July 28, 2005
Atheist speaks out
Re: your July 25 article, “Public officials don’t just represent churchgoers, atheist says”:
I was disappointed that The Star chose Stuart Bechman to be the “poster boy” for those of us who don’t believe in a Supreme Being, with the possible exception of Diana Ross.
The Star mentions as an “interesting fact” that Mr. Bechman served as the 2004 Green Party congressional nominee for most of Ventura County, but a more interesting fact might be that Bechman has long served as a Sunday school teacher at the United Church of Christ in Simi Valley. I’ve never heard of any other “atheist” serving as a religious educator in a Christian church, and I’m not sure why The Star failed to share this fact with readers, unless, of course, it wasn’t familiar with Mr. Bechman’s religious leanings.
Another reason why Mr. Bechman may be an inappropriate “poster boy” for atheists is his combative history in opposing the display of the historic cross in Simi Valley. I daresay your average atheist would simply prefer a more “live and let live” approach regarding our differences with our fellow citizens.
Considering that Mr. Bechman serves as a Sunday school teacher in a religious organization dedicated to teaching people about the man who died on the cross, the former congressional candidate appears to many of his fellow atheists as something of a gadfly who can’t seem to make up his mind.
— Jay Redig, Ventura
Wow, I think you're the first athiest I agree with in an article! Well put, Jay!
I'm glad you blew the whistle on this guy Bechman.
Indeed, Stuart Bechman's political aspirations and ties with the ACLU and the horribly liberal United Church of Christ--albeit a liberation theology pseudo-Christian church that does not adhere to strict Biblical new testament teachings--make him indeed a lousy posterboy for an athiest and a massively wishy washy hypocrite at worst.
I'm really glad you wrote of this, as this Bechman guy has been on my radar scope for awhile now as he is a lousy influence on the Simi Valley/Ventura County area yet he thinks he seems to have some enlightened wisdom that makes him some great candidate for political office in an area where his views and affiliations are strongly out of the mainstream--I smell the ACLU trying to dig in....
But you know how things are: he can say he's an athiest to one guy, then say he's a "Christian" to another guy, and can look like he's "all things to all people" and nobody but those that dig or read articles like ours will know the truth. This pathetic wishy-washyness is why he represents nothing and will never get my vote for any public office and should do the public a favor and serve them by NOT running for any political office or any position of public leadership.
Bechman is so tight with the ACLU that I'm not sure where one begins and the other ends so to speak--that's why he jumped on the "get rid of the cross from Mount McCoy" bandwagon because that totally fits the ACLU's m.o. . I'm waiting for the big bullies at the ACLU to try and remove the crosses from Arlington National Cemetery next :)
Go read for yourself Bechman's bio/CV on the web... I did so once and consequently thought from his own web-info and his last campaign that this guy was pretty awful and a largely disruptive political force in the local community. But watch, like a pesky gopher in your backyard, he'll be back to pop his head up again and dig up some more of our backyard...
Jonathan, you need to get that radar fixed. You think Stuart Bechman is a bad guy, because he's open about his beliefs. You consider yourself politically astute, a keeper of the true Christian faith,do you not? Do you have any idea who this Jay Redig is? Clearly you don't, so I'll enlighten you. He is the 23 year old boyfriend and 5+ year "life partner" of 45 year old Brett Wagner, the Democrat who ran against Stuart Bechman and the esteemed Elton Gallegly in the last election. His letter was nothing but a partisan attack on the Green Candidate, Stuart Bechman. The Wagner campaign is still bitter about the fact that their candidate did so poorly in the election, even amongst Democrats. Stuart Bechman received a lot more votes than the registered number of Greens. And as we all know, Gallegly won by a huge margin. If you think Bechman's campaign was awful, he did better than the Democrat, with a lot less money. It's always good to have all the facts, Jonathan. Know who you're dealing with before you agree with someone.
Stuart Bechman got attacked by a fellow candidate? and by a divisive Democrat/associate of a divisive democrat? All candidates get attacked by each other-and how stupid of a Dumbocrat of any sort to attack a green party candidate at all when Elton Gallegly has this area wrapped up tight for himself--and rightly so. What does that attack prove? What does your reply have to do with anything I wrote? You just went off on a tangent...I'm supposed to think Bechman is a better candidate because he was attacked by another candidate who in actuality shares 90% of his political group affiliations? What kind of skewed logic is that. What does it have to do with anything I wrote of?
Boatloads of Democrats support the ACLU, too, because liberalism has been taken captive by the left--so Bechman's own liberal cronies attacked him as I see it. I'm not surprised seeing how the ACLU works. Sure Bechman did well, he had the ACLU and some bogus Christianity behind him--he was an ACLU chapter area leader for goodness sake. Bechman will never defeat Gallegly in Simi Valley--but let him and the ACLU and other disaffected liberals waste their money trying...
