Letters to the Editor

Holy Land visit reveals a dramatic change
There was a time in my church’s history, i.e. the Roman Catholic Church, when the popes taught that “error has no rights.” A corollary of that teaching was that those in error have no rights; only those who possessed the truth had rights, i.e., the Roman Catholic Church.
From this premise the church demanded that all national governments guarantee the rights of the church to exist and practice its beliefs while, at the same time, deny those rights to non-Catholic churches. I personally remember my church history professor in seminary in 1964 point to a Protestant church down the street and declared solemnly, “That church has no right to exist.” Of course the magisterium is today embarrassed about this part of her past and would prefer no one remember it, or even better, no one know about it.
What brought this to mind is an article I read in a recent Daily Journal about Pope Benedict’s pilgrimage to the Holy Land, a predominantly Muslim (non-Christian) land. The article states the pope ” … was pleased with his trip and believed he had accomplished his objective of warming relations with Muslims saying the dialogue had taken ‘new steps forward’.”
Only those my age or older can truly marvel at the dramatic change this represents in the official teachings of my church and its posture toward those who do not share the same beliefs.
Perhaps some prelates in the U.S. Catholic Church might learn something from Pope Benedict in how they approach those in this country who do not share some of the church’s teachings. Rather than an “anathema sit” (let him or her or it be anathema) posture, perhaps the pope is modeling for all bishops an approach of mutual respect and dialogue. The “anathema sit” approach for some strange reason does not seem the best approach for “warming relations.”
Knowing one’s church history has a way of keeping one humble. It can also protect you from those who would have you believe your church has never been in error, that it has always been on the side of the truth.
Rev. Henry Shelton

Dr. Dale remembered as a compassionate man
There are great numbers of people who have contributed in so many ways to Tupelo and surrounding areas. To me and my family one of the greatest of these is the late Dr. Robert Dale Sr.
Many times Dale met us at his office in the night when we had a sick child, too sick to wait until morning. As with most families times were hard on a Highway Patrolman’s salary back in the 60s and early 70s; Dr. Dale knew this and that was the reason to come to his office rather than the hospital E.R.
My aunt was an R.N. at the hospital when Dale first came to Tupelo. She told of his staying into the night with sick children whose families he knew would never be able to pay. She was the reason he was my children’s pediatrician and was a testimony of him being one of the best – not just in his profession, but in his service to people regardless of their race, color or ability to pay.
In our world today where nothing speaks so loud as the dollar, wouldn’t it be wonderful to have more people in every walk of life who regard the needs of a hurting world above everything else. This was how Dale lived his life, and Tupelo is a better place because of him.
Dale went to be with The Great Physician in January 2006, but his memory will forever live on, not only in my family but in hundreds of others whose lives he touched.
Jeanie Bramlett
Wonderful friends sustained a special sister at Tupelo High
Encouraged people achieve the best.
Dominated people achieve the second best.
Neglected people achieve the least.
Donna Ivy, Debbie Gibbs, Coach Stephanie Murphy, and the Tupelo High School Student Body’s encouragement of my sister, Amanda Claire, has brought her joy beyond belief.
Less than a generation ago children with Down Syndrome, or any special need, were seldom included in extracurricular activities. Fear of the unknown was often the reason. Courage was the answer.
Amanda’s social development is greatly attributed to Coach Murphy for allowing Amanda to be a basketball manager, which has taught her the organization and discipline she will need as a mentally handicapped adult after graduation.
Debbie Gibbs ability to teach a child creativity and to view challenges as opportunities has shown Amanda she can do anything, even be a board member for the Thespians.
Service above self is the Rotarian’s motto. Donna Ivy understands what it means to put others first. The extra hours spent with Amanda has given her a love for reading.
As for the student body … thank you for loving someone just a little bit different. Because of you all, she is achieving her best.
Brian Aldridge
Article about Kennedy’s woes angers an Oxonian
About an AP article in the May 17 Sports re Andy Kennedy affair in Cincinnati, Ohio:
As a heretofore loyal supporter and subscriber of this paper, I was appalled when I opened the Sunday, May 17, sports section and saw a picture of the cabbie in his taxi and then read the article wherein you quoted this “person” and lent credence to him; all critical of Andy Kennedy.
I think the dictionary has a word for your actions: perfidious. That is not what I would really like to call it. I am ashamed that you and your paper would stoop that low. All I can really add is “shame on you.” I do hope you never make a mistake.
Hal Ferguson
Be sensitive regarding mental illness issues
When we hear that someone has been stricken with a severe disease, such as cancer or arthritis, most of us respond with sympathy. But when we hear that someone has a disease of the brain, many of us respond in a different manner. We don’t have pejorative terms for people with lupus or leukemia, but we might refer to those with mental disorders as crazy, looney tunes, or fit for the funny farm. It is easy for us to ridicule people who have a problem that we don’t have.
Like other parts of the body, the brain can contract sickness. Mental illnesses cause great difficulty to those who are afflicted with them, and to those who live with the mentally ill. I encourage everyone to show sympathy for people who suffer from depression, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, and so forth. We can begin by ceasing to use ugly words and gestures when speaking of them.
Ted Holt
Hull’s position stands on side of abortion
According to the April 17 Forum, James Hull needs a little clarification on the difference on the difference between abortion and the death penalty.
He said Obama does not advocate abortion but recognizes it as a woman’s choice. Does that not mean he approves it? He even allows federal dollars to pay for abortion overseas, a practice Bush stopped.
Abortion is the taking of a life of an unborn innocent life. The Bible says God knows the unborn even before they are formed in its mothers womb. The death penalty is sentencing someone to death that has purposely taken the life of an innocent person. The Bible even has rules governing the death penalty. That difference is why Obama has been taken to task over his abortion stance and Bush was not over his death penalty.
I will never understand how someone can justify the killing of an unborn baby and cry over the execution of a cold blooded murderer.
Keith Thomason
A conservative by any other name is still a conservative
“Bittersweet.” “Conservative Democrat.” “Blue Dog Democrat.” Is this not what is called: oxymoronic or borderline oxymoronic?
Sorry, I was just thinking out loud after reading Patsy Bromfield’s May 19 Daily Journal article titled “Childers: Year One.”
“[Democrat] Childers strongly rejects predictions by some national pundits that he’ll become a Republican to avoid that party’s crosshairs when he seeks re-election in 2010 ….” Childers says, “Absolutely not.”
“I’m a Southern Democrat – I vote what’s best for Mississippi.”
But, there is more to it than this: While Childers calls himself a “Southern Democrat” by the old terminology, his present political environment suggests that he is a “Blue Dog Democrat.” His politics stand somewhere between the true definition of Republican and the true definition of Democrat. And, that enables him to play a dual political role or as some would say, “play both ends against the middle.”
He can espouse, pro-choice, pro-gun, tea parties, tax cuts and etc., for the benefit of his 1st District Conservative Republican base while at the same time hold out his hand to the Democratic Party as the co-chair of the “Rural Caucus in the House.” However, all of this, sooner or later, becomes mind-boggling. Why would anybody choose to live this life?
Lately, the Blue Dog Democrat (Conservative Democrat) coalition has come under fire from mainstream Democrats. As a group, they are sometimes referred to as the “misfits” of the party. I suggest to Childers that he leave the Democratic Party and become a Republican for his own good and that of the Democratic Party and the people of the First Mississippi District.
I believe Travis Childers is very good man, an excellent 1st District Representative – I can see it in his face and in his words – he’s one of a kind.
Al Bratton


NEMS Daily Journal