Letters to the Editor

Health care quality links to the pro-life position
Is basic quality health care a moral issue? The teaching of my church (Catholic) says it is. Is basic quality health care a pro-life issue? The teaching of my church says it is.
The basis for my church’s position on health care is the same as its basis for abortion being immoral; that human life is sacred from conception to natural death. This sacredness is not based on the moral rectitude of an individual’s life. Nor is this sacredness based on the individual’s utility to society or his economic worth. The dignity and worth of every person is bestowed by the Creator and Redeemer of the world. The position of my church that health care is not a privilege but a right flows from this truth about human life.
The current contentious debate around health care seems to be driven by fear, political posturing and economics. Rarely have I heard any mention of the moral dimension of this issue.
In recent years we have witnessed a shift in our nation’s attitude about abortion. I believe that now more than 50 percent of Americans believe abortion is immoral. I believe this shift is due in large part to a significant number of Christian churches speaking with one voice about the immorality of abortion. Abortion is now seen to be fundamentally a moral issue more than a political or social issue.
Can Christians agree that health care for all Americans is more than a political, social and economic issue, that it is foremost a moral issue, a pro-life issue? Can we join together in prayer and respectful dialogue to change the climate of the debate as well as its outcome?
Rev. Henry Shelton

Grizzard column brings smile to a Belden reader
Thank you so very much for publishing the column by Lewis Grizzard. I dearly love that man!
Ann Witt

Baptist pastor stands by alcohol abstinence
In response to a letter by Joe Haynes published on Sept. 21, I’d like to inform him and others why as a Christian and a pastor, I believe a Christian should sustain from the use of alcohol in any form with the exception of medicines that contain it, which the Apostle Paul told Timothy to drink a little wine for his stomach’s sake.
The reasons are simple. One, the Bible teaches that anything that presents a stumbling block to a weaker Christian is wrong, so therefore it is sin, and that includes drinking alcohol.
Paul teaches in 1 Corinthians 8:12 that Christians who misuse the grace of God and eat or drink anything that causes a new Christian or a weak Christian to falter in his or her faith has not only sinned against their brother but sinned against Christ.
Secondly, the Bible teaches that Jesus didn’t save man just so he could go to heaven when he or she died by him or herself. He saves us to be a good and positive witness for Him in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation so that others will want to be saved and go there.
Jesus said in Matthew 5:16 that we are to let others see our good works and glorify our Father who is in heaven.
Haynes was also quick to say that Jesus was called a wine bibber, but remember Jesus was also called a blasphemer, which was then and is now a lie from Satan. He also pointed out the first miracle that Jesus performed, but where does it say that Jesus drank any of it? Do I believe it was fermented? No, I don’t. But while I have no positive proof it wasn’t, Haynes has none that it was.
We have to remember that Satan always has and always will be in the business of distorting the truth and teaching of God’s Holy Word, and you know what, he will use anyone he can, even those who call themselves Christians.
Scott Witcher, Pastor
Euclatubba Baptist Church

Words of history speak to current animosities
“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness, that to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, that whenever any form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government…”
Should you not recognize these words or from where they come, you may need to brush up on U.S. history and maybe question your sense of citizenship. It has been my belief the Declaration of Independence applies to all citizens of the United States. I am wondering at what point I became “malcontent” and when these unalienable rights apply only in consensus and not descent. When did the citizen’s right, my right, to question our government, strike that, my government fall from vogue or duty? When did my right to petition my president change my status from citizen to racist? Since grammar school, I have been under the impression our form of government is of the people, by the people and for the people. Why do I feel my government sees me as ill-informed, uneducated, unable to care for myself and unable to question the direction of our country. My country. Please listen to me, Washington. I am of the people. I am by the people and I am for the people. Do not discount me when I question you, your motives, your decisions and your plan for me. When did you stop listening to the people? To me? Unless these inalienable rights have changed, you still have to answer to the people. To me. Not a “malcontent.” Not a racist. A citizen. A U.S. citizen.
Richard Spencer

