Citizens of all political stripes are encouraged to listen, read, or watch President Obama's speech commemorating Reverend Martin Luther King's, "I have a dream" speech. This occurred on Wednesday, Aug. 28th. Obama offers the spirit of King's speech, the marchers, an assessment of progress, where we are and more importantly, future aspirations. Republicans should study the speech and reflect deeply upon your impressions. Then you should listen to how it is described by Fox News, Rush, Beck, etc. Are they enriching themselves playing to your prejudices? And how does the idea of offering comprehensive health care at an affordable price (Obamacare) infringe upon your freedom? Hundreds of millions of dollars have been spent by the health care industries to influence the Republican Party.
JOHN F. EARY, Ringgold, Ga.
The recent slate of letters maintaining that the Bible is clear in its condemnation of homosexuality are selecting arbitrary scriptural passages that, disregarding contemporary context, are sadly misleading and distinctly inconsistent.
Yes, Leviticus 18:22 states that homosexuality is an abomination. But Leviticus 11:10 also states that it is an abomination to eat shellfish. Elsewhere, Leviticus 25:44 says that you can possess slaves from other nations. Exodus 21:7 maintains that you can sell your daughter into slavery. Exodus 35:2 states that anyone working on the Sabbath should be put to death.
I ask you lobster lovers and Sunday shift workers, how can we as Christians pick and choose what is a sin based on scripture that reflects times far different from our own?
If we choose to make literal translations of the Bible, how about this one: Love thy neighbor as thyself.
JULIE VAN VALKENBURG, Signal Mountain
Reporter Ellis Smith writes with satisfaction, "Given a choice between facilitating payday loans or doing a favor for a powerful regulator, the banks chose to cut off access ... that made it impossible for him (Cary Brown) to do business." What a telling statement!
Mr. Brown was breaking no laws; he employed over 400 people, giving away millions of dollars to worthy causes, working his way up from selling used cars while in college to become a multi-millionaire.
For these activities, Mr. Smith's story portrays Mr. Brown as a kingpin criminal detailing his "rise to power" as if he was Public Enemy No. 1. Mr. Brown's use of "teams of lawyers" must surely be another sign of his sinister character, implies Mr. Smith.
The hero, Mr. Benjamin Lawsky, an unelected bureaucrat, uses threats and intimidation and an even bigger team of lawyers to bring down the evil Mr. Brown, in the process putting 400 people out of work. For his cunning bypass of legalities, Mr. Lawsky is held up as a defender of truth, justice and the American way.
Mr. Smith's tale is very disquieting. Ingenuity, philanthropy and hard work, bad! Threats, intimidation and ignoring the law, good!
BRIAN D. JOYCE, Lookout Mountain, Ga.
Let me begin with the fact that I am a lifelong ethical hunter, therefore I am disturbed by a statement supposedly quoted from TWRA spokesperson Mr. Dan Hicks. If in fact Mr. Hicks made the statement of hunting Cranes "not being all for sport" I am led to believe that TWRA promotes "sport" hunting rather than ethical hunting. An ethical hunter eats what he harvests and does not take the life of an animal for sport. A person that will sport shoot an animal is the type that gives all hunter's a bad name whether deserved or not.
JIMMY MABRY, Hixson
I would like to commend city commissioners of Collegedale, Tenn., for putting aside their religious beliefs and voting to provide equal benefits to gay couples who were married in a state where gay marriage is legal and who work for the city. The female detective who sought the benefits chose to commit to her partner through marriage.
Unfortunately, there is a church that calls itself "the church of Christ." The pastor and the congregation call themselves Christians. This is a misnomer. Christ preached love of our neighbors as ourselves, not of hatred of people who may be different.
Now comes the real sin: asking the mother of the detective to repent of her sin in order to remain in the church. It would have been a sin if she abandoned her daughter. I guess "unconditional love" is an unfamiliar term.
I suggest the congregation members take a long look at themselves. Stand up for what is wrong. The preacher is a terrible example for children. Should we tell them don't do anything against the church's beliefs because we as parents won't love them? The preacher should be fired. He is playing God, and no one has that right.
MARCIA SCHULTZ, Blairsville, Ga.
In your Aug. 25 edition your critical cartoon of the day by Mike Luckovich portrays a "back to school sale" scenario in a gun store with a galaxy of hi-power assault weapons as the backdrop, in the wake of the recent Atlanta school drama. This follows your long running anti-gun political stance.
However, in the same day's edition, in the classifieds, you advertise an AK-47 for sale and a gun show which you ritually castigate as the author of most gun-related misfortunes.
The fact is that the Times opinion page loudly demands the elimination of guns in the USA, but actually does the diametric opposite by, all the while, fomenting gun sales for money. If you really believed what you say you would accept the fiscal burden in order to demonstrate the truth of what you advocate.
I am not holding my breath.
BOB HUTCHISON, Rocky Face, Ga.