published Friday, September 28th, 2012

Moment of silence isn't long enough and other letters to the editors

Moment of silence isn't long enough

I attended the UTC game on Saturday when a moment of silence was effected in lieu of the customary pre-game prayer. When it was announced several people in the stands simultaneously began reciting the Lord's Prayer. What startled me was that the group didn't get halfway into the Lord's Prayer when the moment of silence ended and the presentation of the American flag began.

Just out of curiosity, I recently recited the Lord's Prayer slowly and methodically and timed myself. It took around 25 seconds. So even if it took the crowd 30 seconds, that means that the moment of silence lasted no more than 15 to 20 seconds!

If you are going to ask Christians and other religious groups to forfeit a public prayer in lieu of a moment of silence, is it too much to ask that the moment of silence last an entire moment? I can tell you that while the 20 seconds was not enough time for a respectful prayer, it was time enough to remind us all of the rights and freedoms that we are surrendering daily.

Shame on you, Chancellor Roger Brown! That was one sorry last act.


Writer offers no analysis

Trying to justify government intervention in the free market, Alex Marshall asserts in the Times Free Press (Sept. 23, Perspective), "Government is responsible for every aspect of the market economy ... The relationship of government to the private marketplace and capitalism as a whole is one of parent and child. In a democracy, if we understand that government creates markets ..."

Evidently, Marshall believes in a theocracy. Government is our god. It "creates." He believes government created the law. (Did it hand Moses the Decalogue?) Economist Ludwig von Mises coined the word statolatry to describe this belief in state supremacy.

Marshall is an evangelist, not an economist. He makes many assertions, but provides no analysis. On the other hand, in 1940, Mises published a book-length economic analysis (Interventionism) of the effects of government intervention in the market. His conclusion:

"The various measures, by which interventionism tries to direct business, cannot achieve the aims its honest advocates are seeking by their application. Interventionist measures lead to conditions which, from the standpoint of those who recommend them, are actually less desirable than those they are designed to alleviate. They create unemployment, depression, monopoly, distress. They may make a few people richer, but they make all others poorer."


Lincoln, Roosevelt were progressives

I found myself challenged by two letters in the Sept. 21 edition.

One is correct in that both Lincoln and Theodore Roosevelt were Republicans, and proud to be recognized as such. What wasn't explained is that Lincoln was a liberal in a liberal party. What could possibly be more liberal than a desire to change an entire country's social and economic structure? The sole purpose of the Republican Party in the 1850s was the destruction of the slave system, and rightly so! Liberalism at its best!

Theodore Roosevelt, perhaps the last great Republican president, not only espoused the rights of the average citizen, he reined in business interests to promote development of the middle class. Roosevelt was a progressive, a name now held in contempt.

Conservatism, by its nature, does not make changes. Conservatism merely maintains the status quo. It is easy to be conservative if one is wealthy. The letter was correct, the majority of Republicans are not racists, but the majority of racists are most certainly Republican.

The second letter correctly commented concerning "righting the wrong." No amount of common sense will ever change a closed mind.


Back-pay issue raising expenses

Does Ms. Patti Skates realize that the Soddy-Daisy commission seat's position she is running for does not pay any more? At one time she served and did not want the pay, and two years ago she asked for the back pay -- about $15,000. A lot of people did not know she asked for the back pay and received it, but that is a matter of public record.

This cost us taxpayers a large amount of money, because of the way the state law is written. We now are having to pay all five of the people serving until their terms expire. Those serving now did not want the pay but were forced to receive the pay because Ms. Skates and two others asked for and received their back pay.

The budget is the most important thing the commissioners do; vote how to spend our tax dollars.


Obama criticism sheer mendacity

Like his predecessors, Barack Obama has received his share of criticism. What's different, however, is not just the depth of some critics' vituperation but their mendacity. You know; he's a Muslim, a Marxist, a warrior against American values and our Constitution. Etc., ad nauseam.

Deluded "birthers," for instance, are convinced President Obama was born in Kenya, not the United States, and no proof to the contrary will dissuade them. That campaign's failure to gain traction should have succumbed to the weight of its own witlessness. Instead, a few have extended it to sheer idiocy.

Bill Armistead, chairman of the Alabama Republican Party, last week praised a film, "Dreams From My Real Father." As the Mobile Press-Register reported, it claims that Obama's grandfather was a CIA agent who persuaded Barack Obama Sr. to marry his daughter, thus disguising the fact that she had been secretly impregnated by a communist.

An Obama impersonator who narrates the film asserts that Obama is intent on imposing a "classic Stalinist-Marxist agenda upon America at home and abroad." Surely, there is irrefutable proof for the charge? Well, no. A disclaimer for the film discloses that many of its scenes are "re-creations of probable events, using reasoned logic, speculation and approximated conversations." Oh.


It's time to enact Wilderness Act

One hundred forty-five years ago last week, John Muir walked through East Tennessee on his way from Indiana to the Gulf of Mexico. While best known for his work in the High Sierra with Republican President Teddy Roosevelt, Muir saw his first mountain stream in Tennessee. He was impressed. "The scenery is far grander than any I ever beheld before," exclaimed Muir as he walked south toward the Hiwassee River.

Muir was taken aback by the Unicoi Mountains, which he glimpsed after spending the night in Madisonville, Tenn. Today, a portion of those same mountains are proposed for wilderness designation by Sens. Lamar Alexander and Bob Corker with the Tennessee Wilderness Act of 2011. The pristine 9,038-acre Upper Bald River Wilderness Study Area would be the first new wilderness area in Tennessee in 26 years. Five existing wilderness areas would also be expanded by this bill.

