Letter to the editor: God has the last laugh, reader says


To the editor:

Pastor Reyes’ letter of June 21 first implores us to watch a short video by a California state senator, Scott Wilks, in which he encourages families to leave California for “America.” Wilks speaks of parental rights being taken away and charter schools being under attack.

He spoke in generalities. He gives no specifics. I have only a notion of what troubles he was speaking of. Hey, sometimes a conservative is right and has a better plan. I’m not an unreasonable man. I think I know what he’s talking about, but it’s hard for me to know what to think when I’m not really certain what he’s talking about.

If what I hear is true, he has reasonable concerns. As a rule, parental rights should prevail. Regardless, his recommendation to “Leave California for America” is just a bit rich. His hyperbole is over the top. Yes, he certainly has issues with what’s happening in his state, but to tell folks to leave it smacks of pandering.

After the video, our Perry preacher asserts that California is “a Communist/Socialist state.” To be sure, California is considerably more liberal than most states, and it can be argued it is actually the most liberal state of all. However far California is to the left, it isn’t nearly as close to the extreme that Pastor Reyes says it is.

I have repeated this in different places so many times it is actually become quite wearisome. If the workers do not control the resources and means of production of their nation, it is not a socialist state. That is not merely my opinion. It is absolutely 100% fact. If the workers do not control the resources and means of production of their nation, it is not a socialist state!

If Pastor Reyes can prove California meets that definition, I will bite my tongue. I am fairly certain he is more educated than that. Let’s just say he is stretching things a wee bit. It is the same kind of emotionally tinged tactics Joe McCarthy was known for. I am doing my best to be nice and diplomatic here, but Pastor Reyes is talking genuine, unadulterated garbage.

The pastor goes on to mention that California and Illinois are being exited by multitudes. Both Pastor Reyes and the California state senator basically attribute that to one cause. I don’t doubt that may be partially true, but there are several other reasons for people leaving.

I concede the fact the pastor goes on later bemoaning the cost of living in California. One group of folks I know who are leaving are many of the Silicon Valley techies. They are moving to places like Austin, Texas. There are many jobs for them, plenty of fun attractions and less cost for housing there.

That will likely be temporary as their very affluence will work to elevate the cost of living there just as they trashed San Francisco in like manner.

Liberty? There’s no more liberty here in Iowa than anywhere else other than folks are more free to impose their toxic ideologies and theologies on their neighbors. That most particularly includes those which attempt to justify marginalizing the LGBQ community and prohibiting women from controlling their own reproductive processes.

I can attest personally that most evangelical fellowships seek to return women to second-class citizenry to one degree or another. Of course, encouraging more conservative religionists like the pastor to move here might be motivated by a desire to overwhelm moderates and liberals at the polls or worse — to compel LGBQs, liberals and other dissidents to leave Iowa.

I tell everyone plainly: We are not leaving, and we will never cease to fight.

I remember one cold, blustery and rainy November day working at the door of the hotel. This was way back when they were still remodeling the Carnegie. There was an industrial-size dumpster east of the old library on Second Street.

I had noticed a stray black kitten several days before, mewing and wailing for food and love after she had been cruelly dumped and abandoned. She was carrying on just as pitifully when I was at work on that very nasty and inclement day. She had crawled under that dumpster, and her cries echoed loudly from there.

I was on the job. There was nothing I could do. I heard her crying for at least four hours, and it tore my heart out. After work, I retrieved a raggedly old towel, a can of cat food, an empty margarine tub filled with dry food and another tub for water. She survived that day and that winter, but I had no success at catching her.

Her life had to be miserable those few months until I found her dead the next spring. She was out of reach.

God taught me the painful lesson that there was no way I could help all the forlorn kittens I encountered. Like the one that died, most are just out of reach. In like manner, there are countless numbers of children out of reach. Their parents have primary control of how they are raised, as they should. Under most conditions, I would never change that.

Unfortunately, that puts the children of evangelicals out of reach. When some of those children begin to have sexual preferences and gender issues at odds with their parents’ religion, they learn to loathe themselves. Not a few who do not conform are rejected by their families or, worse yet, are compelled to undergo conversion therapy.

There is little that can be done to help them. Hell-and-brimstone religion is abusive enough for adults and straight kids, but it is exceptionally traumatizing for LGBQ kids. There is little that can be done. They are like those stray kittens that cannot be helped.

Yes, I agree that the parents should be given the primary control of their children, excepting perhaps the most extreme cases. It may very well isolate the children from the rest of us, but that is what must be. I do not know why everyone is flying off the handle anyway.

The new California law allows psychological counseling only to children 12 or older without parental consent and then only for the kids who are insured. No hormonal treatment or gender reassignment is being forced on any families at the risk of children being taken from home. Don’t believe the social media and right-wingnut pundits. It’s all laid out in this link.

There is something I need to say which is much more important than rebutting and refuting the pastor’s letter. I do not know how to describe this. Something in me says there is no use getting worked up about his letter. There is no use for me to say anything. There is no use trying to describe the color blue to someone who has been blind since birth. There is no use worrying about who is American and who is not. There is no use worrying about gender issues or sexual preferences. There is no use thinking about what is and is not sinful. All of that malarkey is missing the whole point.

I cannot describe it. I do not really understand it. Perhaps there is no way any it can be understood. When I try to grab it, it slips through my fingers like smoke. If I become still, it grabs me. This sounds like nonsense, but it is absolutely true. Many times, the only way you can win a battle is to give up. I am not likely to change any minds no matter how clever or persuasive I try to be. For now, for my own selfish sake, I am not going to fight.

Be still, and know that I am God;

I will be exalted among the nations,
I will be exalted in the earth.

The Lord Almighty is with us;
the God of Jacob is our fortress. (Psalm 46)

Then too, there’s always the sage wisdom of Alfred E. Neuman: “What, me worry?”

Nick Eakins


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