Many teenagers obtain alcohol at their homes
Having spent more than 40 years in the practice of medicine, I have spoken to numerous parents about the serious consequences of underage drinking. Parents are often surprised to learn where their teens are getting the alcohol.
According to scientific research, most teens who drink obtain alcohol from social sources. This means they are sneaking alcohol from their parents’ homes; having older friends buy it; or are obtaining it at parties.
Recognizing these concerns, the Federal Trade Commission, the nation’s consumer protection agency, has developed an education campaign, “We Don’t Serve Teens,” providing information about teen drinking, how to reduce teens’ access to alcohol and practical tips on talking to teens about alcohol. The FTC’s campaign message and resource materials can be accessed via the www.DontServeTeens.gov website.
There are a few easy steps parents can take at home. Make sure that your teen knows the risks of underage drinking, as well as the serious consequences for the person who illegally provides the alcohol. Keep track of the alcohol in your home and make sure teens can’t access it.
Importantly, parents need to talk to their teens about underage drinking. While parents may think they have no impact on their teens’ behavior, teenagers consistently rank their parents as the most influential factor in their decisions about alcohol consumption.
Over the past decade, the country has made important progress in reducing teen drinking. Working together, we can continue this positive trend by stopping teens’ access to alcohol.
Raymond Scalettar, M.D., D.Sc.
Medical Advisor, Distilled Spirits Council

Racism plays role in scorn for Obama
I have had it with the negative feedback James Hull has received since the article he wrote. Many of you have written letters to the forum week after week about how he wasn’t truthful or Christian. How dare you judge his Christianity? The Bible says do not judge. (Mat. 7:1-5)
I honestly believe that some of you must live under a rock if you cannot see that racism plays a tremendous role on the comments and outright hatred that’s being shown towards our President. As my husband and I learned early in the presidential election, racism is still very much alive. My husband was elected as a delegate and we went to Denver for the DNC. Afterwards on more than one occasion, we received hate mail at our home! People that we thought were our friends suddenly turned against us.
I couldn’t tell you the number of e-mails I got that spewed hatred toward Obama and Democrats. Unfortunately, even now I see and hear people make racist comments. Some of you must never listen to Super Talk, AFR or Fox news because during the election and even a few weeks ago, all they talked about was how Obama wasn’t an American citizen and especially not a Christian.
Did you forget about the racist cartoons or how about a few weeks ago when all we heard was, “What on earth is he thinking by wanting to talk to our children?” Honestly, what is more American than the President of the United States wanting to reach out to the children in this country? I really thought that maybe just maybe racism would be a thing of the past now that we have an African American President but that is definitely not the case.
I wonder how African-American children in the schools that opted not to show Obama’s message felt that day. I wonder if those children felt like the schools discriminated against them. I myself am a white woman who is ashamed at the way people of my race have acted in the past and sadly now in the present.
Tara Hampton

Use Oct. 2 to honor animals slain for food
Theologians have long debated whether there is life after death, but for animals raised for food, there is no life before death.
Recently published undercover investigations showed male baby chicks (unfit for egg pro¬duction) suffocated in plastic garbage bags or ground to death in large macerators, pigs clobbered by metal pipes and killed by hanging, and assorted animals skinned and dismembered at the slaughterhouse while still conscious.
I reacted to these exposes by going vegan some time ago. But, even die-hard meat eaters should feel conscience-bound to offer these animals a decent life, before they take it away for their dining pleasure. Yet, repeated attempts at reforms have brought no tangible improvements.
Last week, I read of an international observance on October 2 (Gandhi’s birthday) to expose and memorialize the abuse and slaughter of 55 billion animals raised for food throughout the world. Their website at www.WorldFarmAnimalsDay.org offers a number of ways that people who care about animal suffering can participate and affirms the need to go vegan.
I believe that a gradual transition to a vegan diet is the only effective long-term solution for maintaining a guilt-free conscience, as well as radiant health, and the quality of our environment. A detailed review of meat-like and dairy-like transition foods and lots of recipes are offered at www.tryveg.org and www.chooseveg.org.
Eli Palmieri

Glenn Beck some day will answer to God
It really disturbs me that certain commentators think that it is okay to direspect the president of the United States of America.
They continue to distort facts and make wild accusations about the presidents proposed policies that they know are not true. I believe that this has caused alot of hate and have made some people distrust our president. I wonder if he and the other people that have been doing this realize that congering up all of this hate is doing nothing to help or heal this country. I now realize that things like racism will never truly go away. I also know that this is 2009 and not 1609.
People will never go back to those days, not ever, and as an African-American woman, I can tell you that those days are over. It is over and they need to accept that and deal with it. As for Glenn Beck, he may not have to answer to me but he will have to answer to God some day. I hope he realizes that the lies will for sure stop then.We as a country can do better than this.We are supposed to be better than this. Let’s start acting like the great country we are and try to work together for the common good.

Janice Floyd

Many passed without aiding stranded driver
Tuesday night during the pouring down rain my daughter’s car died in the left hand turn lane at Coley Road and West Main. Sitting there with her flashers on, everyone’s blowing his horn at her, and a policeman goes on by, offering no assistance. Luckily a very nice man stopped and pushed her vehicle into the Exxon parking lot. Thank you so very much, sir, for your much appreciated act of kindness.
Patsy Grissom

NEMS Daily Journal

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