Letters to Editor
Thursday, August 31, 2006
READ THE BOOK
Thank you for your article on “Big Box Religion” [Aug. 17-23]. I was interested to see someone dealing with the issues relating to modern worship trends. I understand that megachurches do attract a lot of unfair criticisms with regard to financial issues because their size makes them easy targets. However, I did notice one line in your article, which was a misquote of Jesus that bears particular significance to the issue at hand. Hugo is trying to raise more money for the church building, and references Jesus supposedly saying, “Where your heart is, there your treasure will be.”
The reference is Luke 12:33-34, and the full passage reads: “Sell your possessions and give to the poor. Provide purses for yourselves that will not wear out, a treasure in the heavens that will never fail, where no thief comes, and no moth destroys. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”
Notice the subtle but important switch of cause and effect? Jesus was instructing people to sell their earthly possessions (such as, say, their church buildings) and give the money to the poor. For if they put all their money into a church building fund, then their heart will be tied to the church building fund. What use is that when we are in heaven?
At this point there is an ironic link to the other topic of the article, that is the need for “rituals” in religion. The supposed advantage of the megachurches is doing away with the stale, crusty ritual of their predecessors. However, the biggest ritual evident in modern Christianity is the temple worship ritual, despite Jesus being very clear about its demise. And despite Paul backing this up by telling us that our bodies are the temples of the Holy Spirit now.
It seems that though the church is worried about individual staff members being corrupt, they overlook spending $16 million on a building to fulfill their need for ritual worship (does it really make a difference whether that wealth came in the form of cash, or materials?). Yes, certainly the megachurch model fits very nicely with modern society, but does that make it Christian?
Ashwyn Falkingham | Sydney, Australia
CORRECT THE LETTER
Thank you for printing my letter in your Aug. 24 issue. I would like to make a correction.
There are presently seven 18-hole golf courses plus the Peter Hayes pitch-and-putt in the Del Monte Forest. An eighth 18-hole course is proposed in the current Pebble Beach Development plan.
This underscores the urgency for action on a credible run-off plan prior to any further consideration of this plan at the county level. I apologize for any confusion.
Janice M. O’Brien | Pebble Beach
SUPPORT THE REPUBLICRAT
Former presidential candidate “Pete” McCloskey (R-Calif.) played a great role in reform politics in America and I hope that the will continue as a senior statesman [“McCloskey’s Revolt,” Aug. 24-30].
I hope your paper will publish the names of the organizations that supported him for elections and the groups that he tithes to, so that McCloskey’s friends, even outside his district, can keep the “movement” going. Pete, I know, was a leader in Common Cause, The Republican League, The Ripon Society, The Sierra Club, Nature Conservancy, etc.
Bruce Arthur Perry (Pereira) | Marina
FIX THE HIGHWAY
Over the last year, rush hour traffic has steadily increased on Highway 1 at the Seaside Monterey exit ramps. Congestion is bad now, but wait until 4,400 plus Marina homes are constructed over the next six years in Marina Heights, University Villages, Cyprus Knolls, and Marina Station. (Imagine 10,000 additional vehicles.)
To my knowledge, the Marina mayor and City Council have failed to consider (other than minimal developer impact fees) insuring interest and financial support from the State and County to alleviate these future traffic problems on the Highway 1 Seaside/Monterey corridor ramps.
Monterey County taxpayers will ultimately have to pay a portion of the cost of transportation improvements while enduring years of stagnant traffic directly attributable to Marina’s huge housing development plans. While sitting in gridlock on Highway 1, you can blame me for voting for Marina’s mayor and current elected councilmen and believing they would work responsibly with other state and county agencies to lessen the impact of these massive traffic conditions.
We will all suffer due to Marina’s fast track towards becoming a world-class gateway city.
Chandler P. Roland | Marina