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Your Views: Is Christianity about US social welfare policy?
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The Rev. John Spinks wrote a letter to the editor concerning Obama’s speech to school children. Spinks claims we "know" the original speech was changed along with the discussion "questions."

Factcheck.org attained a previewed copy of the speech. The substance was not changed. Only one of the eight discussion questions was changed. Instead of asking kids how they could help the president, they were asked how they could reach their educational goals. Was the original question that offensive?

Spinks claims we don’t owe Obama respect because he doesn’t value human life. We know this because he’s a socialist and was supported by an "unrepentant" terrorist. Obama can’t screen everyone who supports him. Anyway, he must be referring to William Ayers, who did make public statements regretting his past actions even before 9/11. Research Ayers’ history and interviews in full and it becomes obvious how the fellow, though no saint, was the victim of selected quotations by journalists interested in selling papers and ratings and not the truth. Research can prevent false witnessing.

How does being a socialist mean someone doesn’t value human life? I’m not a socialist. In fact I vote Libertarian. I value freedom over government control, but I don’t think socialists don’t value human life. On what grounds is this claim based?

In his letter, there is also an undertone that socialism is antithetical to Christianity. In Europe, there are many socialist Christian parties. An atheist now, I was raised an evangelical Christian. I was never aware God would have strong feelings about a single-payer system versus private plans. Did I miss something in Sunday school?

Despite failing to present valid reasons, Spinks claims that since Obama fails to meet his criteria of respect he is thereby not of good character and Christians should not allow their children to be addressed by him. He goes on to invoke Hitler, who said the truism that he who controls the children controls the future. So now because Obama asked our children to study hard and stay in school he is like Hitler. Wow!

He prides the parents who stood up to the department of education’s hidden agenda. What agenda, what evidence? The president asks kids to get an education and the department of education has a secret, socialist agenda? After misrepresenting and disrespecting two people and without evidence implying a government conspiracy, the reverend writes he prays daily for America.

Please educate your friendly neighborhood atheist. Hiding behind religion to spew politically based nonsense is nonsense. Why are so many Christians silently allowing it? Is this what I should expect from the followers of the Prince of Peace?

Is Christianity about making false claims against people and government institutions without evidence and wailing about socialism? Do Christians believe tax money going to any social welfare program is an affront to God? Stop public education, Head Start, Medicaid, Medicare, HUD, etc., or God will be angry?

Brandon Givens
Gainesville

We must learn from history, but whose version to teach?
The political atmosphere in our country is in a state of serious flux. Our government is a representative type and the representatives are selected by a popular vote conducted at regular intervals.

We electors are asked to make a determination from a slate of candidates placed before us. We have two major parties and other smaller ones. Power seems to be the main, if not only, topic when elections occur. To top that off, the two parties are exact opposites and if that isn’t clear, the campaigns will make it so.

In a court of law, verdicts are arrived at by a presentation of facts, then challenged to ensure clarity and eliminate questions that remain. In our elections, the most important trial in our country, this is not so. We are given some truths, some outright lies and an awful lot of ambiguity and half truths.

The net result is a divided country guided (or confused) by the influx of a lot of money to try to make a case, true or false. Then promises are made to us to win over the fence-sitters. Unfortunately, these promises are usually not kept or the promises not met at all.

We electors do not have a source to go to that will verify the situation. So, in all honesty, our elections are a popularity contest and the party that spends the most money wins.

We are told, "pay attention to history, for if you don’t, you are destined to relive it." But now we are experiencing a more radical challenge to our form of government than ever before. Race has been added to the cloud of candidate selection and people seem to have bought it. I say seem to, because promises made have not been kept, or have not been what was promised, and there is an uprising in the voter ranks.

Could we have fallen back on history for guidance? Yes, but who would guide us to the source?

I just finished "Meeting at Potsdam" by Charles L. Mee Jr. Today, one of the major topics about candidates relates to the ultraliberal leanings of Ivy League schools. The Potsdam meeting’s purpose was to make it possible for Germany to take her place in the civilized world. Thus, as he went to the meeting, President Harry Truman listed to all of his advisory staff. Ironically — or was it? — all the men Truman chose to ignore had a common prep school Ivy League background.

I don’t consider it ironic. I just think the ideas presented were too radical and they wouldn’t work in a readjusting world. But today, it is those similarly educated persons who have a direct pipeline to our president and are directing his leanings. History has given us enough of a hint to doubt the merit of their input.

Voters, please read and heed the facts that lie before us.

George J. Koesters
Gainesville

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