published Saturday, February 18th, 2012

Letters to the Editor

Could being nice work for gangs?

Sunday's paper had an article: "Pupils compete to stop bullying in Scout project."

It hit me as a perfect way to let children be the ones to make this a great project in schools.

The girl who suggested this said, "We wanted to prove that kids could be nice to each other." Great idea!

Maybe I'm very naive, but could this work with gangs too? They do a lot of "bad" to get attention. Maybe they could do a lot of "good" to get attention, working together, rather than shooting each other.

Maybe gangs are being bad because nothing better has been suggested. They could make a great name for themselves doing something helpful.

It's almost spring -- maybe gangs could help a young baseball team. Maybe start friendly rival teams. Coach those who need it. Help old folks with yards and chores. Chattanooga Food Bank always needs helpers.

Many things come to mind where a gang could be very useful and valued by our community. Think about it! Wouldn't it be wonderful if something like this happened -- for the boys involved -- and for the community as a whole.

BETTY COOPER, Signal Mountain

* * * * *

Emissions testing wastes time, funds

Several residents in Hamilton County have spent hundreds to thousands of dollars in unnecessary repairs trying to get their vehicles up to the standards required by emissions testing.

There is absolutely no reason for this testing to continue.

In speaking with several people from the EPA, TDEC and APCB, I learned this testing was put into place along with 11 other programs to reach clean air "attainment" status, which we have done.

Also, there is no way of knowing if this testing actually helped in this because according to the APCB, "This program alone cannot be measured."

Only six counties out of 95 in the state participate in this testing, none of which are bordering Hamilton County.

Common sense should tell people there is no way this testing has helped when millions of non-tested vehicles drive through our county each year. They are just extortion centers used to hurt the citizens of this county that can least afford it.

For more information, find Stop Vehicle Emissions Testing on Facebook. Please sign our petition and write our officials to let them know how this testing has affected you: www.thepetitionsite.com/1/stop-emission-testing-in-tn/

EVA MILLIGAN, Signal Mountain

* * * * *

Coppinger, Haynes deserve support

I would like to take this opportunity to endorse two friends of mine for public office, Mr. Jim Coppinger and Mr. Marty Haynes.

Both of these have the qualities needed in today's world to make intelligent decisions regarding critical issues affecting our lives such as forced annexation, school programs, etc.

Mr. Coppinger has demonstrated the ability to handle an impossible budget, as county mayor, with dignity and respect toward everyone involved.

Mr. Haynes has demonstrated similar abilities.

In my opinion, both of these gentlemen deserve our full support in their efforts to make this a better place to live and work.

LARRY TOLBERT, Hixson

* * * * *

Honor guests with best hospitality

A story that almost got lost. The vice president of China was on a formal visit to the U.S. this week and returned to the small town in Iowa that hosted him 27 years ago. He remembered the friends he made there, the family he stayed with, and the genuine hospitality extended to him when he was just a midlevel official. Today he is next in line as president of China.

The governor of Iowa welcomed him as one befriended many years ago and then signed a contract to sell $4.3 billion of soybeans from local farmers. That hospitality and those friendships paid off big time.

I was struck by this story because we in Chattanooga have many opportunities to show our hospitality to foreign guests every year. Organizations like Sister Cities and CISV bring international visitors here for the purpose of friendship and understanding. These organizations are run entirely by volunteers, and they deserve the community's support and participation. We should honor all guests with our best Southern hospitality and treat them with the respect we would give to a future president.

Not every act of friendship results in a $4.3 billion contract, but the rewards of international friendship are inestimable.

ELEANOR M. COOPER

* * * * *

Washington a man of faith

Few celebrate the birth of George Washington, whose leadership led an encyclopedia to say, "in the history of the world no man has done more to help any country than Washington did to help the United States."

Few know Washington was a dedicated Christian.

Former Chief Justice of the Supreme Court John Marshall said, "Washington was a sincere believer in the Christian faith and a truly devout man."

Washington's nephew, Robert Lewis, said he witnessed his private devotions and prayer both morning and evening and on those occasions he had seen Washington kneeling with a Bible open before him and believed it was his daily practice.

Tim LaHaye said, "That Washington was a devout believer in Jesus and accepted Him as his Lord and Savior is demonstrated by reading his 24-page personal prayer book written in his own handwriting."

Washington told how God had protected him during a battle. It happened in the French and Indian wars. Four bullets passed through his coat and two horses were shot from under him yet he was unhurt.

Years later, he met an Indian he had fought, who said he wanted to meet the man God was protecting. The Indian said he shot at Washington 14 times.

DANIEL D. NAVE, Elizabethton, Tenn.

* * * * *

Church imposing dogma on all

I am tired of hearing men pontificate (pun intended) on the issue of contraception.

The hierarchy of the Catholic church claims providing coverage for contraception in health care plans is an infringement on First Amendment rights and an assault on religious freedom.

But when the church rails against supplying this coverage to their employees -- many of whom are not members of the church and do not agree with its teachings -- the church is imposing dogma on more than the members of its flock.

Paul VI stated in Humanae Vitae, 1968: "A man who grows accustomed to the use of contraceptive methods may forget the reverence due to a woman, and, disregarding her physical and emotional equilibrium, reduces her to being a mere instrument for the satisfaction of his own desires."

I gather that rendering a woman continually pregnant throughout her childbearing years is more helpful to her "physical and emotional equilibrium" than giving her the opportunity to determine how often and when she gets pregnant. Instead of "being a mere instrument for the satisfaction of his own desires," she is better served by being a baby-making machine.

As a Catholic, born and raised, I am offended by this misogynistic pronouncement.

