A good confession

I loved the “Confessions of a sometimes-wrong columnist” in the Dec. 31 Bulletin.

How fresh for New York Times columnist Ross Douthat to openly acknowledge his mistakes.

It seems Americans have trouble with simply saying, “I was wrong.” Our way is to save face and put a positive spin on everything — which is fundamentally dishonest. I often hear people say, “I have no regrets.” How can that be? I would do lots of things differently if I had the chance. A bit of fallibility frees you from the pressures of life and kindles within us a sense of humility. Excessive optimism is often just denial in disguise.

Sometimes, too, we can admit we just don’t know or aren’t sure. Uncertainty is a part of life. Harmony is not the norm.

“Certainty is an illusion,” said Oliver Wendell Holmes. “I find that our ability to understand and relate to other people functions best when we are confident only in our fallibility and remind ourselves constantly that we might be wrong.”

Rick Burns


Father Radloff should not be a manager

I developed and supervised more than 100 managers during my decades as an executive with a large corporation and have a proven record identifying and culling those who are “all hat and no cattle” from the management ranks.

Prior to his 18 month tenure as pastor of St. Francis church, Father James Radloff was in residence at St. Edwards in Sisters for more than five years. He celebrated some Sunday Masses and helped with religious education but was never our pastor; his day job was working for the Diocese of Baker alongside the previous bishop. I had interaction with Father Radloff as a participating St. Edwards parishioner.

Father Radloff could always be counted upon to deliver a good, often humorous homily and to say “God Bless” to each exiting parishioner. But a successful pastorship also requires skillful management of financial, spiritual and human resources, along with an even temperament, visionary leadership and obedience to the bishop.

Father Radloff’s supporters impetuously compare his situation with the persecution of Jesus. I remind them that Jesus was consistently humble and obedient, whether or not the crowds were watching.

I bear no ill will toward Father Radloff. In my sole opinion, he likely suffers a predicament of his own making. He may own a fine hat, but he should not be in a management position.

I pray that supporters of Father Radloff put down their candles, pens and flyers, reread Matthew 24:4-5, then immediately devote their considerable energies toward making Central Oregon a better place for everyone.

Kevin Neary


Walden is out of touch

Recently, I wrote Rep. Greg Walden urging him to support legislation that would extend unemployment benefits that expired Dec. 31 for some 3.1 million Americans and thousands of Oregonians. It’s something the majority of Americans agree should be done. This is money that these people need to feed their families and pay their mortgages, and it’s money that goes right back into the economy to help fuel our nation’s recovery.

His response absolutely floored me. He wrote, “An extension proposal in the House could actually increase the length of unemployment for some Americans and would increase the budget deficit.”

Some of Oregon’s highest unemployment rates are in counties within his district, and his response proves to me that he is out of touch with his constituents, and that he continually fails to support legislation that would benefit them and the local economy.

It is time for the voters within Walden’s district to speak out and give him the opportunity to pursue other avenues of employment.

Terry Cunningham

La Pine