published Thursday, July 5th, 2012

'Save county funds by being silent' and other letters to the editor

Save county funds by being silent

The continued unconstitutional recitation of Christian prayers at the opening of County Commission meetings will inevitably force litigation on a matter of what is settled law.

Likely, the county will hire politically connected law firms to defend what is constitutionally indefensible. For example, in 1979 the firm of Robert Kirk Walker was paid $100,000 for its losing effort in defending school prayer. By contrast, the winning attorney, John Alley, received only $18,000 for his fee.

In 2004, Bill Hullander posted the Ten Commandments in the courthouse, all to be taken down after losing litigation that cost the county $80,000.

The county attorney and his staff should be capable of litigating basic First Amendment issues such as these. After all, we annually budget their offices to the tune of $2 million.

The matter need go no further if this body would ask for a moment of silence before its weekly deliberations.

RON LAVENDAR, Red Bank


Candidate Miller leads by example

On Aug. 2, voters will go to the polls to elect their choices for various local offices. There are many outstanding qualified candidates. However, there is one who stands head and shoulders above the rest. I say this because I know that he has the proper background, experience, enthusiasm and integrity for this position.

The position is school board member for District 7, and the person is Ralph Miller.

I've known him since his growing-up years and becoming an outstanding student in high school and college, after which he became a successful band director.

When the possibility of advancement arose, he was promoted first to an assistant principal and later to principal in the Hamilton County school system. In all these varied roles, he excelled at hard work, enthusiasm for his profession, love for his students and teachers and a strong belief in "leading by example." I think this speaks "millions" for his love of education and his ability to be a strong school board member

I wish I could vote for him, but I can't. However, the people of District 7 can, and I hope will, cast their vote for Ralph Miller as their school board representative. It's an opportunity of a lifetime.

JAY CRAVEN, Retired music supervisor


Nevels' accepted, loved their son

Re: "Tempest in my soul," (June 24):

I know both Fred Steelman and Matt Nevels well. I was a member of Red Bank Baptist Church during much of the time both were staff members, as pastor and minister of education. To the best of my knowledge, both are fine Christian men. They disagree on some things, but what two people don't?

Homosexuality is sinful; so are many other things. All Christians have sinned many times. No one (except God) is perfect and sinless; that's why Jesus came and died on the cross. Praise God, He bore the sins of all believers!

Should the Nevels family have abandoned Stephen? They couldn't change him; only Stephen himself, with God's help, could have done that. But they accepted and loved him.

Practicing homosexuality is sinful. So is rejecting a homosexual.

HAROLD CUMMINGS


Homosexuals aren't monsters

I'm growing tired of the letters in this section by people who constantly bash gays or people who think differently than themselves. I'm gay and was raised in a strict Baptist home. I can describe it as no less than an agonizing form of psychological child abuse, growing up having emotions that you cannot control or change, all the while being told you must change or face eternity in a burning hell. What shameful nonsense to tell a child, and I can tell you, it does not work.

Religion has left me with a scarred relationship with almost my entire family because they expect me to "change" when that is not possible, aside from me lying to myself and everyone else.

Homosexuality occurs in 1,500-plus species in the wild. Seems pretty natural to me. Perhaps it's your outdated holy book that is unnatural. I hope your outlook will change when you at some point realize someone close to you is homosexual. We are not monsters or deviants; we are people with the same rights as you.

BENJAMIN GROSS


We don't need more from Obama

Obama, the president of more government debt, more taxes, more business failures, more bankruptcies, more folks on food stamps, more home foreclosures, more unemployment, more security leaks, more blaming Bush, more bailouts, more cover-ups, more golf outings, more White House parties and more fundraisers. Do you really want more?

LARRY FOSTER


Target shooting not likely to start fires

A prominent article in Friday's edition (June 22) of the Times Free Press says that "authorities" blame 19 wildfires on target shooting. I've fired perhaps more than 10,000 rounds of small-bore ammunition, worked at the impact end of high-power rifle ranges during live fire matches, and was a licensed gunsmith and ammunition reloader for some few years. Those experiences indicate that this is somewhere between highly unlikely and utterly fabulous.

With very, very rare exceptions, all small-arms ammunition used by civilians is made of lead and brass -- no ferrous metals. Seldom does a civilian have access to military ammunition containing "tracer" compound, or armor-piercing, hardened projectiles. In many years of shooting experience, I have never witnessed any of these military cartridges used by civilians.