This popular bill remains stalled as partisan gridlock has ground business in Congress to a halt. I applaud the actions of our two U.S. senators and encourage them to do all in their power to bring this bill to the floor for a vote this year. Tennesseans and Americans deserve as much.

JEFF HUNTER, Director, Tennessee Wilderness Campaign, Wild South

We see driverless cars every day

I note with interest in the Sept. 26 Times Free Press that Gov. Jerry Brown has signed legislation to make way for driverless cars on the roads and highways of California. Wow, now Californians can send text messages, hold phone conversations, apply makeup, style their hair, brush their teeth, put on their neck ties, watch sports events on their smart phones and perhaps even catch a few extra winks while riding along in their cars! But wait, I have seen this happening in Chattanooga for years. Guess California isn't leading the pack after all, but don't tell Jerry, might burst his bubble(head).

LARRY JONES, East Brainerd

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Fendrel said...

Moment of Time...

Since we using the "moment" for religious purposes then let's use the Hebrew definition

"In the Hebrew calendar, a moment (rega) is 1/76 of a part (chelek), or 5/114 of a second in standard units." (Courtesy of Wikipedia)

Seems like that should be long enough for anyone :)

September 28, 2012 at 10:15 a.m.
dao1980 said...

It's funny how a narrow perspective can be a true social disability to those who refuse to recognize and respect the diversity of a society.

From Mr. Roberts narrow perspective, he's "loosing rights" to allow others (who are different from himself) the same rights that he's always had.

September 28, 2012 at 10:43 a.m.
tipper said...

A moment of silence is a gift from the University. It could have easily dropped the whole concept of providing any time for prayer or reflection. The problem with some devout Christians is that whatever a federal, state, or local government entity does to appease them, it is never enough. This is why it is so important that the nation maintain a wall between any organized religion and government. Any federal sanctioning of some individual religion threatens our democracy and invites the type of tyranny that America wanted to avoid in devising its Constitution.

September 28, 2012 at 1:18 p.m.
Rickaroo said...

Kevin Roberts...

Obviously Chancellor Brown is clueless, like many of us, about how long a "moment of silence" should be and he should have consulted with you first. I had always thought that a moment was a general term meaning a very, very short period of time and it was not really measurable. But now we all know exactly how long a moment really is, thanks to you: an hour is 60 minutes, a minute is 60 seconds, and a moment is the length of time it takes the average Christian to recite the Lord's Prayer. Thanks so much for clearing that up for us!

September 28, 2012 at 1:27 p.m.
jesse said...

If you just GOTTA pray before the game why not pray before you leave the house? Like maybe GOD won't hear you unless it's coming from the stadium?Or maybe you just want everybody to see how devout you are?

September 28, 2012 at 1:27 p.m.
mtngrl said...

"several people in the stands simultaneously began reciting the Lord's Prayer. What startled me was that the group didn't get halfway into the Lord's Prayer when the moment of silence ended"

Apparantly KEVIN H. ROBERTS and friends do not know the meaning of "silence" in addition to the word "moment"

Could it be the moment of silence was cut short due to those not respecting it?

September 28, 2012 at 2:10 p.m.

Kev-baby, in order to get through to some people you just have to spread the "Good Word's" perspective, so here's what I found in Romans 8:26 (a few different versions to try to get some wider perspectives on the verbiage)

"On how to pray:"

Romans 8:26 New International Version (NIV) 26 In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans.

Good News Translation (GNT) 26 In the same way the Spirit also comes to help us, weak as we are. For we do not know how we ought to pray; the Spirit himself pleads with God for us in groans that words cannot express.

King James Version (KJV) 26 Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.

Personally (and I commend Chancellor Brown for respecting my personal wishes)I would be very offended if my moment of "silence" was interrupted by any group chant/prayer, clearly disrespecting others. Whatever happened to Christian's tolerance and respect? oh and that whole idea of separation of church and state? FYI: I'm an agnostic, pray for me if you want, just don't do it out loud during a moment of silence.

September 28, 2012 at 3:06 p.m.
Rickaroo said...

Good points by all of you posters above. I fail to understand why praying in private is not enough for Christians. I think they like bringing attention to themselves. It seems to be their way of making a statement and earning them brownie points with their God who apparently is so jealous and insecure that he needs their public and conspicuous approbation.

What is it anyway about football games that are so gol-danged important that they feel the need to call on God to help them? The players are not exactly marching off to war. It's just a friggin' game, a source of amusement and entertainment for cryin' out loud. You'd think God would appreciate a break now and then from all the constant praying over such petty and inconsequential things.

September 28, 2012 at 3:24 p.m.
Rickaroo said...

Excellent letter, Bill Ward. Most Republicans like to refer to their party as the party of Lincoln, but the Republican party that Lincoln - and Roosevelt, and even Eisenhower - belonged to is not the same party that it is today. There was a time when Republicans actually acted sensibly and humanely. The GOP today would be calling Lincoln, Teddy Roosevelt, and Ike socialists and would renounce them for being too progressive.

It is a commonplace and cheap trick for conservatives today to take liberals and radical thinkers of the past and claim them for their own. Even with icons like Thomas Jefferson (a deist and a free thinker who extolled the virtues of reason over blind faith) and M.L. King (a man so egregiously socialist in his outlook that all conservatives of his day called him a card-carrying member of the Communist party), they try to make the argument that they would be of the rabid right-wing mindset today. They conveniently forget how radically liberal they were for their time and how diametrically opposed to the conservative way of thinking they really were.

September 28, 2012 at 3:36 p.m.
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