'Cult' label misused for Mormon faith
I was surprised by the front-page article (Oct. 7) written by Clint Cooper. Cooper said, "Chattanooga-area evangelical church pastors may believe the Mormon faith is a cult and may not consider Gov. Mitt Romney a Christian ..."
Mormons do not belong to a cult. Sadly, the label of "cult" is often used to criticize or demean the faith of others with different opinions. Many people apply this label out of ignorance.
I was appalled to read, "Mormonism is a cult," said Jeremy Roberts, pastor of Highland Park Baptist Church. "Mormons are polytheistic universalists who deny that Jesus is the eternal son of God."
Neither statement is true. Mormons belong to the fourth largest Christian faith in the United States. The Mormon Church aligns closely to other religions such as Baptist, Methodist, etc. Mormons are Christian and believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, the Savior and Redeemer of the world.
I would suggest that Mr. Cooper and Mr. Roberts not denigrate the Mormon Church by implying that it might be or is a cult. By the way, I am a Baptist not a Mormon, but understanding their beliefs I might change.
DONALD STEWART, Signal Mountain
Emissions policy needs investigation
One wonders why one of your writers has not investigated at least some of the aspects of Hamilton County's mandatory emissions testing program. It is said that this program occurred when "EPA" found the air quality in this county to be "substandard."
So, is our air now above standard? Who did the testing? Who does it now? Could it be that forcing every car and light truck to drive to test sites yearly is causing more emissions than the program is alleviating? How many wrecks and traffic tickets are generated by all this mandatory driving?
Then there is the financial side of the program. Why does one company (Envirotest) apparently have a monopoly in this business? Seems that, with a small investment, any gas station could set up to do it. How much of the cash money generated by this testing leaves this county? At best, it leaves consumers here with less to spend.
Finally, why just us? Not a single other county bordering Hamilton is being forced to do this, including North Georgia. Has anyone on your staff heard of "wind"? It is moving air ... If this program were nationwide, it might make more sense. As is, could this become a issue in upcoming elections?
EDITOR'S NOTE: The Chattanooga-Hamilton County Air Pollution Control Bureau monitors the county's air quality. Go to its web page, www.apcb.org
Is paper following Mormon 'issue' line?
I find it interesting that the day after the first presidential debate which, according to polls, Gov. Romney won, that a prominent conservative talk-show host predicted that the President Obama campaign, through the media, would start playing the "Mormon" card. The reason: polling shows that some Christian evangelicals are bothered by this "issue." So, If the Obama campaign can use press "Mormon Issue" articles, much like the phony "War on Women," to deflate the Romney vote, they can possibly tip the razor-thin election.
I was then incredibly surprised to see in the following Sunday (Oct. 7) Times Free Press that the front-page headline was on the "Mormon Issue." Where did this lead come from? And, why? Is it an "issue"? A front- page headline? Is the Times Free Press really "fair and balanced?"
COL. ROGER DUCKWORTH, Ooltewah
Government needs religion's morality
One writer's opinion is that Republicans are distorting separation of church and state. I'm amazed by the anger of the writer and at the targets; now the Southern Baptists are complicit in distorting this separation principle. He attacks with such hatred that I rejoice at not being a member of his denomination. I'll rebuff with paraphrased excerpts from Washington's Farwell Address:
"Of everything one can do to become a successful politician, religion and morality are indispensable supports. You cannot claim yourself a patriot if you try to subvert these pillars, which are the duties of men and citizens. Politicians especially ought to respect and cherish them. Let it simply be asked: Where is security for your property, reputation, and life if religion and morality are abandoned by government? Morality cannot be maintained without religion. Whatever education you may have, we cannot expect that national morality can prevail in exclusion of religious principles."
Washington writes that government should stay out of religion but doesn't mention that religion must stay out of government. Quite the opposite, government cannot be successful without the morality that religion brings to it.
I'm one Catholic who proudly stands aside the Southern Baptists as the target du jour.
Letter to Romney is outstanding
I want to thank, commend and honor retired Marine officer Thomas Lloyd for his marvelous letter to Mitt Romney that appeared in commentary in the Oct. 6 edition of the Chattanooga Times Free Press. Mr. Lloyd's narrative dealt with the unfortunate and uncalled for "47 percent" comment by Mr. Romney.
I, too, am a retired military officer with 22-years of service, including a year flying combat in Vietnam. By the grace of God, I finished my tour there without serious injury. Like Mr. Lloyd, I pay some federal income tax on the money I receive from the government.
My son is retired military with some flying time over enemy territory. My grandson is still on active military duty after two tours in Iraq and carries small bits of shrapnel in his body compliments of a suicide bomber.
I, my son, and my grandson share the feelings of Mr. Lloyd and agree with his outstanding and appropriate letter to Mr. Romney.
RICHARD HUGHES, Lt. Col. USAF (Ret.), Cleveland, Tenn.
'47 percent' remark will doom Romney
Mitt Romney's debate performance was all style and no substance. He offered no concrete solutions to the problems.
Obama was right not to mention Romney's "47 percent" remark. That statement coming out of the horse's mouth was priceless. And not one could ever top it. You can't say you don't care about "47 percent" of the population to anyone, anywhere, at anytime, unless you truly believe it.
Just as John McCain's pick of Sarah Palin doomed him, the "47 percent" remark has doomed Romney.
Four more years for President Barack Obama.
JAMES A. BROWN
CARES growing to meet challenges
Chattanooga CARES is a 26-year-old public health, advocacy and support agency. Our services are available to any and every person in Hamilton and its 27 surrounding counties. Our client and community services are provided free or at reduced cost to recipients.
Early on we were known as an agency addressing the health and support needs of persons with "HIV/AIDS." Now our public health services are needed for and provided to a multi-dimensional population. Our challenges are as broad as our mission.
What we now know is that HIV/AIDS does not have one face but many and at all ages. Virtually every person in our area can be touched by this threat. That's why CARES' prevention, education and advocacy efforts go hand in hand with our primary health/medical care and support goals. The environment in which we function knows no barriers: black or white; rich or in need; gay or straight; in jail or not; young and old; of faith or not; or male or female.
Our home community's growth is accelerating at an ever-increasing pace, as does its diversity. In the midst of this, Chattanooga CARES grows to successfully meet the many challenges before us.
DENA WILLIAMS, Board Chair
MATT McADOO, Executive Director