Letters to the Editor

This is Viewpoints for Saturday, July 11, 2015

Denying religious rights

In my opinion, the Supreme Court’s decision in the Obergefell v. Hodges case will meet with increasing resistance from the moral, religious community of conscience. It seems clear to me that the decision violates the free exercise of religion, as granted by the First Amendment to our Constitution, for this group. The actual coercive action is not denying same-sex marriage adherents “free exercise” of religion. The coercive action is committed by the same-sex marriage adherents forcing religious persons of conscience to reject their deeply-held moral beliefs by requiring them to “participate/support” in a version of the marriage sacrament that differs from their deeply held faith. That is clearly a denial of free exercise of religion.

John Adams warned us that our “Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.” SCOTUS’s decision on same-sex marriage validates Adams concern that in the absence of moral rectitude, the principles informing our Founding Fathers become irrelevant Those five justices have set in motion a coercive attack that will emasculate the free exercise of religion granted by the First Amendment. It is the coercive nature of those effects that will undermine our social structure. Adherence to sincerely-held moral precepts of conscience cannot ever be considered discrimination against those who support same sex marriage.

It is those adherents who actually discriminate against the moral precepts (i.e., integral components of “exercise of religion”) which Adams thought were so important, having endured for thousands of years. And no demands are made on the same-sex marriage adherents to change their beliefs/activity. So what we really have is an example of personal selfishness by same-sex marriage adherents trumping the free exercise of religion right of a very large group of “religious people,” who typically don’t demand behavioral changes. If anything, the most persons of conscience will do is to pray for the souls of their antagonists.

-- Wesley May

Pinehurst, N.C.

Guiding hand

“The arc of the moral universe is long but it bends toward justice.”

-- Theodore Parker, 1853

Dr. Martin Luther King, 1958

Nobody is better at sleight-of-hand than God. But I caught a glimpse of him at work when a group of his own were massacred by a man whose brain lay marinated in viper venom and vitriol and whose soul belonged to Satan. He had no pity, no remorse for what he had done. He proudly wore the trappings of hate, including a Confederate flag. Afterwards, he left the building -- Charleston’s venerable old Emmanuel AME Church, and was captured by the police down the road, just a few miles closer to Hell.

The surviving Christian relatives gathered together in a group and went to confront the assassin. And did what Christians do. They freely forgave him.

Time stood still.

And then quickly, softly, like a breeze wafting over the land, the Confederate flag disappeared. Overnight.

Only God works that fast.

And we offer Him gratitude for His guiding hand.

-- Anne Linnenkohl

Juliette

Trying to put Sarge down

Please allow me to share just a smidgen of the ups and downs walked by one the greatest men that I have ever known.

On Saturday, July 4, the wife and I walked into Shoney’s in Forsyth, with a man’s man like we have many times over the past few years. This retired Sgt. Major Charles A. (Hoot) Gibson, at almost 87 years of age, served his country proudly, boldly and bravely in World War II, Korea and two hitches in Vietnam.

Most all of the restaurant personnel thanked him for his loyal service. When the waitress brought our drinks, she immediately informed us that our bill had been taken care of by a family that had just departed the table across from us. This was accepted warm heartily and welcomed by a man on a disastrous roller coaster ride. Sarge was in Germany where Jew’s bodies were stacked like cord wood in factory warehouses with incinerators to be burned to keep infection and disease from killing their own troops.

Chris Kyle and many other sharp shooters would easily envy his achievements. After all of this, you would think the man could be left alone to live in peace up on Juliette Road. Explaining it in short terms would be like cramming three weeks of dirty laundry into a Navy bag, but here goes.

Sarge fell a few months back. He was cut off most of his medication cold turkey, including his antidepressant for PTSD. He was given pain medication and eye drops for his macular degeneration. A relative has complete control of Sarge’s life, now wants to put him away until he dies.

Ex-mayor of Macon, Maj. David Carter can tell you all about this or you can check with Monroe County Probate Court where on Aug. 3, they will try to put Sarge away.

-- Kenneth Smith

Warner Robins

Nation of hypocrites

Being a Christian I find the temper-tantrums, rant and raving and grumbling coming from Christians whenever a civil ruling upsets them, tiring, predictable and discreditable. Christians, however, have proven themselves to be docile, obedient and reliable servants to government bureaucrats and they see these temper-tantrums, rants and ravings and grumbling as entertainment before they face the inevitable and succumb to the ruling, as usual.

