I was rather amazed when I read the Republican assessment of Scotty Mayfield's campaign. It is almost a carbon copy of Chuck Fleischmann's first campaign.
He repeatedly refused to let out any information about where he stood on any issue, "in the series of debates he held with Robin Smith and other opponents." I doubt anyone can remember anything of substance. He even ran from a reporter who pressed him for some kind of statement. Why should Scotty not follow the leader, when the leader was so successful?
WILLIAM C. McCOMAS, Harrison
Kudos to David Cook for his "Give me that pro-gay, pro-family religion" piece in this newspaper on May 14.
It's important enough to quote him:
"Gay and lesbian folks are fine just the way they are.
"And they should not have to apologize.
"Or feel afraid. Or ashamed."
And they should have the same rights as other human beings, instead of second-class rights.
Their children should be able to say that their parents are married, if that's what's important to them.
It seems to me that the religious right, in their conviction that folks should believe as they do -- being convinced that's God's wish -- are largely responsible for hate, division and bigotry down through the ages. For instance: racial integration, denying women their reproductive choice, interracial marriage, and now gay rights.
In spite of that, as a country we are getting better, and kinder, and have resolved some of these issues -- not without a struggle -- but on the side of kindness. I believe a God of love would approve.
MARCIA LANPHEAR, Collegedale
A readers writes (May 3), "The argument that Jesus expected individuals to take care of poor people comes from Ayn Rand's philosophy, not the teachings of Jesus."
Nonsense. Jesus taught that responsibility for one's less-fortunate "neighbors" is personal.
In Jesus' parable of the Good Samaritan (Luke 10:25-37), a priest and Levite declined to help a stranger robbed and left to die along the road to Jericho. But a Samaritan went to his aid, cleaned and bandaged his wounds with supplies from his own kit, put him on his donkey, brought him to an inn where he personally fed and cared for him, paid for the stranger's room and board out of his own purse, and gave the innkeeper more money to pay for his care until he recovered. He also told the innkeeper that upon his return he would pay any additional expense incurred by the stranger. Jesus concluded: "Go and do likewise."
I commend this parable to statists who would shirk their personal responsibility for the poor, substituting the iron fist of the state -- and OPM (sounds like opium, is equally addicting, stands for other people's money).
NED NETTERVILLE, Lone Oak, Tenn.
Public Works Week is an awareness campaign, educational opportunity and celebration of public works departments in communities nationwide.
Here in Chattanooga, we will observe the week from May 20-26 with a number of activities. A "Touch a Truck" event is geared toward kids of all ages who would like to see some of the impressive public works vehicles (vacuum truck, hook lift with mini excavator, paint truck, derrick digger, etc.) up close. That display will be at Coolidge Park on Sunday from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m.
A Community Outreach Day consisting of public works vehicles and educational displays for all of the responsibilities that the Public Works Department holds: brush collection, road design and repair, street lights, traffic signals, code enforcement, drivers education, special event and construction street closures, parking lot design, sight obstruction, traffic signals, road signage, water quality, waste disposal, speed humps, etc. This is scheduled for the Waterhouse Pavilion in Miller Plaza on Wednesday from 11 a.m. until 2 p.m.
Please plan to attend both of these events and learn how our Public Works Department touches every aspect of our daily lives.
CAROLINE JOHNSON, Traffic Engineering Division, Public Works Department, City of Chattanooga
Obama likes power so much he's willing to sell his soul for campaign money from the likes of Striesand, Oprah, Cher, Ellen and many others.
Matthew 16:26 says, "For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?"
I can understand why rich Americans support the Republican Party, but am amazed middle-class Americans are gullible enough to do so. Republican positions on many issues that have real impact are so contrary to their interests.
Many overlook Paul Ryan's rhetoric. He wants us to think of Social Security and Medicare as "entitlements," instead of benefits they worked many years to earn and paid for. Ryan is a disciple of Ayn Rand, who thinks the poor are parasites on the wealthy.
The latest outrage is the drive to dismantle the Affordable Health Care act that the right calls "ObamaCare." Romney, forgetting the one decent thing he did as governor of Massachusetts, says the poor can go to the emergency room when they have a medical problem. Really? Will that work for diabetes patients who need daily insulin injections or MS victims who need expensive interferon injections? And God help those with cancer.
Don't look for help from our local representative or senators. They have all oppose "ObamaCare," while they propose no real alternatives. "Rep. Chuck" is a bad joke. He prefers that we not use his last name lest we think that he has Jewish, or worse yet, Jewish and perhaps even Democratic antecedents.
MIKE RUSSELL, Signal Mountain
I feel it is imperative that we know the candidates and how they differ from the representation we presently have. If everyone remained mute and stated they don't have any differing opinions from our present representative in Congress, why even run?
Putting yourself out there to run for a specific office should mean that you have your own ideas of how something should be done.
It may mean that you are fed up with the status quo and aren't going to take it any more. It may mean that you would like to voice your opinion on specific issues that affect our district, so that the voters can decide who best represents their own values.
We know how our present representative stands from seeing the out-of-state money he accepts, the leadership he walks in lockstep with and the lack of concern for district needs such as the Chickamauga Dam lock. We know how a couple of the challengers would change things by visiting their websites, but we have no idea how Mr. Mayfield differs from the candidates, and this is a shame.
Give us voters the opportunity to decide if his ideas, values and vision is what we want.
RICK TUCKER, Hixson
We are fast becoming a nation in denial of truth. Political correctness trumps all else. Have we forgotten the lessons of history? Do we not remember or have we not read about the millions in Europe who were tortured and murdered? The German people accepted political correctness and repeatedly over the years gave the Heil Hitler salute to perhaps the most evil man who ever lived. Has this taught us nothing?
There is no substitute for truth. It will stand when all else fails.
KENNETH W. SIMONDS