Letters to the editor - Monday (8-5-2013)

  • Posted: Monday, August 5, 2013 12:30 a.m.

Have respect for faith — and nation’s laws

Mr. Commissioner,

You and I are both adamant Christians, and we both work for the government. I teach, and you serve Rowan County. Both our jobs are important, and both came with an understood agreement that we would keep our personal religious beliefs separate from our public duties, no matter whether we personally agree or disagree with the law.

I strongly dislike 20 and 35 mph speed limits in town. I’m a careful driver, and I trust myself to know how fast I can safely drive in a given situation. I know, however, that the law is not about what I believe, but is there to protect everyone. I know it is my responsibility as a licensed driver to respect the law or to bear the blame and the cost when I don’t.

My Christian faith is no secret that must be kept hidden from my students. I shout my faith in many ways, even sometimes in the newspaper, but in my classroom I respect the law. We talk about religion only as it pertains to the content of the class, and should anyone privately ask me about my faith or ask me to pray with them, I am happy to share that with them, as I’m sure you would with the citizens of Rowan County, outside the classroom and outside the meetings.

Should either of us decide, however, that we can no longer respect the law as we perform our government supported duties, I hope we will both step down and seek a different job through which to serve. May we both continue to pray in Jesus’ name and strive to live as reflectors of Jesus Christ, while also serving as upright citizens who respect the laws of our land and of our jobs. Jesus said both are possible.

— Kathy Vestal


Riverbed rights

Regarding N.C. officials’ lawsuit against Alcoa:

Bravo to Governor McCrory and his team for protecting the rights of North Carolina to its vital water resources! The state’s actions on Friday struck a major blow to Alcoa’s quest for relicensing of the Yadkin hydropower project by the federal government for another 50 years. Our government officials have rightfully asserted public ownership of the riverbeds below the Yadkin project and appropriately denied the water quality certification needed by Alcoa for a new hydro-license.

Returning control of the Yadkin to the people of North Carolina is critical to our future and that of generations to come. We deserve the tens of thousands of jobs that can be created by leveraging the valuable Yadkin hydropower into new business investment. We are entitled to an adequate supply of clean drinking water. We should be able to fish in the Yadkin waters without fear of dangerous PCB contamination.

The benefits of our Yadkin waters must accrue to our citizens — not a global corporate giant with no other interest in our state. Nor can we risk economic loss of our water benefits to the likes of the Chinese government which has ownership in the former Tapoco project along the Tennessee-North Carolina border, sold by Alcoa last year for $600 million.

Fortunately, we North Carolinians are way too smart. Press on, Governor McCrory!

— Ginny Dunn


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