Thursday, December 2, 1999
I want to commend you for your journalistic guts. "Forsaken" (11/24) was a glaring expose on religious hypocrisy, without a doubt one of the major problems on this planet. A little more practicing what we preach, and we'd all be a lot better off.
Also, your creepy feature on the influences controlling our water supply was superb, and played a significant role in bringing some sane points of view to the water board ("Liquid Assets," 10/28).
Weep, Pray, Help
Jesus wept. Mary and Joseph, too. Surely, Barbara and Dave Johnson--embodying such Christian principles as hard work, humility, patience, piety, nonmaterialism, and love of family--would be an asset to any community, any congregation. Obviously, the "Reverend" David Kast is too blinded by greed and hypocrisy to recognize their worth; consequently, he has no scruples about driving them into the street ("Forsaken," 11/24).
Far too many good people are going homeless as it is. While the rest of us pray for Kast to undergo a Scroogelike repentance, is there anything we can do to help the Johnsons?
It is easy to cast stones between the Johnsons and the Church (the Seaside Assembly of God), saying one party is right and the other wrong. It might be easy to judge the Johnsons as being the cause of their own plight. It might be easy to judge Pastor Kast as evil incarnate--embodying greed over human need ("Forsaken," 11/24).
I don't care who is legally right or wrong. There are governing values that are being missed. Legal hair-splitting becomes moot in light of the values of the One who watches over us. He doesn't care about the fine line of man's law. He has a higher legal position.
Telling the Johnsons, "We need the space, BUT we will help relocate you," would have shown wisdom. That attitude would have followed the governing values established in the Book and provided the right image of God-following people.
Instead, the church gets its parking lot, the Johnsons become homeless, and "God" gets a black eye in the minds of men--and that's sad.
Tsk, Tsk, Pastor Kast
I commend you for printing the article about the Johnson family ("Forsaken," 11/24). I see them as victims of a bureaucracy that is probably understaffed, underpaid, and does not have the time nor the compassion. And your quotes from the Bible were right on!
Pastor David Kast, with his smiling face at the Johnsons' eviction hearing, obviously does not practice what he preaches. In my opinion, he comes across as an egotistical, self-centered, greedy, deceiving individual. And, "I'm going to burn down the house" is the threat of an arsonist, isn't it? His congregation should be outraged by his actions and ashamed of him.
Your article on endangered species asks some profound questions ("Endangered Monterey," 11/18). What is the health of our land and the plants and animals with which we share each of our days? How have we gained wealth as a species and at what cost? What can we do, once we know something must be done?
Increasingly, we realize that it is our responsibility to understand how we may play a role to restore this part of our world. Accordingly, the people of our community have taken a leadership role in returning species to once again thrive as part of our natural community.
If you imagine the otters in our bays, the bald eagles in our skies, and the butterflies on our trees, then it is easy to feel that they are part of the wonderful world we share with them. The task to restore these species has been a long one, taken on by individuals and groups. But we have only broken ground on doing what is necessary to bring that web of life into full prosperity.
What we need is a call to action, a personal commitment to gain a greater understanding. Volunteer to make our public places a thriving place for all wildlife and plants. Assist others in resorting plants and animals. Encourage others to join you in making this a better place for all us.
We all have benefited from the past two hundred years. With $17 trillion set to pass from one generation to the next in the following ten years, please consider returning some of that wealth to the natural world. It is time to restore our planet by starting right here, doing as much as we can, the sooner the better.
Ventana Wilderness Society