Great American Conversations
                    With The Alumni of RHS
                 Issue 104 ~ November 4, 2000

"I know a wise man who had for a byword, when he saw men
hasten to a conclusion, "stay a little that we may come
to the end sooner." --Bacon


      No Disrespect Intended
      Gene Trosper (84 wb)

      On The Lighter Side
      Mary Ray Henslee (61)

      Putting Beliefs Aside, A Town Called
      Hades, and the Salmon Are Spawning Again.
      Bob Mattson 64

      Public Schools, Morality, and School Vouchers
      Robert W. Epler (80WB)

      You Go, Girl!
      Kathy Hodgson Lucas (76)


No Disrespect Intended
From:   Gene Trosper (84 wb)

No disrespect intended, but this whole argument over
homosexuality is really ridiculous. On one side, you
have the upright citizens denigrating gay men and women,
arguing their lifestyle can be changed and on the other,
you have homosexuals and their supporters making some
(at times) flimsy scientific statements which
"legitimizes" their lifestyle.

Both sides are wrong and ought to knock it off.

To those who oppose homosexuality: If you don't want
homosexuals trying to "convert" you, then quit trying to
"convert" them to heterosexuality. Have some respect for
your fellow human beings. Not only that, it's a losing
battle. G-d created man, who is essentially a sinful
creature. Sin is inherent in all mankind since Adam and
Eve were banished from the garden. You must let humans
be as they are. You may pray for them and attempt to
witness, but do not force your chosen lifestyle upon
other who do not want to accept it. The Bible states
that the road to heaven is narrow while the road to hell
is wide. Don't obsess over trying to mold people into
your own likeness. G-d already did that with mankind. I
happen to believe that the majority of homosexuality is
a chosen lifestyle, but so what? There are many other
sins in this world, some which G-d has deemed much more
serious in nature.

What would Jesus do? He would tell the homosexuals to
"go and sin no more," just as he had instructed Mary
Magdaline, the prostitute. Oh yes, he also espoused the

 "Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. There is none
other commandment greater than these."

To homosexuals and their supporters: So what if
homosexuality is a chosen lifestyle or not? So long as
you lead your life peacefully, you should demand others
simply leave you alone. If someone thinks you are living
a sinful life, accept that and move on. Remember, some
of the loudest yelling Christians have some pretty
sinful skeletons in their closet!

Jenny Smart Page, who appears to be a very devout and
sincere Christian, wrote a fantastic reply to the
homosexual topic which more Christians ought to adopt:
Respect. It would be nice if the fringes of
homosexuality would do the same thing and respect others

My two and a half cents.

                   --Gene Trosper (84 wb)

Subj:  On The Lighter Side
From:  Mary Ray Henslee (61)

Virtually anyone can be a Democrat.  Just simply quit
thinking and vote that way.  But if you want to be a
GOOD Democrat, there are some prerequisites you must
have first.  Compare the list below and see how to rate

1.  You have to believe that the same teacher who can't
teach fourth graders how to read is somehow qualified to
teach those same kids about sex.

2.  You have to believe that guns, in the hands of law-
abiding Americans, are more of a threat than U.S.
nuclear weapons technology, in the hands of Chinese

3.  You have to believe that global temperatures are
less affected by cyclical, documented changes in the
earth's climate, and more affected by yuppies driving

4.  You have to be against capital punishment, but
support abortion on demand.

5.  You have to believe that businesses create
oppression and governments create prosperity.

6.  You have to believe that hunters don't care about
nature, but loony activists from Seattle do.

7.  You have to believe that self-esteem is more
important than actually doing something to earn it.

8.  You have to believe that the military, not corrupt
politicians, start wars.

9.  You have to believe that the NRA is bad, because it
supports certain parts of the Constitution, while the
ACLU is good, because it supports certain parts of the

10.  You have to believe that taxes are too low, but ATM
fees are too high.

11.  You have to believe that Margaret Sanger and Gloria
Steinmen are more important to American history than
Thomas Jefferson, Gen. Robert E. Lee or Thomas Edison.  

12.  You have to believe that standardized tests are
racist, but racial quotas and set-asides aren't.

13.  You have to believe that Hillary Clinton is really
a lady.

14.  You have to believe that the only reason socialism
hasn't worked anywhere that it has been tried, is
because the right people haven't been in charge.

15.  You have to believe that Republicans telling the
truth belong in jail, but a liar and sex offender
belongs in the White House.

16.  You have to believe that illegal Democratic Party
funding by the Chinese is somehow in the best interest
of the United States.

                    Mary Ray Henslee (61)

Subj:   Putting Beliefs Aside, A Town Calle Hades,
     and the Salmon Are Spawning Again.
From:   Bob Mattson 64

Well, I'm not a Christian, thank God, although I was
raised a Catholic during my life in Richland. But
there's something in that it was Adam and Eve, not Adam
and Steve, if you believe that story. Anyway, a police
chief in Portland is on the hot seat because of his
Christian beliefs about homosexuality. But he says he
can put that aside and not let it influence him while
with the force. He stated that Aids is a result of
decaying moral standards and that millions of HIV people
will die because we are becoming a lawless, valueless
society, so much that we move toward that day
alternative lifestyles used for certain forms of
perversion will become the norm. With his head on the
block, he stated that he has learned that respect for
all people and their views and is essential to public
life. He asks for tolerance for his faith and beliefs.
Just like the others ask for, hummmmmm. As for me, I
find it comfortable treating each person as one in hopes
they will respect me as well, too simple? I don't know
any other way to break it down. Not real sure about
Heaven, but being able to take an afternoon nap is right
up there.

