Read the Bible
Those responsible for the movie, “Exodus: Gods and Kings,” should have read the book. There’s very little resemblance between the film and the Bible.
One early scene showed a burning bush. I was expecting to hear a booming voice from heaven. Instead there was a young boy who represented the deity throughout the show.
Hollywood has long taken liberties with its versions of books. But this one was really over the top.
-- Robert L. Lehane
Rejecting a ‘callous contention’
I reject Joel Raley’s contention that those of us who choose not to carry guns have a “death wish” or are “asking for it” -- asking to be the victims of crime. His callous contention is that the victims of crime are to blame. Are banks asking to be robbed by keeping large amounts of cash on hand? Are women out for drinks and dinner asking to be raped? Is a driver on Interstate 75 asking to be hit by a drunk driver? The people responsible for crimes are the criminals, not the victims they prey upon.
Mr. Raley contends that if more people own and carry guns in public places like churches, schools, movie theaters and bars, the rates of homicide will decline. According to the study “The Relationship Between Gun Ownership and Firearm Homicide Rates in the United States, 1981–2010” the opposite is true. The authors write, “Although we could not determine causation, we found that states with higher rates of gun ownership had disproportionately large numbers of deaths from firearm-related homicides.” (American Journal of Public Health, 2013)
Like Wayne LaPierre of the NRA, Mr. Raley wants us to think that we are constantly under threat of gun violence. In my almost 57 years I have never, not once, been in a situation where a gun was needed to stop a crime. And I don’t live a sheltered life -- I shop, I eat at restaurants, I attend movies, and I go to concerts in Macon, Savannah, and Atlanta. I have lived in “high crime” and “low crime” areas of Savannah, Augusta and Macon. At present I live less than one mile from Wings Café and less than one mile from the Chambers Road Waffle House. Amazingly enough, I remain secure in my person and property without “packing” some kind of firearm.
-- Fr. Michael J. Kavanaugh
A third way
I always enjoy Dr. Bill Cummings’ column, and was especially drawn to his Dec.20 topic, “Christmas as a Parable.” His reference to Marcus Borg’s and Dominic Crossan’s book, “The First Christmas,” prompted me to retrieve their book from my book shelf and read it again.
Too often we view the Christmas stories as either fact or fable -- either it happened just as Matthew and Luke described it, or it didn’t. It’s either true (factual) or it’s not.
In “The First Christmas,” the writers offer a third way of looking at these stories that “moves beyond the choices of fact or fable” This metaphorical approach allows one to go beyond the “more-than-literal” meaning to uncover a depth of understanding beyond traditional interpretations.
Thanks, Bill, for reminding me to again look beyond the traditional interpretations of the Christmas stories to a deeper and more meaningful understanding.
-- Carlton Pittman
To Fred Gunter: So you think that a carbon tax will solve a problem? I don’t think so. Taxes never solve problems. True, we need big takes during war, but we are not in a major war now. Did high taxes end poverty? No, there more people in poverty now than when President Johnson started the “Great Society.” Does higher tax on the rich help? No, the rich would have less money to hire more employes. Companies don’t pay taxes, people do. Taxes are passed on to the customer. New taxes would hurt people who are just trying to make a living now. How much taxes do you think we should pay? I am a retired man with special needs. A new carbon tax would hurt me beyond your knowledge. We don’t need more taxes. The American people already pay some 30 percent of their money in taxes. Why don’t you pay your money to a carbon tax and leave us alone? Carbon taxes would not help nor are they wanted.
-- Brian T. Reid Sr.
A savings account?
A penny saved is a penny earned (More on that later).
Holiday shoppers are spending the cheapest money in the world this Christmas season. Cheap, because it was created out of thin air by the Federal Reserve. It was not earned. Our central planners in D.C. were determined to improve the economy in every way but the best way: lower tax rates. So, they printed dollars for people to spend.
The best example of cheap money is at the gas pump. Low interest rates lured the shale oil frackers to the loan desk at the bank. They borrowed $500 billion to drill holes every place they thought had oil. This oil boom created jobs and lowered gas prices, which enabled workers to go and spend money on trucks, SUVs and TVs. Why save when money is so available and cheap?
But wait, with a lower oil price the frackers still must service their debt. Well, some of them can’t and are closing shop and going home. Fewer drillers means less supply. Less supply will increase both demand and pricing. And when the price goes up, again, will you be driving a new gas guzzler? Will you have a savings account to tap on a rainy day? Please don’t tell me you spent all you saved on gas these last few months. Did you?
-- Bob Norcott
A third way
I would like to reply to comments made by Faye Tanner in her letter of Dec. 31. Her comment that the economy is in crisis is totally disproved by a record high stock market, 5.8 percent unemployment, more than two million jobs created in 2014, the rate of increase in health care cost is the lowest in 50 years and gas is nearing two dollars a gallon.
Also, her comment that President Putin is a better man and leader than President Obama is laughable. Putin is presiding over a failed economy, and if Faye Tanner is that enamored with Putin maybe she should consider a move.
Finally, Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio and his antics were stopped by a federal judge, not the president or attorney general.
-- John Smith