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Letters: Freedom to pray is guiding principle

Freedom to pray is guiding principle
Regarding the Social Services Board prayer question, I respectfully submit that both sides are missing the point. The phrase “In Jesus’ name” is not some sort of magical slogan to be attached to the end of our prayers. Indeed, it’s conspicuously absent in Jesus’ own model prayer that he gave to his disciples (which we refer to as The Lord’s Prayer). To act or speak in someone’s name means to do so on their behalf. As a Christian, my prayers are effective only to the degree that my requests to God are based not on my own interests but on those of his son. Biblical Christians understand the implications of Jesus’ own words, “No one comes to the Father except through me” (John 14:6). I have no doubt that there are many prayers that honor God and lack that phrase, and there are many others (including many of my own) that have used that phrase and haven’t been heard beyond the room’s walls.
All that having been said, those in public office should be free to pray publicly according to their own spiritual standards and without censorship. That guiding principle led to the settling of this great land and the adoption of the Constitution’s First Amendment. Those in the audience who have different viewpoints are free to not listen; they’re not the ones being addressed anyway.
ó Stuart Smith
Salisbury
Way to go, Carl FordI am proud of you, Carl Ford, for standing up for the right to pray in the name of Jesus. Every day you hear of someone being offended by simple life gestures. They raise a ruckus, and next thing you know, you can’t do it anymore. I am thrilled that you stand behind your faith in God. More of us need to do the same. Prayer has already been taken out of our schools ó where else will be targeted? We have to stand together for God.
ó Cindy Rogers
Salisbury
Wonderful neighbor
Not everybody has a neighbor like Tony Peacock. He was not only a terrific father, husband, gardener, but he was a wonderful neighbor as well. When my wife, sons and I moved from Raleigh to Salisbury, Tony befriended us quickly. He made all of us his friends. He would drop by on occasion with gifts of tomatoes, corn and okra. He even gave me a banana tree that is still growing in my backyard.
Tony could be seen driving a four-wheeler, and, if he saw me, he would ask me to get on the back and race around his house and mine, full throttle.
His gifts of friendship and kindness will not be forgotten. I appreciated his conversations on sports, kids, cancer and life in general. How could I and my family not love him? Now, he’ll forever live in our hearts, and God will have a wonderful neighbor!
ó Rick Mazza
Salisbury
Get speech therapy
I would like to comment on your July 27 article “Speech therapist joins Partners in Learning” about veteran speech therapist Shelby Barton joining the staff at Partners in Learning to provide speech therapy in a fun way to special needs kids.
I would like to inform your readers that their school-age children, whether in public or private schools, are entitled to free speech therapy. The Stuttering Foundation, a nonprofit agency, has recently put out a brochure titled “Special Education Law and Children Who Stutter,” which details these rights. While the brochure is of course geared toward children who stutter, it applies to kids with other types of speech problems as well.
The Web site of the Stuttering Foundation (www.stutteringhelp.org) offers many free resources to children and parents, such as downloadable brochures, a national directory of speech therapists and several streaming videos.
I was glad that you published this article because there is not much attention to childhood speech problems in the press. So many different speech problems plague children, and private health insurance frequently does not cover speech therapy.
Some years ago, my private health plan would cover me 100 percent for a long-term hospitalization, but it would not pay for any speech therapy sessions. Unfortunately, this type of injustice in our system is common and can do great harm to the life of a child. We need to fight for parity in health coverage for speech and hearing issues.
ó George J. Epes
Raleigh

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