To the Editor:
In light of the recent Supreme Court decision that effectively legalizes gay marriage in all 50 states, and in giddy anticipation of a particularly vitriolic, hate-filled and bigoted editorial from this newspaperâs publisher, I wish to offer these two words of comfort for those whose moral consciences have been so terribly afflicted: âneener, neener.â Followed by an inspirational quote from Annie, âThe sunâll come out tomorrow.â
The ending of the slavery of African Americans, the abolition of Jim Crow laws, the Voting Rights Act, the ending of âseparate but equal,â gays serving openly in the military, and yes, gays having the right to marry, have all been social events accompanied by deluges of hysterical rhetoric predicting the end of civilization as we know it. But here we are.
Historically, many cultures labeled those in the minority whose behaviors they didnât understand as evil, sinister, unnatural. Yes, Iâm referring to left-handed people. Left-handedness in children was supposed to be corrected in schools by tying the childâs left hand to his or her desk and forcing the child to use the right hand. This practice only resulted in dyslexia, stuttering and humiliation.
Iâm not a scientist but there is a large body of research that appears to show that sexual orientation is largely genetic, i.e. predetermined. Once we accept those who might be different from us and respect their fundamental rights, we will be a lot better off in this country and able to channel our energies into solving real social and economic problems.
On the other hand, if someone wishes to live in a society governed by strict adherence to religious law, I suggest taking up residency in any one of the countries of the Middle East, such as Iran, where, according to their former president, there are no homosexuals.
Art Sandford Sr.
To the Editor:
In a country where the courts give women the right to kill their unborn children, the ruling last week by a majority on the Supreme Court that homosexuals have the right to marry shouldn't really surprise us. Whether such marriage will be honored and accepted by all of the states remains to be seen. First indications are that it will not be. One thing that we can be sure of, though, is that it is not accepted by God, nor is it accepted by Christ's Church nor by true members of it. Christians don't make their judgments as to what's decent, right, true, and dignified by what the world thinks, but by what God says in His word (Isaiah 8:20, Psalm 119:105, John 8:31-32), and God calls homosexuality sin (Leviticus 20:13, Romans 1:18-27, 1 Corinthians 6:9-11). Any church that supports homosexual marriage is an apostate church, not Christ's church, and anyone who calls himself a Christian (whether the name is Obama, Kennedy, Pelosi, or whatever), and sanctions homosexual marriage is only deluding himself. He may say, "Lord, Lord," when Christ comes to judge, but the Lord will say, "I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!" (Matthew 7:21-23)
But why shouldn't homosexuals have the right to marry, some ask. How does that harm our country or traditional marriage? First, it is an affront to God and outright rejection of His word. To sanction homosexual marriage is to call good what God calls evil, and God says, "Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil." (Isaiah 5:20) Secondly, homosexual marriage lets what is perverse stand along side of what is true and right and instituted by God. Thirdly, if this ruling stands, homosexual marriage won't be the end. Next it will be polygamy and marrying animals, for if homosexual marriage is moral in the eyes of the state, why shouldn't they be as well? And Lastly, if error is allowed to stand, it eventually shuts out and shuts up the truth. We see that happening already. If you dare oppose homosexual marriage, even on biblical grounds, you're labeled as a bigot, a hater, and a homophobe. If you speak publicly, the homosexual rights crowd will seek to destroy you. It's interesting how those who argued and pleaded for toleration are so intolerant to those who oppose their lifestyle.
What can be done? As Christians, we should speak up and defend the truth when the opportunity arises. Christian pastors and leaders should take the lead. Since some of the most prominent backers of homosexual marriage are Roman Catholics (Justice Kennedy, Joe Biden, Nancy Pelosi, to name a few), the pope should give them two options: either repent and confess what's decent and true, or be excommunicated from the church. Souls are more important than climate change, so we should see such ultimatums shortly. And, we should pray for our country, because God will destroy, not bless, the nation which turns its back on Him.
