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Letters to the Editor

April 07, 2010

Pitts sensationalizes
Glenn Beck's conservative views



To the editor:

In Leonard Pitts' March 23 column ("Message to Christians: Run from Glenn Beck as fast as you can," page A4), he criticizes Glenn Beck for his suggestion that Christians "run as fast as you can" if your church promotes social and economic justice. As usual, Pitts has taken the viewpoint of a conservative out of context and sensationalized it.

I follow Glenn Beck and see him as a strong conservative Christian. I did not hear his radio show where he made this statement, but I did read his follow-up comments to it on his Web site (www.glennbeck.com/content/articles/article/198/38320). The point Beck was making was that we need to be sure that the definition of economic and social justice that is being used by the promoters is the same as traditional Christian thought on these issues.

Beck says if your church is helping the truly poor through traditional mission-type work with the focus always being God's work and not a government-bloated program, then he has no problem with that. But if the focus is on supporting the existing liberal entitlement programs and pushing for new programs such as "health care reform" that really isn't reforming anything or so-called "living wage" programs, then that is when you should run.

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I think we all know the position of the Rev. Jeremiah Wright and his radical views. Wright's church is one that Glenn Beck says to run from. Wright supports "economic parity" and claims that God is not pleased with "America's economic maldistribution." "Economic parity" is nothing more than stealing from the "haves" and giving to the "have nots" until, of course, the "haves" have nothing left and no one has anything.

In Pitts' column, he names the Rev. Jim Wallis, CEO of the liberal activist group Sojourners, as also being critical of Beck. Sojourners is one of those anti-capitalist groups that supports big government. Wallis uses a pretty analogy that if you removed all references in the Bible to the poor, social justice and economic justice, the Bible would be in shreds. Of course, he did not quote any biblical references to social or economic justice that would support his position of government control and redistribution of wealth.

I am not a biblical expert, but I cannot recall any references to social or economic justice as it is defined by today's liberals. I can suggest some references that point to what I feel are our responsibilities as Christians. Most people have heard Matthew 25, where Jesus tells us that we are to provide food to the hungry, drink to the thirsty, clothes to those in need, care for the sick and are to be welcoming to strangers. Traditionally, this is understood to be in the context of "give a man a fish and he will eat for a day, but teach him to fish and he will eat for a lifetime."

Also read Leviticus 19:15. This passage tells us that one should neither defer to the rich nor the poor, but rather justice should operate on one standard. One passage that is not quoted often enough are the words from Paul in his second letter to the Thessalonians (2 Thessalonians 3:10): "He who does not work, neither shall he eat." This is a clear reference to the need of a strong work ethic.

First and foremost, God expects everyone to be self-sufficient if they are able. Then, we are to use our God-given gifts of our money and talents to assist those who are truly in need. Our assistance to others is to be from our hearts, not through coercion. God does not direct those in power to steal from some and give to others.

Our country was made the greatest country in the world because of the opportunities that capitalism gives to everyone coupled with Judeo-Christian values. Glenn Beck's warnings, when taken in context, are valid warnings that we are to disassociate ourselves from those who want to continue the shift of our society from capitalism to socialism.

Gene Walkley
Sharpsburg




Bill would improve correctional officers' rights



To the editor:

In an April 5 letter to the editor by Norman Perry titled "Bill of rights could lead to mayhem in prisons" (page A4), he asserts that the Correctional Officers' Bill of Rights, which is currently moving through the state legislature, would "infuse unscrupulous correctional officers with a relentless sense of invulnerability, and a consequent increase in bigotry, racism and abuse in its many nefarious forms would quickly rise to unprecedented levels."

It is worth noting that as an inmate, Perry had the benefit of being considered innocent until proven guilty in the criminal justice system. We are asking that the same concept apply to correctional officers who, on the contrary, are considered guilty until proven innocent in the state personnel system.

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