By L&T Managing Editor Larry Phillips
I have never before questioned the motives of fellow editors of area newspapers when they pontificate on their Opinion Pages, but when one of them decides to openly insult and demean my good friends and neighbors of Hugoton in an editorial, motives not only need to be seriously questioned but exposed as well.
Many in Southwest Kansas know how the ACLU tried its best to force school officials in Hugoton to cancel presentations by Matt Miles, “a speaker affiliated with the Oklahoma-based group The Creation Truth Foundation,” as the Garden City Telegram put it in an April 28 opinion column.
It seems Telegram publisher and editorial page editor Dena Sattler got upset when school officials had the effrontery to invite a guest speaker to their town who believes in Biblical creationism.
They even allowed this man “to speak at the school assemblies on the topic of dinosaurs,” Sattler wrote. “Miles also gave evening, public presentations on creationism that took place on school property.”
The Telegram’s first criticism was in the lead paragraph of the column: “The Creation Truth Foundation declares Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution to be wrong and promotes Bible-centered science for students.”
The resulting controversy – as judged by the Telegram – against Hugoton school officials was their own arrogant fault, according to the Telegram.
“… considering the well publicized mission of the group involved, the school district only invited the controversy in approving the assemblies,” it noted.
Most of us in Southwest Kansas understand and expect the left-wing bias against Christianity in the Lame Stream Media, but when it slithers out of a Southwest Kansas paper, it really hits home how determined lefties are in defining how you should think and what you are supposed to believe.
Read this paragraph and tell me if you think Sattler “likes” anything about our state.
“Of course, the situation wasn't a surprise in a state where ultraconservative Republicans have doggedly pursued changing science standards in school curriculum as a way to reject evolution — the cornerstone of modern biology — and open the door to religion in science classes.”
That says a lot about her distaste for Kansas. Makes one want to ask the obvious question, doesn’t it?
What many leftists forget is nothing in the Constitution and the Bill of Rights says there should be no religion in schools.
There is no “separation of state and church” written anywhere in our Constitution.
That is the biggest scam ever perpetrated on the American public. And you can thank activist judges who think it’s their job to write legislation for that.
And that “is” unconstitutional.
Here is what the First Amendments says:
“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.’
Let’s look as this again: “… shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion.
Where, I ask – is there any law, anywhere – telling us we have to practice or “establish” a certain religion?
Then in the same sentence: “… or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.”
We are free to practice our religious beliefs under our Constitution. That’s a fact.
It’s also a “fact,” our earliest founders not only practiced various religions but religious values were taught in schools – thoughout the 13 colonies.
Lefties have taken recent court rulings (within the last 40 years) and expanded them to mean just about anything “they” deem appropriate.
Tearing the 10 Commandments off school walls, forbiding Joseph and Mary creches on school grounds, renaming Christmas concerts “Holiday” concerts.
The list goes on and on ad nauseum.
I find it remarkable the Telegram’s owners, Hutchinson-based Harris Enterprises, tolerates such intolerance in western Kansas.
I can’t see where it’s the Telegram’s business what the citizens of Hugoton do or don’t do.
I do know Sattler has trouble with some readers in her chosen “hometown.” We get comments about her editorial stances on our website.
Example: “I am from Garden City and the present editor has a very liberal slant. Many Garden City readers write into the paper and complain about her editorials, I am surprised she is still employed there.”
The Telegram’s editorial attack against the good people of Hugoton solicited bitter responses, some of which are posted on the Telegram’s website:
“I don’t like geting pushed around for being a Christian. I think people who believe in God are sick and tired of getting pushed around by people like you. I have no idea where the concept came from, other than folks like you, that America is explicitly an atheist country. I cannot find it anywhere in reading the Constitution,” one comment read.
Another noted, “Most of you preach tolerence of other people’s values but when it comes to faith-based groups, there is NO tolerence.”
Yet another wrote: “As a Western Kansas person, I find it hard to buy into this editor’s viewpoints. I am glad Hugoton stood up for their local son and brought him back to speak.”
I’m somewhat surprised even more citizens of Hugoton haven’t told the Telegram to mind its own business.
I’ve said it many times, newspapers should reflect the values of their communities – not define them. It seems Sattler has no problem in telling her readers – and citizens of other towns – what they should think, do and believe. That’s great, if those ideas reflect a majority of her community.
But I don’t think so, and she knows it, too.
Garden City is the county seat of Finney County, which has 16,768 registered voters, according to Finney County Elections Clerk Elsa Ulrich. Of those, 7,701 are registered Republicans, 3,412 are registered Democrats, Libertarians number 81, and there are 5,574 unaffiliated voters registered.
So, 20.3 percent – or one in five – of the registered voters in Finney County are Democrats – a minority.
Garden City residents should be applauded, though – they are very, very, very tolerant people to put up with current Telegram management.
The citizens of Hugoton should just ignore the minority leftists that run the Telegram – the citizens of Liberal are behind you.