Secular world created problems
This is in response to a letter Dec. 28, "Religions create many problems."
I am always amazed by the secular view that a story or commentary with a religious topic is some infringement or attack.
As a believing Christian, I see so many topics attacking my religion in this paper and other news outlets, that I am glad to see some point of view that supports my beliefs.
As for religions being the cause of most wars, abuse of women and children and other atrocities, that is almost laughable. Secular governments have waged almost all the wars in history. And governments, be they secular or religion-based, allow abuse of their citizens.
Those who use religion as a reason for war or to suppress freedom most likely have hijacked that religion for their own secular and selfish gains.
True believers know this to be true. Those with no faith to live by look for scapegoats to explain the mess the secular world has created and we live in today.
Advertise help to cut violence
Responding to the cries of local entrepreneurs, after unprecedented violence Christmas weekend downtown drew attendant negative national publicity, "city fathers" moved rapidly to shutter its "source."
Just as rapidly, two new "gang task force" positions commanding salaries of $70,000-$90,000 were created from the city budget.
Safety concerns? Absolutely. Balanced by businesses fearing loss of livelihood, profits, Chattanooga's industry draws.
Is a crisis line established for gang members who want out? Do "safe houses" exist for them? Move on it!
Street/gang violence is rooted at home. Dec. 28, 2011, TyReke Evans, 4 years young, victim of child violence, was buried.
Did "city fathers" attend his wake/funeral? Mayors? Commissioners? Business leaders? We challenge "city fathers," coordinating with business community, to implement immediate help advertising in the poorest communities: i.e. CHA-served, others. Rental managers/tenant apartments/neighborhoods posting "stress" numbers to call before violence occurs: i.e. Domestic Violence Hotline, CHILDHELP USA, Contact Crisis, Covenant House, etc.
Involve TV stations to run media strips of outreach numbers during news and programs, not unlike weather emergencies.
Businesses: sponsor stress numbers on CARTA, in neighborhoods, on billboards!
Make TyReke a poster child for healing Chattanooga's heart!
Open art world to the children
Good news, bad news, solution.
Good news: The New York Times lists us 25 out of 45 international cities to visit in 2012!
Bad news: Most public school children don't get art classes at all! Though touted as the place to go to enjoy the arts, our children will not have been exposed to them! Programs at Create Here, AVA and Allied Arts have produced this result for our city. City Council, pay attention! People coming to the city means money spent here. It's appropriate that the art groups responsible for the increased national exposure should benefit monetarily for their efforts to enable them to continue this trend of excellence.
Solution for bad news: Perhaps the art community (art organizations, 2-d artists, 3-d artists, musicians, dancers) could get art appreciation into the schools on a regular basis with a program using volunteers from this community. I would volunteer two hours monthly to such a project. How about you? Would you be willing to demonstrate dancing, play music, discuss/teach art once a month? Until funding comes through, this could work.
Open the world of art to these kids so that they too can participate, as well as appreciate, this city's fine arts.
Gun ownership not the core issue
I'm perplexed by the naive mentality liberals maintain in their desire for gun control, having no logic or understanding of facts. 30,000 to 33,000 people die by firearms in America yearly, around 18,000 being suicides.
Compare that with 75,000 dying from alcohol related behavior. 35,000 die from cirrhosis of the liver or cancer-related illness resulting from alcohol consumption.
Where's the outcry from these people for alcohol curtailment?
Vehicle accidents kill more than firearms. Let's ban vehicles?
Thousands of murders are committed utilizing knives.
Having worked for the justice system many years, I've seen brutal homicides committed using a ball bat. Should we not demand curtailment of knife and ball bat ownership?
Murder began with Cain and Abel.
If a vile passion is prevalent in one, a rock will work, and there are too many rocks to take up. The core issue isn't gun ownership, but the inherently evil heart of man that promotes murderous behavior.
Gun ownership is vitally important in today's America.
The Constitution guarantees my right "to keep and bear arms."
Don't approach me with robbery on your mind or enter my home with criminal intent and you will never be shot by my weapon, the same philosophy held by all peace-loving gun owners.
Rock Spring, Ga.
Lions aid those with vision issues
On behalf of the Chattanooga Lions Clubs, thank you for helping those who need eyeglasses.
I noted in a December edition about a homeless male getting help with eyeglasses paid for by the Neediest Fund. The Chattanooga Downtown Lions, founded in 1927, has supplied glasses and other help along with our neighboring Lions Clubs, including those in Georgia and Alabama. This in addition to seeing-eye dogs, operations, Kids Sight Screening along with other things. Our motto is "We Serve."
For these and other sight problems the local phone number is (423) 315-0350. For other help they can contact a local neighborhood Lions member.
Ballet Tennessee is an arts leader
I would like to recognize and share my appreciation for Ballet Tennessee here in Chattanooga.
We are fortunate to have access to a wide array of arts in our city, and I think Ballet Tennessee stands out as a leader in the arts community.
It's performance of The Nutcracker ballet in December at the UTC Fine Arts Center was outstanding and memorable not only because of the choreography, costumes and sets design, but also because dedicated, talented, local dancers performed most of the key roles, including that of the "Sugar Plum Fairy."
Ballet Tennessee not only offers excellent dance instruction but also seeks out, encourages, and provides opportunities for young talented girls and boys through such programs as their TIP (talent identification program), Dance Alive and unique summer workshops and training.
I applaud Ballet Tennessee's outreach efforts, their involvement in the Chattanooga community and the positive impact they have made and continue to make in our city.
Tax cut doesn't amount to much
Our governor has proposed a 0.2 percent reduction in the tax on food.
If you spend $100 a week on food this will be a whopping 20 cents, or a huge $10.40 per year.
Oh, thank you, governor, for your generosity.
By the way, how much will you save if you get the inheritance taxes reduced?
Media motives are obvious
When Congress passed the health care bill (over 2,000 pages), most members of Congress admitted they had not read it. The bill with its thousands of regulations will affect the lives of all Americans.
No problem. The media continues to give these congressmen the utmost respect.
But if Ron Paul did not read every sentence written in his newsletters over 20 years ago, he should be ridiculed and condemned even if the newsletters do not affect our lives in any way.
Are we so stupid? Can we not see the motives of the mainstream news media?