Advertisement

Letters to the Editor

Undue criticism

October 16, 2007

Advertisement

To the editor:

I never thought I would find myself in the position of defending the current president, a man whose combination of piety and aggressive warfare has made the name of the Lord Jesus a stench in the nostrils of many decent people.

Cal Thomas has driven me to this extreme.

Mr. Bush has said on more than one occasion that Muslims and Christians worship the same God. Thomas excoriates him for this, saying that Muslims could not worship the same God, because they do not accept Jesus as Lord and Savior.

I put to any reader the case of the Jews, including such people as those we Christians call St. Elizabeth, St. John the Baptist (or Baptizer) and Jesus of Nazareth himself. All of these were practicing Jews, like our Jewish brothers and sisters now.

Would anyone deny they worship the same God? And is that not the same God worshiped by the followers of the Prophet?

Is it not time to give the space taken by Thomas in the paper to someone who contributes to dialogue, not hatred and obfuscation?

Anne L. Haehl,

Lawrence

Comments

Dorothy Hoyt-Reed 7 years, 2 months ago

I could deal with Cal if it was just a matter of different opinions, but when he tells lies to promote hatred like he did in this column, then I think he needs to go. Anyone who knows anything about the history of religion knows that Judaism, Islam, and Christianity spring from the same god; they just have different profits and cultures (or in the case of Judaism, the profit hasn't arrived yet). Cal is either 1. uneducated or 2. deliberately spreading lies to promote his hateful agenda. In either case, his column should be discontinued. There are other conservative columnists out there who can present their opinions without telling lies and are educated men of history. Please LJW, find a better conservative columnist.

rtwngr 7 years, 2 months ago

It would not be a very balanced newspaper if it only printed the people you agreed with. I think both sides of the argument should be heard no matter how much you dislike it. What gives you the right to decide who should have freedom of expression? People like you have no problem with freedom of speech as long as you are doing the talking.

Dorothy Hoyt-Reed 7 years, 2 months ago

Try reading my whole post. I'm not trying to get rid of conservative columnists. It's just that there are more educated ones out there. It is a fact of history that Judaism, Christianity, and Islam worship the same god. That is not opinion; that's history. If Cal wanted to opine that Christians worship that god more correctly than other religions, then fine. That's his opinion. But he didn't say that, he said that they worship different gods. He can't get his facts straight. Isn't George Will writing much anymore? I don't agree with many of his views, but at least he is an educated man. I'd much rather have someone like him argue the conservative side. Cal Thomas makes you conservatives look bad. Just like Al Franken can make liberals look bad.

preebo 7 years, 2 months ago

Dorothyhr,

I happen to like Al Franken, used to listen to him on Air America daily. Oh, and most of us prefer the term Progressive rather then Liberal.

Dorothy Hoyt-Reed 7 years, 2 months ago

marshacollins, In opinion, true, but not in fact. It is a fact that Jews, Muslims, and Christians worship the same god. It is not an opinion. Whether or not you agree with HOW they worship that god, is opinion. The earth rotates on an axis. That is a fact, not an opinion. Whether or not a god put it there or not is an opinion. Thomas cannot seem to separate the two. He has every right to say that Muslims are wrong, but he can not dispute the historical fact that they share the same god. If he was expressing an opinion and not distorting fact, then I would have no problem. In an official debate setting, he would have lost his debate, because he didn't have his facts straight. Do you really want him aruging your conservative case for you?

Haiku_Cuckoo 7 years, 2 months ago

It is a fact that Jews, Muslims, and Christians worship the same god. It is not an opinion.

Really? And what is that God's name? I suspect that if you asked Jews, Muslims and Christians who they worship, you would get three different answers.

scott3460 7 years, 2 months ago

Here's an idea: don't buy the LJW on the days when his column runs. Tell the paper's advertisers what sort of behavior and positions they are supporting & how you will choose not to support them while they support Cal. That will make the point pretty quickly & you will be surprised how quickly "Mr." Thomas disappears.

shockchalk 7 years, 2 months ago

Yes, you will be surprised because he won't disappear.

Godot 7 years, 2 months ago

Here is an idea: do not buy the LJW when it runs articles it purchases from Associated Press. Same deal.

Speakout 7 years, 2 months ago

Haiku, don't be foolish. The name of God is different because of different languages. In Arabic, Allah is the word used for God. Even Christian Arabs call Him Allah. In Spanish it is Dios, even Muslim Spanish speaking people call Him Dios. And Dieu for the French and on and on. Jews do not write or say the name of God as their faith dictates.

