Letters to the Editor

Calling Christians to love your neighbor by voting
Dear editor,
Solomon said, “Like a trampled spring and a polluted well is a righteous man who gives way before the wicked.” 
Could it be the blame for the triumph of evil in America is not the blatant wicked, but rather apathetic Christians? When we should be providing the cool-water of life-giving leadership, do we, like a polluted well . . . stink?
Four years ago, enough Christians failed to vote and re-elected Obama. 
Our national debt has soared. 
The family has been attacked by redefining marriage. The innocence of children is under assault in school bathrooms. Terror has grown as radical Islam infiltrates our shores while lawlessness is encouraged in attacks on our police and patriotism. Yet again many Christians may not vote.
Last election, some said they couldn’t vote for a Mormon. This election it is a new excuse but it still smells bad. God has given us the right to choose our rulers, and with it, the responsibility for the outcome.
Trump’s locker-room-talk is wrong. I care about, but don’t trust, related last-minute allegations timed to prevent scrutiny. Still the contrast is clear. Trump will appoint pro-life Supreme Court justices, honor our military and police, reduce government control of healthcare, unleash energy independence, and bring jobs back to America. 
Do you love Christ? Are you grateful for the responsibility He has given you to elect your rulers? Do you love your neighbor? Then show your love by showing up to vote.

Steven Gillespie

TC tax would erode motivation of the individual
Dear editor,
Most people aren’t thrilled about taxing themselves. 
However, they do realize that necessary services have to be paid by someone. 
Usually, that “someone” is a property owner. Non-property owners, such as renters, don’t escape payment either. The owner of the apartment or house being rented has to make up the burden of the tax somewhere, so they pass the cost on to the tenant. 
When a tax is necessary, we often begrudgingly do our civic duty and vote “yes” to a self-imposed tax because it is for the greater good. We may not be happy with how the funds are managed, but when we want roads to drive on, police to protect us, water to drink or medical assistance when we need it, we absorb our frustration and dig into our pockets to get things collectively done.
Cass County citizens are being asked to vote on a self-imposed tax this election cycle. It is not a “necessary” tax. It has to do with continuing education beyond high school. Taxpayers are already mandated to pay school district taxes so that our kids can get a solid educational foundation prior to graduating into the workforce or to further their education. 
By and large, most citizens don’t have a problem educating our primary, elementary, junior high and high school students. 
Those kids are still living at home, still being raised by parents and are still under tutelage until they reach the magic age of 18 years old. After that, they are allowed to make their way in the world. Some of them get further support, some of them do not. Life is funny like that. 
The tax being proposed by the Texarkana College tax initiative, is stepping over the bounds by asking us to further educate a grownup. The average age of a TC student is 26 years old. 
Nowhere is it mandated by our government that we are responsible beyond our parental duties to now educate another adult.
We are fleeced almost monthly anymore. It is not just the government that chases any loose change you might have laying around. Agencies, businesses and institutions will charge you hidden taxes dressed as “fees”, “surcharges” or “levies” as tacked on expenses to your energy and phone bills, hospital and office charges, banking and credit card fees. 
I once paid an additional cost of $8 in taxes for a feature billed as being “free”. Even more tragic is the little known secret that once a tax is passed by an entity, they can increase your tax rate multiple times without going back to the voter for approval. To get a tax repealed is very difficult, so once you are taxed you will continue to be taxed.
I am voting against the Texarkana College tax initiative. Not because I don’t like people, but because I am against the further erosion of a person’s motivation to make it in life. 
If getting a certificate or a college degree is a factor, then one who is motivated will put in the time and expense of being successful without Uncle Sam thinking he has to care for everyone from the cradle to the grave at my own hard-earned expense.

