To The Daily Sun,
The excellent letter to the editor by Gary Torressen published in answer to the all-out, transparently-biased attack on conservative Christians by Robert Joseph was a respectful, factual and well-written rebuttal. Quite different than Mr. Joseph's broadside.
In reading Mr. Joseph's letter, I counted the charge of bigot or bigotry leveled against Christians no less than 10 times. An accounting of the thrust of his attack follows.
One: Title — Conservative Christians breed bigotry.
Two: Tea Party bigots do not understand Jesus' message of love and compassion.
Three: Christians breed bigotry, anti-woman's rights, anti-race, anti-Muslim, not accepting gays, blacks or other groups that do not fit their mold.
At this point Mr. Joseph sings his own liberal praises. He claims he is a liberal and this means to be "open minded, caring, well-learned and willing to look at all options." It is obvious that he considers himself an all-knowing model for everyone to follow and that these attributes are absent in conservative Christians. Not some, but all.
Four: These liberal attributes aforementioned are not demonstrated by narrow-minded Christian bigots.
Five: Christian thoughts are bigoted. Six: Narrow minded Tea Party bigots...
Seven: A pastor's male bigotry.
Eight: Narrow-minded Christians oppose love, health and safety. Jesus opposed this kind of Christian bigotry.
Nine: Why can't Tea Party bigots do this?
Ten: It is time for these Christian bigots to put away childish things.
Mr. Joseph does not portray his charges as applicable to some in his target group, instead applying his venom to all. And venom it indeed is. The thought might occur to some reading his letter that the "B" word might apply to Mr. Joseph himself. And this does not have to be repeated 10 times to make its point.
Since I am a conservative Christian, I must fit the mold envisioned by Mr. Joseph as enumerated under item three in the above text. I also must lack the listed attributes that he as a liberal possesses by self-proclamation. I would like to challenge all of his charges, but this would require a mini-treatise. I will instead address just one.
In 1964, I was an Air Force captain, a B-52 bomber pilot, 8th Air Force, Strategic Air Command, 99th Bomb Wing (Heavy) Westover Air Force Base. I was completing a seven year commitment and about to be discharged. I had accepted a position as a pilot with American Airlines and would begin with AA the same day as my discharge. I was on alert with my crew among other crews in the rapid response bunkers and talking with a close friend named David Harris, a contemporary with identical career credentials as I. We were both B-52 pilots, captains and college graduates with seven years active service. We were social friends and both of us played on the basketball team. I was discussing my career plans with David and told him that there was a golden opportunity available to him as AA was about to hire pilots for the first time since 1959. Even though passenger traffic had increased, AA had not hired any pilots for five years. The reason was due to the introduction of the new Boeing 707 jets, each one replacing two or three slower, smaller, propeller airplanes. Thus fewer airplanes and pilots were needed, triggering layoffs. But retirements and increasing passenger traffic eventually triggered a recall of furloughed pilots and now a need for new pilots. I stressed that the window of opportunity for faster advancement was now at the beginning of the cycle, rather than later. David related that he had thought about this but was aware that no major airline had ever hired a black pilot. I told him that the Civil Rights Act had at last become law and I strongly encouraged him to be the first to break the color line. David accepted my challenge.
On our first day off, I drove David to La Guardia Airport and introduced him to the chief pilot. He was interviewed, subsequently tested and hired by AA and started his new career about a month after my service began. He indeed broke the color line and our advancement was indeed rapid. We were both advanced from co-pilot to captain within three years and so spent 27 of our 30 years with AA sitting in the left seat as pilot in command. David became the first African-American airline captain and has received much recognition for his role in opening this door that had been shamefully closed. He was in the right place at the right time, and to his credit, like Jackie Robinson, had the right credentials.
Now how could such a scenario have been prompted by someone assumed to be a biased, anti-black, anti-race, narrow minded, bigoted conservative Christian?
This is what Mr. Joseph has portrayed myself and others like me to be. I am also well aware that he is not alone. I have much more to relate, but this will have to suffice for now.
I will close by quoting the gracious end of Gary Torressen's letter. "It is my hope that Mr. Joseph seeks to be more understanding and forgiving. He is wished nothing but the best. 'For the Son of Man (Jesus) came to seek and save the Lost' " Luke 19:10
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