published Tuesday, June 12th, 2012

'Make the U.S. industrious again' and more Letters to the Editors

Make the U.S. industrious again

For 200 years we have been a practicing republic of capitalistic endeavors. This has made us the country where people from all over the world want to come and seek their fortune and emulate us.

Why would we want to change and follow people with socialist leanings? For a great example, look at North Korea and South Korea.

The north, a socialist dictatorial country with the upper establishment of leadership living the life of luxury while the common people live in dire need for the common necessities to sustain life, produces nothing but misery. This is what you eventually get when you depend on the government for your every need. They will control your life and death.

South Korea, a capitalist practicing nation (we helped set free), is a thriving, freedom-loving people and an industrial nation that creates products that are sold throughout the world.

Our forefathers worked hard to build this nation; they did not sit around and wait for the government handouts to take care of them. Let's get back to doing what we do best, being hardworking Americans, not a nation of freeloaders. Put country before party. Vote!

VINCE PATTERSON

Signal Mountain


Verbal prayers not more powerful

What is happening when Christian prayers are offered in the commissioners' meetings after a request that they be stopped in order to respect the religious practices of others?

Does forcing others to listen while we pray aloud make anything better? Is the commission strengthened in any way? Do the members care for each other any more than they did? Are members more concerned about the community they represent?

I believe the answer to all of those questions is "no." So what is the purpose of verbal prayer in public when others aren't consenting? It certainly isn't preserving religious freedom. That freedom must be for everyone. It isn't because verbal prayers are more powerful, or more likely to be heard, than silent ones.

We must consider that when we insist that everyone believe the same theology that we believe and practice religion the way we want it done, we are simply saying "I and my way of doing things are more important than you or what you think, or feel, or believe." How would that sound if someone said it to you? How would you feel if a member of another religion did the same to you?

PEGGY CLEVELAND

Mineral Bluff, Ga.


'Under God' added during Cold War

"One nation under God" supporters should realize that Baptist minister Francis Bellamy did not write these words into the 1913 patriotic Pledge of Allegiance. They were put there in 1954 by an act of Congress at the height of the Cold War.

In the 1950s days of "massive retaliation" and "brinksmanship," the "godless Communists" of the Soviet Union had recently divided Europe with an "iron curtain" into "free" and "Communist" regions. They had successfully detonated and were continuing to develop atomic weapons. A war against Communist aggression in Korea had claimed 50,000 American lives. The most populous country in the world, China, had successfully revolted against a corrupt nationalist regime and had become Communist. Americans were frantically searching for Communist infiltrators during this "McCarthy Era," and the Rosenbergs would be executed for espionage.

The "under God" part of the pledge was a political expedient emphasis, yet another divide between "us" and "them."

Since the collapse of the Soviet Union and our closer ties with China, the "us" has become "us good Christians" versus various "thems" -- most often Islamic fundamentalism but too often for many "good Christians" simply Isalm or other non-Christian faiths, or "sin" and "sinners" in general.

GRADY BURGNER


Is county exempt from court ruling?

The U.S. Supreme Court's refusal Jan. 17 to hear a case involving a North Carolina county's policy of relying on Christian prayers to open its meetings marks the end of a five-year legal battle initiated by a Unitarian Universalist in Winston-Salem, N.C. Janet Joyner, a member of the UU Fellowship of Winston-Salem, was the plaintiff in the suit, Joyner v. Forsyth County. The case centered on the practice of the Forsyth County Board of Commissioners opening its twice-monthly meetings with Christian prayers. In July, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit ruled 2-1 that the county's use of sectarian prayer is a violation of the separation of church and state. The case was brought by Americans United, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and the North Carolina ACLU.

Why does the Hamilton County Board of Commissioners feel that they should be exempt from this ruling?

JOHN D. BECK

Ooltewah


Article distorts holy Scripture

This letter is to express our strong disagreement and great disappointment regarding the article "Lost in Translation" in the Perspective section of the newspaper June 3. The article distorts holy Scripture and Christianity as a whole.

We are long-time customers of the Times Free Press. However, if this article represents the direction that your newspaper intends to follow, we will feel forced to cancel our subscription. We represent only one family, but we feel certain that the majority of families in the greater Chattanooga area would agree with our position.

Thank you for the opportunity to express our concerns.

DEWAYNE AND TERESA GLASCOCK


Get government out of marriage

A recent letter to the New York Times proposed a simple, common-sense solution to the same-sex marriage controversy. First, get the government out of the marriage business, where it has no business in the first place. The federal government has never enacted marriage laws, not even against polygamy.

Marriage is more a religious rite than a civil function. Each individual church should decide whom it will marry and whom it will not. Historically, governments tend to exercise control over marriage in nations having an established religion. Ours never has.

The various state governments, if they so elect, could sanction civil unions that would confer certain rights and privileges on a couple irrespective of gender, such as rights of survival, inheritance, emergency decision-making, etc. Marriage as a religious covenant wouldn't necessarily exist. People against same-sex marriages could continue to oppose them through their respective religious organizations. But if a religious ceremony is important, same-sex couples, as many do today, could find churches that would marry them.

The only problem I can see with this arrangement is that it is based on reason rather than emotion, and we do not seem to make decisions on that basis anymore.

GEORGE B. REED JR.

Fort Oglethorpe


Commissioners can pray if they want

The Freedom From Religion Foundation went to a County Commission meeting to ask praying at meetings to stop because of separation of church and state under the Constitution. Reality check: The U.S. Constitution does not say anything to the effect of separation of church and state. Thomas Jefferson wrote a letter to the Danbury Baptist Association in 1802, saying "... contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature should make no law respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof."

The First Amendment states that "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof." So separation of church and state does not have anything to do with praying before a meeting. It has to do with the government making laws for or against religion and the free exercise thereof. Separation of church and state means people can freely exercise their right to religion without being told by the government that they can't. Why can't the County Commission pray before a meeting if they want; that is their right as per the U.S. Constitution and the First Amendment.

JEANIE WALLACE

Hixson

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Comments do not represent the opinions of the Chattanooga Times Free Press, nor does it review every comment. Profanities, slurs and libelous remarks are prohibited. For more information you can view our Terms & Conditions and/or Ethics policy.

VINCE PATTERSON, in reality, North Korea is not socialist. You are correct that they have an elite class, but they don't even pretend to support communism, they now phrase it as self-reliance and military-first.

It is isolationism and authoritarianism that is cause North Korea to be what it is, not any application of socialist principles. With a strong touch of jingoistic militarism.

GEORGE B. REED JR, there are actually several federal laws against polygamy. Try the Morrill Anti-bigamy Act.

JEANIE WALLACE, because they are acting in an official capacity to give endorsement to a particular religion. Do look at the state constitution as well. And actual court decisions. They are important.

June 12, 2012 at 12:35 a.m.
librul said...

Hey, Vince - have you taken a close look at America lately? What's so great about our own plutocratic elite and "the upper establishment of leadership living the life of luxury while the common people live in dire need for the common necessities to sustain life"??? Are you blind to our own country's disease of predatory capitalism run amok?

June 12, 2012 at 9:54 a.m.
moon4kat said...

Vince, until recently I thought my country was about values far more important than money. I was raised to believe America was about freedom, fairness, honor, and justice. Unfortunately, our national ethos seems to be devolving into greed and support for whatever is the fastest and easiest way to make a buck, irrespective of the damage. Big money controls elections and corporations are regarded as people. Sadly, that will spell the demise of this great nation.

June 12, 2012 at 10:45 p.m.
lkeithlu said...

Is there sarcasm in the bible?

June 13, 2012 at 8:29 a.m.
JustOneWoman said...

JAHCHILD said... CONCLUSION: If Anyone Within A Government Building Prays Aloud, Then, Surely That Equates To Establishing A Religion, By Law, 'Forced' Upon The Entire United States of America...NOT!

Don't be so shallow! It is not just anyone. Anyone can pray, talk in toungues, etc. It is the officials being paid by tax payer money. If I hire you to be a spokesman for all people, but you only represent 18% of the people, you are not doing your job.

CONCLUSION: Jahchild doesn't understand government, the constitutions, or patriotism.

June 13, 2012 at 8:41 a.m.
dao1980 said...

Oh Ken, you so silly.

I don't believe you actually believe what you want us to believe you believe.

June 13, 2012 at 9:40 a.m.
Rickaroo said...

Dewayne and Teresa Glascock, just what "direction" do you think the TFP is intending to follow by publishing the article that you refer to? Looks like freedom of the press and freedom of speech to me. Last time I checked we get a pretty balanced dose of opinions in this paper from people on the right and the left, the religious and not so religious. In fact, on any given day I can usually count more of your Bible-quoting brethren who post their opinions than the non-believers do. But you read one article by one person that doesn't fully support your Christian views and you go and get all pouty-faced and threaten to take your toys and go home? I think there are legitimate things to complain about but a FREE press such as we have here is surely not something to complain of but be proud of.

June 13, 2012 at 1:43 p.m.

Anyone prays aloud? No, just those in an official position.

You know, like the person running the meeting.

June 13, 2012 at 9:02 p.m.
Easy123 said...

You can try to do that but, any way you look at it, it's unconstitutional.

June 13, 2012 at 11:16 p.m.
Easy123 said...

We don't allow any of those things. Rape of a minor is not under the category of "homosexuality". No one is fighting for the right to rape boys. There is something seriously wrong with you Ken. You are a deranged individual with warped ideas.

June 13, 2012 at 11:51 p.m.
Easy123 said...

There is not a single line in the Bible or the Koran that could not have been authored by a 1st century person. There is nothing mentioned about electricity, DNA, germ theory, gravity, etc. These books are full of Iron Age barbarism and, all together, useless information like how to sacrifice animals, who to kill, and superstition. A child has more knowledge and wisdom of the real world than any holy book can offer. All of our sciences have passed up and superseded the knowledge in these holy books. Every person since the 2nd century is a greater thinker than any religion/priest/preacher/holy book. Socrates was the greatest thinker of all time and he preceded the Bible almost 500 years. All the world's religions present nothing but ignorance and blatant disregard for factual, scientific evidence.

Homosexuals have passed the test of time. They deserve the same rights as you.

And you are a liar. Name one government in the history of the world that fell as a direct cause of "embracing immoral behaviors". I dare you to research this and try to come back with an answer.

Your religious dogma-laced B.S. arguments are disgusting and false. Everything you say has been debunked or falsified. Keep your homophobic comments to yourself. All you do on here is type the same bigoted, ignorant, and false messages that get refuted EVERY SINGLE DAY. When will you learn that you are wrong? Probably not anytime soon. But I hope one day it sinks in and you realize that you spent your whole life hating a group of people that is no different than you are. Gays and lesbians are people. If you don't like what they do, then don't go around them or do what they do. But you have no sound argument to pose against gay marriage and neither do any of you religious cronies, right-wing bigots, or anyone, for that matter.

June 14, 2012 at 2:04 a.m.
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