Reid is doing the right thing
I'm sure the Rev. Tim Reid is feeling pretty lonely about now; he's not the first to be shot down by the "powers that be." That is, the mayor, the chief of police, their lawyers and financial supporters. Jesus knows how he is being treated. Remember how He was scorned, flogged and, yes, put to death -- by the Pharisees, Sadducees and Centurions.
I see Jesus in Tim's efforts to reach out to "the least of these," those youth trying to escape gang influence, those who are being harassed and bullied, those whose lives are literally being saved by people like Pastor Reid.
The Rev. Reid is right. His church is providing security for his parishioners while on church property; the police should provide protection in the public arena, i.e., on the streets. I have heard not one word of praise or support from the "city" for what Mosaic is trying to accomplish.
The methods of Pastor Reid may seem outlandish (unconventional) to some. So did Jesus' methods.
What do you think Jesus would do?
THE REV. MATT NEVELS
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Natural selection led to superiority
The politically correct (I'm not one) avoid questions like why Ashkenazi Jews of eastern European origin have 10 percent-15 percent higher average IQs or why African-American athletes are superior, especially in sports where sped is crucial. The answer? Plain old Darwinian natural selection.
In old Europe, Jews were excluded from agriculture and most other "normal" occupations. To survive, they concentrated on vocations requiring verbal and mathematical skills -- banking, retailing, law and medicine.
Prosperous Jews, naturally, raised large families while the less-gifted reproduced at a lower rate, some drifting away from Judaism altogether. Sephardic Jews of Iberian and Middle Eastern origins test and perform about like the rest of us.
In Africa, the lions had a name for humans who were slow afoot, "Dinner." This, and the horrible conditions on slave ships and some plantations tended to eliminate the weaker involuntary African immigrants from the gene pool. In a morbid sense, today's outstanding black athletes are beneficiaries of man's inhumanity to man.
If fundamentalist and fellow members of the Flat Earth Society need further evidence of natural selection, let them consider the alarming evolution of medicine-resistant bacteria in our clinics and hospitals from the wholesale, indiscriminate prescribing of antibiotics.
GEORGE B. REED JR., Rossville, Ga.
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Obama succeeded in many areas
Many do not understand exactly what President Obama has accomplished in only three years of office. Many are still convinced that he is determined to socialize America.
Saved thousands of jobs and the American auto industry.
Consistently added jobs since Bush's historic recession.
Gave American children, through parental insurance, until the age of 26 to get insurance.
Stopped insurance companies from using pre-existing conditions to refuse payment.
Initiated regulations to keep Wall Street from repeating its past transgressions.
Pulled our nation out of a very divisive war that killed 4,500 American soldiers and wounded countless more.
Killed Osama bin Laden.
Initiated a new way to look at energy production for our grandchildren.
Cleaned up the nation's dirtiest coal plants, after TVA paid more to fight new source review than the cost of complying.
Unfortunately, he has not delivered on his promise to raise taxes on the wealthiest 1 percent of Americans. This is because of the same tea party representatives who held the country's middle class hostage to a looming new-year tax increase.
The same representatives who refuse to bring revenue into the deficit problem.
Our impending "financial crisis" will come because of these people, not a "derelict president."
ROGER SHIPLEY, Ringgold, Ga.
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Others should follow Mosaic
I have visited Chattanooga's Mosaic Church. The service impressed me with its creativity and clarity. In foregoing many traditional preferences of typical churches (old hymns, hard pews, early-morning services, etc.), Mosaic has ministered to a demographic that most people don't know how to love well.
At Mosaic, people come as they are from various backgrounds -- whether from a middle class family, the street or even a gang.
Tim Reid made the truth understandable. When I visited, Tim used balloons anchored to a chair as a sermon illustration. He discussed reasons why we can believe what the Bible says and later contrasted the path of the wise vs. the path of the wicked.
I went to that service over two years ago -- and I still remember it well.
Mosaic also teaches classes to identify and develop people's gifts (for example, a former graffiti artist can hone his skills on a canvas and sell artwork rather than drugs).
Telling urban youth they can't gather at a downtown address will not solve Chattanooga's gang problem.
More churches should be coming alongside Mosaic to do what Jesus did -- love the least.
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Church activities demean women
The Christmas Eve shootings in downtown Chattanooga highlighted the gang problem and violence permeating our town. It also exposed another abuse: the exploitation of young women as sex objects. Casual sex is demeaning and insulting to all women. It leads to unwanted pregnancies and sexually transmitted diseases, such as HIV. Two-thirds of all teen moms will not earn high school degrees, which often leads to lifelong economic and social disadvantages.
In the club activities of the Mosaic Church, there were fliers advertising "smash and pass" and no I.D. required. This is sending the wrong message. According to the Urban Dictionary, "smash and pass" means a one night stand, as it states, "Smash and pass is the process of meeting someone for the intent of having sex ... soon after, both people leave; usually, to never talk again."
Over the last 100 years, women have fought hard for equal rights and fair treatment. Respect and love are the essence of strong families and societies. A church that fosters violent acts, sponsors promiscuity and demeaning treatment of women, should not be allowed to operate in our community. This is an outrage and should be of concern to all of us.
SANDY LUSK, President, Greater Chattanooga Democratic Women's Club
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Some adults don't set good examples
Responsibility, caring, fairness, courtesy and respect are character traits taught in county schools. Children should practice these daily, yet what's good for the goose isn't always good for the gander.
How can adults expect children to treat each other fairly when those who should set good examples don't model the same behavior toward their staff?
I am appalled at the treatment of certain staff members by an adult professional administration that prevails over the school. Several staff members have been harassed and bullied for obvious personal vendettas, those of whom are not understood by those being targeted.
We tell our children they need to act grown up, but where have we failed when the very people who are telling our children to grow up haven't done so themselves?
It's time for certain administrators to take a hard and honest look at themselves and figure out if they are dealing with issues professionally or letting personal issues get in the way of acceptable character. Instead of using intimidation, fear, isolation, harassment and bigotry, these administrators and certain others need to reassess their values and treat employees fairly. Start practicing what Hamilton County preaches -- good character always prevails!