We are a parochial class cluster


Lordy, 2020 has been treacherous, dangerous and sad in ways most of us could never have imagined.

We’re in a pandemic and have all the elements of a civil war percolating daily, even after the contentious election cycle has passed and a clear winner has emerged.

I imagine this is what the end of our first Civil War felt like: Crazed losers running around with confederate flags and guns, loudly proclaiming their loss as somehow a slight against God. As they lost their rights of ownership of people and the considerable value of their labor, Southerners continued to insist that God somehow gave them those rights, it said so in the Constitution and, no, they didn’t want to lose their wealth and status, bless your heart in Jesus’ name.

Assisted by powerful blocks of men pontificating in courthouses and church podiums throughout the South, the Bible belt continues to practice oppression, prejudice and misogyny via their state laws and statutes and especially in their schools and churches. To this day, children in the south are taught alternate facts regarding slavery and so-called heroes.

Fast forward to 2020, to the Bible belt of Valencia County. President-Elect Biden’s thoughtful vetting and selection of seasoned and experienced people for cabinet positions is now being picked apart for the most outrageous and petty reasons. Biden has vetted many accomplished women of all races and creeds who are qualified and tested in their career fields, yet some folks are losing their minds over their gender and ability to be outspoken.

It’s embarrassing to see that exist in Valencia County where people not only won’t vote for a woman, but also lash out, defy and degrade Gov. Lujan Grisham (who was in consideration for secretary of the U.S. Health and Human Services).

Is there some story in the good book that women in power have hidden agendas that punish all of us? It’s quite perplexing and I’m wondering how long we’ve been this wary of women in power? Were we always this limited in our understanding of females, our moms, our sisters, our wives and daughters? When did we stop trusting women?

In the past 10 years or so, it seems we are laser focused on one thing here in Valencia County, values be damned. Some churches that have sprung up here in the valley moved from teaching tolerance, love and forgiveness as Jesus would do, to judgement, anger and punishment.

What happened to the Golden Rule? I’m personally waiting for these protected pop-up, 501c’s to either start paying taxes or stop pontificating politics and start actually preaching the values that Jesus taught — humbly, without prejudice, respectfully, kindly, in solemn prayer and joyous faith.

I believe many Valencia County church-goers voted based on only two things, and it wasn’t love for their neighbor or keeping each other safe in a pandemic. The mantra heard week after week, posted on-line and directed from church podiums was about an evil governor, God-given rights to defy “the government” and evil Democrats being “pro-abortion.”

This became open season to call Democrats “baby killers.” Alarmingly, one of these mega churches has their ushers packing guns in order to “defend” it, while hosting several Republican party candidate rally super-spreader events, openly defying the governor’s health orders.

Finally, this same 501c put on a children’s Christmas program featuring children dressed in black and shooting at the audience, ostensibly, fighting off the bad guys? This is a far cry from the story of Jesus and the reason for the season! Getting children on board to believe this nonsense isn’t hard, and is exactly the same as covering up the sins of the Confederacy.

There is no way our Creator wants us to carry on like this. There are plenty of churches, synagogues and mosques that we can visit safely on-line; we aren’t limited to what has cropped up here in our midst.

It’s clear to me that following a path that the shepherd set for us never involves cavalierly calling anyone a baby killer or indoctrinating children to “defend” against a political party or a woman who is trying her best to keep us all safe.

Michelle Tafoya

Los Lunas

I didn’t retire from OLB


I was laid off from work at Our Lady of Belen Catholic Church because there was no funds available. Yet, someone else is working in my position, and there is no funds available?

I have put in 49 years of service to Our Lady of Belen. I just want my parish community to know that I did not retire on my own. I was let go.

Marcella Maldonado


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