Beacons, lockdowns, LGBTQ | Letters to the Editor
Last updated 4/3/2019 at Noon
Beacon banned from site of former post office
What happened to the newspaper boxes outside the Edmonds post office? Since the downtown papers don't get delivered until 2 p.m. not great.
I drove over to the post office on Second Avenue North to get some for my condo building neighbors.
No boxes anywhere, although there are other newspaper boxes there.
I hope this gets fixed soon.
Lori Kunze Edmonds
Editor’s note: Stay tuned.
Lockdowns: What about child-care facilities?
I am the director of The Trike Stop Childcare and Preschool in Edmonds.
On Martin Luther King Jr. Day this year, an anonymous individual called several childcare facilities in the Seattle area, two of which were located in Edmonds. The individual threatened to do horrible things to the children while talking with staff over the phone. I did not know about this until much later in the day when the news and social media had broke the story.
This specific event was terrifying for those involved and for parents of young children who attend preschool. We know far too well that things like this are a reality, not just a hoax. While nothing happened to any children, our enrollment that week was at half of capacity.
Over the years, there have been other instances where there have been car thieves hiding in the neighborhood, banks robbed nearby or blockades on the road to look for suspects. Each time one of these events took place, the nearby elementary, middle and high schools will go on lock down.
Right now there is a law in place where the police department contacts the local school district and the school district notifies the specific schools of the threat in the area. There is nothing in place for the local child-care facilities and preschools.
I have been working with my local union, SEIU 925, on making sure that those in charge create a law, implement a system and follow through with promises to keep our children safe.
We have lobbied in Olympia, and have had meetings with legislative and executive members of DCYF (licensing). Now we are working on spreading the word, getting petitions signed and raising awareness of this issue.
Ariel James The Trike Shop Edmonds
LGBTQ people have served the church in every aspect and role
Paul Townsend (“The church and the LGBTQ question,” Letters to the Editor, March 14) makes some broad assertions. His unspoken assumption is that same-sex orientation is not real, not natural.
We know that it is both, and that it is seen throughout nature. So the question arises: does God create certain people in certain ways, just to exclude them? Not very long ago left-handedness was considered wrong my left-handed brother was forced to learn to write right-handed and history tells us that many things we accept were long considered wrong.
But we learn, we move on, and over and over we find that God’s creation is diverse, just as God’s love is. And we find that very many LGTB people have served the church in every aspect and role.
Mr Townsend asserts that “ Christianity, and the Bible is eternally its handbook ” as if interpretation of the Bible was somehow fixed for all time.
And yet even a rudimentary study of Christianity shows that the opposite is the case: Paul inveighed against marriage, which only became a sacrament in the Middle Ages; at various times women were considered as property and told not to teach; slavery was supported; slaves were forbidden to marry; divorce was virtually impossible; “witches” were prosecuted; priests and ministers were allowed to marry, then supposed to be celibate, then with the Protestant movement allowed again to marry (and always were allowed to marry in the Orthodox church), inter-racial marriages were outlawed and all on “Biblical authority.”
Understanding of God grows, changes, widens.
All this is to put modern biblical scholarship aside, but a short discussion may be in order: since the late 19th century, beginning with scholars in Gerrmany, numerous layers of text have been identified, especially in the Old Testament, all added by different scribes at different times, as stresses on Israel shifted from tribal wandering to vigorous protection of Jewish identity during Babylonian and Roman invasions.
Modern scholars have found that ancient words such as the Hebrew “toeveh,” formerly translated as “abomination,” actually mean “ritually unclean” and the word is applied to many things we no longer worry about.
Similarly. Paul’s word “arsenokoitai” has never been found in any other text, leaving the meaning of the word open to conjecture. To translate it as “homosexual” is pure nonsense: neither the word (a late 19th century neologism) nor the concept were known when Paul was writing.
And these are but two examples; contextual comparisons reveal equally fundamental differences in traditional translations.
We must remember that ranslations often reveal as much about the translator and the translator’s culture as they do about the text. They are, in short, interpretation and as such can, and must be regularly re-examined.
That “God wants what’s best for us, in every arena of life,” is something all Christians agree about. Mutual love, mutual growth, mutual support these are keys to fuller, greater life.
To some however, these are impossible in heterosexual relationships. To deny to some the growth, love, and support of marriage is brutal, and in the understanding of many churches, un-Christian, although Mr Townsend maintains that “ if a church claims to be Christian, then it should agree with the biblical guidelines regarding sex.
Otherwise it has become at best just another social club or self-help group, or at worst, a heretical church.” Mr. Townsend thus relegates religion, marriage, and orientation to sex alone, and throws the Episcopal Church, for example, out the door, claiming his as the exclusive “right doctrine” that excludes millions of Christians as heretics.
This sort of claim is why so many today turn from Christianity and regard it, justifiably, as exclusionary and closed to science and increased knowledge. Small wonder that churches are having trouble filling their pews.
Mr. Townsend asks, “Do people want to follow God or make up their own rules? That is human history from the beginning.” Better-informed scholarship, on-going revelation, science these are not “making up” the rules. They are growth towards wider love and acceptance.
We must remember that at various times Christianity imprisoned Galileo, justified slavery, denied the equality of women and we should tread very carefully indeed when we claim the right to exclude and condemn from our churches the very people who would, and have served them so well.
By the way, Jesus never once mentions same-sex orientation, though He does speak a great deal about sanctimoniousness, and condemns those who make coming to Him more difficult.
God stated absolute standards for living
First, thank you so much for printing the letter from Paul Townsend of Mountlake Terrace on
“The United Methodist Church and the LGBTQ question” (March 14).
There are many of us who agree with Townsend, but more often our voices are not heard. We are not homophobic, and believe God loves all people. But we believe that God stated the absolute standards for life, marriage and lifestyle in the Bible, both in the Old Testament and New Testament.
Second, thanks for the great article, “Overcoming Obstacles” (March 14) on the life of our country prosecutor, Adam Cornell, especially the great large picture of him on the front page!
We are avid readers of the Beacon.