Mr. Cook these are radically different scenarios and you omitted many relevant facts. I am pleased this is in the editorial vice news section as opposed to the Youngblood shooting that was originally reported as news with the same goal to attack Stand Your Ground Laws. All these men should have let Law Enforcement Officers do their job. That is why you used them. What about all the home invasions, burglaries, and car-jackings? Why didn't you use those to attack the Stand Your Ground Laws- we all know why? They were not inflammatory enough. The media consistently fails to report legally armed individuals preventing violence, stopping attacks on innocents, and indeed serving our society. Any loss of life is sad but gun violence consistently has fallen as gun ownership and concealed carry permits rise. The same concept of "shared immunity" from immunization protecting society is applicable to gun ownership and Stand Your Ground Laws. Second arguments that is race based should that Stand Your Ground Law is applied MUCH more frequently in poor neighborhoods- no kidding there is also more criminal violence there. I understand your disdain for the Second Amendment and gun ownership that is your right. However after 30 years of military service, I will NEVER allow you to impinge on my ability to protect my family, my neighborhood, my nation, and myself. You are welcome to your opinions but that is all they are, one person's opinion.
Kids need a place to belong. I grew up in youth centers in the 60's and 70's in another city- I saw some drugs, some weapons, and some negative activity. However on the whole, the Centers were great places. My parents were not around but I could always go to the youth center and find a coach or community volunteer that cared, that is what makes the difference. Some one has to care for kids outside of school time. Youth Centers are a great place to find that. If violence is a problem then put a police neighborhood station / patrol person there. It isn't perfect but Centers make a difference for a LOT of KIDS.
This concept of Separation of Church and State attributed to Thomas Jefferson is most purposely misquoted by anti-Christians. It is a fallacy, there can be no doubt of Jefferson's belief in Jesus Christ as illustrated by his words. He said there should be no state endorsed religion but also said he would not argue if a man had twenty gods or no God. His words of religious freedom are inarguable and are as quoted:
"The doctrines of Jesus are simple, and tend all to the happiness of man."
"The practice of morality being necessary for the well being of society, He [God] has taken care to impress its precepts so indelibly on our hearts that they shall not be effaced by the subtleties of our brain. We all agree in the obligation of the moral principles of Jesus and nowhere will they be found delivered in greater purity than in His discourses."
"I am a Christian in the only sense in which He wished anyone to be: sincerely attached to His doctrines in preference to all others."
"I am a real Christian – that is to say, a disciple of the doctrines of Jesus Christ."
"I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just; that his justice cannot sleep forever." "None but an armed nation can dispense with a standing army. To keep ours armed and disciplined is therefore at all times important."
People must speak out against religious intolerance, cultural relativism, and the current assault on Christianity. All have a right not to believe but the rights of non-believers can NOT supplant the rights and indeed the responsibility of believers to speak publicly, for only in a Judeo-Christian Nation are the rights of non-believers, Muslims, Hindus, Taoist, Wiccans, Rastafarian, ET AL safe. Your right to NOT believe is safe. I MUST FIGHT your attempts to limit my right to practice my beliefs in accordance with the principles of which this nation was founded.
Fftspam- certainly the goal is preservation and promotion of the nuclear family. Fathers that lead, support, and raise their children are good things but the increase in children with no paternal leadership continues. It is a FACT, and must be addressed by action not sticking our heads in the sand. Gang violence, drugs, and desolution of families must be addressed not by closing those few entities that engage them, but by finding a way to augment existing resources, not closing the few that exist. I BLAME the Mayor and Rico because they deny the problem and blame those trying to make a difference. They are charged to LEAD not place blame. "Naive fool" you say- You have to address the environment we have Not what we wish we had. Littlefield needs to lead not waste waste taxpayer money sueing a "church" entity or sueing to hold his position. This cannot be resolved by the cult of Ron or Manny. Finally, i realize faceless blog sites promote bold talk, too bad we can't meet in person. I spent 27 years fighting bullies and gangs. What do you do besides pseudointellectualize?
If the Mayor and Mr. Rico provided more police converge outside Mosaic perhaps they could control the events. Bottomline: this organization is trying to reach "at risk youth" AKA gang members and those associated with or at risk of becoming gang members. Blaming a pastor or,denying the existence of such gang activities does not mean they don't exist. Littlefield and Rico both are on record as denying the existence of gangs. These kids are going to go somewhere. If the pastor can change 1-2 kids is that not worth it? Mr. Dodd would seem well served by using the venue to include outside the venue to gather intelligence on the gangs and/or saturate the area with overt and covert LEOs. I'm just a retired soldier but it seems a no brainer to me. Whether i am comfortable with Mosiac's administration or not it's serves a population in need. Littlefield should stop the castigation and address the root cause- GANGS and a large disaffected youth population. He can't wish this problem away through his personal arrogance. Mr LITTLEFIELD- we have a problem- it is NOT Mosaic. This problem will not go away by itself and all I have seen is an increase in activity NOT a decrease. Mosaic will NOT magically solve this problem but it might make a difference. Mssrs. Littlefield and Rico present NO alternatives- end your denial and show a little LEADERSHIP that is what WE (taxpayers) pay you for. You are Public Servants START serving the PUBLIC not your personal egos.
If the Mayor and Mr. Rico provided more police converge outside Mosaic perhaps they could control the events. Bottomline: this organization is trying to reach "at risk youth" AKA gang members and those associated with or at risk of becoming gang members. Blaming a pastor or,denying the existence of such gang activities does not mean they don't exist. Littlefield and Rico both are on record as denying the existence of gangs. They kids are going Togo smewhere
On Veteran's Day I am compelled to write to our community leadership to reemphasize the fact that one of the components of a strong society is how it cares for and honors its returning veterans. As a recently retired veteran of Desert Shield / Desert Storm, Somolia, East Timor, Operation Enduring Freedom Philippines, three tours in Operation Enduring Freedom Afghanistan, three tours in Operations Iraqi Freedom, Operations in Qatar, and other contingency operations I am sensitized to organizations that try to help veterans. Clearly Mayor Littlefield and the Leadership in City of Chattanooga have NO interest in its citizen veterans- there are no visible efforts by them to reintegrate veterans nor to even honor our veterans of WWII, Korea, Vietnam, and other combat operations. Certainly any effort focused on veterans would cost money but..... the strength of a society is how it cares for and honors its returning veterans.
Veterans make up a significant sector of our society. They also make up a significant segment of our homeless population, mentally ill, and substance abusers. I accept that your view of veterans is purely mercenary- "what's in it for me", however, we can spend time, money, and intellectual effort up front helping and honoring veterans or we can deal with the second and third order effects of choosing to save money by ignoring those that protect our society. This is an issue that we cannot and should NOT ignore. Our veteran's deserve better. Finally and MOST importantly today's Veterans are a HUGE untapped resource- they are more educated, more creative, and more capable than ever before. We cannot allow stereotypes or short sighted leaders ignore the consequences of our current failed policies. Certainly the Veteran's Administration has a huge responsibility but it cannot cover all areas. Our veteran return to our communities, if we do not embrace them and integrate them into our community, if we allow prejudice and mercenary interest ignore their needs the local impact will be huge. The Chattanooga and Hamilton County Leadership, and our state simply must do better. Certainly we can do more substantial things than we are currently doing. We can pay now and tap this huge resource or we can pay the more expensive social consequences later.