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Letters to the editor – Tuesday (12-20-11)

With many people in need, itís a shame to see food wasted
The afternoon of Dec. 15 I took my black Lab for a walk to a nearby shopping complex. On our way back, we cut across the parking lot of a large grocery store. I happened to walk past a dumpster with both access doors open and spotted several bags of bananas in a cardboard box. I took out a bag to see if the bananas were rotten, when suddenly I heard a woman say, ěYou canít take food out of the dumpster.î I held up the bag and replied, ěYes, I can, I just did.î She repeated her statement and slammed the door shut. I looked in the dumpster again and saw a huge pile of bags of bananas and oranges, so I sorted through a few bags of oranges, keeping one to go with my bananas. Iím not a dumpster diver. I just hated to see good food wasted.
About that time, another woman came out the back door and told me to put the food back. She said it was against the law and that she was going to call the police. I told her to go ahead.
I have eaten many meals and volunteered at Rowan Helping Ministries and know there are hundreds of people in this area who depend on other peopleís donations of tons of food, thousands of dollars and countless hours to have enough to eat.
Shame on any store, anywhere, that allows perfectly good food to be wasted, instead of given away. And shame on us all for allowing laws which dictate that thousands of tons of food a day must be thrown away. Wasting all that food is a crime against humanity, when millions are starving. But the real crime is that the people in this country allow such laws. Shame on us. But … merry Christmas.
ó Monte J. Elliott
Salisbury
Scripture and immigration
In responding to my Dec. 8 column, Spencer Drye accuses me of only presenting my ěpersonal viewpointî on immigration. Instead, I took pains to show continuity between the Old and New Testaments and the churchís teachings through the centuries. Ironically, since Mr. Drye has proudly declared his independence from the bishops, councils and popes of the historical church, he is the one giving his personal viewpoint.
Operating as his own authority, Mr. Drye tells us we can safely set aside the moral injunction of Leviticus 19:34 in which God calls his people to love the alien among them as themselves. According to Mr. Drye, if we still followed that teaching we would also have to follow Leviticus 20:9, where we find the death penalty invoked for those who curse their father and mother. Mr. Drye uses this second verse to try and cancel out the first, but while we have certainly set aside the death penalty for such offenses, the moral injunction not to curse our parents still stands. So, too, does the injunction to treat the alien among us as ourselves.
Mr. Drye emphasizes the distinction between legal and illegal immigrants, a distinction notably absent in Scripture and from the base of the Statue of Liberty. In any case, his definition of a legal immigrant is so narrow it would rule out even those seeking political asylum. He concludes by informing us that all illegal immigrants are ěpracticing evil.î
In another response, Richard Roberts also makes much of the same distinction and accuses all illegal immigrants of coming here so they can loaf and receive welfare. In fact, gentlemen, far from all being evil and lazy, itís likely an illegal immigrant harvested the side dishes served on your tables this evening. And like the Son of Man whom you claim to follow, he has no place to lay his head (Matthew 8:20).
ó Mark Sells
Salisbury

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