It's hard to read the tepid quotes from our state and national representatives, including our governor, following the shootings in Texas and Ohio without feeling the gall rise in your gut.

Ignoring calls to ban assault rifles, they issue duplicitous statements about improving mental health access and closing loopholes in background checks, knowing they won't even do that. Then they stick their heads in the sand, hoping no one will notice their cowardice to take real action.

The citizens of Tennessee want reasonable gun control, including a ban on assault rifles and large-capacity magazines. Yet our representatives refuse to take the necessary action. They claim to not be influenced by the money and lobbying of the NRA. Intentional or not, our legislators are doing the bidding of the gun industry, not the citizens.

Banning assault rifles will not stop mass killings overnight, but it will start saving lives. Sparing even one family the devastation of a senseless killing makes it worth the effort.

By insisting on and voting for candidates for state and national offices who commit to eliminating assault weapons, we can elect brave people who will fight for our communities, not the gun industry.

Tom May, Ooltewah


Christian nationalism story off the mark

The headline and lead sentence from the Aug. 7 article about community faith leaders against Christian nationalism gave the impression that those sentiments are widespread locally. Turns out it was only 23 people.

Conflating Christian nationalism with white supremacy and racial subjugation is an extremely strong charge. I think it would have been appropriate, along with your quotes from the professor and participants, to give other faith leaders here a chance to mitigate the damage.

I like what President Teddy Roosevelt once said: "The teachings of the Bible are so interwoven and entwined with our whole civic and social life that it would be literally ... impossible for us to figure to ourselves what life would be if the teachings were removed. We would lose almost all the standards by which we now judge both public and private morals — all the standards toward which we, with more or less resolution, strive to raise ourselves."

President Andrew Jackson: "It (the Bible) is the rock on which our Republic rests."

Recently I endeavored to remove a large rock from my garden. Much to my dismay, I discovered a hornet's nest!

Marcia Swearingen


Wants to hear from women of faith

Are there no women theologians/religious writers/commentators to be found for Sunday's Faith and Family section? I'm getting rather tired of those old, white guys who use exclusive language which makes God sound like a male.

I'm quite sure you could find some if you looked a bit harder and, if not, I would be happy to give you some names.

Maybe some women of color, perhaps of different faiths like Islam, Judaism, Hinduism, etc. It is obvious that we are becoming a more multicultural and religious society (though sadly in our parts with a lot of resistance from some Christians) where women play important and prominent roles.

Hearing from some of them might be helpful to a lot of us.

Joe T. Porter, Sewanee