published Saturday, June 2nd, 2012

Construct rights for 'civil unions' and more Letters to the Editors

Construct rights for 'civil unions'

In response to the letter titled "Bible condemns same-sex marriage" (May 28), the author quotes the Old Testament (Genesis, chapter 19, verse 24) story of the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah. And there is even stronger condemnation of homosexuality in Leviticus, chapter 20. "If a man lies with a male as with a woman, both of them shall be put to death; since they have committed an abhorrent deed ..."

Unlike the writers of sacred Scripture, I am not here to pass judgment on others. It does appear, however, in this never-ending debate, that there is an obvious compromise position. Without redefining traditional "marriage" (the union of a man and a woman), "civil unions" can be constructed, whereby legal rights identical to those of married couples are granted, if two individuals of the same sex wish to cohabitate.

BARBARA MEINDL


Editorial offensive and inappropriate

I was caught by the contradiction contained in your two Memorial Day editorials ("Memorial Day" and "Lost Identity," Free Press, May 28).

In the first editorial you urge readers to remember our fellow citizens who lost their lives while serving in the military.

In the second editorial you argue that some citizens should continue to be denied the freedom to marry. Some of our fallen service members were not heterosexual. Your second editorial shows disrespect for their sacrifice. Publishing it on Memorial Day was especially inappropriate and offensive.

GREG GLOSS

Cleveland, Tenn.


Abuse of words obscures meanings

In Wednesday's paper, you helpfully point out a couple of the ways in which undocumented numbers were trumpeted falsely to promote one cause or another ("Count, don't guess," Free Press editorial); in this case, graduation rates and jobs "created" by federal stimulus spending.

In the same issue (opposite page), you feature a Margulies cartoon that associates Mitt Romney with all the alleged perils of so-called European austerity. Just as contrived numbers obscure intelligent discourse, so also does the abuse of ordinary words and their meanings. "Austerity" means harsh or severe; the implication here is that all of Europe has stupidly embraced austerity with regard to government spending (they have not yet done so, in fact, with the exception of the mess which is Greece).

The further implication is that Romney has embraced spending proposals that are severe in their effects. By what reasonable standard are any of the Republican proposals to address the impending entitlement disasters judged severe? What has the other party proposed in the past three years?

GARY LINDLEY

Lookout Mountain, Ga.


Maybe man altered what God made

I watched an interesting program the other day. It was about an experiment conducted by a scientist showing how granite came into existence. The claim was that granite can be made by man. He took a piece of granite, pulverized it, added some liquid to it, heated it to a high temperature, allowed it to cool for a couple of months and then didn't show the results until a long time later. It was still a pile of mush. Oops! Besides, had it worked, where did the original piece of granite come from?

Man has fiddled with genetic engineering for a number of years and caused mutations of original things/creatures. That is a form of evolution. Let us say that might have been going on for two or three centuries? What if, as the Bible says, God created a being even before He created earth who changed from his original purpose. That being has had a l-o-n-g time to genetically engineer changes to God's original creation. Maybe that process is where evolution actually started? If this being took what God made and changed it, then whose theory have you really chosen to follow?

JIM ORRISON

Cleveland, Tenn.


More personal obligations needed

Your editorial (May 25) on reproductive practices and society's need to demand more personal responsibility is the best argument, bar none, as to why people should be mandated to purchase health insurance (although not necessarily for reproductive coverage).

You could have the exact same editorial and just change the topic of what it is for: "As individuals, as families, as churches and as communities we're going to have to go there. The demand must be personal responsibility for all."

It is the same logic that the Republican Party and the Heritage Foundation espoused about a decade ago.

SHERMAN D. GIBBS

LaFayette, Ga.


Choose Harvey for District 2

The voters of District 2 have a chance to put an outstanding write-in candidate on the Hamilton County School Board.

Mike Harvey has offered to serve the taxpayers of District 2. He is an outstanding candidate with the character, education and love for children needed for this job.

Mike has lived on Signal Mountain for 58 years. He comes from a very fine Christian family. He was educated in the Red Bank school system and the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga.

The schools on Signal Mountain would probably not be there without the perseverance of Mike Harvey. Mike had one son graduate from Signal Mountain and has another son there. Mike believes in public education.

I have personally known this write-in candidate for more than 30 years. This is the man I would want to educate my children and fight for my tax dollar -- Mike Harvey.

FLOYD SHADRICK


Good Samaritan aids lost couple

This is a note to thank a citizen of Chattanooga who volunteered to help a couple from Minnesota who were lost in your city.

On Saturday, April 21, we stopped for gas at a downtown exit. We became lost while trying to find the entrance to I-24. While studying our maps in a parking lot, a young woman driving a white SUV came alongside and offered to help. She led us about a mile back to the Interstate and waved us on.

It's heartwarming to experience the goodness of humanity. Thank you.

JIM AND MERRY LYNN ROELOFS


School system needs McCullough

I would like Hamilton County Superintendent Rick Smith to know the people who work for his department.

I have known Dr. Tom McCullough for many years. Tom is one of the finest men anybody could ever know. When I was a Sunday school director, he was one of my Sunday school teachers. Tom always helped with department affairs and lived his life to the highest standard.

I did not think much of the school board and the superintendent in the way they handled the scandal of some teachers and seniors who were on the cruise. I hope the truth will be known some day the way Dr. McCullough has handled the situation.

I appreciate Tom very much and pray that he could teach much longer because he is needed in the school system.

GEORGE RHEA SMITH

Red Bank

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Fendrel said...

Barbara,

While agree with the intent, I think the approach is wrong. Creating a new or different term "civil union" simply creates a societal subclass, or the strong potential for people to be treated that way.

It will become just another way to identify people as gay or not gay. (ex. "Oh they're not married, they have a 'civil union'). Once that happens, discrimination will have a whole new playground.

If you want to use two words then 'civil union' should be the legal entity and 'marriage' could be a religious add on or blessing if you will, recognized by the church (a private organization) and not carrying with it any legal significance or benefit.

The problem with that is that countries normally recognize the legality of marriages performed in other countries. Since most countries have official state religions, separating the legal from the religious here, might cause more problems when couples travel overseas.

I think the best solution is to simply grow up and realize that every human has the right to the benefits of marriage...keep the same word, expand the definition and lets move on.

If a person wants to treat gay couples differently, that's there business but the government shouldn't be dictating who a person loves nor what benefits a person is entitled to based on who they love.

June 2, 2012 at 10:19 a.m.

BARBARA MEINDL, not in North Carolina you can't. They banned civil unions as well.

GARY LINDLEY, in their own words, the cuts are severe, but if you want to see the Ryan plan analysis, go look for it. Or the Toomey.

JIM ORRISON, any geologist can tell you about granite formation. They might even manage stellar accretion discs. I have no idea what program you're talking about, but I bet you're misrepresenting it.

JAHCHILD, stop the lying spam.

June 3, 2012 at 12:45 a.m.
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