Published 12:00 am Saturday, July 13, 2013

The New York Times editorial page hit it on the nose with “The decline of North Carolina.” In a few short months, the Republican legislature has done a great deal of damage to our state, a state once touted as the leading progressive state in the South, while supposedly moderate “Mayor Pat” has been hidden under the sidelines.
North Carolina is imposing massive cuts to unemployment insurance, for no good reason and is returning politics to the judicial system. State lawmakers are ignoring the many thousands of North Carolinians who are uninsured while refusing to expand Medicaid rolls under the Affordable Care Act, rejecting federal money to pay the cost, a major move of stupidity. North Carolina taxpayer money will now go to help other states to add health care for their citizens, leaving North Carolina’s citizens ill and uninsured. And your major tax reform is a sham, giving tax cuts to the wealthy and adding taxes to the poor, middle class and elderly. Not having enough money to adequately fund the education system has already dropped our education level lower than in many years.
I can’t list all of the damaging legislative measures; they are too numerous. Yes, years of progress are being wiped out in a very short time by short-sighted Republicans. I am not going to call them leadership, because this is not leadership but an extreme failure to lead. North Carolina has fast slipped to a third-world state.
I am near the end of my life, and I am ashamed of my state, of the pitiful state that is being dealt for my children and grandchildren. “The decline of North Carolina” … Amen, amen!
— Pat Bullard

China Grove

I’ve lived for 78 years. During this time, there have been many changes in the beautiful land we live in and the world. Things that we take for granted now were just dreams or science fiction when I was young.
While technology promises a wonderful new world, our country is rotting from the inside.
God gave us a wonderful land, capable of producing everything we need. However, by our sinful and selfish nature, we have ruined and polluted it.
Everything that is done is done for profit. There’s no thought as to what it will do to the environment or how it will affect our lives or our children’s. For example, fracking to extract natural gas has the possibility of contaminating vast amounts of groundwater with chemicals. People, we can do without natural gas, but without good water, we die.
Today, God is regarded as a myth by much of the population. Everyone does what is right in their own eyes. There’s no respect for authority. There’s no sense of accountability or responsibility for our actions.
Even some churches harbor wickedness and sin. Instead of being a light to the world and bringing the truth of God to it, they have embraced the wickedness and darkness of the world in the name of tolerance. Sin in the church is condoned and overlooked. Pastors cater to the best-dressed and wealthy. This is directly opposite to what Jesus lived and taught.
We have been given the Bible as a guide for living here on Earth. It contains the answer for every situation, if we just use it.
Jesus told us that to love the Lord, our God, with all our heart and our neighbor as ourselves would cover every commandment. The sad thing is, we present one personality in church and another in everyday life. No wonder the unsaved call us hypocrites. Let’s walk our talk and tell everyone we meet what God has done for us and be ready to meet Jesus when he returns.
— George M. Simmons