It is impossible to generate sparks with lead and brass bullets. So how could target shooters start fires with their guns? It seems much more likely that their cigarettes would do so! So I have to wonder if those unnamed authorities or the Associated Press reporter (also unnamed) have an anti-gun bias causing them to blame guns for these fires.

BILL LAUDEMAN


Little wants to give back

Mike Little is a resident of Soddy-Daisy, and he has been my neighbor for 12 years. Our children grew up together. Mike is a loyal husband and father. If Mike is not at work he is with his family. He has been involved in his children's youth activities on the ballfield and in church.

Mike told me why he wanted to be the city judge. He wants to take the 21 years of courtroom experience that he has acquired and give back to his community. A resident of Soddy-Daisy has never been elected as the city judge, and he felt that was an important issue to the people of Soddy-Daisy. Most people are unaware of this, including myself. Please help me by electing Mike Little to be the next Soddy-Daisy judge.

BOB SNIPES, Soddy-Daisy


Schools turnover cause for concern

One public school system. Two stories Sunday (July 1) and two inquiring comments.

You report that the Hamilton County Schools incurred $70,000 in bad debt last year for unpaid school lunches. Surely it's not necessary for the locals to call in the feds (USDA) to prevent this in the future.

David Cook writes about the massive administrative shuffle over the summer: 25 new principals; two-thirds of the schools with new leadership. He wonders why, and well he should. Having taught and administered for now 40 years, I have a pretty good idea what makes for effective schools, and that's strong faculties (including administrators). Enlightened, supportive school leadership, coupled with a keen sense of collegiality among those who see themselves as co-workers, make for strong faculties and effective schools. Certainly there are other factors, including dedication and competence in the classrooms and committed parents at home, but the bottom line is that there is nothing more disruptive to school progress than massive turnover in personnel. Surely half of last year's principals were not misplaced. David Cook has every right to ask "Why?"

GARY LINDLEY, Lookout Mountain, Ga.

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ORRMEANSLIGHT said...

Jesus Christ of Nazareth said, 39 "And some of the Pharisees from among the multitude said unto him, Master, rebuke thy disciples. 40 And He answered and said unto them, "I tell you that, if these should hold their peace, the stones would immediately cry out." Saint Luke: Chapter 19.

Please tell me, How Can We Keep Silent? We who are the Followers of Our Lord, God, and, Saviour Jesus Christ?

But, You say, "Save county funds by being silent". Shall we save a few dollars and cents? Shall we save a few dollar bills and cents, and, lose our Nation? Shall we save a few dollar bills and cents, and, lose our Own Souls?

The Founders of Our Nation, and, The Framers of Our Constitution knew the precisely correct interpretation of their Sacred Document. Now, some 'Johnny-Come-Latelys' think they can destroy the old landmarks, and, foundations of the Greatest Nation in the World!

No! No! No! We will not be Silent! Like Lee Greenwood, I Shout Loudly, GOD BLESS THE U.S.A.!

Ken ORR

July 5, 2012 at 5:07 a.m.
anniebelle said...

Benjamin Gross it is certainly not you who is the sinner it's all these holier-than-thou fake Xtians who are looking up from their gutter in life and trying to find someone to make them feel good about their hateful ungodly selves. They are saying that their almighty gawd made some flawed human beings, well yes he did, moronic bigots and haters. I wish every last one of them could walk in your shoes for just a day, but I guess living in their own miserable swill is punishment enough for here on earth. Hate only hurts the one so filled with it, it oozes from their very pores. The observations they make are never based on facts, just their limited realm of self-taught hate and unacceptance of anyone not JUST LIKE THEM.

July 5, 2012 at 5:16 a.m.
ORRMEANSLIGHT said...

CONCLUSION:

Our Forefathers Prayed in every Government Building. They sought and obtained the wisdom and guidance of a Thrice-Holy God. (Holy Trinity). Their prayers were answered. We have the Greatest Nation, this United States of America, we have the Greatest Nation in recorded history. (Outside of Israel which contains the Holy City of Zion). Why should anyone think to remove prayers that bless us all?

July 5, 2012 at 5:20 a.m.
anniebelle said...

Larry Foster, you have been fed the line from the right wing puke tanks and none of it is true. I certainly don't expect you to actually go looking for facts, but some of us still do. The childish nature of your comments is telling about your lack of critical thinking. I hear those same pathetic lines daily on your hate sites like TownHall, The Daily Caller, Fat Boy himself and the whole mindless crew at Faux News. I'm saddened that there are so many non-thinking Americans who will sell this country down the drain because of the absolute hate in their hearts.

July 5, 2012 at 5:27 a.m.
ORRMEANSLIGHT said...

