Welcome and safe
In a time when our world is filled with pessimism and complaints, I have an expression of praise and appreciation to share. The first is to two people with The Telegraph, Betty Scott and Fred McClinton, for ensuring my 87-year-old father had a newspaper holder, that he had been waiting on since moving to Macon. The other note of appreciation goes to the man at McDonald’s on Zebulon Road this past week who found my dad’s (yes, the same 87-year-old man) billfold, and returned it to him, with all the contents undisturbed.
I moved my parents to Macon because I felt their beloved Savannah was a high-risk crime area for elderly people. This kind man at McDonald’s proved me correct. Thanks, Macon, for making my parents feel welcome and safe now that they are living here.
— Carole Becker Ingram
In spite of
Thirty-two years ago, the Louisville Courier-Journal published a letter of mine (March 15, 1983) which was entitled “Better days ahead” for U.S. It read: Harold Washington’s victory in Chicago’s mayoral primary could be a harbinger of “better days ahead” in race relations. Our country will be “on track” when blacks gain Senate seats and governors’ posts. We will know America has “arrived” when a black is elected president of the United States. That will be a sign that she is “free at last.”
Oh, how wrong I was. My letter was far too hopeful and optimistic, because 25 years after the letter was published, we did elect our first African-American president, Barack Obama. But with his election, under-the-surface, smoldering white racism re-emerged with a vengeance. From Day 1 of Obama’s presidency, the disloyal Republican Party opposition has hatefully hammered our president unmercifully. It is amazing what President Obama has accomplished with little, or no help from the GOP. Our country has not arrived; it is not “free at last.” The two Republican primary debates conducted so far show it is currently teetering on the edge of a nervous breakdown.
Obama has been a very good president. I believe Abraham Lincoln, Frederick Douglass, Harriet Tubman, George Washington Carver, author James Baldwin, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Jackie Robinson, Rosa Parks, Martin Luther King, Jr. and countless others would be very pleased with Obama’s presidency.
— Paul Lam Whiteley Sr.
Once again I find myself in the position of correcting the congenial Dr. Bill Cummings (“The heavyweight fight,” 9/20). Had he read the entire passage cited in Galatians, he would have found that Peter — along with James and John — had extended the “right hand of fellowship” to Paul (Gal. 2:9), and they acknowledged that the gospel had been committed to him “for the uncircumcised” (Gentiles). Paul “stood up” to Peter for his hypocrisy because before Peter became fearful of “certain men” (“Judaizers” — those who insisted that Christians adhere to Judaic law and rites, in contradiction to the freedom that Jesus clearly taught and demonstrated), he would eat with “the Gentiles.” But not afterward.
A fabricated theological battle between the two men might make for fun revisionist history, but it simply won’t work in light of the facts and the truth. Peter completely capitulated to Paul’s arguments, and the matter was settled at the Council of Jerusalem (Acts 15), at which it was determined that no further burden should be placed on believers than to “abstain from things offered to idols, from blood, from things strangled, and from fornication.” That was the end of the “fight.”
So complete was Peter’s agreement with Paul that he accorded Paul’s writings the same weight as the “the rest of the Scriptures” (2 Peter 3:16) — i.e., the same weight as the Tanakh (the canon of the Hebrew Bible). There are not two “ideas” of Christianity, as Dr. C. claims, any more than there can be two mutually exclusive truths. There is authentic, true Christianity and the version and facts regularly expressed by Dr. C. They may be inventive — but they are not in correspondence with that truth.
— W. Wade Stooksberry II
The real rock
Dr. Bill Cummings should go back and re-read the history of the Christian Church as recorded in the Book of Acts. It is quite clear that Peter is converted from his belief that all Christians must be circumcised by none other than God himself. Peter is given three visions and sent to the home of Cornelius, a Gentile. When he began to speak to them, the Holy Spirit fell upon them (Acts 11:15).
Later in Acts when Paul and Barnabas come to Jerusalem to confront the Council on this very subject, it is Peter who rises and reminds the Council, “Fellow believers, you know that, early on, God chose me from among you as the one through whom the Gentiles would hear the word of the gospel and come to believe. God who knows people’s deepest thoughts and desires, confirmed this by giving them the Holy Spirit, just as he did to us. He made no distinction between us and them, but purified their deepest thoughts and desires through faith (Acts 15:7-9).
The incident reported in Galatians is in regard to Peter being hypocritical about these beliefs. He ate with Gentiles until a group of Jewish believers arrived from Jerusalem. While they were there, Peter would not eat with the Gentiles. Paul called him out on his sinful behavior — as he should have. As to Jesus stating, “You are Peter and upon this rock, I will build my church,” I have always felt the actual rock Jesus was building His church upon was Peter’s statement that Jesus was the Messiah, the son of God. I know that is the rock I have built my life upon.
— Roberta Johstono
Worse than circus?
I see Macon-Bibb is looking to get a professional baseball team. That would be wonderful. It would attract attention to our lovely city and bring in even more jobs and industry. Some people are not able to travel to Atlanta to watch the Braves and this would also be a benefit to many others. Concessions and taxes would bring in much needed revenue.
I wouldn’t worry about the cost. The mayor just has to call the Centerville mayor and a couple of councilmen there. That bunch seems to have money to spend on all sorts of frivolous things. Once they get a police department they may even be able to lend a hand with traffic.
Here’s hoping they stay out of it. One person commented on the circus at Centerville City Hall. I disagree wholeheartedly. I have been to circuses and it is a real insult to say that about Centerville. If I were a circus I would sue for defamation of character.
— Carl Ayers
Read the book
Ronald Cain’s letter published on Sept. 22 contains negative comments about the Fair Tax. His questions indicate an apparent misunderstanding of how the Fair Tax would work. Cain’s letter is not the first one disparaging the Fair Tax. Until now, I have resisted the urge to reply to these letters.
Instead of responding to each of his concerns, I suggest he and other doubters just read the book. “The Fair Tax Book” authored by Neal Boortz and Congressman John Linder. It will answer his questions and help anyone to better understand the workings of this simple, but drastic change in the way we finance the government. The book is an easy read of less than 200 pages.
So, for everyone fed up with our current tax system, do not rely on guesswork or media interpretations of the Fair Tax, just read the book.
— Dennis McNeer
I read with interest Macon’s city fathers (the ones that collect and waste much of your tax dollars) are once again wanting to spend $50,000 for yet another feasibility study for a professional baseball team.
I have been in Middle Georgia for 30 years now, and have seen professional teams come and go: baseball, ice hockey and arena football, etc. All have been dismal failures. How much longer and how much wasted money will be spent before the city fathers realize there is far too little support to warrant spending on another study.
Remember, the city does not have the money to pay police and fire a good wage.
— Art Garland Sr.