Noted British essayist and novelist G.K. Chesterton observed that Christianity had not been tried and found wanting, but was found exceedingly difficult and consequently had been rarely tried.
Chesterton was no doubt referring to the demanding brand of Christianity practiced by St. Francis of Assisi and Mother Theresa that requires the abandonment of self in service to others.
St. Francis and Mother Theresa renounced their worldly inheritance for a life of poverty and service to God and mankind. They both tried Christianity, found it to be difficult, but accepted the challenge anyway.
Religious writer Karen Armstrong argues that the Golden Rule is rooted in many different religious traditions and unites many divergent believers around one central concept. As Christians, Jesus reminds us that how we treat "the least of these" is how we treat Him.
And by the way, judged in the context of His own time, in today's world would Jesus be considered a liberal or conservative?
GEORGE B. REED JR., Rossville, Ga.
My children have attended schools in five Tennessee counties. It has been our observation that the success of schools is directly related to the professionalism and competence of principals.
We have much appreciation for schools Superintendent Rick Smith and his courage to replace ineffective principals last year. We have witnessed the improvements at one of the schools with a new principal first hand, and it is our hope Mr. Smith will roll the dice again for next year at other schools.
Principals' attitudes influence how well teachers communicate with parents and how they treat students and other teachers. Principals create the mood of the school and set policy for conflict and crisis resolution that either set those involved up for success or failure.
Since moving to Hamilton County, we have seen a new low in principal behavior and feel strongly that there needs to be better training and oversight of principals. Until then, we need to unseat those who fail to create positive school communities.
We need leadership that respects the educational and emotional needs of children and empowers and includes parents. We need new principals until every school has a community like those at our magnet schools.
ANGELIA STINNETT, Hixson
I am deeply disappointed that Republicans continue to hold the country hostage by refusing to support legislation that will save the country.
Money can be available to support and give all Americans a decent living. However, some of our representatives will not close tax loopholes that will benefit our Head Start programs, health care facilities and community-based resources that are needed for middle-class families.
All tax loopholes should be closed, and everyone should pay their fair share of taxes so the country can prosper. If this happens, we can all move forward -- not just a few of us.