Obamacare and GOP obstructionism
The GOP will do any sneaky trick possible to keep "Obamacare" from being fully implemented. Forty times voting to repeal and counting by the U.S. House! Red states' governors and legislatures refusing federal money for health care of people in their own states. When the Affordable Care Act is completely installed, it will be much better than anything Republicans have to offer. The only thing they have is to go back to the out-of-control costs we had, to continue stuffing money into pockets of those who control insurance companies.
Any time I hear about "studies" from right-wing outfits such as the Heritage Foundation or American Enterprise Institute (AEI), I know it is propaganda (misinformation or just complete lies). It may as well come from their TV network (Fox Fake News) or Rush Limbaugh. Some good news: Limbaugh has been dropped from many radio stations that have finally regained their sanity and decency!
Walter M. Benton, Signal Mountain
Save us from Bible thumpers
Many Christians take pride in those monolithic crosses now littering the Chattanooga landscape. They say the crosses will serve as a reminder for people to redirect their moral compass to their Christian principles; or that the mere sight of them might cause non-believers to be "saved." What nonsense! We are already awash in crosses. We see the crucifix in necklaces, bracelets, tattoos and emblazoned on T-shirts and bumper stickers; and it is mounted atop almost every steeple of every church. How many more crosses must we have thrust in our faces? And how large must they loom before these Christian zealots will be satisfied that their imaginary sky god is pleased with the enormity and expense of their handiwork? As for the message of redemption these towering crosses might possibly convey to "lost souls," well, good luck with that. Most non-believers are repulsed by in-your-face proselytizing, and these gaudy hunks of metal are not only in the faces of passersby but practically hitting them upside the head. It is not the eternal damnation of a mythological hell that we non-Christians need saving from. Rather save us from the arrogance, willful ignorance, and insidious intrusions of the Bible thumpers themselves!
Rick Armstrong, Monteagle, Tenn.
Praise to all who follow Bible
As a wife, mother, grandmother and long-time teacher and because my husband and I are followers of Jesus Christ endeavoring to uphold both His grace and His truth, I wish to publically state my joy at being able to celebrate Saturday, Aug. 31, 2013, as "ido4life Traditional Marriage Day" in Tennessee and for Senate Joint Resolution 134 which states, "Whereas, in Genesis 2:24, matrimony is delineated; it is expressed only between a man and a woman. God also told them to "be faithful and multiply." Of course only a couple that is both male and female can naturally multiply. I also applaud the General Assembly for referring to the Bible as its base for truth in a day when so many either ignore or make fun of the Bible. The Bible stands regardless. God tells us that it is His word, authenticated by over 400 literally-fulfilled scriptures over a 3000-plus-year span. Our lawmakers showed themselves wise to base their resolution on biblical truth. May we citizens and our city councils show ourselves equally wise and courageous, Matthew 24:12-13.
MARGARET McGAVOCK BRYAN, Lookout Mountain
What is agenda of unions today?
My grandfather moved to Cincinnati in the early 1900s as a union organizer. The area was highly industrialized, and there was much exploitation of workers. Moving ahead to the 1940s, my father became active in a factory union to "help." He was an idealist and wanted to improve the union where he worked. After a fellow member was knifed in the stomach, my father thought better of it and left the union office. That is to say that by that time, many unions had gotten corrupt and were no longer "for the workers." I think the same thing exists today. I wonder why the UAW is so insistent to get into the VW factory. The conditions there are apparently very good and the workers are happy. Could it be that most unions today have their own agenda, and that is not to help downtrodden workers?
Labor movement aided all workers
On this Labor Day week, I would like to tell some young ones and maybe some old ones what Labor Day means. Before the labor movement in the United States, we had child labor, slave-type labor among our workers, no safety regulations, no minimum wage -- actually not a whole lot of hope for the working American to achieve the American dream. We still have a long way to go by both political parties that do not seem to care about anything except getting re-elected. If it were not for the union movement many years ago the moguls of this country had no intention of giving our workers a break. One need only to read the history of the conditions we had before most of us stuck together. The bosses struck back in force, and many workers died. Thanks to many brave workers we finally got some decent working conditions for all future workers. Hope everyone thinks about what is best for all of us. Don't let some politicians diminish Medicare, Social Security, minimum wage and unions. I'm not saying what party wants to do this; you need to study that on your own.
JACK PINE Dunlap, Tenn.
Hunters shouldn't shoot for 'sport'
Let me begin with the fact that I am a lifelong ethical hunter, therefore I am disturbed by a statement supposedly quoted from TWRA spokesperson Dan Hicks. If in fact Mr. Hicks made the statement of hunting cranes "not being all for sport" I am led to believe that TWRA promotes "sport" hunting rather than ethical hunting. An ethical hunter eats what he harvests and does not take the life of an animal for sport. A person that will sport-shoot an animal is the type that gives all hunters a bad name whether deserved or not.
JIMMY MABRY, Hixson
Use signature ID to prevent fraud
I became a poll worker in 1999, and I read with interest the article (The Tennessean, Aug. 27) regarding the recent lawsuit over the new photo ID law for voters, which went into effect in Tennessee last year. Other states have also adopted similar laws. The promoters of these new photo ID laws claim to have the intention of preventing voter fraud at the ballot box, and everyone agrees that voter fraud must always be addressed, even though it is extremely rare. However, as I listen to the public debate, I notice that important information is omitted. The fact is, we have always had a highly effective (and free) system for voter ID: it is the signature of the voter. Basically, it works as follows: Voter signatures from registration applications are kept on file for reference. When a voter wishes to cast a ballot, he or she writes a fresh signature in the presence of the poll workers on duty, who then compare it with the one on file. This is a time tested process which does not waste public or private time and money, as does the new photo ID requirement. In my experience, I've never seen or heard of any type of voter fraud that a photo ID would prevent more effectively than a signature ID. I support repealing the wasteful photo ID laws everywhere because they are a costly solution without a problem.
Abominations can hit close to home
For those who think the only abomination unto the Lord is revealed in Leviticus, read Proverbs, Chapter 6, verses 16-19. You may find, as do I, that some of these hit pretty close to home. Maybe some of our learned brothers and sisters could list for us God's order of severity for all of these sins. I wonder how many members have been turned out of their churches for displaying pride. "I'm OK, but whoo-boy, you need to straighten up" -- or having innocent blood on their hands -- supporting the invasion of Iraq? Abortion isn't the only innocent blood that gets spilled, but it's the easiest to harp on, because it's usually someone else's transgression. And if you excommunicate because of wicked imaginations, you may as well close the church doors. Is the task of the church to bring the sinner to Christ or to destroy the sinner? If it's the latter, then Christianity is no better than the radical wing of Islam. Read Matthew chapters 5, 6 and 7 and tell me if true Christians can harbor in their hearts bitterness and hatred for those different. Didn't Christ teach us we have to forgive in order to get forgiven.
ALLAN BAGGETT Trion, Ga.
Mark Kennedy is a Times Free Press columnist and editor. He writes the "LIfe Stories" human interest column for the City section and the "Family Life" column for the Life section. He also writes an automotive column, “Test Drive,” for the Business section. For 13 years, Kennedy was features editor of the newspaper, and before that he was the newspaper’s first Sunday editor. The Times Free Press Life section won the state press award for ...