Partisan words not part of school visit
To address concerns expressed by the Hamilton County Democratic Party chair, I want to assure readers that Southern Adventist University does not endorse or oppose political candidates. Our university upholds a belief in separation of church and state and can, with integrity, say that those lines were held in Mike Huckabee's campus presentation.
Any partisan statements made by Mike Huckabee while in Collegedale were made during a one-on-one interview with a Times Free Press reporter. No university employee was present during that interview, and it was not the message he brought to our Wellness Summit meeting.
Health and wellness are an important focus of our university. Huckabee's campus presentation was a powerful call to greater personal health based on his personal testimony and on research. His talk was non-partisan and focused specifically on motivating people to make positive health choices.
Southern Adventist University does not invite or deny invitation to campus speakers based on political affiliation. Huckabee's talk followed nine wellness experts who were invited to present during our daylong Wellness Summit and who were also not scrutinized for political affiliation. Our goal in inviting Mike Huckabee to campus was merely one more university effort to help improve the health and wellness of our community.
President, Southern Adventist University
Respect for leader should be No. 1
Love him or hate him, we should all respect our presidents, current and past.
The most revolting display of pure hatred and slanted political bias was reported June 14. HBO was exposed for having a mock head of former President Bush impaled on a stick.
Just as bad was the feeble excuse HBO gave for using a head with the former president's likeness. How lame to come up with something along the lines of, we used what we had available!
If there were ever a reason to boycott HBO, this would be it!
Amazing that an act of disrespect of a president is acceptable today because the subject is George Bush. What other president would be mocked like this without total outrage? There would have been total venom if the subject would have been President Obama! One can only imagine the claims of hatred and racism, among other things, from the media.
Whatever happened to the days of respect for all men, let alone a president! This used to be The "United" States of America!
ROGER W. GRAY
Freeze CEO pay, not minimum wage
In Saturday's paper there was a letter about freezing or reducing the minimum wage, saying that raising it would only drive up the cost of everything produced, and those costs would be passed on.
How does reducing or freezing it benefit someone making it? Minimum wage at 40 hours a week is around $15,000 a year. Try paying rent, utilities, buying groceries, gas, if you're lucky to have a car, or affording health insurance, let alone raising kids!
I could see where a small business may have to tighten its belt some, but the big multimillion-dollar companies, the chains that are global and offer no health care or any type of retirement plan, with little or no chance for advancement, and the big corporations that move most of their operations overseas to keep their shareholders' profits up, what of them?
Their CEOs are making million-dollar salaries, plus millions of dollars in bonuses. It's time they took a freeze and gave something back, not the average person who's barely scraping by!
Why are the banks getting bailed out when the average person is losing his house and can't get any help? Why are the middle class and poor always the ones to do the suffering and the belt-tightening?
Don't limit artists' tools of expression
The Sunday article "Equus" is "undressed IN A CLOTHES-MINDED TOWN" brings up an issue that should be a non-issue within the arts. To borrow from David Ball, "Nudity was theatrical for a while, but the novelty wore off." I refuse to believe that Chattanooga is any exception to this. Nudity is one of many tools that theater directors have at their disposal to articulate their stories in a clear way, but, as mentioned, social attitudes toward nudity have shifted. Since Mr. Dunlap chooses not to have nudity, I am sure that he is exposing the social immediacy through different available means. Mr. Posey's contractual obligation to have nudity should be an indicator that there is an uncomfortable truth to be told, which means we as audiences shouldn't pressure him to "find a very comfortable way to do it." Art is not about comfort; it's about articulately and explicitly exposing truth. And in no way should artists' tools be limited.
I am disappointed that this is still something discussed as an issue in Chattanooga. There should absolutely be more discourse regarding local theater in our media outlets, but my hope is that the conversation could shift to something a bit more relevant.
Resident director, Theater for the New South
We should emulate teachings of Christ
Thank you for the article of June 3 by Rhonda Swan. Its accuracy was amazing. The Old Testament, by those who have studied it for many years, was a history of the Jewish people and never meant to be taken as truth to be followed. However, nowadays it is quoted more often than the New Testament and the teachings of Christ.
I thought as "Christians" that is whose teachings we should emulate. Christ said the two greatest commandments are to love God and love thy neighbor as thyself.
I have a close friend who was not allowed into ICU to visit her partner of 20 years because she was "not married" or "a relative." Her partner died two days later. I wonder if Christ would have said the same thing to her.