Sunday, April 11, 2021

Letters to the editor April 1

| April 1, 2021 12:00 AM

Legislature overreach

I had to respond to Mr. Longharts’ letter in the March 27 Inter Lake.

Mr. Longhart, you are spot on. We have become the pawns of the “ruling body in Helena” and losing the game particularly when it comes to legislating the bodies and minds of the citizens of Montana.

Plus I see that “clean and pressed” isn’t enough to gain entrance to the hallowed halls, one must don the clothing they dictate only stopping short of ruling on the measurement of neck and hem lines. Why not issue uniforms and holsters to carry the guns now allowed to anyone who wishes to carry one.

I have lived in Montana for 70 years, no newcomer to the machinations of state leaders but this year takes the cake. So much of this is none of their damned business.

—Jean Fischer, Kalispell

Are we alone?

Associated Press reporter Marcia Dunn’s article (Feb. 19) on the recent Mars rover landing contains a very telling phrase: “Scientists hope to answer one of the central questions of theology, philosophy, and space exploration.”

Although historically many scientists have been inspired by their personal faith to arrive at their discoveries, modern materialistic- and humanistic-science has taken a “hands-off” approach to matters of faith, at least publicly. In other words, they insist that science cannot speak to matters of the supernatural, the spiritual, or God — other than to make physical observations.

But Dunn’s language indicates that humanistic-science (in actuality) does want to speak to matters of faith, so long as God, creationism and the supernatural aren’t on the table. They’ve tried to control scientific discussion, discovery, research, study (i.e. schools, with their political and legal confines), and review within an atheistic framework. Lewontin affirms this: “that materialism is absolute, for we cannot allow a Divine foot in the door.”

Now they want to answer questions of theology, using the same paradigm? So, here is their authoritarian coup of spheres of learning: self-declared “truth-holders,” suppressing whatever questions an atheistic framework — intentional censoring of anything divergent, even if it is true, for over a century. This has even been to any who question models like neodarwinism or the big bang. However, it has not been done in a culture void of keen discernment: still 40% of Americans believe in creationism.

And yet, Snopes — the self-appointed “fact-police” — heralded a communist-like labeling of these “dissenters” as “conspiracy theorists.” Clearly, this is not the science of Isaac Newton, Bacon, Galileo, Pasteur, Cuvier, Mendel, Pascal, and so many others.

It’s time to give credit where credit is truly due and adjust our scientific bearings. But if we are merely answering the question, “Are we alone?”, this question has already been answered theologically: His name is Jesus the Messiah.

—Brian Friess, Kalispell

O say can you see

By the dawn’s early light of the Biden/Harris administration, the Republican Party is dismantling democracy across America.

Please do not sleep as the Montana Republican trifecta of the Senate, House and governor are also focusing on destroying our personal and voting rights.

House Bill 176 limits the hours of voting and same-day registration. House Bill 455 markedly limits absentee ballots by requiring annual in-person sign up instead of a permanent listing to receive mail-in ballots. Touted as “election integrity,” these measures are similar to legislation in more than 40 other U.S. states suppressing our vote.

Legislation followed the Jan. 6 insurrection at the national Capitol building where our democracy, legislators, and law enforcement were under siege. The perpetrators were flag-waving criminals, some of them Montanans, trying to overturn the election.

To save our democracy the Senate must pass For the People Act. This bill addresses national voter access, election integrity and security, campaign finance, and ethics for the three branches of government. Voter registration, automatic and same-day registration, and voting access (e.g., vote-by-mail and early voting) are included. It also limits removing voters from voter rolls.

O say does that star-spangled banner yet wave

O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave?

Not for long. Without the For the People Act and the John R. Lewis Voting Rights Act, our democracy is dead. Write to your legislators.

­—Betty Kuffel, Whitefish

Save Women’s Sports Act

This woman, daughter, mother, grandmother, aunt and great-aunt of women, I support HB 112, the Save Women’s Sports Act.

Women are greater than 51% of the population in the U.S., and transgender people are less than 0.6% of the population. Of those born male who transition to female identity is an even lower percentage. Trying to shoehorn that miniscule fraction of the population into womens sports is flawed thinking at most a generous assessment.

Why is this even a point of discussion? Give them their own special olympics — not a new idea for those of different abilities.

Women, female legislators, who oppose HB 112 have serious cognitive dissonance, and must be going through their own special olympic gymnastic pretzel thinking, knee-jerk herd think, or go along to ensure political position in party.

I thought we were to celebrate women (year of the woman), and promote women’s equality. Promoting biological men to assume false femininity and compete with women in sports is ludicrous.

Believe the science, we are scolded. Gender is DNA scripted biologically (science), sexuality is behavioral (mentality) LARPing.

Sen. Jill Cohenour, SD 42 , can you supply a better, more substantive opine than “balanced views and working together” — word salad that I don’t swallow. Would you subject yourself to competition with a man without your special woman status as an equalizer? Why make our girls be submissive and forced into physical competition with biological males? Do you really not see the problem with this social engineering?

Support HB 112 or turn in your pink knit hats.

—Lark Chadwick, Thompson Falls

Sex ed is vital

The current debate surrounding SB 99, Planned Parenthood, and sex education in schools awakened old memories. While researching teenage pregnancy as a nursing student in 1977, I interviewed a pair of junior high school principals. Both forty-something men were visibly uncomfortable talking to me and acknowledging there was no sex education curricula in their schools.

One shared an impactful anecdote. After a student had unprotected intercourse, she took one of her mom’s birth control pills. The student did not become pregnant. Her mother did.

Sex education is vital. Planned Parenthood education staff reach 1.5 million individuals each year, and 64% of those individuals are middle school and high school aged youth. SB 99 would prohibit school districts from allowing Planned Parenthood to offer materials or instruction at schools.

Please protect Sex Ed in Montana. Contact your legislators and urge them to vote NO on SB 99.

—Karen Buley, Missoula

Vote Dowen for FEC board

As we near the trustee election for Flathead Electric Cooperative, our community electric utility, I write this letter in support of Jay Downen, who has served on the board for more than a decade. Jay has been a driving force for needed changes at the utility and has also worked to keep our rates low and our power supply reliable.

In addition to his career in the energy industry representing Montana’s electric cooperatives, Jay has been a strong advocate for Flathead Electric to be Montana’s leader in renewable energy development. This is deeply important to me in both my professional and personal life as I have spent my career in support of long-term sustainable energy policy. Since Jay has been on the Flathead board, the utility has developed a community solar program, a landfill gas facility, a wood biomass project, two local hydroelectric deals, and encouraged electric vehicle usage in the valley.

Jay has encouraged the utility to make many prudent decisions for our community’s power supply, which has kept our rates well below the state average. On the heels of the recent energy catastrophe in Texas, Jay’s thoughtful approach to our power supply issues shows me he’s committed to ensuring the utility continues providing reliable service to all its members.

For these reasons, and because I believe Jay to be a strong voice for our community as we work to meet our energy needs in responsible and affordable ways, I hope you’ll join me in voting for Jay Downen.

—Katie Wallace, Whitefish