Having read and listened to lots of commentary this past weekend, our response to this tragic event should probably be a complicated "all of the above."
I read the full text of President Barack Obama's address at the vigil for Sandy Hook shooting victims, the little children and the teachers in Newtown, Conn. The speech was beautifully written and I'm sure heartfelt by the president who delivered it and brought comfort to all of us who have been affected by this.
On reading the Dec. 7 letter from Sharon Fowler, I see that recrimination and political hit pieces keep on coming from the angry right. The context of Fowler's letter seems to infer that people wanting free money and government handouts are the reason President Barack Obama was re-elected.
What choice does a conservative Georgian have when it comes to representation in government? It seems that the two people that we elect as U.S. senators every six years to represent us at the federal level do nothing but enjoy their membership in the most exclusive social club on the planet.
Taxes are going to rise on middle-class families in just a few weeks if Congress fails to act. Both Republicans and Democrats agree that taxes should remain low for 98 percent of all Americans, but Congress is refusing to pass this into law. Why? Because they are trying to extract continued tax cuts for millionaires and billionaires.
I applied for food stamps more than a year ago with the local office. The request was for one person, myself. I revealed that I did have a roommate but that person did not share meals with me. My request for assistance for two people was denied. Duh! Nowhere did I ask for help for two.
After Sept. 11 and Hurricane Katrina, we have believed that every major city, every state and the federal government has a disaster relief plan in place to respond to emergencies that we have come to anticipate.
Clearly Sharon Fowler is unaware of the cause of obesity among the poor in our society. In many of the "poor" communities, grocery stores are not available, and fresh produce is nonexistent. Instead, calorie-laden food is available at a low cost.
The vision of Hall County promises that its residents will reside in "a model community that promotes sustainable quality of life by partnering with citizens and businesses to make a community of choice for living, working and leisure."
If you watched television news Tuesday morning, you would understand why President Barack Obama was re-elected. The line for free money to pay heating bills was at least a double block long.
I am an avid reader of The Times and usually enjoy reading it daily. However, I am appalled at the letter published Saturday, written by Lamar Wilbanks. He professes to be such a devout Christian and yet had written such hateful, toxic bigotry, which is totally counter to the teachings of Jesus.
I'd like to commend the gentleman who planned to stand on top of Slack's to raise the $10,000 for the Salvation Army. I've always donated to the annual Christmas fundraiser and thanked the people who took time and effort to stand out in the cold or rain to ring the bells.
The city of Gainesville is up to its same old dirty tricks. Its leaders failed in their scam annexation attempts a couple of years ago, and now they're trying again. They've shrewdly set their "public hearings" for times when impacted business owners cannot attend to look in their faces and register outrage publicly. The City Council also has done its very best to minimize awareness that meetings are even being held on Monday.
My expressed opinion from a recent newspaper article in The Times concerning the at-large voting process claim versus elected mayor and city form of government:
While I was casting my vote at the recent presidential election, I realized how easy it would have been for me to punch the wrong button and select the wrong candidate, and about the possibility of not being able to correct the error I had made and therefore, God forbid, my vote had counted.
So community and political organizers in the Latino and African-American communities have begun a push for district voting in Gainesville.
When I was a child, I was fascinated by the liturgy and art of the Roman Catholic Church. I would sneak into the living room on Christmas Eve and watch Midnight Mass from Rome. Being raised in a Baptist church in Southeast Arkansas, it was all so foreign! But something within it resonated within me.
In the midst of the current firestorm raging around the Confederate Battle Flag, intolerant, hate-filled voices demand the eradication of all things remotely associated with Confederate heritage. Quietly seeking but denied permission to be heard are the voices of reason which offer the love of Christ as the remedy for the angst afflicting American society at large.
On April 30, 1789, on Wall Street in New York City, the capital of the United States (at that time), Gen. George Washington had been sworn in as the first president. He and his government staff walked over to a little stone church, which is still standing today close to Ground Zero.
As I am called a bigot, a homophobe, and other names for my stance against gay marriage, I had an awakening thought: As people call me those names, they are also calling Jesus those names since He was the one who defined marriage as being between one man and one woman.
Now that the U.S. Supreme Court has rewritten the long-standing definition of marriage, the same-sex population and their supporters are gleeful while the rest of us are being labeled "intolerant, insensitive and hateful" for clinging to our archaic Biblical beliefs.
A huge thank you to BB&T for benefitting Randy and Friends through their Lighthouse Project. They spent many volunteer hours working to improve the Rooster's Perch Coffeehouse, in addition to the work space where employment and life skills are taught to adults with disabilities.
Concerning climate change, Pope Francis' stance in his Encyclical is very clear. He stated, "A very solid scientific consensus indicates that we are presently witnessing a disturbing warming of the climatic system," and "scientific studies indicate that most global warming is due to the great concentration of greenhouse gases released mainly as a result of human activity. Climate change is a global problem with grave implications."
I wanted to attend the Hall County budget meetings but couldn't. This is what I would have said:
The 2 percent, or less, of our population identified as LGBT are not being picked on. Rather, their bullying is being resisted. Nobody cares what other people are doing relationally in the privacy of their homes (no bomb building, please). We do care how our children are educated and about our Biblical values such as sanctity of marriage.
I have lots of words regarding Dick's column regarding our dad, but think only one is appropriate: Amen!
Last week, our country and our community received a command, not merely a call. We must reach deep inside our hearts and heads to find ways to reach people before they become unreachable, such as the young man responsible for the tremendous tragedy in Charleston.
The other day I read a small notice that our illustrious city council was considering "improving the square." I had lunch at the square the other day, sat outside and had a nice time just looking. I found the square looked very nice - nothing needs to be done.
Just like the Roman emperor Constantine did 1800 years ago, the "powers that be" continue to politicize Jesus for their own personal gain. And Christians continue to be vulnerable. Traditional theology hasn't helped much.
On more than one occasion, I have taken pen to paper to offer my criticism of your newspaper. It is expected that we subscribers will do that. When a newspaper does something that I feel is commendable, I will also offer my praise as well as extending my subscription another quarter.
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