In response to Mark Shuey: No media outlet, from Newsmax to MSNBC, should be the sole source of scientific information. Journalists aren’t trained scientists and are often wrong. I’ve seen many examples of this from sources you recommend, and misinformation must always be corrected. Your letter is no exception, starting with you calling the sun a planet--it’s not.

On climate change, literally thousands of articles published in peer reviewed scientific journals, where all “objective scientists” publish their findings, confirm that our climate is warming largely due to human emissions of greenhouse gasses, such as methane and carbon dioxide, and we can expect severe consequences without dramatic changes. We know that the sun is not the “largest influence” of increased temperatures because scientists have measured that and found solar intensity decreased slightly since the 1960’s.

There isn’t any evidence showing that the election was stolen, the pandemic was planned, or that SARS-CoV-2 escaped from a Wuhan laboratory. Regardless of anyone’s opinion on mandates, both masks and vaccines have been scientifically shown to be safe and effective tools to stop the spread of COVID-19, except for those with extremely uncommon medical conditions. You don’t need to read research to understand the harm of refusing these measures, explained in my previous letter. All you need to do is visit any hospital and see that they are overwhelmed and losing staff from burnout.

Even if your claim about COVID-19 misdiagnoses is true, (it’s not) it doesn’t account for this unprecedented strain on our healthcare systems. Wearing a mask or getting vaccinated is in no way an infringement on anyone’s freedom. Rather, it shows respect towards those most at risk, including healthcare workers working tirelessly for the past 21 months. You don’t need a mandate to be a good person, nor do lesser people live beyond our borders. Texas’s low vaccination rates indicate its US citizens are less likely to be vaccinated than immigrants, legal or illegal, so blaming COVID-19 spikes on immigrants is blatantly false. They are also no more likely to be “drug dealers, rapists, gang leaders, or unhealthy people.” The $450,000 is to settle lawsuits, which immigrants have strong odds of winning in court. (See “Protocols for the Treatment of Refugees” and the Supremacy Clause in the Constitution.)

This brings me to a more important point: why the vitriol? Did you learn buzzwords like “Deep State, “‘Leftist’ propaganda,” “Progressive Socialism,” and “Chinese Communism,’’ from your sources? Do they incorrectly convince you only Republicans defend the Constitution from the evil, communist Democrats and immigrants who are determined to destroy our country? (Your false scientific claims make your historic claim dubious.) Does believing this bring a false notion that you and other Republicans are superior? This only brings fear and hatred. As a chaplain, you should know better, or is that your religion?

You’re correct: both Republicans and Democrats have faults. Let’s stop pretending that one party is more patriotic and once again debate these issues civilly using evidence, not buzzwords, misinformation, and lies.

Aron Schnaser



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