published Sunday, January 15th, 2012

Letters to the Editors

Secular world created problems

This is in response to a letter Dec. 28, "Religions create many problems."

I am always amazed by the secular view that a story or commentary with a religious topic is some infringement or attack.

As a believing Christian, I see so many topics attacking my religion in this paper and other news outlets, that I am glad to see some point of view that supports my beliefs.

As for religions being the cause of most wars, abuse of women and children and other atrocities, that is almost laughable. Secular governments have waged almost all the wars in history. And governments, be they secular or religion-based, allow abuse of their citizens.

Those who use religion as a reason for war or to suppress freedom most likely have hijacked that religion for their own secular and selfish gains.

True believers know this to be true. Those with no faith to live by look for scapegoats to explain the mess the secular world has created and we live in today.

SCOTT HARRINGTON

Ooltewah



Advertise help to cut violence

Responding to the cries of local entrepreneurs, after unprecedented violence Christmas weekend downtown drew attendant negative national publicity, "city fathers" moved rapidly to shutter its "source."

Just as rapidly, two new "gang task force" positions commanding salaries of $70,000-$90,000 were created from the city budget.

Safety concerns? Absolutely. Balanced by businesses fearing loss of livelihood, profits, Chattanooga's industry draws.

Is a crisis line established for gang members who want out? Do "safe houses" exist for them? Move on it!

Street/gang violence is rooted at home. Dec. 28, 2011, TyReke Evans, 4 years young, victim of child violence, was buried.

Did "city fathers" attend his wake/funeral? Mayors? Commissioners? Business leaders? We challenge "city fathers," coordinating with business community, to implement immediate help advertising in the poorest communities: i.e. CHA-served, others. Rental managers/tenant apartments/neighborhoods posting "stress" numbers to call before violence occurs: i.e. Domestic Violence Hotline, CHILDHELP USA, Contact Crisis, Covenant House, etc.

Involve TV stations to run media strips of outreach numbers during news and programs, not unlike weather emergencies.

Businesses: sponsor stress numbers on CARTA, in neighborhoods, on billboards!

Make TyReke a poster child for healing Chattanooga's heart!

ISABELLA

von MEMMINGEN



Open art world to the children

Good news, bad news, solution.

Good news: The New York Times lists us 25 out of 45 international cities to visit in 2012!

Bad news: Most public school children don't get art classes at all! Though touted as the place to go to enjoy the arts, our children will not have been exposed to them! Programs at Create Here, AVA and Allied Arts have produced this result for our city. City Council, pay attention! People coming to the city means money spent here. It's appropriate that the art groups responsible for the increased national exposure should benefit monetarily for their efforts to enable them to continue this trend of excellence.

Solution for bad news: Perhaps the art community (art organizations, 2-d artists, 3-d artists, musicians, dancers) could get art appreciation into the schools on a regular basis with a program using volunteers from this community. I would volunteer two hours monthly to such a project. How about you? Would you be willing to demonstrate dancing, play music, discuss/teach art once a month? Until funding comes through, this could work.

Open the world of art to these kids so that they too can participate, as well as appreciate, this city's fine arts.

GAY ARTHUR

Artist



Gun ownership not the core issue

I'm perplexed by the naive mentality liberals maintain in their desire for gun control, having no logic or understanding of facts. 30,000 to 33,000 people die by firearms in America yearly, around 18,000 being suicides.

Compare that with 75,000 dying from alcohol related behavior. 35,000 die from cirrhosis of the liver or cancer-related illness resulting from alcohol consumption.

Where's the outcry from these people for alcohol curtailment?

Vehicle accidents kill more than firearms. Let's ban vehicles?

Thousands of murders are committed utilizing knives.

Having worked for the justice system many years, I've seen brutal homicides committed using a ball bat. Should we not demand curtailment of knife and ball bat ownership?

Murder began with Cain and Abel.

If a vile passion is prevalent in one, a rock will work, and there are too many rocks to take up. The core issue isn't gun ownership, but the inherently evil heart of man that promotes murderous behavior.