Cal Thomas has always tried to belittle Arabs and Muslims. His columns are filled with the hate for them and watching him on television it becomes even more evident. This is why I would support removing his column from the LJW. Yes, he has a right to write whatever he wants, but hatefilled rhetoric is not good for this forum.

Haiku_Cuckoo 7 years, 2 months ago

Haiku, don't be foolish. The name of God is different because of different languages. In Arabic, Allah is the word used for God. Even Christian Arabs call Him Allah. In Spanish it is Dios, even Muslim Spanish speaking people call Him Dios. And Dieu for the French and on and on. Jews do not write or say the name of God as their faith dictates.

I'm not being foolish, I'm just pointing out that Jews, Muslims and Christians may not agree on who God is. Some christians say Jesus is God; Muslims would disagree. It's not a matter of language differences.

dirkleisure 7 years, 2 months ago

What has Cal Thomas done to earn this space in the Lawrence Journal World?

How is it censorship to suggest your local newspaper choose a different syndicated columnist? What makes Cal Thomas so special? What are his qualifications?

I think you can make a much more compelling argument that printing his column does a disservice to the community of Lawrence and Douglas County than you can that he somehow adds to public discourse.

Also, posters like "right_thinker" never cease to amaze with their grasp of irony. If you read the posts from the fascists carefully, what they are really saying is that fascists are the only ones who are allowed to call for censorship.

If progressives call for censorship, it just proves they are hypocrites. Lesson learned - in the future, leave the calls for censorship to the fascists on the right.

Oh, I'm sorry: do you prefer the term conservative? I prefer to call you what you are: fascists. You start using progressive instead of liberal, I'll start using conservative instead of fascist!

Haiku_Cuckoo 7 years, 2 months ago

If you are talking about God, and only God, then Islam, Judaism, and Christianity all worship the same one.

Not true. If you walk into most churches and ask "Is Jesus God?" They'll say yes.

Walk into a Mosque and ask "Is Jesus God?" and they'll say "No. Jesus was a prophet and was not God or 'part' of God."

Does that sound like they're worshiping the same deity?

kugrad 7 years, 2 months ago

Actually, newspapers have dropped Cal Thomas. My parents told me he is no longer run in the paper in their community. I think the LJW should do the same, simply because the quality of his writing has gone downhill, and he tends to just repeat what he read/heard elsewhere anyway, so we aren't getting original thoughts. Surely there is another conservative columnist who could be added to the rotation who would better represent the views of conservatives in a more articulate manner. Similarly, I think the LJW could find a better liberal point of view than Garrison Keilor (sorry if I spelled that wrong). I don't find his column particularly enlightening either. There are other options out there. Maybe Thomas is the cheapest? At any rate, having read his columns for years, they are not what they used to be; he's lost it. He went through a period following 9/11 of simply being part of the vast echo-chamber. His columns read like white house press releases. Then, about a year ago, he switched and revived his evangelical bent. Since then his columns have been extremely ethnocentric, intolerant, and biased towards an evangelical Christianist interpretation of the world. He has been offensive to Muslims, Christians who don't agree with him, and sometimes has expressed views that I consider to be racist. All told, his column has simply declined in quality, and that is why I would like to see it go. It is provocative, but not thought provoking. Lots of fire but no heat. Some will say this is a call for censorship, because they like to ignore rational thought and are incapable of comprehending simple distinctions. It is not. Some will say those who don't like Thomas are all liberals, because they are incapable of understanding people beyond one-dimensional concepts like thier limited view of the conservative/liberal false dichotomy. This is also untrue. If someone does a poor job, you fire them.

Calliope877 7 years, 2 months ago

Haiku_Cuckoo (Anonymous) says:

If you are talking about God, and only God, then Islam, Judaism, and Christianity all worship the same one.

"Not true. If you walk into most churches and ask "Is Jesus God?" They'll say yes.

Walk into a Mosque and ask "Is Jesus God?" and they'll say "No. Jesus was a prophet and was not God or 'part' of God."

Does that sound like they're worshiping the same deity?"

I don't know what churches you frequent, but from my experience, most christians refer to Jesus as the "Son of God" and acknowledge him as a part of god, but he's not considered THE GOD. There is a difference.

Haiku_Cuckoo 7 years, 2 months ago

I don't know what churches you frequent, but from my experience, most christians refer to Jesus as the "Son of God" and acknowledge him as a part of god, but he's not considered THE GOD.

I was taught in Catholic schools that not only is Jesus the son of God, but he also IS God. That's who we prayed to. So if you don't think Jesus is THE God, who is? In other words, since you believe that Jesus is part of God, who makes up the remainder of God?

