Letters to the Editor

This is Viewpoints for Wednesday, October 25, 2017

A Navy parachutist lands at Soldier Field during pregame ceremonies before an NFL football game between the Chicago Bears and Pittsburgh Steelers.
A Navy parachutist lands at Soldier Field during pregame ceremonies before an NFL football game between the Chicago Bears and Pittsburgh Steelers. AP

Player behavior?

Several players of the National Football League refused to stand for the national anthem prior to kickoff of their games. They have that prerogative. In response to that, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell has elected to take no action regarding this behavior during presentation of the colors throughout the pregame ceremony. The NFL is not without rules about player behavior in public before and during a game, but this slight may not rise to the level of say a uniform infraction. Let’s remember that this pregame ceremony is elective, not required by any law. In other words, the actions of those several players, as well as the commissioner’s inaction, is in effect a willful endorsement by the NFL of this behavior.

During the season, uniformed military members attend games to present the colors for the national anthem ceremony. Military members perform this function in uniform for not only NFL games, but other events as well, such as Major League Baseball games. Certain events are also supported with flyovers by piloted military aircraft. This support isn’t free. Taxpayer funds are used, a considerable expense where piloted military aircraft are involved. Why are taxpayer funds being expended to support the NFL, when that league is presenting a symbolic uplifted middle finger to the American people, and those who serve in uniform?

The president of the United States is also the commander in chief of the United States military. As the commander in chief, the president could direct that all branches of the military suspend military flyovers of NFL events, and that no member of any service may attend any NFL event in uniform. The president could clearly state that this action is in effect until the NFL, and all uniformed players agree to appropriate conduct during the national anthem ceremony, or the league discontinues with this pregame ceremony all together. These are not all of the actions available to the president, but they are prudent.

The rights of these privileged players to engage in this offensive behavior outside of these taxpayer funded and military member supported events should be respected. They have a right to offend. Just as the rights of all Americans who do not wish to support the NFL should also be respected.

Larry Williams,


Many of the displays of patriotism before NFL games are paid for by the Pentagon. Last November Sens. Jeff Flake, R- Ariz., and John McCain, R-Ariz, revealed in a report that the Pentagon had “inappropriately” paid up to $6.8 million to professional and college teams for “paid patriotism.”


Does it matter?

Dr. Bill Cummings quotes Bart Ehrman (“Remembering Jesus” 10/22): “Does it matter if Jesus really healed the sick and raised the dead and walked on water and was resurrected on the third day? What matters for believers is that the history of our world was changed for the better, not because of any brute, historical facts, but because of the memories of these kinds of things; memories that morphed into faith.”

All due respect, but those two sentences may well set a new standard for inanity and insipidity. Does it “matter” that Jesus was bodily resurrected? That in doing so, he affirmed that he was the creator, manifested in the flesh? And that we obtain mercy and forgiveness and redemption through his atoning sacrifice on the cross? And not by anything we do, or can do, other than to accept the gift freely given?

Does it matter that our God is one of love and mercy and forgiveness, who entered into his creation in order to rectify the misuse of their freewill by the creatures he endowed with that capacity? The same free will through which love is made possible?

Does it matter that our God is not some remote, capricious, implacable monster who created imperfect creatures who can only find favor with him by meeting with the approval of skeptics who deny his incarnation, atonement and resurrection? That Jesus Christ is indeed the very “substance” of faith (Hebrews 11:1), the “Word” of God — what God has to say — and that “All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made” (John 1:1-3). That “…the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth…” (v. 14)?

Why, yes. It does matter. For those keeping score, it matters infinitely more than anything else in the world.

W. Wade Stooksberry II,


Gettin’ things done

In full disclosure, I am not a resident of Warner Robins. However, my family has known the Shaheens for 25 years and we have deep ties to WR. We attend church there and our children attended Sacred Heart Catholic School.

Now, why Chuck Shaheen is uniquely qualified to run the city again:

1. Chuck and his family have Warner Robins in their blood. His father served our country in the USAF. He and his wife, Barbara, ran a small, successful business in Warner Robins for many years which instilled in Chuck the values of fiscal responsibility and hard work.

2. Chuck is a person of deep faith and he has a Christian heart. I’ve seen this in person for many years.

While the above are admirable attributes, they alone are not reason enough to qualify him to run a city. We all know there are many fine citizens who have similar attributes. However, Chuck is “uniquely qualified” to run the city of Warner Robins, and here’s why:

3. Chuck is a true thought leader. His life experiences and common sense are gifts that enable him to propose unique ideas to solve problems. Ideas are not enough, as many good ideas die in meetings or in stuffy conference rooms. It takes leadership to turn good ideas into action. In the business world we simply call it “gettin’ things done.” Chuck is the one to get things done! If you believe in faith, family and hard work, get out and vote for Chuck Shaheen.

Joe Rossi,


Real villain

For weeks (actually every year) the medical insurance industry has been saying they must “boost premiums for millions” of consumers because of the industry’s ever rising cost of doing business under Obamacare. Yet the above-the-fold story of Saturday’s paper began with the statement that President Trump’s action is “...threatening to boost premiums for millions.” We’ve seen this line repeated before, but now there’s a real villain to blame.

Dan Topolewski,