I found out that Hades was a small town outside Rome where the garbage was hauled and burned. And when the kids of that day would misbehave their parents would threaten them with a ride to the Hades dump and burn. Another urban myth down in flames. 

Dozens of native salmon have arrived and are spawning in the creek beds out front of the cabin, just as nature has intended, it's all so simple.

It's all about love and respect, 

                       - Bob Mattson 64

Subj:   Public Schools, Morality, and School Vouchers   
From: Robert W. Epler (80WB) ~ Bend, Oregon

Should public schools be involved with teaching
morality?  In the SANDBOX issue 100, Mike Franco wrote,
"Let's not burden our teachers with any more of the
policing, feeding, child raising, morals promoting that
we currently bury them under.  Many of my closest pals
are teachers and the last thing they desire is to get
into the morals business."

Regardless of how one feels about this question,
teaching morality is absolutely unavoidable if one is to
effectively teach any subject.  "Morality" is defined in
Webster's Dictionary as "of, pertaining to, or concerned
with right conduct or the distinction between right and
wrong."  So in essence, the last thing teachers desire
is to have to teach their students the distinction
between right and wrong.  I'm sure this is true.  After
all, we can't even totally agree on what IS right and
wrong any-more.  How can a teacher teach any morals
without alienating or enraging those with a different
set of morals?  The answer: teach no morals at all.  Of
course, that is ludicrous at best. To teach effectively,
one must have order and discipline in the classroom.
Therefore, teaching the distinction between right and
wrong becomes imperative.  But how can we do this when
so few seem to agree on what those morals should be? For
those of us who believe traditional, time-tested values
should be taught, school vouchers might be the answer.
Clearly, public schools are not.

In the "Good-Old-Days," most Americans agreed on what
was right and wrong; the schools reinforced this too.
But as Mr. Franco put it, "The good old days are just
that...old and in the past." The culture has changed and
the schools have changed with it.  Those of us who stick
by traditional values find we now have to protect our
children FROM the culture.  Do not doubt there is a
culture war in America.  The battle is no more apparent
than in the public schools.  Instead of discouraging
immoral behavior in our young, they now reward it.  I
know.  Many of you are probably asking, "When do schools
ever reward immoral behavior?"  One example is our local
high school which now has a daycare center within its
halls. Within the last 4 years at this high school, over
one hundred teen girls have had babies out of wedlock.
When I went to high school in the late 70's, I can't
think of even one girl getting pregnant.  I'm not
suggesting that it never happened, but I am suggesting
that it was a rare occurrence.  Though, I'm sure there
are some who feel a daycare in our schools is a great
thing; I think quite the opposite. While we, as a
society, have tried to lessen the consequences of the
immorality of our children, it encourages more of it to
take place.  We seem to be shortsighted in this regard.
The long term consequences of tolerating sexual
immorality is seen in unwanted pregnancies, sexual
diseases, AIDS, abortion, stressed-out lives, and
destroyed dreams.

Pam Jewett-Bullock asked a very good question in SANDBOX
issue 95.  She asked, "If we HAD BEEN more effective in
our teaching tolerance and acceptance, would we still
face the realities of such tragedies as the one at
Columbine High School in Colorado last year?"

I contend that we have been far too tolerant in our
public schools.  And it is the toleration of bad
behavior that has led to the increase of amoral youths.
Case in point, the Columbine murderers were strolling
the school hallways calling, "Hiel Hitler" (complete
with a nazi salute), long before their twisted
philosophy saw its destructive and horrifying fruition.
Those kids exhibited all kinds of antisocial behavior
before they murdered.  And it was all tolerated.  People
didn't like it much, but they tolerated it.  If we
tolerate the little things, you can bet the big things
will be right around the corner.  Where do we set the
limits in tolerating antisocial behavior?  Our modern,
diverse culture can no longer agree. 

Once again, I think the best solution out there
concerning our schools, is the voucher program. Many
believe that it would hurt our public schools. I think
competition can only improve them.  We should be
concerned with giving our kids the best education.  If a
school teaches, "Jesus is Lord" and is far surpassing
the public schools in test scores and SAT's, why is that
a problem?  It will only make the public schools want to
fight to improve their students scores so they can
compete for federal tax money.  And parents would be
able to send their kids to a school that would reinforce
the morals taught at home.  If a parent wanted to send
their kids to a school that promoted humanism, relative
morals, and so on, they can send their kids to that
school.  But I don't think such a school could compete
for long.  Children thrive on order. Order is necessary
for teaching effectively.  Morals create order.  School
vouchers would give parents the freedom to use tax
dollars to send their kids where traditional morals are
taught.  There is only one of the presidential
candidates who is in favor of school choice.  We have an
opportunity to make a difference on Nov. 7th for our
culture.  George W. is the ticket for change.

                  Robert W. Epler (80WB)

Subj:   You Go, Girl!
From:  Kathy Hodgson Lucas (76) ~ Richland, WA

To Mary Ray Henslee (61)
Re: your Sandbox #103 entry

I sure don't know why I felt the need to add my two
cents in response to Marc Franco's (66) entry reacting
to yours.  You did an eloquent job yourself and didn't
call anyone any names.  You go, girl!

                 Kathy Hodgson Lucas (76)

That concludes this issue of THE SANDBOX folks. Please
include your class year and maiden name, (if applicable),
in all correspondence and subscription requests.  You may
also include your current locale if you wish.  It's easy
to join us in the ongoing conversations here.  Just send
your comments to:!  We are the 
Alumni of Richland High School, Richland Washington,
AKA Columbia High School, representing classes from 1942
through 2000. Visit the THE SANDBOX website.

Al Parker (53)
Shippenville, PA
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