Besides, I'm not writing to rehash all the injustices of the past, I'm just letting people know that I have clearly read of what Stuart Bechman stands for, and it is not representative of the mainstream of what Simi Valley and the Conejo Valley represents. He is out on a loony left fringe with his ACLU buddies and the liberal left fringe United Church of Christ. It is no secret what the UCOC stands for--a plank for the left gay agenda in churches. Besides, what is a professed athiest doing teaching at a "Christian in name only", but still at least on the surface, Christian institution. That Bechman guy is riddled with inconsistencies in his own articles, and he'll never hold a political office in the Simi Valley area--people are not that stupid and Elton Gallegly is eminently respectable.
Nice try to distract me from the core issue I wrote about, but it failed. What goes around from Bechman comes around...sure it wasn't right, but neither was any candiate but Gallegly.
I don't need ALL the facts, nor did I purport to know/have them all (as neither do you)--just the ones that relate to the agenda of Bechman. Don't put words in my proverbial mouth.
Before you keep attacking the ucc:
Stuart Bechman is not the minister. He talked to a few members of the youth that were questioning their faiths and professed to be atheist.
Have you ever heard of young christians doing that? I bet you have.
So he taught them about his beliefs at church. That way the church can affirm that it believes wondering about God and Jesus and searching for truth is normal, especially during the teenage years.
Is this something so deplorable you feel like attacking a church?
Please try to keep partisan politics and church seperate.
Klaus van der Kamp
I did not say that Bechman was the minister, I called him a sunday school teacher as I recall. You're missing the real point... Why is a professed athiest teaching or validating anything in an allegedly Christian Church? I have not heard of Christians doing that in fact.... Did God welcome the followers of asherah or citizens of sodom/gomorroah into the temple? No.. the church is a place of holiness and fellowship for BELIEVERS living under the gospel of Jesus Christ.
Such sunday school "teaching" has no place in any Christian church unless it is in the context of showing how empty and useless of a life atheism is to the Christian, and how alive we are in Christ--as an example/model of repentance. But he was not doing that by what you say above.
Chrisitanity is an exclusionary faith. Christians must take a biblical stand, and Christians do not embrace the teachings of anti-Christian athiestic teachers. What is an athiest doing in a Christian church anyways? What's next--have sex offenders tell about their doings in sunday school class for those children that have feelings like that towards other children? You've got it all wrong--tolerance is one thing and is not the be-all and end-all, but embracing atheism and it's evil, and similar evils, in a supposedly Christian church is clearly unacceptable biblically.
Atheism is not to be validated in a Christian church--and not by a professed atheist! Some things have no place in Sunday school is my point. I can't believe you do not understand that.
I am attacking the *teachings* of the UCOC Church--but not them alone. The apostle Paul did the same thing in his writings. I'll argue against any Church that teaches a false gospel--as should any Christian. Everything I said about the UCOC is accurate--it is a far left fringe liberal "pseudo-Christian" denomination that masquerades as true biblical Christianity. Let me make an example of the kinds of things the UCOC perverts. Let's be clear--I am in no way associating Bechman personally with being gay, but I would denounce any church that accepts the sin of homosexuality. FIRST the individual must seek repentance from that sin. Acceptance of the notion of ordaining gay ministers is Biblically unacceptable to anyone who takes the Bible at it's word and translates it in context. It is impossible to be practicing gay and a Christian--that is a philandering sin that God detests in both the new and old testaments (Read the book of Jude) and homosexuals will not inherit the kingdom of God. It's plainly stated in 1 Corinthians Chapter 6. So why should someone that will not inherit the kingdom of God be a teacher at a church? There's the slippery slope and another tenet of my argument... the UCOC is already well down that slippery slope. This is bound to happen to any church that does not adhere to strict biblical teachings and is overly political, not just the UCOC.
Klaus... this statemnt of yours is laughable:
"Please try to keep partisan politics and church seperate"
How very secular liberal left of you.... Politics, when done properly and within Constitutional guidelines, is morality applied. We are one nation under God, and rights come from God--not governments like the secular liberal "progressive" lefties believe.
Even better---The UCOC and folks like Barry Lynn, a UCOC preacher and leader of Americans United for Separation of Church and state, need to follow your own advice in that quote...
You'd best look for the plank in your own argumentative eye before pointing out the splinter in mine, friend. You made my point about the Biblical hypocrisy I see in the overly politicized-liberal UCOC and similar liberal left churches and some of their leaders better than I did I believe. Thank you!