Let's celebrate our differences
This is Pride Week in Chattanooga. Pride is an annual celebration of the diversity of our community. We are all different, yet we come together to be a vibrant, exciting, beautiful Scenic City. Some in our community, however, have suggested that this is wrong. They feel that certain aspects of our community diversity are destructive, evil and wrong. These people place their personal convictions above the concepts of freedom and self-determination that are integral to our community and our nation.
Some have used Bible passages that talk about the "Sin of Pride" (and other capital-letter sins) and used these passages to denigrate the wonderful mosaic that makes up Chattanooga. Actually, the biblical "Sin of Pride" refers to that sense of superiority that leads some to feel that they are justified in judging others. Pride that justifies judgment of others is harmful to our community. Most of us would rather not bear that burden of judging others, and that willingness to love and forgive helps us continue to build community.
Chattanooga Pride is a wonderful thing. Let's use this week to celebrate that we are different. Diversity makes our community stronger!
New views won't change God's laws
Recently a letter appeared on the editorial page with regard to the LFO cheerleaders' dispute. The writer stated that "People with new habits and broader visions are coming to town." This statement does not intimidate any of us as Bible-believing Christians. The writer's new and broader views, to which he referred, will not change God's laws, nor will they change our Christian lifestyle. The writer's condescending manner in referring to our area as a "backwater place" is insulting and seems strange coming from a minister. And, I do believe the LFO cheerleaders have the same right of free speech as everyone else.
Call out Beck on his lies
What Glenn Beck is doing on his TV show is real bad for public discourse and dangerous for democracy.
Glenn Beck is stoking racial fears and paranoia in attempt to divide America. He spreads hate and fear mongering.
He doesn't care about facts. He distorts them instead to spread wild conspirac theories based on the John Birch writer, Cleon Skousen.
His advertisers have stopped supporting him because of his racism and hate mongering. His show is far outside the mainstream. He is the Father Coughlin of our times. It is time for the press to call him out on his lies.
Back president on health reform
I support our president in reforming health care insurance for all Americans.
God bless America and may God bless our president, Barack Obama.
Israel is able to defend itself
If we are not accomplishing anything in Afghanistan, then yes, we need to get out. We never were accomplishing anything in Iraq so we definitely need to get out of that country immediately. And we do not need to go to war with Iran. Let Israel defend itself. It has demonstrated that it is fully capable of doing so. In fact, I vote for charging Israel with war crimes for its vicious attack on Palestine earlier this year.
Urge expansion of wilderness
Like millions of Americans, I enjoyed watching Ken Burns' documentary film about our National Parks on PBS. The efforts of individuals like John Muir, President Teddy Roosevelt and Tennessee's own Harvey Broome have left us their legacy in the form of our wonderful public lands.
It has been 25 years since new wilderness has been designated in Tennessee's Cherokee National Forest. The Forest Service has recommended wilderness expansion in its 2004 management plan. These recommendations can only be enacted if Congress demonstrates leadership and passes legislation using the Wilderness Act.
Wilderness is the highest form of protection for our public lands. It protects forests "in perpetuity" from logging, mining and road building while allowing for traditional activities like hiking, hunting, horseback riding, fishing and camping. Wilderness also protects wildlife habitat, ensures clean water supplies, and sequesters carbon in our warming world.
Please encourage our congressional representatives to act to implement the Forest Service recommendations. Let words of John Muir inspire us to action. "Everybody needs beauty as well as bread, places to play in and pray in, where nature may heal and give strength to body and soul."
Littlefield using 'divide, conquer'
Chattanooga Mayor Ron Littlefield has decided that annexing all the areas originally outlined in Phase One and Two is not feasible. Fearing extended lawsuits, mass public support against annexation and the high cost involved in providing services for the planned annexation areas, Mayor Littlefield decided to exclude vast areas of Hamilton County from previously announced annexation plans.
This is simply a "divide and conquer" strategy by Mayor Littlefield to splinter efforts against countywide annexation. Realizing the anti-annexation movement is so strong, well-organized and well-funded, Mayor Littlefield is now attempting to dilute that effort by annexing a few areas from Phase One with the promise other areas won't be in the final annexation plan.
Everyone knows this is only the beginning and if he achieves this he will continue his effort to annex every other area in his "Urban Growth Plan."
We in Hamilton County should continue our efforts to strongly resist any efforts by the mayor or City Council to annex any area within the county.
We all know Chattanooga city tax dollars will be spent to litigate Mayor Littlefield's personal agenda to the detriment of every city taxpayer. Litigation in these issues can cost millions of dollars. Can you think of a better way to spend a million dollars in Chattanooga?
Support health care that works for all
I am a recently retired RN. I worked in both large inner-city hospitals and a rural hospital for 42 years. I encourage all my neighbors and friends to support President Obama in his efforts to reform health care.
Insurance companies have been given free reign for far too long. I and many of my nurse and doctor friends feel it is high time we had affordable health care insurance that works for all citizens.
I have witnessed the health care system in Canada, and it works. I would like a single-payer system such as Medicare for all, but I feel we must have a government option at the very least.
Please call or write or e-mail your congressman or senator and let them know your views. Health care is a right, not a privilege.