published Saturday, November 30th, 2013

Get rid of street preachers and other letters to the editors

Get rid of street preachers

What's UTC doing with a street preacher on campus in the first place? I thought that went out of vogue in the '80s. They were asking for trouble and they got it. What administrator approved this? Maybe in the future they will have better judgment. I certainly hope so. This situation would have been handled very differently when I was there in the '70s and '80s.

CHARLES M. HYDER, Dalton, Ga.


History lesson on freedoms

The Free Press Nov. 15 editorial "Supreme Court to Rule on Public Prayer," quotes Edward Gibbon's description of religious freedom and tolerance in the ancient Roman Empire. The editorial omitted one critical fact: Gibbon's description was about Rome under Pagan rule. When the Christians took over, they destroyed religious freedom. Jews could go on being Jews, but they had to suffer for it. Everyone else had to be Catholic. The new church-state set out to exterminate every competing brand of Christianity (and there were dozens of them), as well as every brand of Paganism. The long history of Christian tyranny and cruelty began with the religious cleansing of the Roman Empire. And what those ancient Christians did to Rome, the modern Christian Right wants to do to America.

JAMES WALLACE THOMTE, Ringgold, Ga.


Gitz commentary off the mark

Dr. Bradley Gitz writing in the News Free Press "Guest spot" Saturday, Nov. 16, postulates that liberalism may have been worse for black Americans than racism. Really? Nearly three hundred years of subjugation, Jim Crow, and plain discrimination (while bad enough) is not nearly as bad as the "hammock" of some minimal assistance with food and housing? Gitz, quoting horrible statistics of (Black) net worth, "Baby Mamas", incarceration rates, and venereal disease concludes, "What has been worse for black Americans in recent decades, racism or liberalism?" Probably we could get some very direct answers from the actors themselves, but does any observant citizen really think there is equity in education, jobs, etc.? Words fail me regarding this screed; the only one coming to mind is "stunning". Borrowing Times cartoonist Clay Bennett's caption from the same day cartoon, showing a couple leaving church and saying to the Minister, ..."I've never heard bigotry sound so virtuous."

BYRON CHAPIN, Hixson


Don't forget those in need

These are such tiring, frightening times now for everyone. Sure, it's questionable whether things will get better. But, we must have faith. The people hurt by typhoon destruction in the Philippines need our help -- prayers too. Keep in mind our needs here, due to our economy and so many out of work. I feel our hands are tied especially those who live on limited incomes. Hopefully, we can all be grateful this Thanksgiving season for what we have, and, just one day, praise and be thankful for what God has done for us. Share your blessings with someone, and put the world's misfortune in God's hands.

JO ANN FOLLIS, Hixson

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Rickaroo said...

Most street preachers are psychopaths. They are fixated on an imaginary God who is more about punishment and retribution than about love, goodness, and mercy. Consequently their caustic preachings take the form of hate speech and self-righteous judgments of those they personally deem to be "sinners." Free speech is one thing but most street preachers cross the line into making personal judgments about people based on their reading of ancient mythological writings that have no more basis in fact than the Greek or Roman myths. Once they cross that line they should be charged with disturbing the peace. I know the administration was only trying to protect itself from another lawsuit that was successfully won by another street preacher on another of its satellite campuses, but it should not be powerless in taking steps to stop these nuts from rambling endlessly... and even getting police protection as they froth at the mouth in public!

November 30, 2013 at 2:11 p.m.
soakya said...

yeah ricky we should just protect your brand of hate speech as you ramble endlessly as do most liberals. I hope your daily comments are not for real because you can't be as stupid as you let on to be.

November 30, 2013 at 4:40 p.m.
Rickaroo said...

Soakya, my thoughts on this matter are not really liberal or conservative in nature. I know many lefties and righties both who believe pretty much the same way I do about this. I have said nothing here that you should take personally but you can't seem to lighten up for one second and drop the whole ideological left/right thing. Even when there is no reason to make something political out of it you manage to do so. Also, it's really a hoot that you condemn me for my hate speech, then in the very next sentence you call me stupid. Classy.

December 1, 2013 at 6:38 p.m.
JustSoUKnow said...

Is Free Speech Sacred & Absolute?

Free Speech has become way too lax in the popular “Jargon Americana”. “My Free Speech Rights” is thrown as a mindless excuse for anything, thus losing meaning. We mustn't silence opposite views, hence the magic of the free market of ideas and -may I dare say- Natural Selection. What cross are you willing to die on? Free Speech can be used to defend truth, protect the weak; It can be used to talk truth to power to hold the powerful accountable. It is a tool that bears risks & power. Free Speech is worth defending-but not unconditionally- it's way too complex for that. Free Speech needs to be defended from those who will cheapen and corrupt it as well as those who would silence it. Some promote Free Speech others poison it for the rest of us. Free Speech carries a responsibility some of its advocates aren't primarily concerned about being able to say what they think, but want to be able to say what they want without consequences. This isn't part of the deal: Free Speech is not just a privilege, but a responsibility. And that said what we all need to understand is that the right to express offensive views is at the very heart of the principle of Freedom of Speech. Truth is, every conceivable opinion about every important subject will always be offensive to someone. “If Liberty means anything, it means the right to tell people what they don't want to hear” G Orwell. Now hate Speech is a problem-certainly clear threat of violence or incitements to violence should be treated as crimes. I also believe it is appropriate for institutions and organizations to implement their own individual policies against hate speech, e.g. for an organization to refuse to rent space to a speaker or group that promotes hatred, or for a website to refuse to post submissions promoting hatred. But that is different from laws against hate speech. And watch out for the marginal cranks: the smart hate-mongers know how to code their message in ways that don't cross the line while still making the intent clear. The answer to Hate Speech is to cut the oxygen supply by exposure to the bright sunlight. The state is far too blunt and dangerous an instrument to be used to ordain our individual and collective responsibility, that is, to treat others with respect and decency (Is such intricate brocade). Hate Speech should not be an excuse to expand governmental control.

“Everyone is in favor of free speech. Hardly a day passes without its being extolled, but some people's idea of it is that they are free to say what they like, but if anyone else says anything back, that is an outrage.” ― Winston Churchill

“What is freedom of expression? Without the freedom to offend, it ceases to exist.” ― Salman Rushdie

“People demand freedom of speech as a compensation for the freedom of thought which they seldom use.” ― Søren Kierkegaard

Just my opinion, that’s all

December 8, 2013 at 9:48 p.m.
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