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Education Matters: Police, plastic and priestly matters

December 31, 2010

Editor's Note: Numerous instances of plagiarism have been discovered in Dan Kimber’s “Education Matters” column, which ran in the News- Press from September 2003 to September 2011. In those columns where plagiarism has been found, a For the Record specifying the details will be appended to the piece.

Before contemplating what this new year holds in store, I'd like to take a look back at a few items in this column that merit, in my mind, a second look, or that perhaps at the time suggested a follow-up, starting with a certain encounter I had with a local police officer.

A number of people contacted me with their own stories of similar encounters. A few wanted to take me to task, one signing off, ironically, "your stupid". Most recounted what they considered to be unfair treatment by a police officer or by a court assessing a penalty for their infraction. What we all seemed to have in common was a strong respect for law enforcement, but contempt for policemen who do not practice what they enforce. My "violation" was dismissed.

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Mike Antonovich seems to be in a distinct minority in opposing a ban on plastic bags. Makes me wonder who's funding his campaigns these days.

I'd love to see the present awareness to our addiction to plastic extend to a ban on disposable water bottles that are also mucking up our environment. Homes and businesses could easily install filtration devices and deliver water as clean as the bottled stuff that we've been fooled into thinking is the only clean water available.

Finally I'd like to answer a few points raised by the Rev. Bryan Griem in response to a column I wrote wherein he was prominently featured. My questions back to him went unanswered despite a few attempts to enter into a dialogue.

What originally prompted my article was his firm and very public insistence that homosexuality is a human perversion and an abomination in the sight of God. I was thinking of a number of gay young men in this country who had recently committed suicide and it struck me that people like Griem who thunder away from their pulpits about what God likes and doesn't like is indirectly contributing to those statistics.

His message to me started by labeling as "saboteurs" fellow religious leaders who contribute to this paper's religion page, saying that they "spend their chance for shedding light in the world disparaging the very holy text that they are supposed to defend."

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