Grundoon Luna 7 years, 2 months ago

It is so rich to see you conservatives say that liberals are impuning free speech when they want LJW to drop the gas bag Cal Thomas from the LJW - and, BTW, in what way would that be hindering Cal's freedom of speech? How does that prevent him from hawking his hate speech to other publications?

Weren't you all up in arms over the General Betray Us ad and didn't Y O U R conservative representatives go all the way to censuring the ad (Oh, but you wouldnt hear anything about condemning the swift boat guys in the same action, would you?).

You are all about free speech when it comes from a source that agrees with you - and you make sure they do with those asinine party loyalty and allegience pledges.

Nothing but hypocrites, plain and simple. It's sad that you all are the only ones that can't see it.

kugrad 7 years, 2 months ago

Haiku, Think of it like this. The Bible has the old testament. Jesus is not considered to be present in the old testament. He makes no appearance, nor is it suggested that he resides with God. Only that some day a messiah will appear. The God of the Old Testament IS THE SAME GOD worshipped by Jews and Muslims/Mohammeduns of all sects. This is not really a subject of debate as it is a historical fact. So, in modern times, when one says that they all worship the same God, they are referring to God the figurehead, Yaweh. Anyone raised in parochial school, as I was, can tell you that God and Jesus and the Holy Spirit are often discussed as seperate entities. Jesus is said to "sit at the right hand of God" after all. IIt doesn't shed any more light on the subject to try to elucidate the division of God into the parts of the Holy Trinity, a subject about which no one Christian church is recognized as the one true authority, and which is not clearly deliniated in the Bible. Nothing you said is illogical, it is just unresolvable in a practical sense.

dirkleisure 7 years, 2 months ago

Yes, he's a fascist. His comments are beyond reproach, no matter how vile or offensive to the basic principles of humanity they may be. Regardless of what he writes, he must continue to grace the pages of our local newspaper.

Why? He's a fascist, and it isn't right that there aren't enough fascist columns.

They should really put him on the front page.

Grundoon Luna 7 years, 2 months ago

Be tolerant of intollerance? That is beyond ridiculous.

Speakout 7 years, 2 months ago

Well, I am not a liberal, not a reactionary either. But I believe one who espouses hate or denigrates one religion, nationality or race constantly and claims his is better, isn't welcomed. I don't think he should be banned from the LJW, but I am sure the staff here could find a better writer and a better person. I admit, I don't like him at all, but I think he has a right to publish whatever he wants and we have the right to tear apart that which is false, misleading and downright libelous. But his columns are prejudiced and he tries to rewrite history.

As for God. He is the one who created everything. If you want to worship Jesus or who ever, it is up to you, just don't force it on me. I think God wants us to worship Him alone. I also believe He created the one some of you want to worship. Go for the top.

Kam_Fong_as_Chin_Ho 7 years, 2 months ago

If you want to worship Jesus or who ever, it is up to you, just don't force it on me.

Churches haven't forced anyone to worship since the Inquisition, so I think you're safe.

Grundoon Luna 7 years, 2 months ago

And those relationships are relevant today why, kid? Today it isn't the left that is attempting homogeny.

Grundoon Luna 7 years, 2 months ago

Then start debating, kid! Why haven't you already? It's becuase you can't! He has no devensible position otherwise you'd have taken it up by now.

And you aren't name calling? Thanks for demonstrating my point of neo-cons being nothing but hypocrites. You are just as juvenile as that stupid poem.

Grundoon Luna 7 years, 2 months ago

I quit reading Thomas a long time ago. Back when he was promoting his moronic idea of "class envy."

tangential_reasoners_anonymous 7 years, 2 months ago

"In other words, since you believe that Jesus is part of God, who makes up the remainder of God?"

That would be the God MOD...

MOD(God, Jesus)

Calliope877 7 years, 2 months ago

kugrad (Anonymous) says:

"Haiku, Think of it like this. The Bible has the old testament. Jesus is not considered to be present in the old testament. He makes no appearance, nor is it suggested that he resides with God. Only that some day a messiah will appear. The God of the Old Testament is the same god worshipped by Jews and Muslims/Mohammeduns of all sects. This is not really a subject of debate as it is a historical fact. So, in modern times, when one says that they all worship the same God, they are referring to God the figurehead, Yaweh. Anyone raised in parochial school, as I was, can tell you that God and Jesus and the Holy Spirit are often discussed as seperate entities. Jesus is said to "sit at the right hand of God" after all. IIt doesn't shed any more light on the subject to try to elucidate the division of God into the parts of the Holy Trinity, a subject about which no one Christian church is recognized as the one true authority, and which is not clearly deliniated in the Bible. Nothing you said is illogical, it is just unresolvable in a practical sense."

kugrad, Thanks, and well said.:)

tangential_reasoners_anonymous 7 years, 2 months ago

"Jesus is said to "sit at the right hand of God" after all."

