published Saturday, May 4th, 2013

Golden Rule is rooted in most religions, and more letters to the editors

Golden Rule is rooted in most religions

Noted British essayist and novelist G.K. Chesterton observed that Christianity had not been tried and found wanting, but was found exceedingly difficult and consequently had been rarely tried.

Chesterton was no doubt referring to the demanding brand of Christianity practiced by St. Francis of Assisi and Mother Theresa that requires the abandonment of self in service to others.

St. Francis and Mother Theresa renounced their worldly inheritance for a life of poverty and service to God and mankind. They both tried Christianity, found it to be difficult, but accepted the challenge anyway.

Religious writer Karen Armstrong argues that the Golden Rule is rooted in many different religious traditions and unites many divergent believers around one central concept. As Christians, Jesus reminds us that how we treat "the least of these" is how we treat Him.

And by the way, judged in the context of His own time, in today's world would Jesus be considered a liberal or conservative?

GEORGE B. REED JR., Rossville, Ga.


Superintendent Smith doing the right thing

My children have attended schools in five Tennessee counties. It has been our observation that the success of schools is directly related to the professionalism and competence of principals.

We have much appreciation for schools Superintendent Rick Smith and his courage to replace ineffective principals last year. We have witnessed the improvements at one of the schools with a new principal first hand, and it is our hope Mr. Smith will roll the dice again for next year at other schools.

Principals' attitudes influence how well teachers communicate with parents and how they treat students and other teachers. Principals create the mood of the school and set policy for conflict and crisis resolution that either set those involved up for success or failure.

Since moving to Hamilton County, we have seen a new low in principal behavior and feel strongly that there needs to be better training and oversight of principals. Until then, we need to unseat those who fail to create positive school communities.

We need leadership that respects the educational and emotional needs of children and empowers and includes parents. We need new principals until every school has a community like those at our magnet schools.

ANGELIA STINNETT, Hixson


All tax loopholes need to be closed

I am deeply disappointed that Republicans continue to hold the country hostage by refusing to support legislation that will save the country.

Money can be available to support and give all Americans a decent living. However, some of our representatives will not close tax loopholes that will benefit our Head Start programs, health care facilities and community-based resources that are needed for middle-class families.

All tax loopholes should be closed, and everyone should pay their fair share of taxes so the country can prosper. If this happens, we can all move forward -- not just a few of us.

IRENE DOWDELL

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AndrewLohr said...

Jesus is libertarian: He paid for His own good ideas.

May 4, 2013 at 12:55 a.m.
marineguy said...

Irene Dowdell says "All tax loopholes should be closed, and everyone should pay their fair share of taxes so the country can prosper. If this happens, we can all move forward -- not just a few of us."

I agree, Irene. Now answer this. What is a fair share? Is it a set percentage or is it a dollar amount? Do you think the almost 50% that don't pay any income tax now should pay their fair share? Since the top 20% of income earners now pay over 80% of the income taxes collected, don't you think they are paying their fair share?

May 4, 2013 at 8:24 a.m.
Rickaroo said...

Marineguy, it amazes me how you nitwits can keep squawking about the 47% who don't pay their "fair share," as if getting more taxes out of those at the bottom of the income level is going to make a dime's worth of difference. Well, it might literally make a dime's worth, at that, but no more. You can't get blood out of a turnip. So why do you wingnuts keep harping on it, as if that's the crux of the problem? You want to nickel and dime the poor while you turn a blind eye to the tax loopholes that allow many corporations to pay NO income tax after all is said and done. Maybe the top 20% pay over 80% of the taxes but the tax rates overall today are practically the lowest they have ever been and are far lower than most European countries.

Even Reagan did not bash the 47% as "takers" like most teabagging conservatives do today. In fact he was an avid supporter of the Earned Income Tax Credit. He said, β€œThe Earned Income Tax Credit is the best anti-poverty, the best pro-family, the best job creation measure to come out of Congress." He actually expanded the program when he was in office.

You want more people to pay their fair share? Well, squawk at the "job creators" and tell them to create more decent paying jobs and to raise the pay of existing jobs to something substantially higher than minimum wage or $8/hr. The typical Walmart, Target, and other big box employee makes about $8/hr., even after working there for several years. Same for those in the fast food chains. Most of those people at the bottom would love nothing more than to make enough money to be able to pay more taxes.

May 4, 2013 at 10:23 a.m.
Plato said...

MarineGuy said:

"Since the top 20% of income earners now pay over 80% of the income taxes collected, don't you think they are paying their fair share?"

Well, since the top 20% of Americans own 85% of the country's wealth and the bottom 80% of the population own 15% I would answer - NO.

May 4, 2013 at 12:46 p.m.
tenderlee said...

