Santa Paula Times

Letters to the EDitor

April 06, 2001
Can of Worms To the Editor: I hope that Dr. Crane understands the can of worms that was opened with the letters to the Editor titled "Righting Past Wrongs" and "Universal diversity." I also hope that the readers of our little exchange can begin to understand why there are many different Christian churches even in a town as small as Santa Paula. The fundamental differences of opinion between people like Dr. Crane and myself show the diversity among the churches we represent as well. While we both agree that the violence and persecution done in the name of Christianity is deplorable the authority of Scripture is another story. Considering the Bible as the "Word of God" and the only norm and source for determining faith and life is an article of faith. No amount of proof can lead a person to this conclusion. Looking at the archeological and historical evidence can, at best convince a person beyond reasonable doubt that the Bible is an accurate historical document. The same can be said when examining the evidence of any event in history. Being convinced that the Bible is an accurate historical document I also accept that the Bible is the Word of God and is the only norm and source for faith and life. If the Bible is not the Word of God then we have an empty faith. We have nothing upon which to base our faith. In stead of looking to the Scriptures to find what God has to say to us we invent what we think God should say to us or omit the portions we don't like. Ultimately making ourselves god. This version of Christianity is not based on Christ, as the name suggests, but on individual opinion. The main point of the Bible is not to tell us how to live a good life. If that were the case then Dr. Crane would be right in saying that any religion is as good as another. The main point of the Bible is to show us the only way to salvation, Jesus Christ. In the end Dr. Crane's argument is not with me or Mrs. Olivas. Dr. Crane's argument is with the Apostles, Prophets and God Himself. While I respect the views of Dr. Crane I disagree. The message of the Bible is the forgiveness of sins for those who put their trust in Christ. If that makes me immoral and inhumane in the eyes of Dr. Crane, then so be it!Rev. Eric MalmstromTrinity Lutheran ChurchThank you for being a good citizenDear Chad Totty:Thank you for being the good citizen you are and returning the wallet you found without thought. You will remember this experience by the good feeling that comes from doing the right thing.We may never know why the owner of the wallet remained anonymous but he must have his reasons. If he is elderly, he may fear anyone knowing that he had such a large amount of cash for it might make him prey to someone who would steal it.It could have been someone who owes money to other people and needed this money for medicine for an ailing wife.You must never feel sorry because you did the right thing. We are not responsible for other people’s behavior, only our own. A good conscience is it’s own reward. There are many of us who appreciate what you did. I am enclosing a gift to you to say thanks from a grateful community.The owner of the wallet is grateful too.Kay Wilson-BoltonSanta PaulaSanta PaulaChildren need a stable foundationTo the Editor:This past November, the Santa Paula Rotary Club agreed to sponsor the first Habitat for Humanity Project in Santa Paula. This project will give a family that lives in Santa Paula an opportunity to build and own their own home.I became involved with the project because it addresses one of the primary needs of our community: the need for more affordable housing. The lack of affordable housing creates a number of effects on our community. As an educator, I think there are too many children living in crowded, substandard housing.When more than one family lives under one roof the chance of finding a quiet corner to do homework is impossible. If you are a child getting ready for school and cannot find clean clothes because there wasn’t time or a machine available to do the laundry, your chance of going to school with a positive attitude is challenged. If you don’t know where you will be living month to month, are you going to be worried about your science report or where you are going to be sleeping that night. If we can provide every child with a stable foundation in the form of comfortable living conditions our children’s performance in school will improve tremendously. Not every child can be a Frank McCourt (Angela’s Ashes).The Habitat for Humanity Project has other benefits. In a small way it will benefit the economics of Santa Paula.Currently the lot where the house will be built (622 N. Oak St.) is vacant. No property taxes or city fees are being collected. When the new owners move in they will be responsible to pay for city services, etc., like every other property owner. The connections to city services already exist and will not cost the city any additional money to provide services to the property.Another benefit, maybe the most important, is the fact that this project has the potential to build