If Jesus sits on the right, then what's left? That would be the GODiff...

( GOD - Jesus )

Dorothy Hoyt-Reed 7 years, 2 months ago

This has to be a dilemna for rightthinker. I'm mean his favorite columnist criticizing his lord and master, Bush.

kugrad 7 years, 2 months ago

Alas, simply saying something does not make it so. Kozakid, today's liberals do indeed value individual rights. Your example of "school choice" is poorly chosen, as the only "choice" option debated has been vouchers. These are a thinly guised attempt to provide public funds to religious schools while removing much needed funds from public schools. The debate on vouchers isn't in the news these days because, even with a Republican congress and Republican president, the issue was long ago recognized for what it was. The voucher movement sprang out of the early attempts by creationists to take over school boards and force their ideology on others (hmm, not facism but getting warm) and similar sources. Anyway, no progressive/liberal/non-ultra-right-wing conservative/moderate would recognize him or herself as opposing individual rights simply because what you say is empty rhetoric, not fact. Your accusations against liberalism are false, even if you did find a book to paraphrase that puts forth a similar conception.

Warm regards, kugrad

Lifelong_Lawrencian 7 years, 2 months ago

So does that mean that Bill O'Reilly's constant attacks on the ACLU are wrong? Is it actually a conservative organization, or perhaps a facist organization? Perhaps you should call and explain this to him.

Maybe he just hates classical liberals as opposed to modern liberals/facists? Okay, now I'm confused.

Dorothy Hoyt-Reed 7 years, 2 months ago

If anyone would bother getting out a history of the worlds religions, you would find that Christianity and Islam evolved out of Judaism. Their histories evolve out of Abraham, Moses, etc. They are monotheistic religions, meaning they believe in only 1 god. Remember, Jesus was a Jew. He never started a new religion, he went against the old order, but his followers are the ones who started Christianity after his cruxifiction. Oh, he went against the old order. Must have been a progressive. Surely the conservatives can offer up a better columnists than Thomas. Replace him with someone like Will. Someone who knows something about history.

Grundoon Luna 7 years, 2 months ago

Kid, you obviously aren't interested in debate - and logic and kugrad appear very well suited for debate made toast out of your lame @$$ - as I asked you several questions about your comments that you completely ignored. I am sure because you are ill informed, as your comments clearly deomonstrate. Leberals are the enemy of individual rights? What planet are you from? And you probably lovingly embrace the Patriot Act.

The left of today is nothing like the left of 20's and 30's Europe so comparing then with the left of today is sheer idiocy. What was liberal when our country was new looks more like conservativism of today. Things change - people and their ideologies evolve. You may, too, evolve for the better if you would stop with the black and white neocon talking points and look beyond the FAUX news BS. Or you could just stay a troll under the bridge that is neoconservatisim.

The whole freakin' world is dynamic. Get with the program.

beatrice 7 years, 2 months ago

rt: "Freedom of speech, dorothyhrsurely you've heard of it? Don't read anything with "Cal Thomas" in the bylinehow's that sound? Good. Let's go with that plan."

Okay, now I'm really mad. I actually agree with right_thinker. Ugh.

I can't stand Cal Thomas's opinions, but I don't think he should be dumped just because many don't agree with his views. If there are some with LJWorld who feel he contributes a needed service (like keeping your enemies closer) than he should remain. If it is determined that he doesn't fit enough of the demographic (and there are plenty of neo-cons who use religion like a weapon who like him, I guess) then he should stay. No matter how much you and I may dislike him.

Dorothy Hoyt-Reed 7 years, 2 months ago

Would someone read my friggin posts! I want Cal gone, not because of his opinions, but because he is uneducated. If he had wanted to say that he doesn't agree with Islam, that would be ok, but trying to say that Islam doesn't share the same roots and god is not factual. There are conservatives out there who are educated. Would you back a columnist who claimed that slaves came to the US of their own free will? That is not opinion. That is a wrong fact. Inaccuracy is not free speech, it's not an opinion. I don't agree with George Will, but I don't want him gone. He is an educated man, who states his opinion. That's free speech!

Commenting has been disabled for this item.