LETTER: Hateful speech backed up by biblical quotes creates division among people

To the editor:

Re: “Bible shouldn’t be used as weapon of control and discrimination

I am writing to express gratitude to Rev. Paula Ashby, Trinity United Church minister, for her deeply loving response to the attack on our LGBTQ+ community in the July 4 edition of the Creston Valley Advance. Her dismay at the “Bible being used to propagate hatred of fellow human beings,” and her discussion of that statement raises Christianity up from its long and dark history of persecution of “the other” (aboriginal peoples and the LBGTQ+ community, amongst others). I understand that the United Church prides itself on being as open and as welcoming as Jesus was, regardless of age, race, class, gender, orientation, or physical ability. Rev. Ashby, in her letter and in her community work, has shown herself to be an exemplary champion of that United Church tenet.

The kind of hateful speech in Mr. Lemky’s letter, backed up by those biblical quotes, creates extreme division among people and threatens our human rights protection and the rule of law. If left unaddressed and ignored as, “Oh, he’s just a nut case,” it can give permission for physical assault to people who share Mr. Lemky’s opinion. I don’t know how “hate speech” is defined in law, or even if it is. But I definitely want to know how the Creston Valley Advance decides what words I have to wake up to in the morning. And surely, if the research that links hateful speech to violence is true (Google: “hate speech and violence”) our local newspaper could best serve the community by choosing not to publish such dangerous rhetoric, even if, or maybe — especially if — words that were written long before Jesus lived are attributed to him. Whatever happened to fact checking?

I have a choice here. I can view Mr. Lemky’s letter as the mad ravings of a fundamentalist Christian and react with matching rage or I can look closer and get curious about Mr. Lemky as an individual who has locked himself into this hateful state. What suffering has pushed this man into such a bitter and condemnatory view? It is futile to speculate, but it helps to know that suffering underlies aggression. When I remember that, compassion, the natural human reaction to suffering, arises in me, along with a deep wish that Mr. Lemky would get a grip on himself and his words, drop his deluded views and desist from his torturous ravings.

Kuya Minogue | Soto Zen Priest | Silent Thunder Order

The views and opinions expressed in this letter to the editor are those of the writer and do not reflect the views of Black Press or the Creston Valley Advance. If you have a different view, we encourage you to write to us or contribute to the discussion below.


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Annual Columbia Basin Culture tour coming up Aug 10 and 11

There are locations across the region participating

Three students receive $3,300 to pursue educational dreams

Makayli Wilkinson from Crawford Bay received the Neil Muth Memorial Scholarship.

Andrew Bellerby out as RDCK’s regional fire chief

Bellerby held the job since January 2016

Poetry Jam returning to Creston

Local writers and poets are invited to celebrate a night of literature… Continue reading

Stetski talks up NDP election platform

NDP candidate for Kootenay-Columbia riding outlines election ‘commitments’ to Canadian voters

Joaquin ‘El Chapo’ Guzman sentenced to life in prison

Experts say he will likely wind up at the federal government’s Supermax prison in Florence, Colorado

Olympic softball qualifier gets $150K boost from provincial government

2019 Americas Qualifier to be held in Surrey from Aug. 25-Sept. 1

Gas price inquiry questions Trans Mountain capacity, company denies collusion

The first of up to four days of oral hearings in the inquiry continue in Vancouver

‘Benzos’ and fentanyl a deadly cocktail causing a growing concern on B.C. streets

Overdoses caused by benzodiazepines can’t be reversed with opioid-overdose antidote naloxone

Will you be celebrating national hotdog day with any of these crazy flavours?

The popularity of hotdogs spans generations, cultures

Former home of accused Penticton shooter vandalized

Ex-wife of man who is accused of murdering four people had her house vandalized

Survivor of near-drowning in B.C. lake viewing life through new eyes

“If I died that day, the baby wouldn’t know his dad,” said 31-year-old Mariano Santander-Melo.

‘Beyond the call’: Teen in police custody gets birthday surprise by B.C. Mountie

Unusual celebration started when Staff Sgt. Paul Vadik went to visit the teen in his Coquitlam cell

Thunderstorms forecast across B.C.

Environment Canada has issued a thunderstorm watch for B.C.’s central Interior

Most Read