'We don't need more from Obama'

Dear Mr. Foster,

Here is another 'More':

More Carbon Monoxide Poisoning released into our atmosphere by

the many jet plane and automobile vacations our present White

House Administration takes!

I hear that even Al Gore continues to fill the air that we breath with enormous poisonous jet plane emissions. People, like so many Madonna Type Celebrities, are Ultra Hypocritical, speaking up for ecology, and, then choking us all to debilitation. Hypocrites!

July 5, 2012 at 5:42 a.m.
anniebelle said...

Maybe the experts in Utah should defer to the self-proclaimed 'expert' bill laudeman SARATOGA SPRINGS, Utah — Residents of at least 2,300 homes in northern Utah were being evacuated Friday after high winds kicked up a fire started by target shooters.

The roughly 4,000-acre blaze, or about 6.25 square miles, started Thursday near the Saratoga Springs landfill, about 40 miles south of Salt Lake City. High winds then helped fan the flames onto tinder-dry grasslands.

Authorities were initially worried as flames moved toward property owned by an explosives company. But as winds kicked up, the fire began moving toward Saratoga Springs, and crews began focusing on saving homes.

Bureau of Land Management spokeswoman Teresa Rigby said the 2,300 houses evacuated include residents who voluntarily left, along with those ordered to leave.

On Friday, fire officials were calling in additional aircraft and extra ground crews.

BLM officials say they believe the blaze was caused when a bullet hit a rock and sparked the fire. This is the 20th target-shooting related fire this year in Utah, they said.

July 5, 2012 at 5:48 a.m.
daytonsdarwin said...

Orrmeanslight AKA jahchild's religious rantings are a prima facie case why government endorsed religion is dangerous. Can you imagine Mr. Orr in a position of power? Do you think he would protect your rights of freedom of/from religion? Do you think Jews, Catholics, Buddhists, even mainstream Christian denominations would be safe from him?

He and others like him are on their own Holy Crusade. "Convert or we'll kill you to save your soul."

Mentally stagnant and locked into a loop of delusion that feeds on violence towards "unbelivers". Same as Hitler, Stalin, Pol Pot, the Taliban, Christian Re-constructionists, Aryan Nation, and the other jihadists who goose-step in a non-rational hokey-pokey.

"Holy" true believers of any revealed religious ilk are dangerous.

July 5, 2012 at 8:30 a.m.
Easy123 said...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Orr_(surname)

Orr actually means "blackcock". But I guess that would be an awkward screen name.

July 5, 2012 at 8:36 a.m.

It's an upside down world we live in. Human beings in the womb are executed, while men who crave inserting their penises in other men's anuses are held up as heroes!

July 5, 2012 at 9:18 a.m.

Mr. Foster I applaud your post.

July 5, 2012 at 9:55 a.m.
daytonsdarwin said...

Let's not forget those good Biblical perversions like Lot having sex with his daughters, the murder, rape, and slavery throughout the Old Testament, Jehovah's dalliance with the Virgin Mary, and a cruel father's blood-thirsty desire to torture and kill his only son.

Only religious fanatics can call that love.

July 5, 2012 at 9:56 a.m.
dao1980 said...

Oh oh, do we have one poster blatantly using multiple accounts on this site?... on the same thread even?

It couldn't be scared-in-the-closet Ken, he's a christian holy roller... so we know he's an honest fella and wouldn't do such a thing... right?

July 5, 2012 at 10:14 a.m.
ebenji87 said...

Mr. Foster, almost everything you said has nothing to do with the current President. Yes, Obama is doing a lot of fund raising right now. But as hard as he is trying, Mitt Romney has still raised MORE than Obama because of his major contributors being billionaires who want the Bush policies to be carried on so the rich can get even richer. The mortgage crisis WAS Bush's fault because of his administrations deregulation of the banking systems. Obama's "tax increases" only affect you if you smoke or go to tanning salons. The bailout was inevitable, thanks to the previous administration. Finally, Obama has spent way less than any of the last three presidents so far. Even Clinton. Do some fact-checking before you post your Fox News propaganda rant.

July 5, 2012 at 10:17 a.m.
daytonsdarwin said...

jahchild said, "people like 'anniebelle', and, say... Darwinians, don't seem to want to live a Holy Spirit Filled Life."

If you're an example of a dignified, Holy Spirit Filled Life, you're right. The only life you'd have others follow is your own.

Does Jehovah speak to you directly or use a cell phone for your revelations? Can he get me a better data plan?

July 5, 2012 at 10:22 a.m.
moon4kat said...