a stronger sense of community for the inhabitants. In the brief time since the fund raising segment of the project began, many individuals have offered to assist. When I asked Howard Bolton to help create signs to advertise the project and Don Johnson to publish ads in his paper both individuals offered their services free of charge without giving it a second thought. The Santa Paula Soroptimists gave a generous donation without being asked. Other individuals have volunteered their services to help construct the house once the building phase of the project begins.At this time, Santa Paula Rotary Club has received almost $9,000 in donations. We need to raise a total of $35,000 before the building phase can begin. Maria Bombara, manager of First Western Bank in Santa Paula, has made arrangements with the Ventura County Habitat for Humanity Office for a program that will allow individuals to donate any amount through automatic deductions from their credit card or bank account. If enough people donate at least $5 a month for six months the fund raising aspect for the project would be completed in no time. For more information, contact Maria Bombara at (phone) 933-0300 or (fax) 933-3570.Who can put a price on a child’s life that was changed because they were given the support to succeed in school and reach their full potential as a contributing member of the community?Joe JaureguiSanta PaulaCruise NightTo the Editor:The successful Cruise Night in downtown Santa Paula will again appear on the first Friday evening of the month through summer until October.Cruise Night was a thought, to have something downtown to encourage locals to have a good time looking at the cars that owners carefully remodeled and restored and are proud to show off to the public. These vehicles have many hours of labor and care and much money into them. The public can also shop or have a looksee into the stores that are open for them until 9 p.m. and there is food for you at several locations including the Optimist Club’s bar-b-q sandwiches, or a sweet and coffee at Crystal Bakery.It is reported that a number of merchants on Main Street east of Mill Street have complained of sorts about Cruise Nights to one councilmember who wants the Latino Town Hall to be involved to do Cruise Nights. This Friday night fun time event was the invention of the Police Association of which several members are car restoration buffs and in coordination with the Chamber is a great fun success.“If it don’t need fixin’ don’t fix it.” Leave it alone. Henry Aguilar and Dave Anderson have been there at every event to get it coordinated. Carlos Juarez and Jim Fogata and his K-9 sidekick are there. P.D. Chief Gonzales and other P.D. officers and Chief Skeels and the fire crew all want Cruise Night to be fun, successful and safe. And it is.You will see Fire Chief Skeels on guitar singing country songs with the Fire Crew Band. Councilman Ray Luna is anxious to get his car ready to show real soon.Again, the police and fire crews and the Chamber have done a great job for cruise show cars on first Friday nights of the month. Don’t fix it. It has enough crew. A good clean event.Ken Zimmet
Santa PaulaSetting the record straightTo the Editor:Recently a letter appeared in the Santa Paula Times by Kelly Mensing that was critical of the Elementary School Board’s recent passage on March 13 of a proposal to implement Measure “D”, the $10,000,000 school improvement bond. Mr. Mensing was not present at the March 13 meeting, which is why his letter contained several errors. I know Kelly very well and I am sure he would want me to set the record straight; so I will.Error #1: The measure was approved “3 to 2”. Actually, it was approved 3 to 0; there were two abstentions. It is my understanding that two of the board members chose not to vote either way because they felt they had not had enough time to study the proposal. It is probable that in the near future we will put the item on the agenda again so as to afford all board members an opportunity to take a voting stance on it.Error #2: Mr. Mensing implies that the approved proposal is a departure from the input and work done by hundreds of people over the last year. The exact opposite is true; the proposal is the culmination of that work. It includes school improvement projects based directly on input from the steering committee, students, teachers, principals, district staff, board members and members of the community. There is not a single expenditure in the approved proposal that was not recommended by one or more of these groups.Error #3: Kelly repeats Ms. Ishida’s comment that he feels “blindsided”. In fact, if he had sat in and participated in the public meetings held since March of last year and listened to everyone’s input on Measure “D”, the eventually approved plan would have come as little or no surprise.Error #4: Mr. Mensing states that I said that, “...the decision of over 80% of the voting population was said to be putting the cart before the horse.” Had Kelly actually been present at that meeting, he would have known that the now famous “cart-before-the-horse” comment