Gun ownership is vitally important in today's America.

The Constitution guarantees my right "to keep and bear arms."

Don't approach me with robbery on your mind or enter my home with criminal intent and you will never be shot by my weapon, the same philosophy held by all peace-loving gun owners.

JERRY MORRIS

Rock Spring, Ga.



Lions aid those with vision issues

On behalf of the Chattanooga Lions Clubs, thank you for helping those who need eyeglasses.

I noted in a December edition about a homeless male getting help with eyeglasses paid for by the Neediest Fund. The Chattanooga Downtown Lions, founded in 1927, has supplied glasses and other help along with our neighboring Lions Clubs, including those in Georgia and Alabama. This in addition to seeing-eye dogs, operations, Kids Sight Screening along with other things. Our motto is "We Serve."

For these and other sight problems the local phone number is (423) 315-0350. For other help they can contact a local neighborhood Lions member.

SID BROWN

Past President

Chattanooga

Downtown Lions



Ballet Tennessee is an arts leader

I would like to recognize and share my appreciation for Ballet Tennessee here in Chattanooga.

We are fortunate to have access to a wide array of arts in our city, and I think Ballet Tennessee stands out as a leader in the arts community.

It's performance of The Nutcracker ballet in December at the UTC Fine Arts Center was outstanding and memorable not only because of the choreography, costumes and sets design, but also because dedicated, talented, local dancers performed most of the key roles, including that of the "Sugar Plum Fairy."

Ballet Tennessee not only offers excellent dance instruction but also seeks out, encourages, and provides opportunities for young talented girls and boys through such programs as their TIP (talent identification program), Dance Alive and unique summer workshops and training.

I applaud Ballet Tennessee's outreach efforts, their involvement in the Chattanooga community and the positive impact they have made and continue to make in our city.

KERRY BLOHM



Tax cut doesn't amount to much

Our governor has proposed a 0.2 percent reduction in the tax on food.

If you spend $100 a week on food this will be a whopping 20 cents, or a huge $10.40 per year.

Oh, thank you, governor, for your generosity.

By the way, how much will you save if you get the inheritance taxes reduced?

ROGER THOMPSON

Coffee County



Media motives are obvious

When Congress passed the health care bill (over 2,000 pages), most members of Congress admitted they had not read it. The bill with its thousands of regulations will affect the lives of all Americans.

No problem. The media continues to give these congressmen the utmost respect.

But if Ron Paul did not read every sentence written in his newsletters over 20 years ago, he should be ridiculed and condemned even if the newsletters do not affect our lives in any way.

Are we so stupid? Can we not see the motives of the mainstream news media?

HAYDEN POE

Soddy-Daisy

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Comments do not represent the opinions of the Chattanooga Times Free Press, nor does it review every comment. Profanities, slurs and libelous remarks are prohibited. For more information you can view our Terms & Conditions and/or Ethics policy.
aae1049 said...

I see the Allied Arts folks are in full force congratulating themselves for Chattanooga. When the art community lobbies, it is always means they are after our tax dollars. How much does Allied Arts want this time?

The Tourist are visiting Chattanooga for the facilities, history,... Take away the nonsense pieces of public art, such as blue boy pull toy, and the tourists will continue to visit.

Chattanooga needs to be known for our sciences, Sims Center, Observatory, education, paying jobs...not starving artists.

January 15, 2012 at 12:13 a.m.

I dislike it when people like Jerry Morris play with facts and statistics. Take the bit about vehicle deaths. There are a lot of them. But there is no question that efforts are made to reduce them. More importantly, consider the exposure level. If you are not exposed far more to cars in use than firearms, then I would be most surprised. What would you expect? It's like chemical sales. There is no doubt that water kills many more people than any number of regulated subatances.Only a fool would give us some moronic claim about the dangers of Dihydrogen Monoxide to get us to change how various dangerous and toxic chemicals are sold. But there is no shortage of such fools I suppose.

