Strange way of thinking

Over two different days, one letter published in the Coeur d’Alene Press for 11 May 2011 and another published in the Spokesman-Review 12 May 2011; I figured that I would discuss them here:

Protest: Based on perspective

The Westboro Baptist Church crew is a tiny group of hate-filled, misguided phonies. Nevertheless, this country alleges freedom of speech and that supposedly includes that with which “we” do not agree. Heck, nearly every “protest” I’ve seen includes something that sticks in my craw.

That said, the only thing worse than Westboro is Dante Swallow’s (Ltrs, May 6) “North Idaho College will never again be subject to an unwelcome protest.” Typical college mentality: freedom, but only if he agrees. Do I get to censure HIS protests?”

HANS NEUMANN
Spirit Lake

This comes from a guy who only engages shrieks of pure hatred and self-righteous outrage when ever a favorite political subject of his comes up for discussion, like the abortion issue. And the Press does indeed publish his constant rants about the subject no matter how off the wall they may get. I guess the guy forgot something, Mr. Dante Swallow actually does have a right to express his opinion about the Westboro Baptist Church. Simply because of the freedom to have that opinion published in the Coeur d’Alene Press. No matter how much it may stick in Mr. Neumann’s craw. And given the fact that the Westboro Baptist Church represents a deep stain on the Christian faith, what’s to be defended about them, anyway? Don’t worry, Mr. Neumann, they have the freedom to “protest,” to literally attack members of the U.S. Military who have fallen in combat dying for this nation. The Westboro Baptist Church is entirely free to express their condemnation for this nation and their ingratitude toward the very people who died fighting for theirfreedom. I imagine it says something about the author of the above letter than he can “defend” ‘hate-filled phonies;” but it sticks in his craw that people can express their public disapproval about these same phonies in letters to the editors. Oh, can Mr. Neumann recognize the difference between censure—a measure of punishment or making public one’s disapproval of specific wrongful actions and censor—to prevent something from being read, heard or said? Ignorance says a lot about the author too.

Gloating doesn’t become us

We know Osama bin Laden as the man who masterminded 9/11 and as the head of Al Qaida. That isn’t where his description ends. He was a husband. We know this because he was with one of his wives when he was killed. He was also a father. He had a father and a mother and siblings, and he had an extended family consisting of aunts, uncles and cousins as well as nieces and nephews. That is just a smattering of all the people in this world whose lives he affected. To those who knew him, his influence was positive more often than not.

No this doesn’t undo the atrocities the man committed. But it does help place things in perspective.

I wouldn’t be too smug. That’s the reason why Osama bin Laden hated America in the first place, and he had a point, even if he carried this point to an indefensible extreme.

Art Seaton
Spokane

I am quite certain that all of Osama bin Laden’s victims had family members much the same as Mr. Seaton described in his letter.  Also, the late bin Laden made it quite clear what he hated about this nation, our foreign policy vis a vis Israel and our putting our “infidel” western feet on sacred Saudi soil.  Mr. Seaton has something in common with Mr. Neumann, if you aren’t the surviving victim of a cold-blooded killer then you wouldn’t know truly what it is like to have lost loved ones to his (their) rampage.  Or, if you aren’t immediately the target of a people who want to condemn the surviving family of fallen soldiers and publicly shaming them, then it becomes far easier to “forgive” and express outrage at those who don’t, or can’t. 

Mr Seaton, is it really necessary to rub salt in the wounds of people who suffered traumatically from 9/11 in order to have it both ways?  Oh sure, it is “divine” to forgive, but how about considering the people who continue to suffer horribly because of the actions of a guy who was never more than a mass murderer?  May he burn in hell.

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