How ’Bout Those Amish?

With regard to the Reader of September 23, in the letters to the editor on page 63, there is a letter from a Name Withheld entitled “Illegal Islam.” I would just simply ask the writer of the letter, have they ever heard of the Amish or the Mennonites that have been in this country for hundreds of years and the modes of dress of their men, women, and children?

Ted Rodosovich
University City

Like Surfing With Your Sofa

Your expert is woefully misinformed about the toxicity of surfboards (“Sporting Box,” September 23). Yes, they are made with raw materials that by themselves, if handled improperly, are toxic. The molders must know what they are doing when handling the chemicals. The shaper must be mindful of the dust and take proper precautions both with the dust and the glass and resin. However, once the board is poured, shaped, and finished, it becomes chemically inert and no more toxic than your living room furniture.

Disposal is definitely a problem, and they will just sit in a landfill and not decompose. Someone has to develop a product from recycled boards to make that problem go away. Grinding them up and making some type of insulation product perhaps. I have been in the polyurethane industry for 47 years, and to continually hear people discuss things they really know nothing about and display their ignorance is really quite exhausting.

Mike Koenig
via email

Answer Man

Re “Baffled by Theme” letter (September 23). The answers to 17, 26, and 48 are anagrams for senator, president, and mayor, i.e., their new forms of address after being elected to office.

Harry Engel
via email

Adopt Him

In regard to “Wake Up From the Nightmare” (Cover Story, September 16), I was just wondering if it’s too late to adopt David Burleson and his brother. The article was excellent, though sadly compelling. I would love to read more from him in the future.

Peggy Hollis
La Mesa

Good From Bad

The cover story on the September 16 Reader was very eye-opening and certainly straight to the heart (“Wake Up From the Nightmare”). When I started to read the story, I wasn’t quite sure whether it was real or basically if it was taken from someone else’s story and written by another person, until I got to the end.

And David, I have to say, my heart is with you, my prayers are with you, and it’s such a blessing that out of a bad situation you made good come of it. There are so many times that when parents choose a road of addiction and certainly not the road of recovery it will change the balance in one’s life, and unfortunately your baby brother took the other road. I always feel that there’s one that’s always trying to be with that parent no matter how bad that parent is, that they want to feel that the love would come from doing the same thing that they’re doing. So I’m certainly going to be praying for him.

I truly feel that you are giving back what you received. Thank God for those special people — your teachers, the counselors, the Anytown camp — and certainly your honesty to those people that were able to help you at times. A lot of kids hide that, and that’s what kids do, from embarrassment.

Certainly this story was an eye-opener. To any parent who saw that cover and is putting their child in that predicament, please get yourself some help. Help is out there, but you have to be willing.

Thank you, Reader. That’s the kind of thing that I really want to know about, so that I can make a difference in someone else’s life.

Name Withheld
via voice mail

It’s Fiduciary, Dammit

Regarding “Home Is Where the Variance Is” (“City Lights,” September 16). Please advise the Bell family to contact a competent real estate attorney. The unpermitted room addition and the setback violation should have both been disclosed to the buyers. The buyers’ broker has a fiduciary obligation to the buyer, in this case to inspect the property in order to discover these types of deficiencies. The broker may be liable for damages.

Ian Sagman
via email

That’s A Fig Leaf

In the September 23 Reader, Jim Crooks (Letters) compares Paul’s decisions in Acts 21 to the contemporary observance of Christmas traditions. In Acts 21, Paul, the apostle of Christ, chose to participate in purification rituals involving animal sacrifice commanded by God through Moses in Numbers chapter 6 and administered by the Levitical priests in the temple at Jerusalem. Paul did this at the command of the elders of the Christian church in Jerusalem even though as an apostle he outranked them. Their motive, expressed in Acts 21:24, was to make known to everyone in Jerusalem that Paul conducted his life in strict observance of the law of Moses. This was public relations dishonesty and legalism.

Today, many Christians who already possess irrevocable eternal life practice legalism, not in order to be saved, but in order to stay right with God. This is the perpetuation of the fig leaf syndrome. They believe they can earn points with God through tithing, or fasting, or self-sacrifice, or asceticism, or penance, or observing blue laws, or avoiding the cinema, or shunning popular music, etc., ad infinitum, and looking down their noses at anyone who does differently from them. This is a cart-before-the-horse thing. We can’t be in the right with God by doing what we perceive to be good. We can only do what is intrinsically good in the sight of God by His grace, by the power that He graciously pours into us enabling us to do so.

As for water baptism, Mr. Crooks evidently believes it to be a prerequisite condition for eternal salvation. In the history of the Christian church, there have been and are many who agree with him. It is true that water baptism is commanded in the New Testament. However, to proclaim that the receipt of eternal salvation is contingent upon water baptism is to proclaim a false gospel to the unbeliever. In Acts 16:31, Paul assured the Philippian jailer that he would be saved solely on the condition that he obey the command to believe in the Lord Jesus. In John 6:47 and 48, Jesus says, “Amen, amen, I say to you, the one believing has eternal life. I am the bread of life.” John 3:36 plainly avers that the one believing in the Son has eternal life.

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