Brooks' unifying call is needed now
Thank you for publishing David Brooks' thoughtful and timely call for a new, unifying American narrative ("America: The Redeemer Nation," Nov. 27).
In emphasizing themes of renewal, redemption and reconciliation, Brooks wisely draws on the second inaugural address of Abraham Lincoln. Our 16th president is a unifying figure across the political spectrum, except for those on the fringes who demean him as either a racist or an oppressor of the South.
Brooks highlights Lincoln's well-known call to "bind up the nation's wounds" "[w]ith malice toward none, with charity for all." However, lest anyone on the aforementioned fringes either condemn or celebrate Lincoln, in his magnanimity, for a lack of moral clarity on the question of slavery, we also should recall the preceding, less-quoted passage from the address: "Yet, if God wills that [the war] continue until all the wealth piled by the bondsman's 250 years of unrequited toil shall be sunk, and until every drop of blood drawn with the lash shall be paid by another drawn with the sword, as was said 3,000 years ago, so still it must be said, 'the judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether.'"
Sports obsessions cloud judgment
I don't think I'll ever look at sports the same way. It has nothing to do with the NFL choosing to take a knee. It wasn't something that I had to think too hard on; my mind just simply turned it off, due to the mistreatment of our kids for our love of sports.
What drew the line for me was the fact that we are now condoning our kids being sexually assaulted in school. We worship sports, more than we do God.
Either so many are just plain dumb or they really don't care, or the best reason of all is they are filling their wallets from the money that is being made. So they just turn their heads to what I call a disease spreading only in the U.S.
We spend more on maintaining a football field and a gymnasium than we spend on renovating run-down schools in need of repairs. So ask yourself: Is there really a problem? If your answer is no, then please spend a little more time thinking about the question. We can't say that our hands are clean once we know the crimes being committed.
Tonya R. McBryar
More vermin left to rid from swamp
One of President Trump's campaign promises was to "drain the swamp," and after the recent revelations in Washington, D.C., the need is greater than ever. He must have stepped on the toes of someone or several individuals because of the hue and cry from those who violated their sacred oaths. The president needs to intensify scouring because there is still vermin in the swamp.
Dale E. Yoder
Kneel to one with power to change us
I, for one, do not have to grit my teeth to be thankful for Butch Jones. He represented the university with integrity and passion. The two things we can control are attitude and effort, and that marked his tenure in Knoxville.
Can we do worse? Yes, the two football coaches before Jones and the two basketball hires before Coach Barnes. After reading (three times) David Cook's article on Nov. 5, I tried to figure out its real meaning. Apparently, his Buddhist teacher doesn't have a clue, either. It's called a purpose-driven life.
Glorify God (the Creator). Realize he gave the knowledge and skill for doctors, nurses and others involved in your surgery and recovery. Everything is given through him. Only two defining forces have offered to die for us: Jesus Christ and the American soldier — one for our soul, the other for our freedom.
Kneel to our flag if you must, but the greater question: When will we kneel to the only one who has the power to change us to the people we were meant to be? The revival certainly doesn't start with Hollywood or Washington; it starts with a personal relationship with Christ.
Cost of adoption greatly overstated
In the Saturday, Nov. 18, edition of the Times Free Press, an article titled "Lessons learned from the Adoption Tax Credit" states, "The average adoption costs between $25,000 and $40,000 " This is incorrect and may lead many people to not consider adoption because of the cost.
As an adoptive parent and past deputy director of Foster Care and Permanency Services for the state of Illinois, I know about adoptions, and I know thousands of families who have adopted at no cost. Illinois was happy to help individuals, couples and families from anywhere in the country adopt children in our child welfare system. All costs for training and fingerprinting, as well as reimbursement for the cost of raising a child or children, were a given when we recruited parents to foster and/or adopt. We did not want finances to prevent qualified individuals from becoming parents.
There are currently more than 100,000 children available for adoption in the United States. They deserve a family. Open your heart and your home to a child in need.
Why Jimmy Haslam not on trial, too?
Why can the prosecutors not indict Jimmy Haslam in the Flying J scandal? It seems disgustingly obvious. He is too well insulated by money and crooked lawyers along with laws with no teeth endorsed by our self-serving lawmakers who seem to have no interest in anyone's benefit but their own. I'm disgusted with the whole process.
Short of another revolution, we are doomed. Middle America is fed up with status quo. That's how we wound up with a diplomatic idiot like Trump, for whom I voted for hoping the office would temper his childish outbursts to no avail. Time for statesmen not politicians.
Sam Lewallen Jr.
Tough questions confound nation
Questions that continue to trouble me:
How can a judge overturn a law and the will of the president of the United States? How can the government use taxpayer dollars to shush up personal illegal and immoral behavior? How can governmental leaders trash colleagues on accusation with no proof?
How can a city leader refuse to obey or enforce national laws? How can a whole political party deny the results of a legal election and individual representatives refuse to do the job they were elected to do with no consequences?
How can our officials elected to "serve the people" for the "good of the people" continue to ignore the people? What happened to government "of the people, by the people, for the people," statesmanship, morality, and a country of law and order?
How do we untie the ropes that keep President Trump from doing what he promised to do and is trying to do?
Dr. Joyce Herzog
Parking lot gets wasteful upgrade
For the past 10 years I have been a regular volunteer in the Hamilton County school system at Chattanooga Center for Creative Arts. I see so many needs that schools require, but I get extremely upset when I see money I think is being foolishly spent.
I pass East Hamilton High School on a daily basis. The entrance road is between the soccer field and baseball field. On the right the large area was gravel for parking for the baseball area and "maybe" the soccer people would use the parking area. Please note the parking area is not used on a daily basis. Yet asphalt was provided recently for the entire area and marked for parking.
I could see if it was used regularly and money was no object. With all that has been in the newspapers about the needs of the schools, this tells me East Hamilton or the school district has money to burn. Otherwise, the money would have spent on things that would have benefited all the students at East Hamilton.