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Talkback: What online readers say about …

… Commissioners approve budget, fire tax increase

All county employees besides teachers were given cost of living raises among other raises. Our schools need to be improved when it comes to facilities. I am quite glad that is being addressed. The fact remains that teachers in this state and county are not valued. Lip service occurs every year, yet when it comes time to put up or shut up it gets quiet.

— Josh Farmer

Some of us are working on that very issue. Teachers are heroes and need to be compensated! Educators are much more valuable than professional sports figures (IMHO) and change many more lives for good than anyone creating music for sale and download. This is why even tho’ I no longer have children in Rowan-Salisbury Schools, I’ll support taxes and bond referenda for public education, and volunteer for schools in the district. Every minute we volunteer, every item we donate saves dollars which can go to the folk on the front lines: teachers!

— GeoRene Jones

For the first time ever the animal shelter will have a budget of $1 million because throwing money at a problem always fixes it. Meanwhile, many free measures to improve aren’t implemented. What will we get for our $229,111?

— Marsha Bradley

… Paper shows hypocrisy, attacks Christianity

From the right-wing poligionist position, there are two kinds of people: “us” and “everybody else.” Either you blindly follow their extremist agenda 100 percent of the time on 100 percent of the issues, or you are conveniently labeled “liberal.” Other Christians are “liberal.” Other political conservatives are “liberal.” News media are “liberal.” The saddest part of the story is the many good and otherwise intelligent people who blindly get caught up in their political extremism confusing it with “Christianity.” When you hear the “liberal” word used as a slur, even if it’s in church, consider it a red flag. God has no political party and no country.

— Kathy Vestal

Yes, I agree, God has no political party. However, it has been my experience to observe those with the courage to call themselves liberal and be demonized by conservatives have a tendency of being more Christlike.

— Reginald Brown

Yes, Randy Biggerstaff, the assault on Christianity is in full swing from the left, and winning. If a similar letter had been written about Islam, I’m certain it would not have been published; not because the Salisbury Post is against publishing dissident views, but out of fear of reprisal. …

The theory of evolution is based on the premise that there is no God, so all that is left is assuming that life, and mankind, just happened. The climate is seen as a bigger threat than any other, be it Russia, the crushing national debt, the rise of Islam, students being “dumbed down,” or any other real and actual danger to the nation.

— Steve Pender

… You swore an oath

Mr. Stutts, I think you are 100 percent spot on! Thanks for having a voice of reason. That seems to be rare these days, especially in the Bible belt.

— Robin Hager

… Editorial: the bully pulpit at work

The ironic thing here, is that the bill as passed, allows for far wider discrimination than largely discussed. This doesn’t just apply to gay marriage. Magistrates may now refuse to marry any couple they feel violates their religious beliefs. This can include mixed race couples, couples of different religions, perhaps even those that have been previously married. Is this really where we need to be focusing our legislative energies?

— David Anderson

The saddest part about all of this is we will have 2 people running for Gov. next election and the Republicans have no one to vote for.

— Phillip Bradshaw

I cannot think of any reading that has saddened me more than this one. As I read it, I was reminded of many passages in Isaiah and Jeremiah, of people being warned of coming judgment, and not only scorning those who brought the word but taking the side of those who war against God.

If I were charged with writing an epitaph for the person who wrote this editorial … it would be this: “For she loved the praise of man more than the praise of God.”

— Stephen Owen

… My Turn: Evolution … on its own terms

One significant difference that is often overlooked is that the survival of the fittest isn’t the same as the arrival of the fittest. I agree with you about life forms being able to change their color just because they need to. I still have yet to see any evidence that bugs can change color. Maybe the real mechanism for change is the power of positive thinking. I tried that when I was younger but I still can’t fly without help.

— Arville Edgeworth

Interesting. My question about adaptive evolution has always been, how does a species survive during the time it takes to acquire the necessary defenses? The notion that a rabbit or bear can change from white to brown or brown to white because it needs to, with “Nature” getting all the credit, is a bit of a stretch. You might predict that after several generations the bugs would change color. Others might predict that the bugs would be devoured into extinction within one generation, before Nature could take care of them. Moreover, would evolutionary theory not predict that coffee trees must adapt to warmer temperatures? Evolution is a natural process, it actually occurs, but it does not explain everything, theoretically speaking.