Mr. Lavendar is right: the County Commissioners are using public money to push religion. That's just one of many excellent reasons for keeping religious campaigns out of government.

July 5, 2012 at 10:26 a.m.
ebenji87 said...

Oh and by Obama's spending, I'm not including the stimulus. That wasn't his fault, he was just dealing with it.

July 5, 2012 at 10:28 a.m.
CADMAN1 said...

Most everybody in here is going to hell and most likely be boiled in a giant caldron full of diarhea for all eternity. Praise Jaysus

July 5, 2012 at 11 a.m.
LibDem said...

RON LAVENDAR, I generally appreciate your letter except for the moment of silence thing. Children need quiet time to settle down. Adults should arrive ready for business.

July 5, 2012 at 11:08 a.m.
LibDem said...

CADMAN1, your eloquence is awesome. Thanks for a smile.

July 5, 2012 at 11:10 a.m.

CADMAN1, that's a fantasy to some homosexuals.

July 5, 2012 at 11:33 a.m.
Rickaroo said...

Mr. Orr (or JAHCHILD or ORRMEANSLIGHT..whichever friggin' personality you are today) how do I say this politely? You, sir, are a gd idiot. There...was that polite enough? It would have been rude of me to spell out the gd , so I thought the abbreviation of it would be more polite.

Your self-righteous attitude, like that of letter-writer Harold Cummings here, of puffing yourself up and calling anybody out for their "sins" is really disgusting. You christians who pretend to be so full of "love" in your hearts, who claim to love the sinner but hate the sin....aagghhh...you make me want to puke. You need to pull your head out of that heap of nonsensical trash you call the Bible and live in the real world, open your eyes and your mind, and you just might discover that gays are not "sinning" but simply living in accordance with the way their God made them - gay! Just like he made us heteros – hetero. Homosexuality, or indeed anything that two adults do consensually, in private, between themselves, is not a "sin."

That same Old Testament that you turn to for spiritual guidance also shows your God condoning rape, incest, slavery, genocide, infanticide, bigamy, polygamy, and other degenerate acts of lewdness and moral turpitude (all of which seem to be perfectly okay with the old man upstairs as long as it is his “chosen” people engaging in any of the above and in many cases even obeying his explicit orders to do so)...and yet you cite a couple of verses that talk about the “sin” of a man lying with another man? You obsess over and magnify those few small verses as if the entire OT is built around them.

You know what's truly a “sin,” sir? The fact that God gave us all minds to think with, to use our logic and reason to differentiate between sense and nonsense, but you and all other mind-numbingly dense bible-literalist christians stubbornly refuse to use that logic, preferring to remain in your childish state of willful ignorance. You take a book of obvious fairy tales and ancient myths and you try to enshrine it in an aura of holiness and perfection. To throw your God-given faculty of reason out the window, just because you're so afraid of your fairy tale hell that your fairy tale Bible says you're going to burn in unless you believe in your fairy tale jeezus....that, sir, is truly a “sin.”

But I love ya, man (love the sinner, hate the sin and all that), and I will pray to the heavenly Mother for you to see the light. I mean the true light, Mr. Light.

July 5, 2012 at 1:14 p.m.
Rickaroo said...

JAHCHILD, apparently I don't have that spiritual "love" within me that you Christians claim to have for everyone, all the while that you are telling them how sinful they are. But you love them, right? Yeah, right. You say that I am mean but I beg to differ: I don't think I'm mean just because I call a spade a spade or call out a duplicitous, self-righteous person (you) for being what you are. There is nothing more hypocritical than claiming to have a love for all humanity but then being complicit with the sadistic and jealous God you worship in punishing them forever in eternal hell, all for the mere "sin" of daring to think outside the box of religious conformity or for the “sin” of homosexuality or whatever other sin you feel that God is directing you to focus on at any given time. I do not profess to “love” all of humanity, as you do. Such a claim is meaningless, just empty spiritual mumbo-jumbo. It is something you christian holy rollers like to say out of some pretense of being filled with the holy spirit, as you call it. You think that if you're “filled with the spirit,” then you just automatically have “love” in your heart or something. It's a bunch of crap.

If you have fallen momentarily, I'm sure you will be back on your lofty pedestal of self righteousness soon enough.

In the meantime I have said all that I care to say on this subject. You may have the last word if you want it. Or not. It's up to you. I may not "love" you with that kind of nebulous spiritual love that you profess to love everyone by but neither do I bear any ill will towards you. You are what you are and I yam what I yam. Peace.

July 7, 2012 at 5:40 p.m.
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