ARLENE JARA STRICKLAND, Ooltewah

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librul said...

Sorry, Mr. Nave, but despite your desire to let Tim LaHaye recreate George Washington in the mold of his xtian religion, it cannot be done. Sir, he was a Deist. Primary sources are the best:

"I have diligently perused every line that Washington ever gave to the public, and I do not find one expression in which he pledges, himself as a believer in Christianity. I think anyone who will candidly do as I have done, will come to the conclusion that he was a Deist and nothing more." -- The Reverend Bird Wilson, an Episcopal minister in Albany, New York, in an interview with Mr. Robert Dale Owen written on November 13, 1831, which was publlshed in New York two weeks later, quoted from Franklin Steiner, The Religious Beliefs of Our Presidents, pp. 27

Owen: Wilson Tells Even More:

"I called last evening on Dr. Wilson, as I told you I should, and...I then read to him from a copy of the Daily Advertiser the paragraph which regards Washington, beginning, 'Washington was a man,' etc., and ending 'absented himself altogether from church.' 'I endorse,' said Dr. Wilson with emphasis, 'every word of that. Nay, I do not wish to conceal from you any part of the truth, even what I have not given to the public. Dr. Abercrombie said more than I have repeated. At the close of our conversation on the subject his emphatic expression was -- for I well remember the very words "Sir, Washington was a Deist."'" -- Mr. Robert Dale Owen, newspaper reporter, afterwards a member of Congress and later Minister to Naples, after interviewing Dr. Wilson, giving the substance of the interview in a letter written on November 13, 1831, which was published in New York two weeks later, quoted from Franklin Steiner, The Religious Beliefs of Our Presidents, pp. 26-27

Rev William White: He Never Received Communion

"In regard to the subject of your inquiry, truth requires me to say that General Washington never received the communion in the churches of which I am the parochial minister. Mrs. Washington was an habitual communicant. I have been written to by many on that point, and have been obliged to answer them am as I now do you." -- The Right Reverend William White, the first bishop of Pennsylvania, friend of Washington and bishop of Christ's Church in Philadelphia, which Washington attended for about 25 years when he happened to be in that city.

Rev. Dr. Bird Wilson: No Facts Prove Him a Christian:

"I do not believe that any degree of recollection will bring to my mind any fact which would prove General Washington to have been a believer in the Christian revelation..." -- The Reverend Doctor Bird Wilson, an Episcopal minister in Albany, New York, in a letter to the Rev B C C Parker, dated December 31, 1832, from Wilson, Memoir of Bishop White, pp. 189-191, quoted from Franklin Steiner, The Religious Beliefs of Our Presidents, pp. 28

February 18, 2012 at 1:41 a.m.
moon4kat said...

Thank you, Arlene Strickland, for an intelligent letter that mirrors the views of many men and women. It's laughable when unmarried men -- who wear silly dresses and who will never be gotten pregnant -- pompously interfere with the right of women to decide what to do with their own bodies.

February 18, 2012 at 8:27 a.m.
holdout said...

Ms Cooper I do not mean this in a mean way and I am in no way making fun of you but you are very naive. Gang members are not trying to get attention. They are not lost children. They are not people like you and I who just dress different. They are not victims. They are criminals whose job is criminal enterprises. These are people who will sell crack to your 9 year old son and then put him to work selling it when he runs out of money. These are people who will pimp your 13 year old daughter ten times a night and then "pay" her for her "work" with a happy meal. These are people who will take anything they want and shoot you in the face if you dare stand up to them. These are people who will fire a rifle into a crowded street just because they are mad at someone who lives on that street. They will not care who they hit, man, woman or child, or even if the person they are mad at is present. They do not care what race you are, where you live, your religion, how much money you make or what you think of them. They are predators and you are prey. They were raised to be this way and they will raise their children the same way. If we can keep these kids out of the lifestyle with school, clubs, or church that is wonderful. Some can be saved that way but not all. Somewhere along the line the ones who refuse to be helped must be dealt with by the criminal justice system and it needs to protect the rest of us when it does. That is the purpose of the Police, Courts, and Prisons. They are there to protect those of us who do not want to live off the misery of our neighbors.

February 18, 2012 at 11:36 a.m.
macropetala8 said...

That's a very interesting take you have on gangs, holdout. Especially the part you mentioned here, They are predators and you are prey. Happening upon a police website once and a discussion forum, do you realize you just described gangs the way those police were discussing themselves? They actually described themselves as being the hunters and their victims the prey. A very interesting take you have there, sir.

February 18, 2012 at 9:17 p.m.
holdout said...

Lots of website about a lot of professions say the same. What is your point? Do you think that take on gangs is inaccurate? Why? Are you crossing from naive to willfully ignorant? Are you saying that there is some reason to simply allow gangs to destroy our society? What do you MEAN?

February 19, 2012 at 11:01 a.m.
Legend said...

@ Mr. Nave, Washington's nephew, Robert Lewis, said he witnessed his private devotions and prayer both morning and evening and on those occasions he had seen Washington kneeling with a Bible open before him and believed it was his daily practice.

Prayer back then didn't have the same meaning as prayer does today. Back then when they prayed, it wasn't to some divine source, Mr. Nave. They were praying to the church of England, of which America still had close ties and dependence.

February 19, 2012 at 5:37 p.m.
Legend said...

@I was struck by this story because we in Chattanooga have many opportunities to show our hospitality to foreign guests every year

Chattanoogans are too busy attacking one another. They can't show respect to their next door neighbor, let alone someone from a foreign country.

February 19, 2012 at 5:41 p.m.
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