Bible's explicitness takes precedence
I believe when the Bible has an explicit teaching on a subject, this overrules how we interpret God's attributes to apply to that subject. This is easily seen in the issue of same-sex marriage. The human argument says God endorses love, even between two people of the same sex. But in both the Old Testament and the New Testament, God explicitly condemns homosexual activity — not the person, but the act.
I believe my Democratic-voting Christian brothers and sisters are misguided. Two planks in the Democratic Party platform are inconsistent with Scripture: support for abortion and support for same-sex marriage. I am fully aware of the arguments that espouse these planks. But those arguments are human interpretations that are in conflict with explicit, God-given statements of how we should live. Again, where the Bible is explicit on an issue, we cannot use human interpretation of God's attributes to believe something different.
DENNIS URBANIAK, Signal Mountain
Do you feel safe with MOX fuel?
The Times Free Press reported (Sept. 8) that a meeting was held by TVA to discuss using MOX fuel at Sequoyah and Browns Ferry nuclear power plants. The Department of Energy wants TVA to dispose of 34 metric tons of plutonium because of an agreement signed with the Russians in 2000. The plutonium will come from dismantling nuclear warheads. Duke Power reported they tried to burn this MOX blend at the Catawba Nuclear Plant and after a short time suspected it bowed the fuel rods due to its intense heat. Duke Power stated it wouldn't resume burning MOX fuel.The government will make the fuel at the Department of Energy's Savannah River site in South Carolina.
As a country, we constantly worry that a terrorist group will somehow sneak a suitcase bomb containing plutonium into the country and do insurmountable devastation. TVA and the DOE want to bring 34 metric tons of plutonium into the Tennessee Valley after it's mixed with uranium at the South Carolina plant. The experts say it's safe to burn, but it burns hotter. TVA demonstrated it could barely handle the coal-ash problem in Kingston. How would TVA handle a meltdown at Sequoyah using MOX fuel? How safe do you feel?
DON BEARD, Ooltewah
Banquet misses anniversary by year
Publicity recently identified proposed inductees to the Chattanooga High School Hall of Fame and announced the upcoming date of an induction banquet.
The story (Sept. 14, Life section) also said the event would recognize the 50th anniversary of the opening of the school building in North Chattanooga. That would mean the move from Third Street to Dallas Road and the opening of the new building was in 1962. Not so.
As a student who entered that first fall "on the hill," I would like to point out that it was in the fall of 1963 that Col. Creed Bates welcomed us to the new school plant from which he retired at the end of the year, in 1964.
Whether you use new math or old math, that location is 49 years old.
DAVID COOPER, Class of 1966
Pick right leaders for government
The Chattanooga Free Press missed an important point in its editorial Monday regarding the 225th anniversary of the U.S. Constitution. While our government is by the people, for the people, there is a specific way this is accomplished -- through our elected representatives. They are the people's voice. Unfortunately, voter turnout in the U.S. continues to decrease.
In 2008, voter turnout for our highest elected offices was just over 60 percent. Turnout decreases significantly at the state, county and city levels. If we are unhappy with what our government is doing, if we want to protect our Constitution, then we have an obligation to vote for the candidates who best reflect our ideology. Voting conveys the people's voice. It is the vigilance the editorial demands.
MARY LEE RICE
Evaluate teachers for effectiveness
What would happen in Hamilton County if our teachers decided to strike? Would we accept this, even if their school was failing? Would these teachers deserve higher wages and less time in the classroom? Should these teachers be held accountable for what their students learn?
In Chicago, this is what the teachers there are striking about. They want higher wages, work less hours, and not be evaluated. The problem is they are already paid over $76,000 a year. According to Chicago Teachers Fail, only 55 percent graduate from high school, 79 percent of 8th graders are reading below other 8th-grade students across the nation, work only 57,120 minutes per year.
As a parent of public-school students and a soon-to-be teacher, I am appalled. Teachers must be evaluated to determine their effectiveness, just as students have to be evaluated each year for what they have learned. Their pay should be based on their performance, not duration of employment.
Is the answer striking? No! I believe the answer is for teachers, parents and students to take responsibility. Not ask for more money and more time off. They deserve more!
KATIE GAITHER, Soddy-Daisy
Cartoon still offers positive thoughts
When I opened Sunday's paper and picked up the comic section, I did a double take when I saw "The Family Circus." Hmm, I thought, I've seen that before. And sure 'nuff I had. I had cut it out and put it on my refrigerator door all those years ago, because I liked what it "said," and I agreed.
I looked at both of the strips, comparing, and there were only a few differences. The first cartoon was dated March 26, 2000; it was signed by Bil Keane only; the strip was wider then, (before the pages were cropped to "cut expenses"), and of course, since then, the paper had become yellowed with age.
I will clip the new one and put it next to the old one on the frig because I still like what it says -- and I still agree. I appreciate the marvelous positive thoughts.
BETTYE LONAS, Hixson
Is nail polish that important?
"Outrageous!" was my reaction to Monday's Life section article on Michelle Obama's nail polish at the Democrat Convention.
The Middle East is burning and we're to believe it's because of a movie. Is it possible it could be due to the Democrat Convention, when we were told by speaker after speaker that Osama is dead? I think that might have inflamed the Muslim world, with the 9/11 anniversary and the protesters there chanting "We're all Osamas now"? ... unless your intent is to take the focus away from the failed Obama foreign policy.
The Israeli prime minister would like to meet with the president, but Obama is too busy with appearances on TV and nonstop fundraisers.
Our national debt is $16 trillion. Our economy in shambles. The Federal Reserve announced plans to print $40 billion a month for the foreseeable future, hoping to stave off the fiscal disaster.
The first two years of the Obama administration, Democrats in control of House and Senate, Obama got everything he wanted passed. We are deep in debt, 23 million unemployed results of Obama's fiscal policy.
Those are just a few issues you might cover in your newspaper, or is nail polish that important?
ANITA KOHLIN, Soddy-Daisy
Man-woman link is right formula
Truett Cathy, CEO of Chick-fil-A, is a David among Goliaths and has my support and admiration. It seems advocates of traditional marriage are now the ones trying to come out of the closet.
In this current atmosphere of political correctness, any opposing view favoring biblical marriage is relegated to the darkest corner of the closet, hopefully well hidden under layers of accumulated dust and articles on liberal enlightenment for the unwashed, illiterate masses like me.
As a marriage veteran of 42 years, I started "basic training" in 1970 in my parents' East Ridge home (where I now reside), with no job and no sense. Little did I know the pains and joys that awaited me. I cherish this grand institution, as do so many other Chattanoogans, and add my little candle to Mr. Cathy's as well as to Mitt Romney's -- the Republican candidate for president.
So say what you will, live as you will, my friends, believe what you will, traditional marriage is still the single most highly esteemed and honored mystical symbol of Christ's relationship to His church, as recorded in Ephesians 5 in the Holy Bible.
Marriage between a man and a woman doesn't automatically guarantee nuptial happiness, but it's still the right formula for it.