Yay Boise Weekly. I love that you are doing an all-local Best of Boise. And I love that the drop down answers are no longer there. They make voting lazy and easy just to pick something from the list. It'll be interesting to see how winners differ this year.
—Lisa Myers, Boise
On God and Gov't
It is very unusual and strange that religious types are permitted to spout the most outrageous nonsense. If an individual expressed similar extremist beliefs in a non-religious context, he or she would be dragged away. We need to start reining in these extremist Christians before they establish the outright hate found in the Middle East, and job No. 1 is ending the generous tax breaks and other special privileges now granted to these religious institutions and organizations. Anyone who believes churches are "nonprofit" is hopelessly naive. They are big businesses and operate like a corporation. Extremist Christian activists such as Adam Graham, Dennis Mansfield, Dave Frazier, Bryan Fischer, Brandi Swindell and their organizations have one goal: the elimination of secular America.
They may not be as powerful as Pastor Hagee in San Antonio, but they are just as dangerous. They willfully polarize our community and pit neighbor against neighbor to accomplish their goal. Last week, these extremist evangelicals held the Washington Israel Summit in Washington, D.C., with restricted access. An undercover reporter found out the reasons for secrecy which became abundantly clear in the question and answer session after the first panel, when a woman asked how she would know if it was time to start up a "Christian militia" to return the country to conservative values. "Let's not use the term militia," Hagee responded. These extremist Christian activists in Idaho—Adam Graham, Dennis Mansfield, Dave Frazier, Bryan Fischer, Brandi Swindell and their organizations—do not have high regard for the Idaho people. For them, there are only two ways to live: the Bible way and the wrong way. We must stand tighter as a community against this intolerant ideology of extremist Christian fundamentalists. Beware of the cloak of goodness.
Great post Bill (BW, Opinion, "God vs. Government," July 30, 2008). [Bryan] Fischer makes me think of the saying, "Going to church doesn't make you a Christian any more than standing in your garage makes you a car." But to your bigger point, conservatives hate government, and if you read John Dean's book Broken Government, you will understand what this means and how it relates to our current mess. Conservatives hate government and therefore they have no interest in making it run well. In fact, as this administration has so aptly made clear, they want it to run poorly. It reinforces their message. Today on NPR, I heard a comment about an old (1930s) politician that took the message to the people. He said, (I'm paraphrasing): "In the United States we can afford to do anything we want and we choose to provide everyone with a decent living. Who will pay for this? You will, because that is what the people want and you are the ones that can afford to pay for it." Isn't that refreshingly honest? Wouldn't it be great if someone today had that kind of guts to come out and say that. Keep up the good fight, Bill. I'll proudly be your second in any fight.
A Rose By Any Other Name
I often hear things said I would not necessarily repeat, especially if doing so would be hurtful or insulting to others. Apparently BW has no such misgivings. "EyeSpy" in the July 23 edition quotes someone at a North End barbecue as saying, "Nampa sounds like a STD." I am not overly surprised to hear condescending ridicule of an entire community coming from some quarters in Boise. One of humanity's more squalid traits has always been tearing others down in an attempt to parade one's own worth. I am, however, surprised BW would find this fatuous remark clever enough to print. Perhaps you could include an editor's comment at the end of this letter explaining to your Nampa readers why gratuitous insults are funny.
—Dale Merrell, Nampa
*Editor's Note: Because someone from Nampa said it. For equal opportunity 'burb bashing—including some on the capital city—check out next week's feature by Bill Cope.
Fit to be Tied
The analogy of the Chinese taking over the United States and not allowing American writers to use English is comical at best (BW, News, "Tongue Tied," July 30, 2008). How that compares to foreigners coming illegally into our country and then demanding the use of their native tongue in our schools is laughable. An American in Paris learns to speak French or goes hungry.