— Bruce LaRue

You imply a false dichotomy. God OR evolution. The fact that we evolved from other species doesn’t mean there is no God.

— Cletus Amlung

It’s a fact that Mr. Hull has written an excellent letter about the theory of evolution and the scientific method!

— Mack Williams

… David Post: Confusing messages on religion

Nice piece, Mr. Post! The hypocrisy of religious conservatives is astounding.

No activist judges (because they sway left supposedly?) but they champion activist clerks of court (because they sway right). Gay marriage offends them and should be stopped but the rampant divorce and re-marriage rate is perfectly fine, even though Jesus was very clear about divorce and says nothing about being gay, not to mention how the divorce culture is doing demonstrated harm to children while children of married gay couples thrive.

— Cathy Mahaffey

David, as usual, your post is quite intelligent, does not offend anyone, and is not blazing with anger. I have learned over the years to wait, and sit on my thoughts a bit before I post (No pun).

I’ve listened to others and while my beliefs are pretty private, meaning between God and me (God being my choice of higher power); I have friends of all types of religious backgrounds, denominations, atheist, anti-theistic and so forth. I really don’t need to know what someone’s inner thoughts are because I’m not supposed to be there.

— Kim Bo

In the year since the decision of Greece v. Galloway, I find myself dwelling on Kagan’s dissent, which seems more apt as time passes.

“For centuries now, people have come to this country from every corner of the world to share in the blessing of religious freedom. Our Constitution promises that they may worship in their own way, without fear of penalty or danger, and that in itself is a momentous offering. Yet our Constitution makes a commitment still more remarkable— that however those individuals worship, they will count as full and equal American citizens.

“A Christian, a Jew, a Muslim (and so forth)—each stands in the same re-lationship with her country, with her state and local communities, and with every level and body of government. So that when each person performs the duties or seeks the benefits of citizenship, she does so not as an adherent to one or another religion, but simply as an American.

“I respectfully dissent from the Court’s opinion because I think the Town of Greece’s prayer practices violate that norm of religious equality—the breathtakingly generous constitutional idea that our public institutions belong no less to the Buddhist or Hindu than to the Methodist or Episcopalian.”

— Al Adersen

The radical right corporate fascists are the reason Christianity is dying. Freedom for all is the last thing they desire. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CAQNzoiMI7s

— Chris Borre

… Graham’s crusade could be lonely one

In the end, it comes down to one’s personal interpretation of scripture and one’s personal relationship with God. I’ve always held true to the notion that my sins are no greater or lesser than any other person’s sins, and it’s only through the grace of our LORD that we are forgiven, for even when we repent, we will still succumb to sin for that is how we are imperfect as human beings. “If we say we are without sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.”

— Eric Shock

… County to consider 2016 budget

Suggestions that have been added include $77,663 for a county grant writer position. While I can agree that a Rowan County Grant Writer is needed I think 77,663 is a bit much. Rowan County could use and needs a grant writer . However, I believe that the Chamber of Commerce along with the County should help fund one.

I also believe that a grant writing team would be beneficial to Rowan County. I thought that grant writers receive a portion of the grant if it was approved. If a writer gets say 10 percent of a grant that is approved, then a $100,000 grant is $10,000 or a 1 million dollar grant is $100,000 I think the base line for a salary needs to be looked into.

— Mark Lyerly

… ‘Trouble with Christians’ hits a nerve

I think it was very brave of the Post to publish Hudson’s letter. No doubt there has been a back-lash. Opinion pieces and editorial page are designed to deliver opposing viewpoints and to create community discussion about relevant issues of they day. Public discourse makes us smarter and stronger as a people and nation. Subscribing to newspapers, magazines and web pages that only tell you what you want to hear is a waste of time. Intelligent people want to hear all angles of an issue before coming to a reasoned conclusion.

While I have both loved and loathed things I have read in the Salisbury Post over the past few years, I still remain thankful that a community this size has a high quality newspaper that is not too afraid of controversy to keep readers informed and educated.

— Todd Paris

He may say what he wants — God has the final say. I have no stones nor glass. May God have mercy!

— Paul Isenberg

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