Letters to the Editor

This is Viewpoints for Monday, Dec. 26, 2016

Why isn’t Cummings a Jew?

During his first 40 years, Bill Cummings gained more life experience than many have at 80. This man knows hard work, disappointment, the joy of reaching goals, extreme grief and heartache, the value of patience, facing hard decisions, the worth of faithful friends, struggling with enemies, gained freedom and unbearable loss. The Lord’s kindness to Cummings is manifold — for instance, provision of a loving and faithful wife of many years, business success and valuable skills.

Every theist approaches religion in one of two ways. He either starts with God and works down to man, or starts with man and attempts to work up to God. Cummings has always operated in the latter group — from the days of his monastic lifestyle and Roman Catholic priesthood, throughout his phase of drifting from childhood instruction to his present day of continued animosity toward historical Christianity.

How may one reconcile the previous two paragraphs? God is not merely fair, but also good to all men — whether righteous or unrighteous. The very Bible that Cummings zealously seeks to revise is the same that does not shy away from the sin of righteous men, nor the integrity of unrighteous men (Gen. 20, for example). Whether this stems from his denial or ignorance, it nevertheless serves well at removing the beauty of God’s grace as the only hope for fallen man.

On page 71 of his autobiography, “The Checkered Church,” Cummings highlights a major cause for his eventual loss of belief: “I thought if we’re going to have a God who enters our lives, He’s got to be consistent.” This would play a leading role in his adopting the belief that God is not personally involved in our world or people’s lives (page 161). Yet, with average discernment many can detect inconsistencies within Cummings’ columns (ironic, albeit typical), and especially the contradictions in his autobiography, of which there are too many to cover here.

Regarding his recent Dec. 18 column, Cummings is not a Jew in one sense simply because he has Irish descent. But in the more important sense, he is excluded for the same reason Moses would exclude him (Deut. 10:16; 30:6), and Jeremiah (Jer. 4:4; 9:26), and Paul (Col. 2:11; Rom. 2:28,29). To Cummings’ horror, there is overarching unity in scripture looking, with gratitude, through the lens of a circumcised heart.

In essence, Cummings has always assumed the goodness of man and places God on trial, rather than assuming the goodness of God and unrighteousness of all men (Ps. 14). God then does not intervene in our world as Cummings considers best, so he shakes his fist at a bloodied, bruised, crucified savior and fashions a god after his own unsanctified imagination. Yet our gracious Lord will continue giving Cummings life and breath.

Will Daniels,

Macon

Standing together

I, along with everyone else, am grieving for the lives lost in Berlin. It seems that the attacker was Muslim and might have been affiliated with ISIS. In an interview on Wednesday, asked about his proposed ban on Muslims entering the country or a registry of Muslims in the United States, president-elect Donald Trump said simply, “You know my plans.”

His “plans” are frightening enough to me, a white Christian; to a Muslim, I’m certain they are a hundred times more so. Therefore, I want to say to the Muslims in Middle Georgia: You are not alone. This is your home. You are my neighbors. You are my brothers and sisters. My heart breaks that Mr. Trump, and others, would use the tragedy in Germany to advance a rhetoric of hate; just know, that whatever happens, Macon will not give in to hate or fear.

Whatever happens, Macon will stand with you.

Ross C. Hardy

Macon

Making the pain worse

Government has gone too far in controlling our health care. I am referring to the people that now have to live in pain because our doctors are afraid to prescribe narcotic pain medication. When we have all the tests done to to justify our pain, you are referred to pain clinics, which is a waste of insurance companies’ and our money. The pain clinics want to give everyone steroid shots. Both my husband and I have had them. They did nothing for us but make it worse. They want you to come back every month, and I am sure there’s a lot of others out there that cannot afford to do so. It is a shame that those that abused these drugs have made it hard for those who need these meds. My husband and I are both disabled, not young and health-failing. I feel this is a crime that our doctors and government are allowing people like us to live this way. We need our doctors to stand up for us so that they can give us the treatments and meds that we need!

Cathy A Walters

Warner Robins

Old county unit system

An editorial article in Dec.19’s Telegraph is titled “Our excellent electoral vote system.” It defines the Electoral College well, and describes its history thoroughly. I do not find it very convincing, though, in its efforts to portray the system as “excellent.”

In a true democracy every vote should count and the candidate who gets the most votes should win. Two of the last three men elected president were runners-up in popular votes in their initial elections. This indicates either the system is flawed or that the apportionment of electors is inequitable.

The Electoral College system brings about concentration almost exclusively upon states where the race is close. It weakens voter incentive in states where the election is almost sure to be won by a particular party. Why should people vote if their candidate is almost certain to win or sure to lose their states. Every vote should count and the winner should be the candidate with the most votes.

The Electoral College is not entirely unlike the old county unit system in Georgia. It gave rural voters a huge advantage over urban dwellers. It was operative from 1917 until 1962 when the U. S. Supreme Court ruled it unconstitutional by an 8-1 vote. Modern technology could enable popular votes to be counted rapidly and accurately. It is time to re-examine the Electoral College and move on into the 21st century and beyond.

Jack V. Colwell,

Macon

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