A Letter to the Editor

A Letter to the Editor

Kayla Espinosa, Guest Writer

In this current social climate, there is so much happening. There has been an overabundance of COVID cases and deaths. The Black Lives Matter movement as well as others have been strongly acknowledged. There has also been a social split due to all the different political changes and views. Now more than ever, there has been a redefining of what it means to have an opinion.  However, it has recently come to the attention of the Grandview community that an editorial member of the Chronicle abused the power and privilege to produce an opinion article glorifying religious beliefs and talking down on socialism. The problem with glorifying anything is that it leads to being viewed as superior. She wrote the articleSocialism is Incompatible with Religion”. Sure, she can have her own opinions about a type of government not being the best. The problem with her article was when she intertwined religion, inaccurate information, and her own personal biases. In defense of herself, her work, and her ideology: her statements were offensive, oblivious, and unfounded. Her hypocrisy and rhetoric was unacceptable and needs to be addressed. Keep in mind: I don’t want this article to produce hate towards her. I want to help her, as well as students that are in support of her beliefs, to understand why other students and myself are outraged. 

The article that started it all.

Per my understanding, the article was originally taken down, not due to censorship, but as a result of poor journalism. In the simplest terms, Socialism is when there is public ownership of productions and properties rather than private ownership. It also encompasses thoughts such as free education and free health care. Socialism is more than just that, but that’s a small glimpse. Furthermore, there is a  problem with her connecting Socialism to Communism. Communism has been referred to by Marx as Revolutionary Socialism, but it is still Communism. There are differences between the two structures. In a Communism, properties would be distributed based on what is needed. In Socialism, people are still able to have their ownership of a property. By focusing on the Soviet Union in her article, the idea of Communism was the main focus, rather than Socialism.  In addition to inaccurately relating Socialism to her article, she took quotes out of context and twisted the meaning to better her argument. Cherry-picking what you want to hear even though the source says otherwise. It is questionable and unethical. For example, she claims that California is telling people that they can’t sing in their place of worship. She is failing to include that the government made this regulation due to COVID. Singing can be a cause of droplets and airborne transmission which  further spread the virus. Those particles can travel more than 6 feet and linger in the air for hours. COVID-19 is extremely contagious and is why these rules are enforced in other countries as well. While I am writing this, COVID-19 has killed 1,637,805 people worldwide and 305,934 people in America. These numbers aren’t pixels on a screen. These were sons, daughters, grandparents, mothers, fathers, and more. California wants to make sure that there are fewer people taken away from their families. It isn’t a result of Socialism, but science realistically and logically being applied to an institution during a pandemic. 

There were many things I found deeply wrong with her article. From the manipulation of quotes to the weak, biased arguments, it is a poor piece to say the very least.  The ending was not the reflection of a proper journalist . She used the opportunity to point out how much wealth the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints had accumulated. Interestingly enough, money seems like it was a giant problem for the church in 2019. There was a whistleblower that claimed that $100 billion wasn’t being used for the intended purposes. The church was accused of “stockpiling their surplus donations instead of using them for charitable works.”  When speaking of the status of a church, it is concerned to correlate position to wealth. According to the source, the church wasn’t holding up to their financial promises. Does it truly matter how well off a religious institution is? Sure. The more money a holy establishment has, the more people it can help. However, should that amount of money be flaunted? Let’s think about this for a second. Since she has quoted from the bible, I think it’s only fair I do so as well. In Timothy 6:10 Paul said, “‘For the love of money is the root of all evil.'” Paul is saying that money is necessary, but is it something that one should put on a pedestal? No. It seems odd to glorify the dollar at the end of a piece about religion and politics. Buddha, Muhammad, Jesus, Abraham, and Moses never glorified the worth of money. It shouldn’t be right for any person to boast about the amount of wealth their religious place of worship has. By boasting, she is holding her religion superior in a more material sense.

Her actions and responsibility.

Her own words and actions align with what she claims to disdain. To give her credit, she did indirectly provide a great point for me to make by going against herself. A perfect example of the author’s views on ideas and beliefs being forced into school and  in society, are from her own actions.  She claims the socialists and communists are using rhetoric to promote their own agendas; however, her article does the exact same thing. She is reflecting what she believes is undemocratic, which, by definition, is hypocritical. Her subjective thoughts of superiority are not what people want to read about on a school page. Grandview echoes hallmarks of equity, equality and the understanding of facts, beliefs and cultures. This is represented by the Cherry Creek School District constantly enforcing policies to be a better community. We have students and faculty of different religions, different ethnicities, and students with so many unique ideas. The Cherry Creek School District protests and discourages the onslaught of sub-standard bigotry.  CCSD practices Inclusive Excellence which the students and staff must follow. She is clearly failing to practice such excellence and to recognize the impact her actions have caused. She posted on her own social media account that she wanted to include religion and conservative ideas on the school platform. Her goal for that was to see how many friends she would lose. That was posted on November 12, 2020 which is 32 days before the article was published on December 13th, 2020. She also claimed the Grandview community was trying to ruin her life over what she wrote. No matter who you are, everyone is held to a standard in the real world. In July of 2020,  Nick Cannon was fired from MTV and, he was removed from his show because he had said anti-Semitic comments. On his podcast, he was talking with Professor Griff about anti-Semitic conspiracy theories. Even though it was his freedom of speech, it was still full of hateful intent. I’m not in any way saying what she wrote is anti-Semitic, but what someone puts out into the community does impact those who read it. She went on a religious and political rant on a public school page. The author is lacing the article with obvious religious superiority, bigotry, and self-preservation of her own beliefs. If she really likes the separation between church and state, why is it acceptable to integrate school with religion?

Everyone is entitled to the freedom of speech. It’s an unalienable right. But EVERYONE should be held accountable for what they say. We hope that the Grandview Chronicle upholds this standard and provides reasonable repercussions for her abusing her position. We are all One Pack and we are a community but right now, we are separated. Let’s hold each other accountable for our actions and help one another learn from our mistakes.