I,d also quibble over the claim about knife deaths. Such a vague phrasing, to describe around 1800 murders. Same with ball bats. The number of homicides using a bat is so low to be almost inconsequential. That said, there are restrictions on both of those items. Start carrying a bat around. Unless you're wearing a baseballniform, you're going to get questions.

And yes, we do have restrictions on the consumption of alcohol. Seriously, we do.

So you know what, Mr. Morris, don't claim you have superior logic or understanding when your own words are surfeit with disingenuouness.

Maybe you are a responsible gun owner. Others are not.

January 15, 2012 at 1:22 a.m.
Livn4life said...

Yeah happybulbs, you just don't like it when the facts themselves play with your already determined perspective. If the rules applied to curtailing things according to the problems they cause, there would be an unbelievable outcry. But boy if a law abiding citizen wants to own a gun now that's a major reason we have so many gun crimes. I don't buy it!

January 15, 2012 at 9:02 a.m.
kinch7 said...

About Mr. Harrington's letter: any difference of opinion can be seen as an infringement by someone. So when a religious person writes an opinion grounded in religious presuppositions, he or she can expect disagreement not only from secular people, but also from religious people of other persuasions. I know because I'm a Baptist and we disagree with everybody including Baptists. That being said, some of his observations about secular governments are not historically sound. The first secular government ever conceived in history was ours. Jefferson et al forged a government that allowed religion, but did not ground our government in religion. We have a public religion that grounds inalienable rights in a Creator, but the government itself is secular. Would Mr. Harrington make the claim that our Civil War was a secular war and not, as Lincoln claimed, a punishment by God for slavery? I found the statement, "Secular governments have waged almost all the wars in history," to be an extraordinary claim especially since I have recently taught the books of Joshua and Judges. Would it be an exaggeration on my part when I say you can count on one hand the number of wars that were prompted by secular governments without religion? Many do not agree on whether Hitler's Final Solution was racist, religious, or both. Hitler was a Catholic. Many Germans were Catholics and Protestants. They had "Christ Killer" on their minds as they murdered Jewish people. Does that make World War II a religious or secular war? How about Japan with their Shintoism undergirding their nationalism? Was Japan a secular government? Has there ever been a war devoid of religion? Well, Mr. Harrington, has there?

January 15, 2012 at 11:14 a.m.

Livn4life, no I don't like it when somebody skews the facts to suit their message. But yes, we do make laws according to the problems and their actual proportions.

Not phony ones. As I said, most us are around automobiles everyday far more often than firearms. A genuine actuarial analysis would show that. And we still have laws regulating automobiles.

So you know what? I don't buy that argument of yours. It has no substance when applied to the situation, it is just empty rhetoric. Stay away from that kind of representation, you'll be more persuasive.

January 15, 2012 at 12:36 p.m.
Rational1 said...

"Secular world created problems."

It is apparent that my friend from Ooltewah has no clue as what happened to people all over the world at the hands of Christians. Christianity has been defined as a religion with several mentalities. Those who will kill, ravish and rape the land and people for greed and their natural resources and those who will look the other way in order to enjoy the booty. Many argue that the Christian crusades are still going on around the world. As one who has lived all over the world, I can attest to the latter.

January 15, 2012 at 2:13 p.m.
kinch7 said...

If there were no guns there would be no gun crimes. If there was no ammunition, gun crimes would drop to the percentage that measures the times guns are used to bludgeon people. Both of those statements are absolutist, and as such somewhat unrealistic; just as it is realistic for gun owners to equate gun control with gun prohibition. Few people want to prohibit guns. The 18th Amendment is a historical example of how badly prohibition works. Maybe the wallet is the starting place where gun control should be implemented. Chris Rock said we should charge a grand a bullet so that people willing to murder would think about the cost first. It's a funny suggestion. Is it wise?

January 16, 2012 at 9:32 a.m.

No, because the manufacture of a bullet is relatively simple, to the point where you'd find people doing it at home.

Now doing it properly is hard, but you'd end up with a lot of people with misfire injuries to treat, and while some you might write off as deserving their own fate, others, perhaps not.

January 16, 2012 at 12:09 p.m.
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