LETTERS TO THE EDITOR – March 23, 2017

Certain Rights are inalienable

Dear Editor:

Since becoming a subscriber to The Valley Chronicle I developed the habit of reading the editorial pages. Some responses get me thinking; some are kind of funny; some are just incoherent. My letters fall into these categories based on the reader’s perception as well. Letters from Emmett Campbell are among my favorites — they seem well thought out and convey his point. (Not stating agreement, just appreciation.) This past week I read a Letter to the Editor that I feel needs direct and immediate response.
I listen to people on the “left” rant and rave about what President Trump says. I cannot understand how they draw such conclusions, nor did I comprehend the “alt-right” connections. The letter I found to be very disturbing and am referring to was from Nancy Eller. It was full of xenophobic attitudes that people associate with the “alt-right.” I consider myself on the right and do not desire to be linked with the attitudes expressed in her letter.
If you put forms of government in a line, on the left you have totalitarianism and the right you have anarchy. The U.S. Constitution is the framework to keeping the federal government more right than left, as it says this is what government can do and all else is left to the states. Thus liberalism, fascism and communism are on the left side of the spectrum, libertarianism is on the right. This intent is to maximize the Rights (notice Rights is a proper noun) defined in this excerpt from the Declaration of Independence. “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”
These are also summed up in the Golden Rule, which I learned in kindergarten. “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you” (Matt. 7:12).
Not believing in God or your god is not a reason to limit or expel people from the United States. As long as people are not forcing their religious views on you, why are you forcing yours on them? This is also on the left side of the government spectrum, see Amendment I of the U.S. Constitution,” Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion…” This also means that blocking non-Christians from entering solely for that reason is unconstitutional. President Trump and his advisors during the campaign talked foolishly of a Muslim ban, this talk is what is being used by political rivals to block his travel ban(s).
To the readers and my neighbors, I am and will remain on the right but that is based on my desire for me and my family to be left alone and my lack of desire to tell you what to do. With that philosophy, I find no room or time for racism, religious discrimination or classism. Thanks TVC for sharing the hate speech last week — it was enlightening.

Galen Hammerle, Hemet


America is a land of many freedoms, including religious freedom

Dear Editor,

I felt compelled to respond to Nancy Eller’s letter.
Ms. Eller, you say the Democrats were rude to Donald Trump address to congress. Look back to when President Obama spoke to our nation — the Republicans did not stand, applaud, nothing.
You say Trump has invited God back in America. When did he leave?
You say shut the door to non-Christians. Ms. Eller, did you realize that America is a free country…free to go to our choice of church be it Catholic, Muslim, Jewish, etc. It’s not against the law to build our church, be it non-Christian, and worship there.
It’s not against the law not to believe in God. In America we have freedom, the freedom not to believe as you do, thank God.
Ms. Eller, have you forgotten we are a nation of immigrants? A couple from Syria immigrated here years ago. They had a son. This young man went on to create Apple and his name was Steve Jobs. These are the people you want banned from the U.S.?
I hate to burst your bubble Ms.Eller, but the Pledge is still spoken in schools, but not prayers. Prayers are for home and church. It is the parent’s responsibility to teach about religion, not the school’s. If you want prayers in school, send your child to a private school, not a public school.
When people immigrate here and continue to dress in the manner of their origins, build and worship at their choice of place, it’s OK. We are enriched by this — this is the beauty of America. Look around, see the different people, the beautiful color of skins, the beautiful clothing, the languages, the people. We learn tolerance from these immigrants, and it’s not bad, it’s America!

Judith Atherton


Lessons for Lent and beyond

Dear Editor,

During this special time of the year, Christians are more focused on the life of Jesus Christ and how it has and does affect them and the world around them. Some choose to “give up” or “abstain” from certain habits during Lent as a symbolic way to continue to stay alert during this six-week period.
In studying the 23rd Psalm, we visit the verse “My Cup Runneth Over,” which speaks to the abundance of blessings the Lord has given to Christians in their lifetime. The question was raised that although one could be “saved and their table set,” were they sharing their excess blessing to the fullest measure possible with others?
I am glad to have been asked that as it is easy to count a few good deeds and feel “Hey, I did this, that or the other thing.” In reality, so many struggle on a daily basis and need help that today was a wake-up call, in a good way.
Perhaps this focus can replace the tendency we all have to try and convince and persuade others that our attitudes, ideas and perceptions are the correct ones. Trying to obtain their approval is silly and generally a waste of time.
At the end of our lives we will not be asked if we garnered the approval of most of our family, friends or co-workers. What we will be asked is did we do what He asked us to do with our lives? Period!
Wishing all a Blessed Easter Season.

Bob Haunschild,
Hemet


Will the truth about what killed Anthony Norman ever be known?

Dear Editor,

You’ll recall that Anthony Norman, a mentally ill young man residing in Murrieta, died, after being beaten, choked, wrestled to the ground and finally sat upon by two adult men. One of these men was a neighbor who charged out of his house wielding a survival knife and a heavy duty flashlight that he used to club Anthony at least a dozen times and the other, an off-duty police captain at the time of the incident and currently Hemet’s deputy police chief. Additionally, two Murrieta police officers intervened in the fracas.
In a city with a population of slightly over 100,000, it isn’t surprising that faced with such a grave event, all the people involved in law enforcement – from the DA to the coroner, and every police element investigating this case have closed ranks to put up a unified front in order to protect one another. They all live in this small town and know each other. Why tell the truth and subsequently pay the consequences? It’s better to live with one’s conscience.
The only actor missing here is the Department of Internal Affairs. It is common knowledge that anytime the police are involved in an incident where someone dies, the Department of Internal Affairs is summoned to investigate if the police are responsible or not, either by commission or omission in the event. Had the IA department been involved, an investigation would have been more transparent and a possible cover-up difficult, that is assuming that IA is integrated by honest and ethical persons. As it stands, the DA found no grounds for criminal charges against the two individuals involved.
Anthony’s family is now suing the neighbor for wrongful death and undoubtedly everyone involved will be subpoenaed to testify. Independent of any awards granted to the family by judge and jury, if that be the case, knowing the truth is most crucial. Did Anthony die resulting from manslaughter and police brutality or did he die, as has been officially accepted, from a series of medical issues following the struggle? Only the testimony elicited from a capable attorney representing Anthony’s family will uncover what actually happened.
Was the wrath with which Anthony was treated justified or could the incident have been diffused by experienced policemen who are trained to deal with such cases and Anthony would still be alive, or should the citizens of Hemet and Murrieta be afraid that they could be next?

Emmett Campbell,
Hemet

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