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Rosemead Herald

[this is good]


[this is good]


Benson's statement here is totally contradicted by the long history and massive amounts iof effort made by his church to work on the social, family, community and moral environments. Benson's church is famous for its huge welfare program where the poor are fed, employed, housed and fellowshipped.

Am I correct in surmising from this quote that Benson disagreed with all the things his own church was doing around the world to improve the lives of members and non-members?

Zak Klemmer, ACS, ALB

Math: Private charity, non-government help like the LDS and others is a benefit to society if they hold the individuals who accept it to make changes in their behavior that will improve their lives so that they can live on their own merits. I do disagree in that I do not think that religion can change human nature. Individuals do have power to make changes in behavior in many circumstances. Individual results may very.


Zak, an indisputable example of contradiction to Benson's statement and to the general argument that social action cannot improve life for individuals and groups is public education.

Educate the public - the masses, the citizenry - and huge, pervasive benefits accrue to individuals and groups. The social policy of free and open access to education DOES change people.

Of course, individual results may vary.

Zak Klemmer, ACS, ALB

Government schools have lowered their standards over the years and just disseminate propaganda for the politically correct sub-culture.


And have private schools varied in their standards, and have private schools chosen various agendas to push? Have all public schools, from Fargo to Chatanooga, taken to pushing the same propaganda? Lowering of standards is something you could accuse businesses of, or that you could accuse universities of.

If you don't like propaganda, then we would all work together (as a society, as voters, as parents) to push for quality education. Quality public education. We could eliminate liberal propaganda, as well as eliminating the religious and racist and war-mongering propaganda TOO. It is within our abilities as citizens of this great country.

I s there something, Zak, about PUBLIC education that you don't like? Maybe only the rich should be able to school their kids. Would that be an improvement? Would that be consistent with your American values?

Meanwhile, consider that nearly all Americans can read. Cool huh? It makes things work a lot better than if only a few of us could do it.

And where did we learn it?

The upshot is that while ET Benson SAYS external situations and policies don't change people, the fact is they do. And the fact is HIS church has been anxiously and expensively engaged in creating programs for teaching and improving people ever since it started. If he thinks Jesus is the only one who can change people for the better, then he should have closed down BYU.

We can't believe what Benson said. He was an extremist, and ideologue, and logically inconsistent.


Zak Klemmer, ACS, ALB

In many respects you are correct Math. However Public Institutions are "political" in process that that's always going to be SNAFU.


[this is good]

Right. And private institutions? No snafu there, eh?

At least with public schools, the public has access to comment on the way things are designed and funded. If the teachers are not paid enough, or if they are not well-trained, the public can make a fuss.

A serious and dangerous part of the movement toward privatization and chartering is that more and more of the administration and curriculum goes OUT of the control of parents and the public. The schools serve more and more PRIVATE goals, and push private agendas.

Schools, of whatever type, DO MAKE a big difference in the lives of individuals and communities. Saying that schools (or parents, or diets, or markets, or newspapers, or law) DON'T make a critical difference (as I think Benson was saying) ignores the reality of the powerful impacts of our social institutions.

We should watch them, regulate them, keep them from being a negative influence.


Zak Klemmer, ACS, ALB

Except that I'm not required to give money to private institutions.

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