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Letters to the Editor: Nov. 26, 2015

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Garden gratitude

I just finished reading the excellent article about the positive changes taking place at Bodine Elementary School (News, “Kid-approved,” Laura Eastes, Nov. 11, Oklahoma Gazette).

The article briefly touches on the edible garden and outdoor classroom located at the front of the building. It was provided free by Oklahoma City Harvest, a nonprofit program of OKC Beautiful, founded in 2013 by Lisa Putt and me.

Our goal was to provide sustainable, easy-to-manage, community gardens to schools in at-risk communities. To date, we have built 20 four-bed gardens in schoolyards, community centers and other places where children and families gather. Bodine’s garden was generously funded by Frank McDonald. OKC Harvest plans, builds, funds and plants the gardens with surface-drip irrigation and supports gardens through ongoing plantings and education opportunities for teachers and administrators, as well as children and their parents.

At Oklahoma City Harvest, we know the power of garden learning and we are committed to planting seeds of knowledge in schoolyards where children and teachers work together.

— Larry Heyman program director, OKC Beautiful, co-founder, Oklahoma City Harvest Oklahoma City

Duplicitous defense

Last week, one guy ranted about a coffee cup. Most people recognized the ridiculous nature of his call to force baristas to wish them a merry Christmas (before Thanksgiving, no less).

Many very rightly declared this not to be very Christlike. Good for them. We need to show love to those who may not feel comfortable wishing another person a merry Christmas.

But today, I saw a disturbing trend among those who will be celebrating the birth of Jesus next month. It has been reported that one of the Paris attackers passed himself off as a Syrian refugee. And now there is a call to keep all Syrian refugees far away from us; that we are not safe if we allow these people to come to our country because they will attack us. This is the narrative I have read over and over. Yes, safety is an issue — for the thousands of people fleeing the land of their birth in order to save their lives and the lives of their children.

How Christlike is it to turn them away?

OK, I know this may be more of a political issue than a religious one. But our governor, who fought so hard to keep the Ten Commandments on state property, also declared her desire to refuse the refugees. The governor of the state where I was born (Texas) supports a pro-life agenda but has said no to people fleeing for their lives. A presidential candidate declared Christian refugees would be welcome, but not Muslim. These leaders are the very ones many support and vote for because of the Christian values they hold.

How hypocritical is it to say we want Christian values and then, when we have an opportunity to do what Jesus would do, turn our backs? Have we forgotten that Mary and Joseph were refugees?

The way to save the world is not to condemn it.

Merry Christmas.

— Stacey Paugh Oklahoma City

Pro-life?

Here’s what I have to say to the so-called pro-life movement: Just because you’re opposed to abortion doesn’t make you “pro-life.” Your morality could be lacking if all you want is a child born but not a child fed, educated or housed. Why would I think that you might not? Because you don’t want any tax money to go there. That’s not pro-life; it’s “pro-birth.”

We need a much broader conversation on what the morality of pro-life is.

— Frank Silovsky Oklahoma City

Correction

Oklahoma Gazette would like to let our readers know the name and maker of the cocktail pictured on last week’s Season’s Drinkings cover. It’s a Chai Spiced Old Fashioned made with chai-infused bourbon, clove simple syrup and orange bitters created by the staff at In the Raw.

We also misidentified a drink in a photo caption in the related story inside. It is the Brose. We apologize for the omission and error.

Oklahoma Gazette provides an open forum for the discussion of all points of view in its Letters to the Editor section. The Gazette reserves the right to edit letters for length and clarity. Letters can be mailed, faxed, emailed to jchancellor@okgazette.com or sent online at okgazette.com. Include a city of residence and contact number for verification.

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