I agree with Ms. Stinnett 100%. NPMM's Principal Jill Levine is the best example our county (& one of the best in the country as well) has to validate the wonderful possibilities with the right leadership.

May 4, 2013 at 1:38 p.m.
marineguy said...

I assume since most of us that post here are in the top two brackets of wealth on the chart Plato posted that all of you are more than willing to pay substantially more in taxes. However, Remember that wealth and income are not the same thing. You can have significant wealth with very little income. Most midwest farmers fit in that category as well as some big landowners in the south. While Wikipedia is a good place to start, various government sites are much better,

By the way Rickaroo, at various times in my life I have worked on all of those "low income" jobs. I was grateful I had a job and I was continually looking for something better. Most people in low income jobs move out of them in a short period of time just as most people at the top income level move down at some point. That is what makes capitalism so great. It would be nice sometime if you could reply to someone without calling them a name. However, I have found out over the years that most liberals have to resort to name calling to try and get their point across when they don't have a valid arguement.

May 4, 2013 at 4:56 p.m.
Easy123 said...

marineguy,

"I assume since most of us that post here are in the top two brackets of wealth on the chart Plato posted that all of you are more than willing to pay substantially more in taxes."

So you're assuming everyone that posts here is in the top 5%? LMFAO!

"Most people in low income jobs move out of them in a short period of time just as most people at the top income level move down at some point."

That is demonstrably, historically, and statistically false. 32% of working families are below 200% of the poverty level. That number is almost 5% since 2007. Typically, low-income families and workers DO NOT get out of that "low-income" status. And, typically, people at top DO NOT move down.

"However, I have found out over the years that most liberals have to resort to name calling to try and get their point across when they don't have a valid arguement."

That doesn't make sense. Arguments can be valid regardless of what name you're called. Invalidate Rickaroo's argument if it's so invalid. Oh wait, that argument is fallacious.

May 4, 2013 at 5:23 p.m.
Rickaroo said...

"Most people in low income jobs move out of them in a short period of time just as most people at the top income level move down at some point. That is what makes capitalism so great." - Marineguy

Like Easy said, that is not true at all. You must be living under a rock to think that way. It would be nice if you came up for air now and then and got a clear picture of what's going on. You righties seem to think that service sector and other low paying jobs are only meant for teenagers and uneducated "losers," that anybody with ambition would get a degree and become a white collar worker. But many people don't have the same abilities or aspirations as you or other people who have professional careers. Many are content to work in the service sector, and whether they are "stuck" there or just don't have the ambition to move up the ladder, as long as they are filling a need in society and doing their jobs well, they should not be punished by paying them shamefully low wages. Anybody who works full time at any legitimate job should at least be paid enough to be able to put a modest roof over their heads and pay for their groceries and basic bills. Those who want more should also have the opportunities to go after whatever they want, but those at the bottom should not have to suffer the indignity of having to resort to food stamps or welfare, just to make ends meet. Can you imagine what a boon to the economy it would be if Walmart alone paid it's million American employees a minimum wage of $10/hr.? Walmart could easily do that without having to raise their prices much, if at all, and the Waltons and various big-wigs in the company would still be multi-billionaires.

As for this comment from you: "I have found out over the years that most liberals have to resort to name calling to try and get their point across when they don't have a valid arguement." Well, those times I resort to name calling I usually throw in a valid argument to go along with it. At least, I try to make it pretty valid most of the time, thank you. Anyway, I have heard conservatives like Limbaugh, Coulter, and O'Reilly, not to mention those who post here, come up with some pretty extreme, unflattering names for libs. No one on either side of the political fence has a handle on the name calling.

May 4, 2013 at 7:03 p.m.
Rickaroo said...

George Reed...

If the various religions actually made the Golden Rule the focal point of their religion then what a better world it would be. But unfortunately they do not. At least the Abrahamic monotheistic religions do not. They are still too intent on claiming that THEIR God is the only true God and THEIR belief is the only true belief. As long as they emphasize salvation and exclusivity over morality and leading a truly righteous life based on love and compassion, they will only be divisive, self-righteous, and destructive.

May 4, 2013 at 7:25 p.m.
Plato said...

A couple of more points. It was President G. W. Bush that raised the Earned Income Tax Credit by $5000, and doubled the Child Tax Credit which resulted in the number of people falling into the "no federal tax" category Marineguy is referring to, to nearly doubled.

About one third of WalMart employees collect food stamps and are eligible for Medicaid because of the poverty wages they are paid. So not only do these people not make enough to pay federal taxes, they actually become a burden themselves through no fault of their own due to what they are paid. This effectively means the federal government (that's us tax payers) are subsidizing WalMart's payroll costs. Considering the Walton family is worth over $100 Billion dollars and collectively has more wealth than the bottom 40% of Americans, I find this disgusting.

May 4, 2013 at 11:51 p.m.
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