mass shootings 50 years ago, so why now? I don’t think it is an accident that it coincides with the advent of teaching the doctrines of the world view of secular humanism in our schools while kicking out any reference to the teachings of the world view inherent in Christianity.

Secular humanism teaches our kids our world is a cosmic accident, that there is no God, that there is no real truth, that morals are all relative, that there is nothing to live for after this life so that the only thing to live for here on earth is pleasure and excitement. If you aren’t popular, if you aren’t successful, if you haven’t experienced “everything,” there is nothing else to live for. And then we wonder why our kids are more depressed, are more apt to take drugs, be sexually promiscuous, more often contemplate suicide and, ultimately to commit atrocities like the shooting in Florida?

The teaching of any world view inside of our public educational institutions should not be allowed, particularly the faith-based philosophy of secular humanism. Ever since progressives have infused this doctrine inside of our schools, the incidence of all these ills has increased. You want to outlaw something, let’s start with outlawing the spread of this insipid viewpoint from our schools and see what changes occur. It would even be better if the moral fortitudes that emanate out of the Christian world view were taught as well. I am certain such changes would produce significant positive changes to our children and our whole country and the incidents of mass shootings over time would diminish dramatically. —Mark Agather, Kalispell

Vote for Downen in FEC trustee election

I support re-election of Jay Downen as trustee of the electricity cooperative upon which so many people have depended for so many years, and I urge all cooperative member/customers to do the same when casting their votes.

I know Mr. Downen as a neighbor in Whitefish, but better I know him as an extraordinarily qualified person for managing our most essential energy resource in terms of reliability, service, prioritization of equipment maintenance and of new projects, and consumer electricity rates. He has for decades devoted himself to the work of electric service cooperatives with education and experience levels likely unmatched, or nearly so, anywhere.

I am aware that Mr. Downen has personally and promptly assisted with off-hours outage recoveries when it appeared that his help would expedite matters; efforts like that are indicative of his devotion to having FEC provide the best possible round-the-clock service for all of its customers. —Parker Kelly, Whitefish

We need to find our humility

“Humility, like darkness, reveals heavenly lights.” Thoreau was wise in so many ways!

We have recently learned of another horrible shooting in this country. The numbers are staggering and foreign to so many other nations. Some blame “mental health issues” but it is important to be aware that generally those suffering from mental illnesses are the victims of such, not perpetrators. Our culture is presently misdirected, shall we say, ILL! We have lost perspective in terms of our own worth, thinking we are the greatest, spiritually aligned, leaders in the world. We have misplaced our humility.

In order to be truly objective one needs to be able to move beyond our narcissism. We need to regain empathy, tolerance of diversities, and desire to cooperate with others. We correspondingly need to learn to accept our mistakes and attempt to right them. That means setting aside our selfish needs, politically, financially, pridefully.

We have a number of serious problems in this culture, inclusive of violence and aggressive tendencies. Humans are vulnerable to loss, disappointments, frustrations, failings but hopefully they have developed more successful means to manage anger and sadness as young children. Many have not; they are wanton and demanding, and when they meet the disappointments or their own failings head on, they project their misguided feelings on to others.

When you have access to an artificial social system, WMD semi-automatic weaponry, and a societal history of omnipotence you think you are permitted. Who needs these weapons for sport or protection against their fellow man? How myopic and thoughtless we have become. We have placed Fagin and his artful dodgers in positions of control over our welfare, as they model the very behavior we try to limit in our children.

It is time to be respectful again! —Jack Hornby, Kalispell

Schools need to change ideas

There have been many comments concerning the shooting that occurred in Florida.

We realize that our educational systems have been under Democrat control for a long time. Our students have been ... I believe the only word that fits the situation is “indoctrinated,” in that Democratic philosophy from grade school through college. Thank God it was a little different the time I received my second degree from Montana State University. One of the prime doctrines Democrats extol is gun control. It has been pointed out that disarming ordinary American citizens contrary to the Second Amendment does not accomplish the goal of halting the surge of mass killings.

One prime example is the tragic example of France. Ordinary citizens are not allowed to possess firearms. Those intent on mass violence will either find weapons on the black market or turn to other methods to commit mass violence. And I believe that factual data proves the point that an armed citizenry deters violence. It has been shown from records that those towns in this country that have allowed their citizens the opportunity to arm themselves experienced a real reduction in violent crime. It was as if violent criminal acts had disappeared off a cliff.

Let me pose a theory. What if those teachers had been armed to protect the students under their jurisdiction? That maniac might have shot three or four victims before he would have been filled with enough lead that it would have taken a crane to lift him. Lives, precious lives would have been saved.

I believe that I read that a school system has made it possible for teachers to be armed in the possibility that they may have to defend their students. If so, it will be a long time before that school system experiences the type of violence that is presently occurring in our schools. —Bob Tebeau, Kalispell

Trump is a danger to the United States

One year into Donald Trump’s presidency, it is apparent that he is doing an outstanding job representing the “base” — base as in crude (sometimes vulgar) one-dimensional thinking, characterized by an inability or unwillingness to consider the nuances of issues, fearfully clinging to stereotypes, and recklessly disregarding the long perspectives or future consequences.

There are good reasons for “correctness” — political and otherwise. Correctness is what holds a society together. Correctness is respect, even empathy, for the other. Correctness is rising above our brute, selfish instincts toward our higher potential, upon which our survival as a species depends.

The Trump administration has done a masterful job of tearing down or undermining much of what has benefitted us as American individuals and as a society: environmental protections based on science, public education, the credibility of and respect for the press, financial regulations, institutions that foster international cooperation, as well as those that protect the weak or disenfranchised — in favor of self-centered greed, corporate profits, and a live-for-today mentality.

We can do so much better. —Victoria Hackman, Kalispell

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