I want to suggest to Tennessee's Republican Sen. Lamar Alexander: When campaigning for re-election, please be honest with the voters of Tennessee. Tell the Volunteer State how you voted to end cloture on the very bad compromise budget bill, ending debate and moving the bill for final vote, confident the bill would pass on final vote. Then tell the voters how you voted against the final budget bill so that you could proclaim in your campaign how you voted against this bad budget bill. Any wonder there is such a low opinion of the U.S.Congress?
ROBERT A. RENO, Ooltewah, Tenn.
Chattanooga needs to be a shining light of justice and love, not a regressive hostage to the kind of "Christians" who act from prejudice and bigotry rather than fairness or love. These kinds of "Christians" initiated the Crusades -- with biblical support. These kinds of "Christians" initiated the pogroms into Jewish ghettos -- with biblical support. These kinds of "Christians" supported the institution of slavery -- with biblical support. These kinds of "Christians" supported racial segregation right here in Chattanooga -- with biblical support. As a minister of the Unitarian Universalist faith, I believe we are called to work for justice for all people, not just those who are like us; to oppose hatred, prejudice and bigotry, which masquerades as faith, and speak out our own religious and moral values. My faith values the worth and dignity of every person and justice and equity in human relations. These two, of our seven, principles are derived from Judeo Christian teachings on love, compassion and justice. Supporting equal benefits for all employees is on the right side of justice and the right side of history. I urge our leaders to stand firm in these noble and laudable values.
REV. PAMELA RUMANCIK
I am proud of Phil Robertson for standing up for what is right and godly. He may lose some money through his suspension from A&E's reality series "Duck Dynasty," but he will be happy when Jesus says "enter into the joys of the Lord." That gay person who said "Phil does not know what he is talking about" does not know what she is talking about as gays are not gay or happy. They are unhappy and complain every time someone speaks against them. We Christians are aware we will be persecuted as the Bible says we will, and we accept it and praise God for it. If God had intended for homosexuals to be OK, he would have created Adam and Steve; not Adam and Eve.
I recently received a phone call from BlueCross BlueShield insurance regarding my rejection of an amendment to my physician provider contract. The amendment would essentially cut physician reimbursement of laboratory services almost 50 percent. After calculating overhead costs for physicians to provide lab services to their patients it becomes clear that if physicians accept the 50 percent cut, then they will actually incur cost to provide lab services to patients. In short, this contract amendment would prevent patients from obtaining lab services at the time they see their doctor. It essentially forces patients and medical providers to have to contract out their clinical lab services to agencies who are usually offsite and/or potentially cost more. What is additionally disappointing and frightening is that physicians who rejected this contract amendment, per BlueCross BlueShield's employee, are now being considered to be "eliminated" from the BlueCross BlueShield Provider Network. BlueCross BlueShield, it seems, is not only alienating their network providers, but they are jeopardizing the safety and quality of care their members expect. If they cut physicians from their network who reject this proposed amendment, it ultimately restricts your and your family's access to medical care.
DANIELLE MITCHELL, M.D.
When I regard Chattanooga's domestic partnership issue, I fee like I am watching an episode of "Hardcore Pawn." A gay man at the counter is selling what he claims is a gold chain, but the pawnshop's owner says the chain is fake. The man complains the owner is cheating him and demands $200, but the owner won't give $20. I pity the man who purchased the fake chain, but I don't expect the owner to buy it from him. Homosexual relationships are sensual, not sexual. Genuine sex requires male and female. So asking Chattanoogans to buy "homosexual" equality is asking them to buy watches from coat linings and Blu-ray players from the backs of vans. Recognizing same-sex relationships promotes gender ambiguity. Domestic partnership advocates, with their knockoff Christianity, piously insist we pay for their confusion. But "homosexual" equality is the same pleasure-now-sucker later deal the hustler dangles with a glad word and a gold tooth in his smile. We shouldn't buy it.
DR. BRIAN HALE, Red Bank
Chattanooga has reached the zenith of political correctness! What started as "Christmas on the River" when we lived in Chattanooga has degenerated to the "Holiday Starlight Parade." According to "Ho Ho Holidays," on Dec. 16, 2013, "Darth Vader, Buddy the Elf and The Grinch" were in Chattanooga Sunday, but apparently not the Lord Jesus Christ, the "reason for the season." In the article, the word "Christmas" was mentioned only one time, describing the music on one of the wagons. How sad that the political and business leaders of the city, which once hosted the great revival campaigns of Billy Sunday, Billy Graham and many others, have allowed the secular humanists to become the dominant force within its boundaries. Even churches, once the spiritual backbone of the city, have failed to uphold the spiritual values they once taught. Is it surprising that crime, corruption and lawlessness are so rampant today? Christmas began to be celebrated by the early Christian church about 300 AD as a way to remember the incarnation, when the Son of God became man, so that about 33 years later he could die on the cross to pay the penalty for the sins of mankind.
GLENN L. SWYGART, Sewanee, Tenn.
Would some literate person, some person well-versed in foreign affairs, please explain why we spend so extravagantly on foreign aid. Some, I think, would say that we need to pay these countries so that we can maintain military bases there. Others might say that we pay to keep trade routes open to us! I personally have never heard any one in our government explain, so that the average working-class person, I, can understand why we do this. No lawyer gibberish, please. Surely it is not to make friends, for that has been proven not to work. No matter how much aid we give, we are still hated around the entire world. So, what is the reason? We no longer need to keep military bases in foreign countries because in the last short period of time we have proven technology that we can use anywhere on the planet from bases in our country! Just think, if we did not give away all this money, we could build a strong defense that no other nation would dare challenge us. We would also be able to provide excellent health care to all our people at very little or no cost. Where am I wrong?
GENE O. WAGNER SR., Rossville