Letters to the editor (12/05/12)
Shouldn’t we be bailing?
I heard a joke when I lived in Kansas, in what’s called the Bible Belt.
It went like this: A man bought a long-abandoned farm. He moved in and began to turn it back into the prosperous, efficient, beautiful source of food it had been before.
He worked long and hard hours. After a time, as his efforts began to bear fruit, the local pastor began to walk by on Saturdays and invite the man to come to church.
The farmer politely declined each offer for a few weeks. Then the pastor increased the urgency of his offer by suggesting that the farmer really should come to church and give thanks for the bountiful rewards. Again, the farmer politely declined the offer.
The next Saturday, the pastor more urgently invited the farmer to come and give thanks for the good God so graciously had bestowed upon him, suggesting that the farmer was being a little ungrateful for all that God had given him.
Reluctantly, the farmer replied that while he appreciated all that God had given him, he looked at it a bit differently than the pastor did.
He said. “I appreciate what you say. But you should have seen what this place was like after God had it to Himself for a few years.”
Whatever one might think of that joke, the farmer’s point of view has some similarity to my observation on global warming and climate change.
I imagine that I am in a small metal boat that does not have flotation foam in it. It is raining and there are some other people in the boat with me. Most of us do not know how to swim and it is raining hard. Then we discover a hole someone has cut in the bottom of the boat.
Things do not look good, but someone suggested that we should be bailing the water out with a small bucket we have, and perhaps we should be trying to find something to plug the hole in the bottom of the boat.
Some fellow suggests that it is all natural, and that we should not be doing anything but praying.
While I have nothing against praying, it looks to me we might also bail and try to plug the hole.
Naturally, we spend quite a bit of time arguing about what to do until some start to do some bailing and begin looking for a plug.
The boat in the story stands for our planet, Earth. I have given some thought to how we might “plug the hole.”
But until we have some success on that one, and at the same time, shouldn’t we be bailing?
Taxes won’t go up if RC incorporates
The incorporation project in Rio Communities is in full swing, and it is very likely that the municipalities in the county will soon have a new neighbor.
During this process, there has been a lot of misinformation. Some people have been circulating the idea that the taxes will go up if we become a township. This is not true.
Although property taxes might increase as a result of the new county budget, that will affect everyone in the county; (the incorporation of) Rio Communities will have nothing to do with it.
The fact is, the only way our city can raise taxes is through a vote of the local residents. It is importatnt for the people in the area to attend the local meetings and to keep themselves informed.
Rio Communities has long been without adequate police services and code enforcement By incorporating, we can have the improvements and growth we so badly need. By remaining as we are, things will only get worse.
Because of redistricting, we will be part of the largest and most expensive service area, and the same budget that each of the four smaller districts have.
Because those already have municipalities within them, they have much fewer demands on their allotments. If we remain unincorporated, besides having the struggle to get basic improvements, we will be faced with enormous costs as the solid waste ordinance goes into effect.
The taxes we pay now do not go to us. They are sent to the state, which doles out the money to municipalities. Until we get a township, we get nothing back.
There is more than enough to get us started strongly and securely, once we are established as the county’s third largest city.
Please do not listen to those who claim that our taxes will increase when we incorporate. That’s simply not true.
Listen to the words of Mother Teresa
Now that the election is over and hopefully there is a clear winner and we can move on with our lives.
In full disclosure, I voted for Mitt Romney because I think that he is by far better of the two candidates. This has been one of the most contentious campaigns in our history as a republic, and it is obvious to anyone who is paying attention that the country is divided on many of the most important issues of the day.
Probably the most divisive issue is abortion, as it has been for the last 40 years and will continue to be, until it is outlawed.
Blessed Mother Teresa, the founder of the Sisters of Charity, said it best when she addressed the high and mighty of Washington at the National Prayer Breakfast in 1994 during the Clinton administration.
Because of Blessed Mother Teresa’s reputation, many people were looking forward to her talk. They were not disappointed. She gave one of the most memorable speeches in the history of that event, which left no doubt about where she stood on life issues.
She said many things about marriage and family life that were worth revisiting, but because of limited space, I will let her words speak for themselves:
“But I feel that the greatest destroyer of peace today is abortion, because it is a war against the child, direct killing of the innocent child, murder by the mother herself.
“And if you accept that a mother can kill, even her own child, how can we tell other people not to kill one another? How do we persuade a woman not to have an abortion?
“As always, we must persuade her with love and we remind ourselves that love means to be willing to give until it hurts. Jesus gave even His life to love us.
“So, the mother who is thinking of abortion, should be helped to love, that is, to give until it hurts her plans, or her free time, to respect the life of her child. The father of that child, whoever he is, must also give until it hurts.
“By abortion, the mother does not learn to love, but kills even her own child to solve her problems.
“And, by abortion, the father is told that he does not have to take responsibility at all for the child he has brought into this world. That father is likely to put other women into the same trouble. So abortion just leads to more abortion.
“Any country that accepts abortion is not teaching its people to love, but to use any violence to get what they want. This is why the greatest destroyer of love and peace is abortion,” said Mother Teresa at the National Prayer Breakfast in February 1994.
I believe that Blessed Mother Teresa did far more for women, especially unborn women, than Margaret Sanger ever did. Blessed Mother Teresa understood that any nation that tolerates the murder of the unborn is a nation in decline.
Love of God and love of neighbor means being willing to sacrifice ourselves for the weakest, most vulnerable amongst us. To be able to love like Christ, we must be willing to suffer and die as he did.
Very Rev. James E. Marshall
San Clemente Catholic Church