In response to the Rev. Paul Grave’s column (“A pastor looks at Christian nation,” June 27):
History is replete with various so-called Christian groups that do not reflect Christianity. Throughout history, Christianity has been tainted with cult type names whether they are “Jesus movement,” Christian Science, Gnosticism, etc. that try to embellish Christianity. White Christian nationalism adds a political and racist element to the mix.
But the addition of white nationalism to Christianity is illegitimate. If I would define “patriot” as a white American nationalist it would distract from the meaning of patriot.
People who would identify with white Christian nationalism would distort the meaning of “Christianity.” If I would consider myself a dedicated and loyal practitioner of the lower extremities that may in some way distract from the fact that I am a podiatrist whether I am loyal or dedicated!
I’m not sure if I would even give the time of the day to describe these “Christian patriots.” Nothing in my study of Christianity relates to it. I agree that it’s toxic. I don’t agree that religions offer their wisdom and “ways of living out that wisdom.” Wisdom comes from God and is reflected in the person of Jesus Christ. That is opposed to a “worldview” or another religious view. Likewise, I disagree with your emphasis on love being an all inclusive characteristic of God. Adolf Hitler loved Eva Braun and his dog. God is love but not all love is God. I do however agree with much of what you have related.
Wayne Moyer, DPM, MDiv
Thoughts and prayers
I blame members of Congress, regardless of party affiliation, for the current gun violence.
I am 82 years old and grew up after World War II in Germany as a war orphan. Because the allies had prohibited all ownership of guns I never had to be afraid of going to school or experience any gun violence. I came to the U.S. 60 years ago and I can tell you that the U.S. has changed and not for the better. Insane politicians voted to outlaw for people under 21 to purchase or consume alcohol or cigarettes, yet permitted 18-year-olds to acquire fire arms with no restrictions. People under 21 could enlist into the armed services and sent into battle.
Many friends in Germany and Switzerland love the U.S., especially our national parks, but they cannot believe the insanity of our current gun culture.
By the way, latest statistics for Memorial Weekend 2022: 179 killed, 463 injured including 15 mass shootings with nine killed and over 70 injured. Per capita our U.S. has 38 times more gun-related deaths than Britain!
I get my big game every year with my bolt action rifle. Automatic or semi-automatic guns, large capacity magazines serve no sporting purpose. Self defense? Ridiculous. We should follow Australia’s example and outlaw the possession of such weapons.
After all, fake thoughts and prayers have never helped.
It’s how you die that’s important
One minute on Google gave me this information: In 2020, 38,824 people died in traffic accidents roughly 106/day or 4.4/hour. NHSTA estimates for 2021, 42,915 people died traffic accidents or 117/day or 4.9/hour. Two million are injured annually that’s 5,479/day or 228/hour.
Although a great tragedy why are the deaths of children in Uvalde and largely white middle-class Chicago suburbanites more profound than traffic deaths that vastly outnumber them?
Is it because we seem to be obsessed with mass-casualty event?
I have another theory. In the first two examples it’s easy to blame guns for the issue. Politicians love it, it gets them votes. The media loves them, they bring great ratings. Non-gun owners love them because it doesn’t require them to give up anything and they get to feel noble and morally superior as they watch from afar.
But are the dead in traffic accidents any less dead than someone killed with a gun? Is the driver who loses a leg less crippled than the same injury caused by a gun?
I saw a young Chicago pastor on TV the other day wanting to know why the equivalent carnage in his South Side Chicago neighborhood every weekend wasn’t drawing the same level of attention.
Sadly, I’m coming to the conclusion that it’s more important how you die than the fact that you are dead. Shame on all of us.
Flying the American flag at half-staff is done to signify the nation in mourning. The president may order half-staff display of the flag on all federal buildings at his discretion, as is usually done following the deaths of prominent Americans and following tragic events. Using the definition of a mass shooting as an incident in which four or more are shot or killed (not including the shooter) there have been 324 mass shootings in 2022 through July 8, an average of 1.7 mass shootings per day.
I think a way to increase public awareness of the scope of this tragic behavior and hopefully to motivate change would be for the president to order the flag to be flown at half-staff for three days following any mass shooting. The result of course would be that until our society addresses gun violence in a meaningful way, our flag would be flown exclusively at half-staff.
Adopt don’t shop
It makes me really, really sad to see all the “puppies for sale” pictures in the newspaper ads every day.
I think about all the unseen puppy dogs in shelters who are not being adopted because all the backyard breeders, puppy mills and pet shops keep pumping out litter after litter.
Right now the animal shelters and rescue groups are overwhelmed with adorable adoptable puppy dogs that need to be rescued.
Please don’t buy from a breeder or puppy mill or pet shop. Adopt from a shelter or rescue group.
Many shelter dogs live in foster homes where they are housebroken, trained and taught to get along with other dogs and cats.
Adopting a shelter dog from a foster family is win-win for everyone.