John Davidson

Alcohol vote about lives, not money
Dear editor,
It is with great conviction that I take time to address the citizens and voters of Cass County. How many times does God have to slap the Devil down before he gives up? How many times will you put alcohol on the ballot here in Atlanta? 
If there ever was a time for the good people of Atlanta to step up and say NO means NO, it is NOW! I came from an alcoholic father, a bootlegger and a drunk. No drunk can tell you he hasn’t embarrassed himself and done things he might not have otherwise done had he been sober. No good will ever come from alcohol, be it just beer or the like. It breaks homes, causes divorces, abuses women and children, and yes, causes deaths and fatalities. In my opinion, you might as well be the drunk driver behind the wheel if you vote alcohol in. No person can call himself a Christian and vote yes to alcohol. 
Bottom line, it is sin and God will not have part in it. City, better remove your slogan, “One City Under God,” from your billboard and police cars because there will be no favors from God to Atlanta if alcohol is voted in. Please do your part and vote NO once again. Money here is not the issue. Lives are at stake and souls are in the balance.

Roy Satterwhite

A vote for alcohol sales is a vote for freedom
  Dear editor,
 First, let me make something clear. Alcohol alone does not cause drunkenness. 
   A lack of character and no sense of responsibility causes  drunkenness. Drunkenness is a sin, and public intoxication is rightfully a crime. 
   Does this sound much like “guns don’t kill people, people kill people” argument? I hope so, considering that many residents of the greater Atlanta area are God-fearing owners of firearms and should appreciate the correlation. I speak as someone who does not drink, but recognizes the greater issue at stake. I am also willing to stand up for the reputations of many fantastic people I am privileged to know that are connoisseurs of adult beverages.
The vote “for” or “against” alcohol sales is not a vote “for” or “against” drunkenness. It is a vote “for” or “against” freedom. I proudly served as an infantry officers in the U.S. Army for almost 12 years, and in doing so, swore an oath to defend the Constitution of the United States. 
Our Constitution sets the  foundation  of a government that protects the rights of individual Americans from acts of criminality, foreign aggression and from the government itself. That includes the right of all individuals, including those that wish to buy, sell and partake of adult beverages, and those that do not. When the power of the government is used to suppress the liberties of citizens not guilty of crime, the principles that our founding fathers fought to establish, and many died to preserve, are thrown away.
Many honest people are penalized unfairly because of the prohibition of alcohol sales. 
Furthermore, I am disturbed that much of the anti-alcohol sales propaganda I read portrays alcohol sales as an evil force that has no benefit and stigmatizes anyone who associates with it. I vehemently disagree. Many people buy, sell and partake of adult beverages and no one notices because they are people of character. I recognize many of them as my friends. To them, a family meal is not complete without wine of a day ended without a nightcap. After a hard day’s work, they will offer up a cold brews as they crack the top on their own. They are courteous and respectful of my lack of participation. We are friends because we share beliefs and values, not choice of drink. People without character and personal responsibility are what is destroying families and haunting our neighborhoods. However, government intrusion into our economy and privacy will not solve our problems. I suggest the addition of virtue, honor and integrity into our lives will. 
Ironically, the arrogance of those what seek to escape the realities of life through drunkenness is matched by the arrogance of those that seek utopia through a government mandated false sense of morality. Perhaps with reflection, we will focus our efforts on the food we feed our soul rather than the beverages we drink. Alas, we continue to trade away our hard earned heritage of freedom.
Clarke Noble 
Queen City
A matter of free speech and prayer
Dear editor,
The First Amendment of the United States Constitution reads as follows:
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
My family enjoys some fundamental liberties that were written down, voted on a ratified by enough states by 1791 (Dec. 15 -- Bill of Rights Day) to become a permanent addition to the United States Constitution.
Some countries have an unwritten constitution. The basic guidelines that make up the constitution of Great Britain, for example, are the traditions of freedom, justice and human rights under which the British people have lived for many years. British rules can be changed by their parliament. The right of free speech in Great Britain is considered to be protected as fully by the country’s unwritten constitution as it is by the written constitution of the USA.
Some things are so deep-seated they are inborn -- no government can deprive a citizen of the right to pray silently, for example. Silent prayer cannot be stopped. I continue to believe that our nation was founded on the belief in one God, who is creator, ruler and redeemer of the universe -- the risen Lord Jesus Christ. I base my belief on God’s Holy Word as sacred scripture.
In this Leap Year, this Summer Olympics Games Year, this U.S. Presidential [Election] Year, I believe everyone should know who Jesus is because He alone offers hopes.
Ruby Nan Echols Dillinger

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