This is Viewpoints for Thursday, April 4, 2013

April 4, 2013 

What would you have done?

Suppose for a moment you are God. The creator of an endless universe with thousands of galaxies and millions of stars, planets and moons. A vastness of artwork where time is nothing more than a legend, and eternity is just another word for today.

On Easter Sunday last, you were resting on a golden throne marveling at the many mansions the father prepared, and how some of those are now filled with believers from throughout the universe of every size, shape, color and language imaginable. Lettered men and women who preached the truth in great buildings of every description. And others that did nothing more, as told by a poet of old, than build a house by the side of the road and be a friend to all those who passed.

Could you help but render a smile for those now living in the mansions that searched for you a lifetime, only to learn as the veil was parted that you had been by his or her side all the time?

In the early morning hours, as God, your first gleam of daylight to our nation fell on Cadillac Mountain as it does always, and there you saw a re-creation of your crucifixion and resurrection. A robed choir stood in the morning chill and sang that great hymn you gave to us through the pen of Doris Akers, “Sweet, Sweet Spirit.”

Ah, it was a wonderful Easter that would flow across America until the last prayer was said in Cape Wrangell, Alaska, hours later. The story would be told over and over and praises of worship offered to the father of creation. But wait. Who is that in the pulpit of St. John’s Episcopal Church in Washington, D.C., using this holiest day to spew divisiveness and hate? That man in the white robe speaking with a forked-tongue about “religious right” Christians, and how “they” want to disparage women, persons of color and immigrants? On this, the day of Christ’s resurrection he dares politicize for the leader of our free world who sits a few feet away with his family in Pew 54. As God, what would you have done?

-- John G. Kelley Jr.

Macon

From the front lines

Excerpts from a recent letter from a Marine stationed in Afghanistan: Here I sit on cold hard dirt and rocks at the base of the Hindu Kush Mountains, watching a hole in the ground that leads to a tunnel that leads to a cave, watching out for the dwellers with one eye and watching out for scorpions with the other, trying to avoid their sting that hurts like the devil, and the antidote for stings is almost as bad, because it tastes like transmission fluid.

The reason I am watching this hole, is believe it or not, they are human, and sooner than later they have to emerge to resupply for food and drink.

They are where they are because there is nothing else for them to do but fight wars, since the country is run by 11th-century warring tribes. There are no jobs as we know jobs. For Afghans to earn a living they have to join the opium trade or the army, as a result, they live to fight, and regardless what those pompous clowns at CNN, especially Aaron Brown, tells you they are not smart, but cunning parasites who create nothing but destroy everything. They have spent their entire lives reading only one book, and not a very good one at that.

-- Darlis Whitworth

Gray

A real terrorist group

A Cyprus court has just found a confessed Hezbollah member guilty of five terror-related charges, including participation in a criminal organization, acceptance and participation in committing a crime, and money laundering. This conviction marks the second time in two months where Hezbollah has been formally linked to terror plots on European Union soil.

In February, Bulgarian officials announced that their investigators had discovered links between the Iran-backed group and the July 2012 bus bombing in Burgas, Bulgaria, that killed five Israeli tourists and a Bulgarian. And that proves the point. Hezbollah is a real terrorist organization.

-- Hill Kaplan

Macon

Income disparity

With most levels of working class Americans struggling, is it right to pay any man or women $5 million to $50 million for what is accomplished by the brains and brawn of thousands of workers? What is even more annoying is the management gets even more reward in the form of stock options. I have discussed this before, but the gap of earnings has become absurd. The even more disturbing fact is the directors have a cozy relationship with management whereby they too get millions of dollars via options. As stockholders, there is little anyone can do. Mainly because the majority of the major holders are funds that always seem to be in bed with management.

The most recent acknowledgement came via Bank of America, where the president received $15 million via stock options. Congress should stop these inequities by allowing compensation backed by a value test. As for Bank of America, $300,000 seems more in line.

Maybe this will clarify it better. A man or woman with a Ph.D., with 10 years seniority makes $175,000 a year. A top-line accountant makes $145,000. A top machinist gets $87,000 a year. The line workers get $54,000 a year. The president gets $6 million plus stock options and $200,000 in perks.

-- Joe Hubbard

Macon

‘Just stop it’

The city council of Nelson passed an ordinance requiring gun ownership, but another purpose of the measure is “opposition of any future attempt by the federal government to confiscate personal firearms.” Is everyone in Georgia crazy or just those folks who get elected to office or do only crazy people vote in Georgia?

I am not being facetious. I was born in Georgia, but I am having second thoughts about sharing that info with anyone. No one wants your guns, people. Curtailing the “crazy” folks who want to kill should be a concern for everyone. And “crazy” does not necessarily mean the mentally ill, but mean-spirited folks, like The Aryan Brotherhood of Texas, that is suspected of assassinating a district attorney, his wife and the assistant district attorney. Guess how many hate groups have been identified in Texas? Sixty-two. Guess how many in Georgia? Fifty-three. This should cause worry, not someone coming to take your guns.

Stop it. Just stop it. Stop being led by fear and hate. Stop believing propaganda being fed to you by people who are only feeding your fear in order to make a buck. Stop letting people do your thinking for you. Educate yourselves to the facts. Stop voting against your own self-interest. Stop being stupid. My grandson put it best, “A lot of people are just too stupid to know they are too stupid, Grandma.” From mouths of babes.

-- Pat McQueen

Chapala, Mexico

Hope springs eternal

I am pleased to tell y’all that Monday afternoon I was able to be a part of really neat tribute. No, not a singer or dancer, not a firefighter or rescue pilot or noted author, but a person who really fits the description of “everyday hero.”

I am speaking of Hope Hicks, the volunteer coordinator of the Houston County Habitat for Humanity. The Warner Robins Chamber of Commerce recognized Hope as the chamber’s “Employee of the Month” in a surprise ceremony attended by Morgan Law, president of the chamber, several of his associates, Tom Prior, executive director of HOCO Habitat and many of Hope’s friends and volunteers from HOCO Habitat.

To list exhaustively the many contributions Hope makes to our success at Habitat would surely run afoul of The Telegraph’s letter length guidelines but, as Tom Prior noted, “We simply could not achieve the level of service to our community that we do without Hope’s dedication.” To that, I add that I have witnessed her tackling any task, putting in many hours over and above her job description and doing all with no expectation of recognition.

Law, commenting on volunteer organizations in general and Hope in particular, noted that “If a person does something wrong, news of that particular transgression spreads fast. But, when someone does something good, it is hard to get that word out.” Well, as far as Hope is concerned, the word is out.

As we were leaving, a lady drove up with a donation for our ReStore material center on South Myrtle. I was further convinced that the cycle of good that folks like Hope perpetuate with their skills and dedication rubs off on people like that lady, who took a few extra minutes to re-purpose good material, rather than just tossing it. Congrats, Hope.

-- Bob Carnot

Warner Robins

Prayer for today

Lord, you are an on-time God. I thank you for all you are doing in our lives today. Please watch over all leaders in the White House especially our president. I am asking you to bless our warriors in Iraq and elsewhere in the world. Take a step in all schools. In Jesus’ name we do pray. Amen.

-- Rev. Carrie B. Jones

Barnesville

Readers -- ministers, rabbis, priests and laypersons alike are invited to contribute prayers to this weekly feature. Mail them to “Prayer,” The Telegraph, P.O. Box 4167, Macon, GA 31213; or fax to (478) 744-4385; or e-mail letters@macon.com.

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