The president, vice president, speakers of both houses of Congress, 92 percent of Congress, 96 percent of governors, 77.6 percent of the population, 98 percent of the Supreme Court justices and 94 percent of mayors claim to be Christians. “Hear this, you foolish and senseless people, who have eyes but do not see, who have ears but do not hear...” -- Jeremiah 5:21.

God has given Christians complete authority over a great and mighty nation. A blessing used to remove Christian obstacles preventing evil from flourishing; to banish from the public domain all things associated with God evil finds offensive and to fulfill Satan’s special request (same-sex marriages) while feeding our own selfishness.

“The Lord says, these people come near me with their mouth and honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. Their worship of me is made only of rules taught by man.”-- Isaiah 29: 13.

Hypocrites profess a belief in something and then act in a manner contrary to that belief. Honoring God with our lips while catering to Satan’s needs makes us a nation of Christian hypocrites. America, this isn’t going to end well.

-- Travis L. Middleton

Peach County

Thanks a lot

I just want to “thank” the city of Perry for not “raising” my taxes, as they stated in the form letter I received, but instead raised my water bill again. There must be something really special in the water as it costs about three times the amount than surrounding cities. I could understand if the taxes were lower than surrounding cities, but they are not. I am paying a special fire protection tax, which Perry cannot even handle themselves as is evidence of all the city of Warner Robins fire trucks that respond to Perry.

-- Lee Brantley

Kathleen

Love of country

After watching and listening to Republican presidential candidate Jeb Bush state illegal immigrants come to this country “illegally” because of “love for this country” I want to reciprocate Jeb a little love. I resided in Florida during Jeb’s time as governor. So I can speak first hand of his love for illegal immigrants and according to the judicial system which identifies them as misdemeanor offenders. Prior to “ole Ronnie Reagan’s” amnesty to end all amnesties which has been nothing short of a complete and utter failure, each immigrant attempting to come to America was handled on a case by case basis.

Now we include their families of multi-generations. This has been done for decades and look at the complete mess we have. All done in the name of keeping families united. You want to stay united? Stay in your home country and fix your countries problems not exacerbate this exceptional nation’s. See, these people know they are cowards to their own corrupt government and the cartels. They know under our system of justice they will receive the same protections afforded a “true” American citizen and all the government freebies we hand out. After all it’s not politicians personal money, it’s the hard working middle class that’s the provider.

Anchor babies and all the nonsense has to be stopped. Can someone show me in the Constitution where “anchor babies” are a protected status of people? When you have Immigration and Customs Enforcement having to sue their employer, the federal government, to be allowed to perform their job according to the law we are in deep trouble. Where sanctuary cities are allowed and encouraged by local and some state governments to not enforce the law, and most especially Democrats, only for the anticipation of illegal votes with the anticipation of continuation of free stuff, we really are screwed. Deaths like in San Francisco shall continue. Their are 27 different visa programs according to a letter I received from Jim Marshall when he was in office and none could tell him where these people were. They were to self report. How’s that worked out?

So Jeb, I shall not hold my nose and vote for you or anyone else who wants to continue that loving relationship.

-- Michael Snipes

Kathleen

Same rules for everyone

Blindfolded since the 15th century, Lady Justice has often been depicted wearing a blindfold. The blindfold represents objectivity, in that justice is or should be meted out objectively, without fear or favor, regardless of money, wealth, power, or identity; blind justice and impartiality. Which simply means that she is blind because justice should not consider ethnicity, age, gender, or social class of the people before it. That includes the NAACP saying “Its not gang-related.” And added “Just because more than three people are together doesn’t mean they’re in a gang.” Furthermore she stated their bonds were too high and quote “these were just young kids. I’m looking at this as a prank.”

There are two things I want to address here. These were not just young kids egging a house which would be a prank. No. 1, these young adults went in a Wal-Mart to do mass destruction along with bodily harm. No. 2, she was complaining about the bonds being too high. I have known people who have failed to show up for court on speeding tickets to have higher bonds.

I have watched that video of these young adults for many days now. These charges need to stick. The public needs to demand that they stay and the district attorney does not back down to any threats from any group pertaining to this situation or we are going to look like Ferguson, Missouri and Chicago.

Chicago just this last week had one of the bloodiest weeks because the cops and our judicial system is backing down. The public in many places has demanded that we have a softer approach on crime. That is not the answer to the problem. If we let these young adults off with a slap on the wrist what message are we relaying and what will be next, going in a Wal-Mart or Target during the day and shooting it up? We are asking for problems if we don’t make an example of how the law works.

