Letters to the editor - Saturday (3-23-2013)
A word to both sides in the prayer debate issue
If I may, a word to both sides of the prayer controversy. Those who wish to eliminate such prayers on the basis of the First Amendment should note its first word: “Congress.”
The Constitution enumerates and limits the powers of only the federal government, and no other. While we may debate the wisdom of sectarian prayers, it is indisputable that the Establishment Clause does not forbid their use by governmental officials at the state and local level. However, those of us who seek to defend these prayers should recognize that praying “in Jesus’ Name” does not necessarily mean tacking the phrase onto the end of every prayer. Otherwise, our Lord Himself was remiss in His own prayers. It means praying “according to His will” (1 John 5:14), part of which is specified in 1 Timothy 2:1-4.
While I by no means advocate capitulation, to the degree that our interactions with governmental authorities and issues reflect other than living “quiet and peaceable lives,” we end up impugning the very Name we seek to defend, uphold and promote.
— Stuart Smith
Why we’re at this point
With the recent lawsuit between the Board of Commissioners and the ACLU, many find themselves choosing a side; however I feel that this is a selfish pursuit.
This is not about a side or even prayer, for that matter; each of us is entitled to our own opinions and beliefs as the result of living in a democratic society. The issue is the way in which both groups have chosen to deal with the situation. Each has reacted as a child would; choosing to pout, scream and cry for not getting their way.
The commissioners’ rights are not being questioned, only when these rights are exercised. Instead of reconciling with this, they have chosen to not only polarize the people of our county but to burden them with the monetary cost of defending their position, and at a time when schools and health services continue to struggle to find funding.
The individuals who have filed with the ACLU could also do better to focus their attention and energy on more pressing issues in our county, rather than those of personal tastes. They have a choice to participate in the prayer or not, just as they have a choice as to where they shop, what they eat and how they vote.
It is the stubbornness of both sides and our own ignorance that has gotten us to this point. We have forgotten that we are a society, a community, and neighbors who at times need put away our childish mentalities, to do what is best for the common good. Imagine what could be accomplished if the time, energy and monies spent by these two sides were put to a worthwhile endeavor. Then, as residents, we could truly have something to be proud of, rather than the embarrassment of this situation.
— Taylor Strode
Thanks for a real boost
I want to thank a TranSource worker for taking time to jump-start my pickup truck. Someone stopped what they were doing and helped me.
— Sterling Weaver
Help after accident
I would like to say a special thank you to a young mother who stopped and stayed as a witness to an accident we were involved in on N.C. Highway 150 on March 18. When most people would have left, she stayed.
I said a special prayer for you, and thank God for your help.
— Bobby Whitesides