Nothing's stopping prayer in schools and other letters to the editors

Nothing's stopping prayer in schools

The perpetual Republican, conservative Christians' lie for nearly 60 years is that prayer and Bible reading were removed from school. Any student can pray, read the Bible or talk with others about their faith in school as long as it doesn't interfere with school. Some schools have a "meeting at the flagpole" before school. I always thought any parent that had to have the school teach their child religion was just spiritually weak, should go to church more often themselves and should stop making schools do what is their responsibility anyway. Certainly, religion in school could cause trouble from competing religions. America has more than one religion.

Some conservative Christians want to convince you to spend eternity with them but, supporting Trump's 30,573 falsehoods and "Big Lie," which led to the January insurrection, do cast doubt as to where that would be.

David Bean

Chatsworth, Ga.

Remember when we accepted the vote?

President Biden, in his address to the country on the anniversary of the attempted insurrection, laid a good portion of the blame for the insurrection at the feet of Trump, where it belonged. Trump, though, was not the powder keg of the insurrection; he merely put the torch to the keg.

The keg is the majority of the members of the Republican Party. They believe that they only possess the right to govern this country. They dislike the potential changing complexion and norms of the country. They not only want to put the brake to the changing but to throw the country into reverse, perhaps back to the 1950s. This disposition made it easy for some of them to give action to Trump's "Big Lie." Trump could leave the arena, but the keg would remain looking for the next Trump with the "Big Lie."

One can hope, looking back, they could look to the not too distant past, where regardless which person won the race for president, the person was generally accepted as the president of the country.

Archie Thurman

Is democracy being threatened? You bet!

Anyone with minimal awareness can process what the biased left media is doing every day in its reporting about the Jan. 6 riot.

It was a protest that morphed into a riot that lost control.

Agreed, it should never have happened. The response since consumes our daily news as participants are prosecuted. More than 80 of those arrested, many charged only with trespassing, are denied bail and remain in jail awaiting their trial, many in solitary confinement.

Do we hear anything from that same media about Darrell Brooks, who drove his car into a Christmas parade murdering elderly women and young children in Waukesha (Wis.) or the more than 2,000 officers injured and $2 billion in losses from the burning and looting in Portland, Seattle, Kenosha and other Dem-run cities? CNN called it "mostly peaceful protests"? Apparently no news to report there.

Recognize this pattern for what it is. In Biden's first year, the Dems have achieved nothing, unless their goal was embarrassment in Afghanistan, the rape of our border, little success fighting the pandemic, worst inflation in 40 years and forcing us back into energy dependence. Is democracy itself being threatened? You bet. But not by the Jan. 6 events.

Jerry Finkle

Better leadership in health needed

In the musical "The Wiz," the evil witch sings the song "Don't Nobody Bring Me No Bad News." The Tennessee Department of Health appears to have adopted that short-sighted admonition in its recent decision to reduce COVID-19 data reporting from a daily to weekly basis. That decision also appears contrary to the well-established crisis management principle that it is better to promptly disclose concerning information rather than delay disclosure. During times of crisis, people benefit from more, not less, frequent information. Surely, the current wave of omicron in our state warrants classification as a health crisis.

The Tennessee health commissioner explained the transition to less frequent pandemic reporting is intended to "normalize" COVID-19 information by making it consistent with other public health data reports published by her department. Coincidentally, that decision is occurring at the very point when new COVID-19 cases have surged to their highest numbers since the beginning of the pandemic nearly two years ago. Such timing gives the appearance of pandemic reporting being reduced in frequency due more to gubernatorial political pressure than to best-practice, scientific communication reasons. If that appearance indeed reflects reality, Tennessee citizens deserve better political and public health leadership.

Patrick Lavin


State invites new statistics technique

The continuing proliferation of COVID variants and associated rising infections has resulted in a unique opportunity for elementary school, middle school, high school and higher education students to receive a free course in otherwise-pretty-boring math department statistics instruction - all sponsored by the Tennessee Department of Health.

The Tennessee Department of Health has elected to "normalize" COVID reporting by publishing infection data once per week instead of daily. This will be an 86% reduction in reporting frequency.

This statistical technique, referred to as "normalizing," is a unique opportunity for students to experience a real-life example of the watering-down of relevant and important daily data related to our health and safety.

As my college probability and statistics professor said, in his heavy French accent, "There are three kinds of lies: lies, damn lies and statistics." Math, used well, is not boring.

Michael Mallen

Drivers should get periodic rechecks

Drivers should be retested for driving laws every once in awhile. Here are some reminders:

- When pulling out onto a two-lane road, you should enter the right lane.

- If you prefer to drive slowly or at the speed limit on a four-lane road or highway, I commend you, but pull into the right lane.

- You should never pass in an intersection unless you must avoid an accident.

- Stop for red lights; yellow lights are a warning before it turns red. If you can't safely stop or avoid being rear-ended, then it's OK.

- Learn to use the side-view mirrors versus turning your head back. When changing lanes, double check there is not a vehicle in your blind spot.

- Driving more than 12 miles over the speed limit could be expensive and not worth it if you get stopped by the police.

- Be courteous to other drivers, it will reduce accidents.

Bruce Fleury