Churches may fall, but all need Jesus

I have read the front-page sensationalism about some of our local churches and ministries. Yes, some may have been deceiving, but all people are fallen, and that is why we need Jesus. The articles remind me of Paul in the Bible, who started out condemning the new Christ followers but who later became a Christian when God intervened. He ended up writing most of New Testament.

In recent times, another investigative reporter named Lee Strobel went even further trying to prove Jesus and his claim as God. He also had an encounter with Christ and wrote a book, "The Case for Christ." Everyone needs Jesus Christ. You don't have to do anything but repent of missing the mark (sin) and confess Jesus as your savior. We have all missed the mark (like in archery, the arrow striking the bullseye) of what God intended. I and many Christ followers are praying for all to come to Jesus. Don't get trapped in religion or denominational issues as they will all let you down. Do get into a Bible-believing church — maybe one that was written about.

Carrol Waddle

Ft. Oglethorpe, Georgia


Hard times have been here before

There have always been hard times. In biblical times, Jesus fed 5,000 people with two fish and five loaves of bread. All ate and there was food left.

"Gather up the fragments that remain that nothing be lost," Jesus said.

My great-grandmother wrote a letter after World War II about the hard times her family faced. She couldn't buy flour, meal, sugar, etc., whenever she wanted. She had to wait until those things were available.

2020 was a year of hard times, loss of loved ones and jobs. It was a struggle each day.

But Chattanooga was filled with many gifts of food, clothing and toys for those less fortunate during the holiday season.

In 2021, remember to be thankful, be careful and be safe. Love one another and help one another. Times will be better.

B. Bradley


Wants senators to convict Trump

Dear Sens. Marsha Blackburn and Bill Hagerty: Put an end to this modern-day Shakespearean tragedy and convict the exiled mad king.

You either condemn The Big Lie of widespread fraud in the presidential election and The Big Liar who incited a murderous mob to overturn our fair and free election, or you are complicit in the deadly insurrection of our democracy.

Tragically, our state of Tennessee's third-rate attorney general, Herbert Slatery III, signed an amicus brief supporting The Big Lie and The Big Liar. Then, my congressman, Rep. Chuck Fleischmann, wholeheartedly endorsed the insurrection with his vote.

Sad when the Professional Golf Association demonstrates more integrity than my appointed and elected officials. The PGA rejected Trump's golf course. You must reject Trump's attempt to overthrow the will of the people by imposing a lifetime ban on him holding federal office.

How do Republican politicians embrace followers of a bizarre conspiracy theory that Democrats are a cabal of cannibalistic pedophiles? Steely Dan called it "Pretzel Logic," the ability to rationalize anything.

Is nothing sacred to the depraved, demented and deceitful Republican politicians in Tennessee except tax cuts?

Are you enablers or leaders? Preserve democracy. Convict Trump.

Lisa Shivers

Signal Mountain


From bin Laden to Capitol terrorism

The insurgent terrorist attack on the U.S. Capitol is a clear sign that Osama bin Laden's goal to destroy the United States from within is working. It was not by accident that he sent 19 terrorists here to infiltrate our society and gain valuable information by living like Americans and taking enough flight training to take command of in-flight commercial jetliners.

Upon that fateful terrorist attack on 9/11, a great fear spread over our country as random Muslims were met with vigilantism. This irrational anger, hatred and paranoia has been fomenting ever since.

Trump's rise was due to his incitement of fear that we are losing control of our country to people who think and appear differently than what could be considered "American." He has played into this delusional fear to control his followers ever since he used his bully pulpit to decry the authenticity of Barack Obama's birth certificate.

Our homegrown insurgent terrorists have played right into the posthumously long reach of the terrorism created by Osama bin Laden on that mournful day. We need to break this chain of fear to ever again be considered the United States.

John Mathna


Don't care for new look of 'Mark Trail'

I have read the "Mark Trail" comic in the Times Free Press for years but cannot tolerate the new look caused when "Mark Trail" had a big shakeup and Jules Rivera took over the strip starting in October, bringing her STEM background to a character that has been championing environmentalism for more than 50 years.

Syndicated to more than 150 newspapers, including the Times Free Press, "Mark Trail" was updated to the 21st century with contemporary storylines and a larger emphasis on Mark's little-seen wife and son, Cherry and Rusty.

Ralph E. Hetzler, Jr.


You have no right to not wear a mask

To all those right-wing anti-maskers who clamor that they have a God-given right to choose not to wear a mask: You are dead wrong.

Now, you all may think you have the right to drive drunk; that you have the right not to pay taxes; that you have the right to yell "fire!" in a movie theater. But society says for the well-being of others that you do not have the right on ideological grounds to behave like an idiot. That is reserved for Republicans.

Mike Bodine

East Ridge


A republic, but can we keep it?

James McHenry — for whom Fort McHenry in Baltimore harbor was named, where in September 1814 during the War of 1812 Americans repelled British naval aggression and inspired Francis Scott Key to write the lyrics for our national anthem — was an aide to Washington and Lafayette, a signee of the constitutional convention and an avid diarist.

In the Sept. 18, 1787, diary entry he wrote: "a lady asked Dr. Franklin well Doctor what we got a republic or a monarchy — A republic replied the Doctor if you can keep it. The lady here aluded [sic] to was Mrs. Powell of Philadelphia."

Two hundred and thirty-three years later, Mrs. Powell would be chagrined at the state of our union — notwithstanding struggles with civil war promulgated by the horrors of slavery, post-Reconstruction murders of Blacks and Jim Crow laws, two great wars, civil and voting rights, and economic depression and inequality — due to a mismanaged pandemic and a mendacious and narcissistic president and his followers, for whom he cares little, who are attempting to overturn centuries of America's struggles to preserve a democratic union.

Benjamin Franklin was prescient when he said, "If you can keep it."

Jay Paty