June 3, 2012
Letter writer should exercise her right to vote
To the editor:
In the May 20 edition, Victoria Ross raised issues with Neil Parrott’s petition to put the issue of gay marriage on the ballot. She points to the separation of church and state as one of the most essential elements of being an American. So is our right to vote.
The Constitution reads, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof ...” What religion is being established in Mr. Parrott’s petition? The term “separation of church and state” is often used in arguing points such as Ross’. If she is against religion-based thinking, which is protected in “separation of church and state,” we could get rid of most of the laws. Did “thou shalt not steal” play any basis for exiting laws that address theft? How about “thou shalt not kill?”
I stand by Ross’ desire to see the separation of church and state, but I strongly disagree with her premise that we can take a stand on social issues without being influenced by our own views, whatever the basis of those views. Nor do I think we should.
Ross has every right to be disappointed in the mailing that she received from Parrott, and she has every right to be for the passage of gay marriage. If the issue does make it to the November ballot, I hope she casts her vote as she sees fit. I hope all Maryland voters do.
Recall the drive for Washington County home rule. One of the reasons it went down to defeat was the exclusion of many important issues from voter petition. When an item goes to the ballot for all voters, the issue’s final state is based on real democracy, not the representative democracy that we enjoy on most other issues.
I hope she stands by our right as Maryland voters to put any issue to a public vote and the “or prohibiting the free exercise thereof” statement in the Constitution.
Being lukewarm could cost us our freedom
To the editor:
How many times do we return to the microwave or heat something back up in the oven because our food wasn’t warm enough? That tepid temperature when you are ready for a hot meal can be so irritating. Lukewarm in other areas of our lives can cause far more concern, though.
A lukewarm soldier going into battle might not have studied his enemy well enough or practiced until becoming proficient with his weapons. Lukewarm in war means your enemy has the advantage over you, because your weakness is having a half-hearted, detached or unconcerned attitude. This not only can jeopardize the safety and the mission of the soldier, but his whole unit’s survival as well. Lukewarm in spiritual warfare is no different.
Christians in America can no longer afford to be passive or lukewarm. In John 8:44, Jesus Christ proclaimed how we have a very real and present enemy. In the sixth chapter of Ephesians, the Bible says we are to take up the spiritual weapons of warfare and put on the “full armor of God.” Paul further stated, “Pray that I may declare it fearlessly, as I should.”
Revelation 3:16 is a message to the Laodicean Church and Christ could well be addressing many of our modern churches. He says, “So because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth.”
If our being lukewarm costs us our freedom to continue to openly worship God in America, then we did not give the next generation that for which our founding fathers fought and died. We cannot afford to be lukewarm in our churches, our prayers or in our voting. Wake up America, not by tempering the Gospel or with bad temperament towards others, but change our temperature from being lukewarm to hot when it comes to our rights and our freedom as Christians in the United States of America.
Public school system, employees deserve respect
To the editor:
There is always a certain amount of ragging on the public schools that goes on, in this paper and elsewhere. I’ve certainly done it; I’m not known for keeping my opinions to myself when it comes to things I think the school system should be doing differently, as any number of teachers and administrators will no doubt tell you. Lately, however, I’ve noticed that there seem to be more haters than usual. These attacks seem not only more frequent than usual, but also more virulent. And they’re often personal, focused on WCPS staff, who are accused of being somewhere between incompetent and evil.
The staff of Washington County Public Schools is not out to get you. They do not sit in their offices thinking of ways to upset, or anger, or even inconvenience you. Most of them do not sit in their offices at all, because they are busy running around trying to run the school system. Which, as it turns out, is kind of a big job. Some might call it huge, or overwhelming. Some might even say thankless.
They’re not perfect. As I said, I disagree with a whole list of things the schools are doing. But there is no doubt in my mind that the people doing those things are doing them because they think it’s what’s best for the children of our county — all the children, not just my children, and no, not just your children.
Public education in this country is under an insane amount of pressure. Between the Race to the Top, the Common Core Standards and the charter school movement, to say nothing of the economy, it’s amazing anyone still works in education at all. It’s not exactly a picnic, if you know what I’m saying. To work for the public schools, you have to think education is the solution, not the problem. You have to be willing to let a bunch of people abuse you in the local paper because they disagree with you about something that, frankly, you probably know a lot more about than they do. You have to think you can make a difference, and you’re going to try.
This deserves respect. That’s not to say that we can’t disagree. We can, and we should. But enough with the mean-spiritedness. Let’s start with the assumption that we all want the same thing — happy, healthy, educated kids — and go from there.
Grace Academy film was a successful project
To the editor:
On Tuesday, May 22, my husband and I were invited by our neighbors to see the film, “I Saw the Light,” written, produced and directed by Lori Boutiellier, performing arts instructor at Grace Academy.
The storyline of the film focused on the choices made related to abortion on many levels of life. Both the younger generation as well as the older generation could benefit from the message of this film. How amazed I was to see such a production evolve at this level of education. In addition to impressive student performances within the film, students also provided support through filming, editing and marketing functions.
Truly, this was a “learn by doing” project for students at Grace Academy. Although resources were limited, the talent was a source of great pride for Grace Academy.
The May 22 showing took place at Leitersburg Cinemas. However, I understand additional showings will be available to local churches and other interested groups at later dates. Don’t miss the opportunity to see local talent in action.
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