I found the Sunday, Dec. 9, Times editorial in support of the Wilderness Bill currently before the Senate both heartening and informative. The bill incorporates key portions of the Tennessee Wilderness Act of 2011, sponsored by Sen. Lamar Alexander and co-sponsored by Sen. Bob Corker of Chattanooga.
This bill recognizes the economic value of wilderness as a location for recreation-based businesses and the importance of preserving unspoiled lands for future generations. Wilderness has provided inspiration for such iconic characters of our culture as Henry David Thoreau and Teddy Roosevelt. It was even the location where the biblical prophet, John the Baptist, received his revelation (Luke 3:2).
I urge your readers to join your editorial staff, and our state's senators, in support of this bill.
It is very disappointing not to see a full page or even a half page ad in our paper by some of our churches, religious organizations, civic groups or other concerned people refuting the ACLU and atheist civil liberties groups' assault on our Christian principles and Christmas.
Some examples: The governor of Rhode Island refusing to let the state Christmas tree be called a Christmas tree, but a holiday tree. One person in a Midwestern state filed a suit with success to have a manger scene removed from city hall. Some retail outlets have informed their clerks to greet their customers with happy holidays instead of Merry Christmas.
There is an effort by some to remove "In God We Trust" from our currency. A group is pushing for courts to allow plaintiffs being sworn in not to say "so help me God." There are others pushing for prayer not to be said at civic meetings. And the list goes on. If we continue to cave in to these groups that are trodding on our Christian principles, it will be giving them a green light to press on and expand their demands.
I'm writing in reference to yet another published commentary from a resident sage concerning the rich owing an obligation to the poor.
In a world with a population of over 7 billion people I can find over a dozen causes more important to society than maintaining the poor in a style to which they would like to become accustomed. For example, several counties have cut down library hours to a 24-hour week. In addition, Chickamauga Dam has a 78-year-old lock, while sections of our city need expanded sewage-treatment facilities with larger pipes.
I have lived in the poor community for over five years. It has been my observation that they buy more beer and cigarettes than literature, which is one of the reasons why they remain poor.
LAURA BARE RODRIGUEZ