Letters to the Editor

This is Viewpoints for Wednesday, Dec. 17, 2008

It’s England’s church

I read with interest Amanda Creel’s article about the Christian play at her child’s school in England. In Britain, the queen is the head of the Church of England, which is an established national church supported in a large part by the government. Bishops (who ordain the parish clergy) are appointed by the queen upon recommendation by Parliament.

The clergy are appointed to churches in a variety of ways, none of which involves a vote of the congregation. Certain bishops sit in the House of Lords as a matter of right.

Nobody has to belong to the Church of England, but separation of church and state (guaranteed to us by our Constitution) is not a legal issue for them. Theirs is a complex system, which has evolved over hundreds of years and works very well for them. I think our system works better for us.

— The Rev. Carl Buice, St. James Episcopal Church, Macon

Perry does it up right

I rode out to Perry one evening last week to have dinner with friends and was pleasantly surprised at the terrific Christmas decorations Perry has up all over town. Unlike Warner Robins, which has just one street of decorations — and they only run from the Civic Center to Houston Road. Downright chintzy.

Good job, Perry!!

— Cathy Gill, Warner Robins

Caroline qualified?

I am of the opinion that chemical warfare has already begun in America. How else could you explain the total lack of logical thinking.

Examples:

• Obama’s complete pass from the press on every issue.



• Gov. Blagojevich now exposing the completely corrupt system in Illinois, which is most likely the same in every state.



• Today we learn that Caroline Kennedy wants the Senate seat vacated by Hillary Clinton. When will someone please ask about her qualifications?



My father was a great musician but I don’t think that qualifies me to be called a musician, no more than the Kennedy name qualifies Caroline to be a senator. How much money and power can people honestly seek? — Paulene Shedd, Fort Valley

They’ll be back

Let’s do the math: The average United Auto Workers union member costs the auto manufacturers $130,000 per year in wages and benefits. GM’s health-care benefits include hospital/surgical, dental, prescribtion drugs, lasik eye surgery and hearing aids. Their retirees pay a monthly premium of $10 per person and $21 per family for this coverage. A 15-year employee at Chrysler has 34.5 days paid vacation and holidays.

The union has agreed to concessions that will lower these costs starting in 2010 and it will be several years before the benefits to the automakers are realized. The union refused to move that up to next year.

Part of the union concessions has them becoming responsible for the workers’ and retirees’ health care. This program, called “VEBA,” has the auto manufacturers making a payment of $60 billion to the union.

GM and Chrysler are broke. GM’s stock shares are almost worthless and their bonds are “junk quality.”

Where do you think these companies are going to get day-to-day operation expense money and the $60 billion to pay for the “VEBA” program?

The UAW and auto manufacturers are asking taxpayers to help keep average worker costs at $75 per hour while the average American worker earns about one third of that amount. Does this sound fair to the taxpayer? It is apparent that if the companies are given a $15 billion “bridge loan” they will be back for billions more in early 2009. Chapter 11 bankruptcy is their only hope for survival. — Marv Murdock, Bonaire

Don’t mess with manger

Wow! Thanks to the ACLU and others, we now have a Jewish Menorah and the Muslim Star and Crescent to go along with the secular Christmas tree displayed in celebration at Christmas on government property.

I’m a Christian celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ ... I want my manger. —Laurie Sullivan, Kathleen

Get it straight

It was reported in national news and on the CBS editorial page by Bob Schieffer that Mr. Obama’s first priority is to restore credibility. I say that Mr. Schieffer needs to look closer to home. In another national news story, he reported last week that “the Republicans” blocked the auto industry bailout. Had Mr. Schieffer wanted to report with credibility, a commodity sadly lacking in the media, he would have pointed out that there were enough Republicans in the Senate who supported it, and that it would have passed if all the Democrats had stayed true to their leadership. There were enough Republican votes on board to carry the day, but the abandoning of support by the Dems is what actually killed the bill.

