Faith Police? The (Times) editorial writer herself is the one actually policing "faith" here. This church showed the "pinnacle of hypocrisy"? Seems to me (we don't know all the details, do we?) that this church was doing just the opposite, i.e., trying to live out what they believe regarding homosexual behavior.
"West Wing"? Really? Using dialogue from a TV show as her best argument, which seems to be that the Leviticus passage has no relevancy to today? Is that all she has? Does she not know what the New Testament teaches regarding this issue?
Lastly and most importantly, true love includes truth-telling; grace and truth must go together for true love to be shown, and is challenging for us humans to apply. The "lack of mercy" so decried by the author is just as evident in her own response to this church's crisis as it is to her judgment regarding the incident.
Perhaps before chiding others for their lack of grace she should first examine her own.
- CHARLOTTE BISHOP, Hixson
Linda Cooper is our sister-in-law and has been for 40 years. Is she a perfect person?
Of course not. Is she a good mother, wife and person?
Absolutely. Was she a faithful and passionate member of the Ridgedale Church of Christ for 60 years? Without a doubt.
So it is understandable that she is very distraught over the ultimatum given her by Ken Willis, pastor of Ridgedale Church of Christ, to either
denounce her relationship with her daughter to the congregation or leave the church. She loves and supports her family. So, the decision was an obvious one.
There will never be any way that we can ever understand the reasoning behind Willis' decision to pass this kind of judgment.
But what we do understand, from his actions, is that there are obviously different Gods for different churches. His is different than ours.
Mr. Willis, good luck with your God.
DAVID & MELODY CORNELISON
Councilman Larry Grohn questions whether gay Councilman Chris Anderson should recuse himself from voting on proposed legislation to give benefits to same-sex spouses and partners of city employees. How many heterosexual council members recused themselves from voting on the original legislation providing benefits to spouses of city employees?
GREG GLOSS, Cleveland, Tenn.
In the recent article about the Sandhill Crane hunt that was approved by the state legislature, Dan Hicks, spokesperson for the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency, was quoted as saying, "But it's not all for sport, (Hicks said) .... They taste very similar to a beef product. People have called them 'sirloin in the sky'." Merriman Webster's definition of sport is: n. any recreational activity, specifically a game or competition, etc, requiring
bodily exertion. I might add that the "competition" is typically agreed upon by both parties. What sport is it when the animal being hunted is influenced by the hunter providing habitat and requisite food? It might make it a more equal playing field if Sandhill Cranes were taught how to shoot guns! But let's be serious - the only thing harder than teaching a Crane how to shoot a shotgun would be trying to teach ethics to the TWRA.
This week's 50th anniversary of Martin Luther King's March on Washington is being observed with marches, speeches, and speculation on what causes Dr. King would embrace today. He would certainly continue to work for racial equality. But he would also likely advocate for a rapid withdrawal from Afghanistan, workers' rights, gay rights and animal rights.
Yes, animal rights.
Although he is best known for advocacy of racial equality, Dr. King opposed all violence, like the Vietnam War. And there is no greater violence than
that perpetrated each day against billions of cows, pigs and other sentient animals in America's factory farms and slaughterhouses.
The day before his assassination in 1968, Dr. King came to Memphis to champion the most oppressed human beings in America - African-American sanitation workers.
Today, it would also be about the most oppressed living beings in America - animals raised for food, experiments and entertainment.
Although Dr. King never lived long enough to extend his circle of compassion, justice and nonviolence to non-human animals, his wife, Coretta Scott King, and his son, Dexter Scott King, did by embracing the vegan lifestyle.
A great way for us to honor the King legacy is to follow their lead.
Lamar Alexander was a two-term governor of Tennessee, the education secretary, and one of two senators who has represented Tennessee since 2003. He and
Sen. Corker are co-sponsoring the Wilderness Act of 2013, which protects more of the resources of the Cherokee National Forest.
I met him after his performance with the Knoxville Symphony to celebrate the 75 the anniversary of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.
While I shook his hand, I told him how much I appreciated his efforts to help our park and keep our air and water clean. His response was, "it's the right thing to do."
I wrote letters thanking him for his stand on mercury pollution under George Bush.
Now, he is targeted by the extreme right, especially the tea party, who think he should be voting more like they do. They claim he is too "bipartisan and compromising" to represent the people of Tennessee.
Those who attack him should understand that the partisanship they create is exactly what is wrong with our country. We need more compromise, not less, as they impose.
I would like to thank Sen. Alexander again for his efforts and pray he is able to continue to "do the right thing."
ROGER & DONNA SHIPLEY
I have a few observations about the controversy over homosexuals and the Bible, the church and your articles on the subject. In the entire Bible, from Genesis 1:1 to Revelation 22:21, there is not one chapter or verse that condones homosexual behavior, much less homosexual marriage.
In the Bible, marriage is always between a man and a woman, and marriage is held in such high regard that it is the symbolism of the union of Christ and the Church. If the Church accepted what is popular and cultural and rejected the Word of God, it would not be the Church.
Also, the reference to the TV show "The West Wing"... surely you are not getting your theology from TV! That would be amusing if it weren't so sad. The 66 books of the Bible cannot be explained in 200 words or less. To understand the Bible you need to read it, and understand how and why it was written, not just try to get it to affirm your preconceived notions.
SARA PANKAU, Ringgold, Ga.
In the Middle East it would seem that some of the "democracies" established over the last several years are less than desired. The United States government was built on a Constitution resulting from the needs of the various states.
The U.S. should recommend to developing nations that they take some years to develop and solidify local governments fashioned after our proven and
tested Constitution before attempting establishing a national government to represent the local political subdivisions.
In the United States when the national government takes too much central control, we see our leadership going back to the states for ideas. The most
workable governmental services are successfully begun at a state level first.
What happened in Egypt resulted in a predictable "Mob Vote/Rule."
PAUL K. ANDERSON, Rocky Face, Ga.
Yes, the truth was told in "The Butler," and the truth hurts. Leonard Pitts Jr.'s commentary in Sunday's Aug. 25 paper tells it like it is. What is needed is divine forgiveness. Because God sent His only begotten Son into this world to tell us how to be forgiven for our sins, we can ask to be forgiven and know God has forgiven us.
Once forgiven, we can get on with our lives.
I am willing to ask God to make me willing to not be bitter toward people who have hurt me. God can take care of uprooting bitterness.
Freedom from bitterness lets us get on with our lives and become productive.
RACHEL S. DECOSIMO