Normally, I try to respect everyone and their opinion. I might not agree with them. I might even feel forced to oppose them if they take action I feel is in error. But I respect their opinions, nevertheless. But I draw the line at the unmitigated and ridiculous arrogance of Stephen Lyons in his essay, "God To Helen: Do I Know You?" (HCN, 9/28/98).
Mr. Lyons, it's one thing to attack Helen Chenoweth in print. I might not agree with you that she is anywhere near as unethical as Clinton, but as a politician, she is a legitimate target for editorial. But it's a step too far when you bring God into your criticism. Worse yet, you have assumed the very VOICE of God in your commentary. In short, you have assumed the role of God. This is a direct insult to every Christian everywhere, since "thou art but a man," and are singularly unqualified to speak for God. Helen's statement merely indicated that she was at peace with her God. That is for each individual to decide for themselves. Your statements mock the very concept of divine judgement. You spit on the foundation of Christian morality.
Your claim that God is an environmentalist might well be true, since reasonable concern over the environment is only logical. However, since you have foolishly brought God into the picture, let me remind you that the Bible states that man was given dominion over all the earth and its creatures. This in no way supports the run-away agenda of modern "environmentalists." If there is a God, he must have smiled down at the early environmentalists, who sought to stop the unparalleled environmental destruction brought on by the industrial age. But he is surely no friend to those, such as Earth First!, who preach their anti-human rhetoric, and inflict mayhem and injury in the name of "saving the planet." Dave Foreman, founder of Earth First!, made clear the direction of such thinking when he said, "If all mankind were to vanish from the face of the earth, then I, for one, would not shed a tear."
I find I cannot, in good conscience, respect either you OR your opinion, Mr. Lyons. The reason is simple: you have no respect for anyone or anything. It's obvious from your essay. No one with any amount of empathy or respect for others would have written such a twisted parody of a religious essay. I am, frankly, shocked that an otherwise respectable publication such as the High Country News would even print it. I might not agree with what they have to say, but once again, I can respect their beliefs. You, on the other hand, deserve nothing but my disgust. And that you may have in abundance.
Michael Patty is the editor of BlueRibbon magazine, 1540 North Arthur, Pocatello, ID 83204.