— Dan Topolewski, Kathleen

Dreams of jackpot

I had a dream about two weeks ago, it was a beautiful dream. Something happened in my life and it changed the way I lived. I won the big lottery jackpot. In my dream, the money not only bought my happiness, it also bought happiness for my family and friends. When I woke up I was disappointed because it was only a dream, but it was so vivid it prompted me to buy $5 worth of tickets for the next drawing. I did not win, but neither did anyone else, so I was not disappointed. I bought another $5 worth of tickets for the next drawing because the dream I had was still so real in my mind.

Again, there was no winner. The jackpot became larger and my hope became bigger. I bought $5 worth of tickets again, and when I checked my numbers there still was no winner. However, I was surprised to see how close I came on one line of numbers, I was only two or three digits off the first five numbers and nine digits off the mega ball. I convinced myself I was going to hit Friday night’s jackpot and bought $5 worth of tickets.

As we know the jackpot was won, but not in Georgia. I don’t hold any animosity toward the Ohio winner. I hope it was a family that desperately needed the money to get through these tough economic times. I do hold some animosity toward myself. My measly $20 would not be missed by the winner if I did not buy those tickets. It will be missed by the many struggling families here in my own state. By not donating that money to a local charity I missed my chance to make a difference to a local family having a harder time financially than I am.

Would I be writing if someone from Georgia had won? Would I even be thinking this way if I were the lucky winner? Probably not, but it goes to show that acting on a dream can change the way you view reality. However, the next time I have visions of grandeur, I will put a little more thought into what was seen before I act on a whim. That $20 would have taken a tiny notch out of my own accumulated debt.

— Julie Hickman, Lizella

Care for pets

Is there anyone out there who knows what to do when people in your neighborhood won’t take care of their dogs? I thought it was against the law to chain a dog.

People, don’t get a dog unless you are ready for the responsibility. Educate yourself about the breed of the dog. Some are more rambunctious than others. That means if a dog starts tearing things up, take the time to teach them not to.

Please don’t just chain them to a tree and maybe go feed them once a day. That’s a terrible life for any creature to live.

— C.S. Spivey, Macon

How to help Twiggs

Twiggs County, like all the other counties — not only in Georgia but the entire U.S. — has its share of financial problems. But for once the BOE (board of education) is in a position whereas it will not have to borrow any funds to balance its budget. If we as citizens of this ounty would just ask what can we do to improve the conditions we see as problems, then just maybe we can help to solve them.

As long as we continue to criticize and plant negative thoughts in the minds of the people, the only one who suffers is the children. If everyone who really cares about their county would just find the time to ask what can I do for my county to improve things, instead of sitting back saying what others are not doing, then we will have first-hand knowledge of the real truth.

I found that the real problem that’s affecting Twiggs County is the illiteracy issue that is affecting adults as well as the children. If all of the literate citizens of the county would donate one hour of their time per week to help improve this problem, then people like Mr. Aubrey Kitchens wouldn’t have anyone to complain to, because everyone could read for themselves.

— Danny Roberson, Twiggs County

Theology on matrimony

Whether or not there is a religious or scriptural basis for gay marriage depends entirely upon who is answering the question. There are some who interpret their Bible (or sacred text) to deny the right of marriage to gays. There are others who interpret their Bible (or sacred text) to affirm the right of marriage to gays. Still, there are others who could care less about what the Bible (or any sacred text) has to say concerning this issue. They look to Biology, psychology and sociology for their answer.

It is my opinion that it should not be our goal here in America to demand that people change their perspectives. A far better goal, which is very much in line with our Constitution, is to not attempt to impose our perspectives on others who have a different point of view. Marriage — whether heterosexual or homosexual — should be a right available to every citizen, but never a law that a religious leader or any other official would be required to perform in contradiction to their beliefs.

This, to me, seems to be the simplest solution to the very difficult issue “gay rights.”

— Ben Bowden, Fort Valley

Wright wrong start to day

A fine start to my morning, thanks to you.

Of all the things I expect to see as I open the paper, a hateful, unpatriotic racist is not one of them.

Could you not have put the picture and story of Rev. {GDA!} Wright at least on page 2A? — Joe Matchette, Warner Robins

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