was in a completely different context. During the meeting I pointed out that over the last few months the district had begun spending time and money on a plan to implement the bond; a plan that had not yet been voted on or approved by the Board. Though I was tempted to call these expenditures “illegal”, I chose instead to be diplomatic and said they were “putting the cart before the horse.”Kelley mentioned his former teacher Mr. Snyder’s admonition to “be informed.” An opportunity to do just that will occur at the next Good Morning Santa Paula meeting on April 10, during which I will be making a presentation about the bond implementation proposal recently enacted. We look forward to seeing Mr. Mensing at that meeting.George MorganSanta PaulaSupport Cruise NightTo the Editor:I’m writing this letter to give our support to Cruise Night. It seems to us that this has been a very good successful event. We have only heard good comments from people at the event.If the merchants have complaints they need to make sure they are addressed, but we need to continue with this positive, fun time. We have seen many people eating in the downtown restaurants, and people inside the stores that are open for Cruise Night. All stores are encouraged to be open. It is only a couple of hours one time a month that we have the opportunity to see these great restored cars, and to visit with people we do not get the chance to see every day.Also, thank you to the people that have worked so hard to bring such a great event to us.Jim and Shirley OnstotSanta PaulaNo church without ChristTo the Editor:In regard to the Rev. Dr. Alexie Crane’s letter in the March 30 issue, regarding the Bible, Christians and Christians’ beliefs. Let me ask, first, where did the words originate and secondly, how can non-Christians discern what God has clearly stated in His Will for those who profess belief in the Atonement for sin that He, God, provided when He sent His son Jesus into the world to die for the sins of All...?Quoting Dr. Crane, “Both writers speak here as if there is universal agreement that the Bible is, in fact, the word of God. In reality, opinion has become increasingly divided on this point....” I would like to submit that those who are believers in Jesus Christ as God do in fact agree wholeheartedly, only agnostics and atheists and those who reject Jesus are divided.Jesus came and died so that mankind could be reconciled to God the father. Adam and Eve, in believing Satan, damaged the relationship when Eve believed Satan when he told her, “...eating the fruit will not cause you to die.”After Jesus’ death on the cross, the Christians were first called Christians at Antioch, during the Apostle Paul’s ministry. The word church as defined by Webster’s Dictionary as “a prehistoric WGmc word derived fr. LGk kriakon. fr. Gk, neut. of kyriakos of the lord, fr. kyrios lord, master, fr. kryos power; akin to L. cavus hollow-” clearly indicates this word originated with Christians.Jesus died to show His love. The early teachings were taught so that Israel would know the Messiah had come and that there was life after death for believers. No one is forced to believe. God gave us all free will.So my response is to say that if one does not believe, that is one’s prerogative, but to claim to be a church or a Christian religion is in complete disregard to God’s word. And why would one want to call oneself a church or a Christian, when one does not believe in the Christ?Jesus was either God’s Son and Savior of the World, or else he was a liar and deceiver. If the latter, then he does not even deserve to be thought of as a prophet or a good teacher. He Himself said, “No one comes unto the Father except through Me.”A good book for skeptics is Lee Strobel’s “The Case for Christ.” Lee was an investigative reporter for the Chicago Tribune and became convinced through his research that the Bible did reveal Jesus as God’s Son. A better book is the Bible itself and prayer.JoAnn LowranceSanta PaulaA devout practicing ChristianTo the Editor:In his recent letter the Rev. Dr. Alexie Crane expressed his desire for a world where everyone accepts others’ moral differences and in particular that knowledgeable Christians who understand God’s Word support the notion that a lifestyle of homosexuality is acceptable before God. To quote him:“It is entirely praiseworthy to be a devout, practicing Christian; it is immoral and inhumane to conclude that those who are not properly Christians live in darkness....”The Reverend suggests that the devout and practicing Christians should think in such a way which is inconsistent with the devout and practicing Christian mind. I believe he is mistaken in suggesting that the Christian in some mean spirited way condemns the immoral person to spiritual darkness and eternal death. God’s Word says quite clearly that they are already condemned if they do not turn from these ways and walk in the light of His son, Jesus Christ. The devout and practicing Christian only seeks to turn someone around who is about to walk over a cliff. And wouldn’t that be “entirely praiseworthy.”Mark WintzSanta Paula