Skrepenak's reference to God shows lust for material wealth and temporal power

By Drew MaGill

    Luzerne County commissioner Greg Skrepenak's comments abou the proposed Hazleton cargo airport, delivered at the Greater Hazleton Chamber of Commerce Red Carpet Breakfast, should raise yet another red flag about this project.
    While the exact wording varied between the Standard-Speaker and the Times Leader coverage of the event, the gist of it was this: "It's almost like God put that land there just to develop into an airport."
    Political polemic is often preposterous, as is the language of advertising and community boosterism. The name of God has been invoked throughout history by every religion to justify war, pogroms, torture and terrorism. And of course, the false prophets of every stripe have purported to know the will and purposes of the Creator and the meaning of life itself.
    Thus, some may consider Commissioner Skrepenak's rhetorical flourish to be the utmost in presumptuous blasphemy. But in reality, it is merely pathetic, revealing the poverty of his thinking and the paucity of rational arguments for the building of a cargo airport on Green Mountain.
    Yet it would be a mistake to dismiss all of this as only the laughable posturing of a political hack desperately seeking a way to justify public support for the private profiteering of his cronies, Gladstone Partners LP.
    Taken literally, Skrepenak's assertion that the cargo airport was ordained by God when He laid down the foundations of the world and that Gladstorne Partners LP is, in effect, a latter-day Moses leading us out the the house of bondage and into the promised land of milk and honey, implies that adversaries to the airport (such as myself) are in league with Satan and all the forces of darkness.
    Speaking only for myself, I have no idea what God has in mind for this fallen world. But the notion that 5,000 acres of globally rare pitch pine barrens was created only to be sacrificed as the wasy to salvation for a disoriented community is incompatible with the image of an omniscient and omnipotent God.
    The Kingdom of Coal has already blighted 30,000 acres of land in the Hazleton area.
    The Kingdom of CAN DO Inc. has consumed 5,000 more.
    The last unde3veloped land on the Green Mountain should be left as a legacy to future generations of humankind.
    Only there can we hope to experience the primordial beauty of nature as it was before being destroyed to satiate our inordinate appetites and desires.
    History has demonstrated that all our works finally return to ashes and dust. But what we've destroyed of nature may take eons to recover.
    If we really believe in the sacredness and continuity of life, we will reject this project for the seductive delusion that it is. And it is nothing less than the Serpent in the Garden.
    By taking the name of God in vain, Skrepenak exposes what he and his cronies really worship: the god Mammon.
    They idolize material wealth and temporal power and mean to obtain it at the expense of the community and the natural world.
    Supporters of the cargo airport might harken unto the words of Masoses in Deuteronomy 30:17-19: "But if thine heart turn away, so that thou wilt not hear, but shalt be drawn away, and worship other gods and serve them; I denounce unto you this day, that ye shall surely perish, and that ye shall not prolong your days upon the land, whither thou passest over Jordan to go to possess it. I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, a blessing and a curse: therefore choose life that both thou and thy seed may live."

Drew Magill, Sugarloaf

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