Essayist Steve Lyons goes too far

  Dear HCN,


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


Pocatello, Idaho





Michael Patty is the editor of BlueRibbon magazine, 1540 North Arthur, Pocatello, ID 83204.


High Country News Classifieds
  • PUBLIC LANDS PROGRAM MANAGER
    Conserve Southwest Utah is seeking a candidate with excellent communication skills and a commitment to environmental conservation for the position of Public Lands Program Manager....
  • EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
    The Western Slope Conservation Center in Paonia, CO, seeks a dynamic leader who is mission-driven, hardworking, and a creative problem-solver. WSCC is committed to creating...
  • PLANNED GIVING OFFICER
    National Parks Conservation Association (NPCA), the nation's oldest and largest national parks nonprofit advocacy organization seeks a Planned Giving Officer. Do you find energy in...
  • NORTHERN NEW MEXICO PROJECT MANAGER
    Seeking qualified Northern New Mexico Project Manager to provide expertise, leadership and support to the organization by planning, cultivating, implementing and managing land conservation activities,...
  • REGIONAL TRAIL STEWARDSHIP COORDINATOR
    Are you passionate about connecting people to the outdoors? The Pacific Crest Trail Association (PCTA) is looking for someone with trail maintenance and volunteer engagement...
  • TRAIL CREW MEMBER
    Position Title: Trail Crew Member Position Type: 6 month seasonal position, April 17-October 15, 2023 Location: Field-based; The RFOV office is in Carbondale, CO, and...
  • CEO BUFFALO NATIONS GRASSLANDS ALLIANCE
    Chief Executive Officer, Remote Exempt position for Buffalo Nations Grasslands Alliance is responsible for the planning and organization of BNGA's day-to-day operations
  • IDAHO DIRECTOR - WESTERN WATERSHEDS PROJECT
    Western Watersheds Project seeks an Idaho Director to continue and expand upon WWP's campaign to protect and restore public lands and wildlife in Idaho, with...
  • DIRECTOR OF DEVELOPMENT, NA'AH ILLAHEE FUND
    Na'ah Illahee Fund (NIF) is seeking a highly qualified Development Director to join our team in supporting and furthering our mission. This position will create...
  • DIRECTOR OF OPERATIONS, NA'AH ILLAHEE FUND
    Na'ah Illahee Fund (NIF) is seeking a highly qualified Operations Director to join our team. This position will provide critical organizational and systems support to...
  • DEVELOPMENT DIRECTOR
    Grand Staircase Escalante Partners (GSEP) is seeking a leader to join our dynamic team in the long-term protection of Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument (GSENM). We...
  • GRASSLAND RESEARCH COORDINATOR
    The Grassland Research Coordinator is a cooperative position with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service that performs and participates in and coordinates data collection for...
  • HYDROELECTRIC PLANT
    1.3 MW FERC licensed hydroelectric station near Taylorsville CA. Property is 184 deeded acres surrounded by National Forrest.
  • "PROFILES IN COURAGE: STANDING AGAINST THE WYOMING WIND"
    13 stories of extraordinary courage including HCN founder Tom Bell, PRBRC director Lynn Dickey, Liz Cheney, People of Heart Mountain, the Wind River Indian Reservation...
  • GRANT WRITER
    JOB DESCRIPTION: This Work involves the responsibility of conducting research in the procurement of Federal, State, County, and private grant funding. Additional responsibilities include identifying...
  • ASPIRE COLORADO SUSTAINABLE BODY AND HOME CARE PRODUCTS
    Go Bulk! Go Natural! Our products are better for you and better for the environment. Say no to single-use plastic. Made in U.S.A., by a...
  • CANYONLANDS FIELD INSTITUTE
    Field seminars for adults in the natural and human history of the Colorado Plateau, with lodge and base camp options. Small groups, guest experts.
  • ATTORNEY AD
    Criminal Defense, Code Enforcement, Water Rights, Mental Health Defense, Resentencing.
  • LUNATEC HYDRATION SPRAY BOTTLE
    A must for campers and outdoor enthusiasts. Cools, cleans and hydrates with mist, stream and shower patterns. Hundreds of uses.
  • LUNATEC ODOR-FREE DISHCLOTHS
    are a must try. They stay odor-free, dry fast, are durable and don't require machine washing. Try today.