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Needless tragedy

Nobody should die as a result of carbon monoxide leakage. There are detectors as well as housing specialists who can check whether there is leakage. Yet such a death occurred last week in Manitou Springs.

We all mourn the loss of Kelly Murphy, age 22 (see News, p. 9). This beautiful person's life was cut short last week. It is too late to change codes and regulations to save the life of Kelly, who was a loving mother and wife. Yet let us change housing regulations and codes to save others from death by carbon monoxide poisoning.

May it never happen again.

Janice S. Moglen

Manitou Springs

Gospel according to ...

Regarding "The Jesus campaign" (Letters, Dec. 11), one correction to the otherwise fine letter is that there were no "eyewitness accounts of the gospels." None of the gospels claims to be an eyewitness account.

Paul's letters were written at least a decade after Jesus, and Mark was written three or more decades after the death of Jesus.

At this time of year, it should be noted that neither Paul nor Mark mentioned the Christmas story.

Luke and Matthew added the nativity much later, and though they are mythical, they can still proclaim great truths and hope for us. May the blessings of the season be to all.

Dale Kemmerer

Colorado Springs

Hands off my Jesus

I usually let pseudo-intellectual, church-bashing comments fall by the wayside when they appear in the Independent. Not this time. Colin Brown ("The Jesus campaign") has attacked someone I love: a living person who is God incarnate. He does not have to answer to any man, let alone someone who would mock him and his followers as merely another sect or an ancient version of some Fortune 500 marketing effort.

Jesus is able to look into the heart of a man or woman, read their thoughts and be touched by their deepest feelings. He looked into my heart in 1967 when I was a 10-year-old boy, and he saw my sin, my rebellion and my spiritual emptiness.

Christ has given me and millions of others throughout history peace, purpose and forgiveness. He is not a message to be analyzed, a belief system to be studied, or a product to be peddled. He is exactly who he declared himself to be: "the way, the truth and the life."

Colin, close your eyes. Look inside your heart. Set aside your preconceived notions. Ask Jesus the Christ who he is and what he wants of you. You may find what you never looked for.

Steve Bell

Colorado Springs

Torture proposition No. 1

Critical moments in the history of nations require action of the people and their representatives. In light of recent findings that torture of prisoners was approved by our president, vice president and other high-ranking officials, such a moment has arrived and cries for our attention.

We are either a nation regulated by mutually agreed-upon laws, or we are not. Those who break, disregard and/or deliberately circumvent humanitarian principles and international laws, then knowingly lie to conceal their actions, cannot be allowed to continue in leadership positions in an open society.

The list of acts committed by George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld and others is long, embarrassing, ponderous and inexcusable. The disclosures come as no surprise, but they perhaps provide a "tipping point" for those hoping this quagmire of unacceptable behavior would simply fade away.

Power has been abused, laws have been broken, thousands have died and the oath of office ("to protect the Constitution") has been violated.

We are a tolerant people, seeking peaceful coexistence in an ever-shrinking world. The actions of our current leadership have alienated us from our brothers and sisters in many parts of that world. To many, we are the true terrorists.

The honorable thing for those leaders and their advisers would be to resign immediately, admit their wrongdoing, apologize to the world and accept the consequences. It's tempting to let things slide, so close to a changing of the guard. Yet, kicking out the miscreants now would send a strong message that we, as a nation, are serious about ending abuse of power and unlawful/immoral/unconscious behavior. The union would survive. I believe a huge breath of fresh air would move across the land.

The people want action, and the world is watching us.

Paul Dahlsten

Colorado Springs

Torture proposition No. 2

On Dec. 16, Democracy Now! TV news reported Khalid Sheikh Mohammed was waterboarded more than 100 times. Earlier reporting had stated waterboarding was used on "only" six or seven prisoners, making it sound as if the torture was used only six or seven times.

No matter what we think about Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, we are a lesser people when we allow these horrible tortures.

President Bush could pardon, in advance, Rumsfeld, Cheney, Rice and others responsible for sanctioning torture at Guantanamo prison.

To pardon these high-ranking officials would be an abuse of our proud commitment to justice and human rights. To pardon in advance of charges is intentional thwarting of our justice system.

I propose an independent commission to investigate these tortuous abuses. All those responsible should face criminal charges. Torture is a crime according to the Geneva Convention, to which the U.S. is not only a signatory but a major force behind its creation.

It is not pleasant to air our dirty laundry in public, but if we overlook these crimes, another leg of justice will crumble.

DeAnne Dingwall

Colorado Springs

A total pisser

We live along Shooks Run trail. At least once a day, someone walking a dog pretends not to notice when his or her dog relieves itself of solid waste. The owner sometimes looks around to see if anyone is looking.

I always wonder who these owners think is going to clean up after their dogs. I also wonder how they would feel if every dog in the neighborhood pooped in their yards every day.

People should realize that part of responsible pet ownership and being a good neighbor is cleaning up after their pets. It's basic respect for the people who live where you walk your dog, and for people who use the trail to run, walk, cycle and walk their dogs.

Lydia West

Colorado Springs

Scorn deserved

In regard to Focus on the Family's position on gay marriage:

As a "biblical Christian" (I no longer use the word "evangelical" because it is now most popularly associated with right-wing political stances rather than biblical faithfulness), I'd like to clarify that Focus does not represent us biblical Christians (any longer, if ever). It is merely a big, though now shrinking, employer/"ministry" in north Colorado Springs.

Whereas the organization used to be, and in some areas continues to be, a source of resources for issues regarding the family, its founder has chosen to abandon to some degree the message of the barefoot carpenter-king from Nazareth 1,975 years ago in favor of the latest socio-political issues of his choosing (e.g., who can use which bathrooms, what retailers deserve Christmas purchase patronage by Focus supporters, how to "win back American culture and government for God," etc.)

While Jesus would not have agreed with the lifestyle choices of the lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgendered Coloradan any more than he did with the woman taken in adultery as recorded in John 8:3-11, I doubt he would have launched national campaigns against LGBT, adultery, prostitution, alcoholism, consumerism, selfishness, overly aggressive driving, judgmentalism, or any other related or unrelated behavior.

Jesus was not consumed with political or societal or religious issues of the day. He was consumed with offering a qualitatively new abundant life apart from the geopolitical surroundings of the listener.

Please forgive us Christians for reducing the life-saving, life-giving and life-transforming gospel of Jesus to merely a set of socio-political issues and ranting. We deserve all the "evangelicalism" and "right-wing-ism" mockery and scorn we get when we inappropriately choose to take our eyes off him and place them, instead, on our local earthly utopian wishes of the day.

Mike McCartney

Colorado Springs

Biblical lesson

For more than 200 years, this country has embraced immigrants, providing the opportunities that we hold dear. For this, America has been praised and blessed.

All of us as immigrants have contributed to the prosperity and stability of our country. We must forever hold these truths to be self-evident by opening our hearts to those who seek freedom and wealth.

We must keep in mind the Scripture that states: "Cursed is he who withholds justice from immigrants. Do not oppress or imprison an immigrant. Remember you were immigrants once yourselves."

Antonio Trujillo

Colorado Springs

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