Recently a column in the newspaper was devoted to abolishing the death penalty. I disagree; my reasons follow:
I heard it costs $78,000 a year to house the average prisoner. Doesn't society have better things to finance than housing a murderer for life at those costs?
Should society provide murderers with food, clothing and shelter for life, with no responsibilities? I heard that over 50 percent of released prisoners are back in jail within two years. Apparently for them, it beats the hassle of lawful living on the outside.
As for the insistence on a painless execution, murderers seldom consider the pain of being burned to death, etc. Why can't we just get whatever they use at the dog pound for lethal injection? If it's humane enough for innocent dogs, why isn't it humane enough for such brutes?
We have departed from the Bible, 3,500 years of wisdom. Now gays are accepted, and murderers live. How long before the good Lord says, "That's all," and lets ISIS or the equivalent take over? It happened several times to the Jews. America is not exempt.
DR. TOM HERZOG
Americans are accustomed to blatant media bias against conservative political candidates. We can tell when the next round of elections is approaching by the increased number of biased "news" articles in support of Democrats.
Too often, they are simply free campaign ads for liberal candidates. As such, the headline of the front-page story of Aug. 21, "Senate control may hinge on women" should have been "Senate control may hinge on motivation of liberal women," as there was no mention of the three Republican women running for the Senate.
Apparently the AP writer believes the only issue that will motivate women to vote in elections this year is abortion.
No doubt he expects all women to vote in lockstep for Democrats on that issue alone. However, just to point out his blaring omission, there will be three Republican women running for Senate, too. They are Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.); Joni Ernst (R-Iowa); and Terri Lynn Land (R-Mich.).
STEVEN HINES, East Brainerd
I have concerns about the minimum wage here in our country.
Too many of our jobs are low paying. Our American people are hurting because they do not have enough income to take care of family.
We need to help to raise the minimum wage to $10.10. It will help more than 5 million Americans out of poverty and help 14 million children see a boost in their family income.
We need members of Congress from each party to be willing to overcome, to be open to the debate, to consider the needs of hard-working constituents and taxpayers, to consider the wide range of benefits - ultimately to give a raise to the people who need it the most.
As usual, David Cook's column of Aug. 29, "Turning Humans into Monsters," is thoughtful and provocative.
My first reaction to the atrocities being performed by the ISIS is a feeling of revulsion and anger.
However, Mr. Cook suggests seeing the perpetrators as "humans doing monstrous things," rather than simply as monsters.
The nations of the world must protect and assist the victims of these monstrous actions, At the same time, we thinking citizens of the world need to move away from the Old Testament philosophy of an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.
It is time we look at understanding the causes of monstrous behavior, thereby moving toward preventing it. Man has the God-given intelligence to do so.
CLAIRE HALE, Signal Mountain
I am a devout Christian who dearly loves and serves our Lord.
I share this because there have been a number of equally faithful Christians who have submitted letters quoting scripture and demanding that David Cook apologize for his Aug. 8 article and/or calling for his dismissal.
First, it is not my understanding that the Times Free Press is a Christian newspaper, not that there aren't Christians on the staff. I am a firm believer in the freedom of the press. Whether some in the Christian community agree or disagree with a point of view cannot deter the press from publishing the news and expressing opinions.
Second, for every one person who believes a certain way, there are others who believe differently. To label persons who are in disagreement with a literal and legalist interpretation of scripture as a non-Christian is a gross injustice. Jesus said, "Why do you look at the stone in your brother's eye and not notice the log that is in your own eye."
As only God is our judge, we Christians are called to be empowered in the Holy Spirit and to serve one another in unconditional, merciful "agape" love.
DOUGLAS SCHWERT, Signal Mountain
Anyone who believes Republican-enacted tools limiting both days for voting and acceptable forms of identification are to restrict voter fraud should listen to what Republicans themselves have to say about it.
Political activist Phyllis Schlafly justified the North Carolina voter restrictions: "Reduction in the number of days allowed for early voting is particularly important - the Democrats carried most states that allow many days of early voting."
Pennsylvania House Majority Leader Mike Turzai told Republicans that the voter identification law would "allow Gov. Romney to win the state of Pennsylvania." Obviously, the strategy was counterproductive, with Obama winning the state handily.
Florida GOP Chairman Jim Greer publicly stated that the state's voter ID law was for Democratic suppression: "Early voting is bad for the Republican Party candidates, and that's why the law was enacted for one reason and one reason only."
Investigations have proven that in Tennessee voter fraud is virtually imperceptible, and in over 30 other states in which legislatures have enacted voter suppression laws, voter fraud in most of them has been nonexistent.
All this should tend to confirm the false claim that voter ID restrictions are to prevent fraud, and such measures should be repealed. It may take correction from future court decisions on constitutional grounds.
JOHN BRATTON, Sewanee, Tenn.