I’m going to close this with my statement to anyone who wants to debate this issue with me. American justice is about equal application of the law. Any decision-making system will have rules of law and when you break those rules you are punished for breaking them, and those rules need to be followed in every case, not just some cases. The exclusionary rule, and the evidence code, and the other rules that dictate what evidence is admissible in trial are the laws we have and fair trials follow the law. That means that we’ll keep some things from Lady Justice, but it also means that she uses the same rules for everyone. How could we have a justice system without that? How much more are we going to stand by and let go before our system fails altogether?

We have to stand together and make sure that justice prevails. If you feel the same as I do, write or call the district attorney and let your views on this issue be known.

-- Sherry Hudson

Byron

Choice?

Dear readers, it appears to me that voting Democrat or Republican comes down to deciding if you want to be slapped with the left hand or the right hand. Not much of a choice.

-- Bill Liles

Musella

Invisible amendment?

Ten killed, 55 injured in Chicago on Fourth of July weekend. What happened? Plane crash? Apartment building collapse? Terrorist attack? Why didn’t I see that on the front page of Monday’s Telegraph? No, actually it was this year’s Fourth of July weekend shooting toll in Chicago, that bastion of strict gun laws, and it was lower than last year’s toll (which saw 16 killed and 66 wounded, according to Google).

The story was in a short article buried at the bottom of page two of Monday’s Telegraph. In addition to the obvious tragedy reflected in the article, another tragedy for America is that these types of mass murders are seldom, if ever, committed by licensed gun owners using legally-acquired guns, and yet the “solution” is always to demand stricter gun laws which will have no effect on the criminals who commit these crimes.

The only logical explanation for demanding ever-stricter gun laws that restrict legal ownership while not affecting the criminals at all is that there is an ongoing and relentless effort underway to disarm law-abiding Americans. An armed populace is made up of citizens. An unarmed populace is made up of subjects. Thomas Jefferson is credited with saying “The Second Amendment will be invisible until it is needed.” It certainly isn’t invisible any more.

-- Bill Pitts

Centerville

What the commandments mean

Is it right to murder someone? Is it right to steal that penny? Is it right to cheat on your wife? Is it right to tell a little fib? Is it right to cuss your ma and pa out? Is it right to zealously want what your neighbor has? If you are honest with God, then you have to reply negatively to each question. These questions are the last six commandments paraphrased.

The first four commandments deal with your relationship with God. But, these pertain to how you relate to your neighbor. You can sum “The Ten Commandments” up in the following three verses. “Thou shalt not avenge, nor bear any grudge against the children of thy people, but thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself: I am the Lord (Leviticus 19:18). Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God is one Lord: And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might (Deuteronomy 6:4-5). Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets (Matthew 7:12).” Romans 1:16-32 provides us with an excellent commentary on the commandments. Man did not start out murdering, stealing, lying and the like. He refused to acknowledge God. He would not thank God. He grew consistently worse. Hence, God gave man over to a reprobate mind. Let us return to the Lord and depart from our sins.

-- James Anthony Parham

Eatonton

Compressor station noise

Citizens asked what they could do to re-route the Spectra/Sabal compressor station and pipeline (docket # CP15-17-000) away from densely populated Albany and Dougherty County. Jerry Funderburk has a wife and three children and who have lived for 15 years in a trailer they own. Sabal Trail comes along and their landlord notifies them that they can stay there until 2020 (when the compressor station and pipeline are complete.) Meanwhile, up to 50 families are displaced.

Sabal has misled FERC about the noise level of these compressor stations. This particular compressor station technology has never been used before or even tested. There are another 500-plus homes within a mile and a half of ground zero. They could be subjected to a constant whining noise in the middle of the night.

Citizens can do three things about docket # CP15-17-000 prior to July 20:

1) Go to www.ferc.gov; click on ecomment (fill out form), receive a ecomment link, click and search on docket # docket # CP15-17-000, select and express your concerns and then submit.

2) Write a letter to the Honorable Kimberly D. Bose, Secretary FERC, re: Docket# CP-15-17-000, 888 First Street NE, Washington, D.C. 20426

3) Join our boycott of Florida tourist attractions to persuade Florida Power and Light to re-route the Sabal Trail or abandon the concept due to lack of capacity.

-- Roger Marietta

Ward 4 City Commissioner

Albany

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