Letters to the editor — Monday (12-22-14)
A theologian’s response to criticism of Christianity
I would like to respond to R. Howard Andrews’ letter about being a non-believer and correct some errors in his argumentation.
Mr. Andrews claims, “You are going to fry forever because you don’t believe sticks turned into snakes, millions of animal species road on one boat, the sun stood still and on another occasion went backwards. What kind of monster is that to worship.” The Bible says “God is love” (1 John 4:8) and Psalm 127:3 says, “Children are a heritage from the LORD, offspring a reward from him.” Does this sound like a monster?
Only looking at one aspect of God and calling him a monster is not a fair critique of Christianity. Second, no Christian claims rejecting a flood, sticks turning to snakes, or the miracle about the sun sends a person to hell. Christians say rejecting Jesus as one’s Savior sends someone to hell. To assert otherwise distorts Christianity. Mr. Andrews should be asked, “Is it absolutely true that the Bible is hooey as he claims?”
Absolute truth disproves atheism. To deny it is to affirm it. The popular mantra says, “There is only one absolute truth, there are no absolutes.” This is self-defeating since it claims only one absolute truth but it uses two absolute truth claims to prove it: Claim one, “There is only one absolute truth,” claim two, “There are no absolutes.” It is absolutely true that 2+2 = 4, and absolutely true that 60 minutes equal an hour etc. As a Christian I ask Mr. Andrews, “Is it absolutely true there is no God?” Any answer is an absolute claim. Where then does absolute truth come from except an absolute truth giver, i.e. God?
Parting shot: “A common sense interpretation of the facts suggest that a super intellect has monkeyed with physics as well as with chemistry and with biology and that there are no blind forces worth speaking about in nature.” — Atheist Astronomer Fred Hoyle
God does exist.
— Rev. Dr. Larry Helms,
Recently I was asked to present facts as to why I am opposed to Obama’s immigration amnesty.
Fact: Article 1, Section 8, of the Constitution states that the Congress shall have the power to “establish a uniform Rule of Naturalization …” That simply means that the Congress will decide how people from other countries can become U.S. citizens and, of course, that includes how they can legally enter the country in the first place. This has been confirmed by the U.S. Supreme Court. Fact, the president has no authority at all over the immigration laws in this country.
Fact: Article 2, Section 3, of the Constitution says that the president “… shall take care that the Laws be faithfully executed …” The key word is “shall” because that means that no president has the right or the power to refuse to enforce the laws, amend the laws or make laws on his own. Yet, Obama is about to issue an executive order that does all of those things.
Fact: Billions of taxpayer dollars will be spent to provide free housing, food, medical care and education not only to the illegal aliens granted amnesty but also for the tens of thousands more who will be coming into the country because they will know they will be not be hindered or deported. The infrastructures of American cities and towns will be overwhelmed and American citizens will see scarce jobs going to non-citizens.
None of this concerns Obama. He knows the American people overwhelmingly oppose this action. Unfortunately, I believe that is one of the primary reasons he is going forward with this illegal and unconstitutional action.
As one of our founding fathers, John Adams, once said: “Facts are stubborn things, and whatever may be our wishes, our inclinations, or the dictates of our passion, they cannot alter the state of facts and evidence.”
— Wes Rhinier
Hofmann Forest at risk
A major N.C. treasure is in imminent danger of destruction. N.C. State University wants to sell the 80,000-acre J.V. Hofmann Forest, acquired by NCSU in 1934. It has since become a vital ecological laboratory.
Instead of selling the property to developers for clear cutting or huge cornfields, destroying a rich and beneficial ecosystem, NCSU should consider:
1. Merge the property with the Croatan National Forest, just across Highway 17. Remaining forested would ensure water quality protection and wildlife habitat connectivity; thereby the whole state of NC could enjoy using the forest for a range of outdoor pursuits for generations to come.
2. NCSU keeps the land but sells a conservation easement on the entire tract, raising $30-50 million for the College of Natural Resources while retaining what could still easily become a world-class educational resource. This option would give NCSU return on the property while the Hofmann Forest ecosystem could remain relatively secure. The management agreement with the Natural Resources Foundation should be scrapped. A new management board consisting of preservation-mind individuals should be established with creative leadership dedicated to using the forest in ways that benefit the whole state.
Please call or write Senate and House representatives (state and federal). Urge them to support saving the forest. Should Hoffman Forest fall to the ax, the proverbial golden goose will be sacrificed for a few coppers.
— Dwaine Phifer, Ph.D.
Concerns about torture
The story is out about the CIA torture. I have two points I want to share. First, evil by any other name is still “evil.” When evil is fought with evil, the end result is and always will be evil. The only way to defeat evil is with a righteous cause. Evil attacked us during 911. We went after the “bad guys.” And they have paid dearly. Then, people in power said it was OK to use torture against the bad guys. Shame on us. There is no justification to condone evil. Our cause must be a crusade such as general, and later president, Eisenhower believed we were conducting in our fight against Nazi Germany. Righteousness always wins in the end.
My second point is … why now? Why is this story brought out now? Could it be because many of our national leaders love their political parties more than their country? Senate Democrats know that this will produce a mess for the new Congress that will have a Republican rule. Revenge is already vowed by our enemies for these tortures making the news. If one Marine, soldier, airman or sailor gets murdered as a result, I hold our Senate Democrats responsible! Shame on these men and women that love their party more than their country. Shame on any politician that will endanger civilians and military alike. This is grounds for impeachment. If not, then vote them out!
— Victor Jenrette
A spirited concert
Thank you, thank you, thank you to the East Rowan Choral Department. They performed their winter concert on Dec. 18 at East Rowan.
This was a great concert performed by some of the best. It really helped get us in the Christmas spirit. Very talented young ladies and men from East Rowan High School. East Rowan should be very grateful for a teacher like Mr. Orbison. Merry Christmas to all.
— Wendy and Jeff Ervin