The Year of Moving Forward

The Year of Moving Forward
At our 4 person wedding reception in DC

Sunday, February 18, 2007

re: Western Star Editorial about Bush Library

This is in response to an editorial regarding the proposed Bush library at Southern Methodist University. The Western Star refused to print this:

Editor:

The editorial “Bush is a Great American President” struck so many nerves with me that I hardly know where to begin. Everyone is entitled to their opinion, but when written opinion so grossly misrepresents the truth, I have to speak out.

It does not matter to me whether the Bush Presidential Library is built on the Southern Methodist University campus or not. But as a member of the United Methodist Church, I will take up for those who are questioning it. High ranking Bishops and other officials from the UNC have denounced the war in Iraq since 2003, and continue to oppose the surge in troops proposed by President Bush. The Methodist Church has a long history of fighting for social justice and upholding peace. The leaders of the president’s own faith, as well as those from several other denominations, view this war as unjust and unbiblical and it is right that they question the proposed library.

The editorial also comes very close to linking the homosexual community to terrorist groups, and this is an outrageous attack on many in the Bessemer community and the nation. Just because gays are opposed to and may hate Bush’s policies, and might even think that he is unqualified to lead our country, does not mean they hate the man. Homosexuals contribute a lot to our community and to the nation in general. Whether homosexuality is sinful, as you suggest, is debatable, as new insight in to biblical language and interpretation is revealed, but regardless, the gay community is playing a large role in the revitalization of our city. In practically every city in our country where historic restoration has taken place, gay men have played a big part. For various reasons, gay men are attracted to homes in historic neighborhoods and often restore them in impressive if not fabulous ways. And where gay men come, arts and culture follow. Bessemer is no different. I am not implying that everyone who is promoting restoration is gay by any means, but the gay community is playing a role, and should be appreciated.

Finally, the assertion that every person who has served would “return to Iraq in a second” is a blatant misrepresentation of the feelings of our veterans. I personally know of, and also often read of, soldiers who have returned who are now against the war and do not want to return.

It seems that this paper owes an apology to the United Methodist Church, the local gay community, and the good veterans of the Iraq war.

Sincerely,

Joe Openshaw

1 comment:

Chris said...

I actually read this piece in the paper, which someone gave me to take home. I'm delighted to learn that it doesn't represent everyone in Bessemer (not that I thought it would) and applaud your efforts to express the liberal side of things. More power to your blog!