Questions and Concerns

November 11, 2019

I welcome Rev. Bro Barker’s new. Alternative View column. This letter is in response to Joan People’s and Susie Hall’s responses 11/1 to same.

After reading Barker’s article, Peoples writes “he should move on”. Move on to where and why? Fro.m his previous introduction, it appears that he has lived and worked in this area for 30+ years. I assume he considers this his home.

Is Barker not welcome because his perspectives on History and Religion have changed, do not comport with yours, are being expressed in an open forum or all of the above?
People’s continues “lots of us would like an opportunity to voice our views … get a variety of views … that’s the American way.” So true. You (People’s) have the right to express your views and so does Barker. That is the meaning of “variety”. It does not mean a group of people with the same POV expressing themselves in private or public. That is consensus not “variety”. Both are valid and necessary ways of people expressing their individual and group identity.

Susan Hall’s letter uses labels like “spiel and diatribe” attaching negative connotations to Barker’s article. It is an example of how words are used to delegitimize differences between people. Hall also refers to History being described only within the context of Religion.

Common as this is, it does not mean Barker’s views are less appropriate descriptions of History or Religion. Perhaps this is because in your (Hall) letter, you refer to indigent people. The point of Barker’s article was focused on indigenous people.

More frequently now I hear people saying that Christians are under attack.

Maybe this is because less of us see a Christian path as being the only pathway to living a moral life. It has also raised concerns that Christian’s who may feel under attack are actively seeking to influence government in an effort to change civil laws to reflect their beliefs.

Over the years I have often came to the defense of those who do not hold my POV. As (Joan) People’s suggests, this is seen as the American way. However, if one groups beliefs are used to hollow out laws that apply to everyone, many more than myself will challenge these efforts.

I think, a better pathway is to allow differences to come to light and be openly discussed. If we fail to allow this, differences can morph in to fear and fear in to hatred. Once hatred takes root, day-to-day norms change.

Historically, differences between groups of people are exploited by opportunists. Their goal is to acquire power and control over all resources. Religion and economic conditions have contributed to divisions AKA feeling under threat. As a result, they become useful pawns of opportunists.

There are many references to this playing a role in undermining a democratically organized society. In recent times looking at changes and how they occurred in Russia, Turkey and Iran can provide an open window to understanding why and how this happens.

Linda Waddell

Share This Post

Error, no group ID set! Check your syntax!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *