published Friday, June 29th, 2012

"Accept gays as people first" and other Letters to the Editors

Accept gays as people first

Sunday's story, "Tempest in my soul," was heart wrenching. We have been wrong so many times in our history, discriminating against blacks, Jews and women, just to name a few. We even crucified our Lord. Haven't we learned anything?

Ask yourself: When did I choose to be a heterosexual? My bet would be you didn't "choose" it, you were born with that orientation. We may choose lifestyle, but we don't choose sexual preference.

I am hopeful we will come to accept our homosexual brothers and sisters with the same rights and responsibilities given to heterosexuals, especially in our churches. I am hopeful because I see many young people who have accepted their friends who have come out of the closet, and they relate to their gay friends as people first.

Matt Nevels served on a committee with me several years ago. My guess is that he would not remember me. But I certainly remember him. I did not know his hurt, but I have not forgotten him because of his kindness, wisdom, gentleness and joy. And yet, how could this be with the trials he was facing? What an awesome testimony to God's ever power, presence, love and healing grace.

MARY DeSHAZO RICE, Hixson


Fleischmann, team are shameful

The Chris Carroll article (June 23) about Chuck Fleischmann's campaign was pretty shocking but proved some things that most of us knew two years ago.

First, getting someone's personnel file from the Tennessee Republican Party to falsely claim "lavish bonuses" were paid shows me two things: The TNGOP is corrupt in allowing a personnel file out of their care to be used in a GOP primary. Just because something is said on TV by a preacher-politician doesn't make it true. Right, Mr. Huckabee?

If that isn't enough, Rep. Chuck Fleischmann's campaign director, Chip Saltsman, admits he used the official seal of Tennessee to create the belief there was a state audit that never occurred; another lie created for a TV image that went unchallenged.

We were told over and over again, "I'm Chuck Fleischmann, and I approve this message," when he now admits he's not observing federal requirements.

For this small-business man-attorney to knowingly lie while he claims he wants to serve the public shows that he and his supporters are happy to skirt the rules, blur the lines and downright lie.

Chuck Fleischmann and his "team" are all shameful.

SUE POWELL


Remarks about Steelman belittling

I felt Ms. Garrett stepped out of line in her low-key derogatory remarks against Dr. Fred Steelman. Dr. Steelman has been and continues to be a highly respected man along the same lines of Billy Graham, Charles Stanley, etc. I felt Ms. Garrett was trying to embarrass, humiliate and make Dr. Steelman look like the "bad guy" because of his rightful, biblical stand against homosexuality.

I applaud Dr. Steelman's stand. I wish there were more with the same courage he has shown. Until you've walked in a pastor's shoes, and had to make controversial decisions, you can never know the pain he feels.

If Dr. Steelman had compromised his true convictions and avoided biblical passages condemning homosexuality, and allowed Matt to have free rein in his eulogy of other gay friends, you can rest assured Red Bank Baptist Church would have lost more families than the Nevels family.

To the Nevels family, I am sad for your loss and understand it was nothing you did to cause this situation; however, you cannot expect God to change His word to fit your present emotions.

I hope the new pastor from Louisiana has the same convictions and boldness Dr. Steelman has shown in his many years of leadership.

REV. RONALD B. CASE, Pastor, Grace Baptist Church, South Pittsburg, Tenn

20
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MARY DeSHAZO RICE, there you go again, acting as if Jesus approves of accepting and welcoming people!

SUE POWELL, well don't worry, if we're lucky he'll just be a one-termer.

REV. RONALD B. CASE, I can however, expect people to take God's words as they want them to be, rather than as they are. And you should have the same skepticism.

You won't, though, not when it's sentiments you want to follow.

June 29, 2012 at 12:35 a.m.

There are other causes besides the purely genetic which influence human development, but are still not conscious choices.

But no, it is very expressly not the case that even among identical twins that genetic predispositions are identical. You really don't do yourself credit with that statement.

Besides, if you are concerned about the expenses of HIV/AIDS the places with the most problems don't have theirs significantly among homosexuals. Sorry, but they don't.

June 29, 2012 at 1:50 a.m.
anniebelle said...

Justachild is so certain in his belief, I'm sure no amount of science or life experience will dislodge what has been hammered into his head since he popped into this world. So continue on with your holier-than-thou view and maybe science and understanding and true compassion for those that live along side us will finally come to pass. You're a dying breed.

June 29, 2012 at 6:25 a.m.
LibDem said...

If Dr. Steelman is indeed no better than Billy Graham, Charles Stanley, etc., then I guess he deserved some bad press.

JAHCHILD, where exactly do you find these 'Identical Twin Siblings' who are absolutely honest about their preferences? (And what about the identical twins who are not siblings?)

June 29, 2012 at 6:55 a.m.
anniebelle said...

here's a clue, justahatefulchild, I don't believe the voodoo you believe so I'm not intimidated by your childish threats.

June 29, 2012 at 10:21 a.m.
Leaf said...

Jah Child be smokin too much ganja.

June 29, 2012 at 10:29 a.m.

JAHCHILD, again, if you look at patterns in other countries, you see an entirely different picture.

Besides, if you thought about it, you'd realize how you just explained that it wasn't a free and conscious choice. Much like a smoker, or a heroin user, or just your common alcohol addict, maybe they aren't able to make the choice of their own free will.

Or heck, just somebody who eats too many sweets.

And actually God is mocked and defied, and all sorts of things here on Earth. Why there's even people who profess to be doing God's Will while doing anything but.

One hopes they face the consequences of their actions without too much dismay.

June 29, 2012 at 12:02 p.m.
Rickaroo said...

Rev. Ronald Case, I hope you read Mary Rice's letter. I suggest that you read and re-read it until you have ingested the simple wisdom contained within it. I doubt that it would do your hardened heart and closed mind any good. But just maybe.

I have no use for religion or churches or make-believe gods but I do understand why some people have a need for such things. Most of those people cling, unfortunately, to the notion of a ruthless, judging god like you do (though you like to refer to him as a "loving" God - what a joke) and hold fast to antiquated, out-of-context verses in the Old Testament that have nothing to do with love and compassion but rather old-fashioned justice and vengeance. You might call yourself a Reverend but if your religion is more concerned with focusing on "sin" and obeying the letter of the law (isn't that what the Pharisees and Sadducees of old were all about? Those same Pharisees and Sadducees that your Jesus railed against?) than it is with loving and accepting people as they are, then perhaps you should get your head out of that antiquated book that you call “holy” and just live in today's world among the people. I guarantee you there are more pearls of wisdom in Ms. Rice's letter than within the hundreds of pages of Old Testament BS that you so fervently cling to.

June 29, 2012 at 12:34 p.m.
CADMAN1 said...

JAHCHILD, I agree with you 100%. Most of these LIBTARDS in here are very well spoken when it comes to the english language and know how to talk down to people very well. But thats about all they know. When it comes to Spiritual wisdom they havent got a clue and dont want a clue. The Lords ways are abhorrent to them and doesnt fit their lifestyle. When the sons of Satan move in next door to them who ya gonna call? And you cant argue with an idiot, they will drag you down to their level and beat you with experience every time.

June 29, 2012 at 1:14 p.m.
Easy123 said...

cadman1,

Spiritual wisdom means nothing. Everyone has their own religion with different beliefs. Do you consider a muslims "spiritual wisdom" to be equivalent to yours? I doubt it. Therefore, your spiritual wisdom is simply your beliefs. And, as we all know, there is not proof to substantiate any of your "spiritual wisdom" based on your religious beliefs.

"The Lords ways are abhorrent to them and doesnt fit their lifestyle. When the sons of Satan move in next door to them who ya gonna call?"

What does this even mean?

"And you cant argue with an idiot, they will drag you down to their level and beat you with experience every time."

That's how I feel when I argue with a Christian.

June 29, 2012 at 1:18 p.m.
CADMAN1 said...

MUWAAAHAHAAAAAAAA

June 29, 2012 at 1:37 p.m.

Hmm, who just got done talking down to someone?

Oh yes, CADMAN1. Sorry, but you just showed your lack of spiritual wisdom, though you did show yourself to be in full command of a load of arrogance.

June 29, 2012 at 2:22 p.m.
Rickaroo said...

"You cant argue with an idiot." - Cadman

Precisely. That is why I don't waste my time with the likes of you or JAHCHILD or any other deranged bible thumper.

June 29, 2012 at 3:43 p.m.
AlmostAmanda said...

Do living in the Lord's way include referring to people with whom you don't agree as LIBTARDS? Wow, my church is way off on that one, I suppose.

June 30, 2012 at 10:05 a.m.
TommyColeman said...
  • I suggest a new title, "Accept bigots as people first"
June 30, 2012 at 12:34 p.m.
Rickaroo said...

"The Truth is that You and I, and, all of The Family of Faith love every one of them." - JAHCHILD

Yeah...like Hitler loved the Jews. I know exactly how you bible-totin', bible-quotin' christian cretins "love" everyone - you love 'em all the way to hell. Your "love the sinner/hate the sin" philosphy of tough love doesn't mean diddly squat. If you think that you have the right to point out the "sins" of other people but then you say that it is up to your God to carry out the dirty work of actually casting them into hell for all eternity (unless of course they change their ways and profess belief in sweet jeezus), then you are as complicit in the dirty work of banishing them to hell as your sadistic God is. The God that you choose to worship - and the key word here is CHOOSE - is a reflection of who you are, and if your God is petty, vindictive, and sadistic enough to cast his own children into hell based on nothing more than how they choose to believe, then you and your God are one and the same. You are as petty, vindictive and sadistic as the God you worship.

You christians like to say that you are not "judging," rather you are simply pointing out the error of someone's ways. Yeah, right. I'd rather have indifference or even the pure unadulterated hate of someone (at least it's raw, honest emotion) than the sick, twisted, self-righteous kind of "love" that you claim to feel for all of humanity.

June 30, 2012 at 12:53 p.m.

JAHCHILD, what happens to those who percent God's word?

Think about it.

June 30, 2012 at 10:21 p.m.
jpb said...

To Matt and Frances Nevels, thank you for allowing Ms. Garrett to write this beautiful story of your love for your son, his partner and their friends be told. Thank you for walking the path of Love, for teaching us what it looks in today's world. Jean Brookbank, New Hampshire (Ms. Garrett, I found your piece on the Huffington Post. Thank you for the gift of your writing.)

July 3, 2012 at 9:35 p.m.
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