Kudos to David Cook for his timely thoughts in the Aug. 21 paper on Ridgedale Church of Christ's decision to oust the innocent family of Detective Kat Cooper of the Collegedale police force, who fought for and obtained benefits for same-sex couples. Asking the family to "repent" or leave the church when there was nothing to repent is exactly the opposite of the love and comfort one expects from the church. Living in the spotlight of public attention since Collegedale's decision was difficult enough for this family without its own church piling on. Shame on them. Church, after all, should welcome those it views as sinners as "perfect" people don't need church. Since this church doesn't, I hope many of its members will henceforth choose another, more humane, church. Meanwhile, I am astounded and pleased with Collegedale, the city of my youth (and a bastion of conservatism) for its courageous and wise decision in granting these benefits. Although there are still instances of cruelty such as perpetrated by the Ridgedale church, there is persisting evidence of a kinder, more tolerant world - now there's even a Pope who seems to be a humble man of the people. Thank God for nice surprises. MARCIA WALTERS LANPHEAR
I would like to take a moment to clarify a few things regarding the two city-owned golf courses. First of all, I have done some research and found that both golf courses are self-supporting and don't use tax dollars for their operation. They keep their fees as low as possible to offer affordable golf to the residents of this city.
I have also discovered that they contribute $100,000 to the city's general fund every year, and that goes back to when Jerry Mitchell was head of parks and recreation. It makes me wonder why he didn't explain that to the rest of the council.
I also did some research and found that the Champions Club Tennis Center loses more than $200,000 per year of taxpayers' money and yet nobody is questioning why the city is in the tennis business. I wonder whose district the Champions Club is in?
The council needs to stop focusing on the only thing the city has that actually generates money and doesn't use tax dollars and start looking at what the taxpayers' money is really getting wasted on.
For several centuries, white Americans believed they were superior to nonwhites. Thankfully, in time whites realized the error of their ways. In fact, during the last two presidential elections our country decided that a person who was only half white was the best choice for president. Likewise, for several centuries men believed they were superior to women, which is why women weren't allowed to vote. But of course, in time, women helped men realize the error of their ways. In fact, it's possible that in time a woman will convince the nation a "she" is the best choice for president. For many years heterosexuals believed they should have more rights than people who weren't heterosexual. But as we witnessed this summer, the Supreme Court ruled such thinking un-American. As a retired United Methodist minister, I want to apologize to all nonheterosexuals for the failure of our denomination to recognize you as equals in God's eyes. The good news is that the United Methodist Church in the United States is in the process of realizing the error of its ways. Soon, all United Methodists, regardless of sexual orientation, will have equal rights.
REV. CHARLES T. NEAL, Signal Mountain