Rev. Leslie R. Lanier, Pastor
Wayfarer's Chapel Lutheran Church, Fillmore
To the Editor,
I am writing as a long time city resident. I have been an advocate for our community and my family, as we all have endured the pain and hardship the Pacific Coast Pipeline Superfund Site has caused. I attended a recent community meeting about the health concerns voiced over the years by impacted residents, including me and my family. I am a regular vocal participant in these meetings and have strong feelings on the matter as they hit me pretty close to home after the death of my son.
I was shocked when friends in town approached me about my quote in the VC Star, which after I read the article about the event, is clearly not an adequate representation of my feelings and stance on the matter. Can you help my voice be heard?
Tony Biasotti misquoted me in his article, (Federal agency says former refinery does not pose risk), published on June 25, 2015 in the Ventura County Star. I attended the ATSDR (Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry) Community Meeting at Mountain Vista school in Fillmore on June 24, 2015. I had met with the ATSDR staff at a One Step A La Vez meeting a few years ago here in Fillmore. I also attended a community meeting in 2013 hosted by the EPA and the ATSDR. The ATSDR staff seemed to be honest and I felt that they were the best group to look at the contamination at the Pacific Coast Pipeline site here in Fillmore. The ATSDR only looked at data from 2012-2014 provided by Chevron and the EPA.
Mr. Biasotti from the Ventura Star misquoted me in reaction to the cleanup. He quoted me as saying to him, "I feel better now than that I ever had out about it. I believe it's cleaned up now." That was a misquote. What I did say was that I was "happy" that the ATSDR staff were here and I have been waiting for their report. Mr. Biasotti also stated that I accepted the report's conclusions and that there is no danger. That was definitely a misquote. I did not completely read the ATSDR Health Consultation report until June 27th, three days later. I did say I thought the Superfund property was probably cleaned up as best as it could be. I did say that I don't want any building on the property.
The 56 acre PCPL site cleanup has been overseen by the EPA. In 1986, 38,000 tons of waste and contaminated soil were removed from the site. In 1992 the EPA determined the site was still contaminated. In 1992 the ATSDR completed a Preliminary Health assessment of the site but determined they needed more data to evaluate the potential for health effects. I don't understand this because in 1992 the EPA still had the site on the superfund priorities list. Between 1993 -1996 Vapor Extraction wells resulted in the removal of 600,00 pounds of total hydrocarbons and 700 pounds of benzene from the contaminated water plumes under the site and nearby homes. Now 20 years later the property still needed to be cleaned up. Why did the EPA wait so long? Since 2011, EPA has been overseeing Chevron's site activities to remove contaminated soil from the site. In 2013 Chevron dug out 42 cubic yards of contaminated soil. Highly toxic soil was disposed of offsite transported in biohazard red toxic waste bins. Other contaminated soil was disposed in two consolidated areas next to Pole Creek. A cap was put over these areas. Currently a Soil Vapor Extraction and Air Sparging Well has been set up on site and is removing benzene from the still contaminated water plumes. The ATSDR said that the dust contamination from the Superfund Site was inconclusive because dust comes from other sources. They also said that the lead contamination from the site was inconclusive because those residents that lived in homes built before 1978 could have had their homes painted with lead based paint. They did agree with the site deed restrictions to redevelopment plans. The site may only be used for commercial, industrial, or recreational purposes. They did limit daily time children and adults can spend on the property. Well you decide what seems worse. Years of constant exposure to the horrible contamination right next to the neighborhoods and San Cayetano School or a house painted with lead based paint 50 years ago.? If the paint was a problem wouldn't 1,000's of households in the USA have one too! Just double talk to me.
Now, Mr. Biasotti I do know that I told you at the meeting that I would continue to argue against any building on the property. I will do that! I say the property would be better off left in a natural state and replanted with native California drought resistant plants. It would truly complement this designated Ventura County Open Space area. I think annexing this property into Fillmore would be a mistake. I say let this land rest. It's been through a lot these last 100 years. I need the citizens of Fillmore to help stop Chevron with it's redevelopment plans. Contact your City Council members and voice you concerns about building on this still contaminated property.