Letters to the Editor
To the Editor:
I was born and raised in the Bible Belt, and have been a Presbyterian minister for almost 30 years, spending the majority of my professional life working as a chaplain in urban hospitals. I have deep interest in health care, and I come at it from a Biblical perspective.
We in America know ourselves as a religious people. Our founders drew heavily on their Judeo-Christian values in declaring independence from England and formulating a constitution. And yet, when it comes to taking care of those who cannot take care of themselves, some forget what they learned in the Bible.
Some forget that in the very beginning of the Bible, God declares that each of us is created in God’s image. They do not take seriously how God, at least, feels about every single human being. As Rabbi Alexander Shindler, past president of the Union of American Hebrew Congregations, so eloquently put it, “By pricing out a portion of this country’s population from health care coverage, we mock the image of God and destroy the vessels of God’s work.”
This might sound radical, but the Bible is radical! Some forget the clearest and most radical mandate of all in Jesus’ instructions in Matthew 25, commonly referred to as “The Judgment of the Nations,” where He talks specifically about who will be blessed by God. He says, “For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink…I was sick and you took care of me…Truly I tell you, just as you did it to one of the least of my brothers (or sisters) you did it to me.” He goes on to say that those who do not, among other things, take care of the sick, will “go away into eternal punishment instead of into eternal life.” How clear can it get for us Bible Belters anyway?
To the Editor:
Here’s a question for any parents reading this. How many times could you catch your child in a lie before saying, “That’s enough! I no longer believe anything you say!”. Or, how about employers? How many times could you discover that some employees were spreading truly malicious lies about your company before you would fire them?
That is exactly what our Republican Senators and Representatives are doing in an effort to derail healthcare reform. And, when one lie is exposed, they just come up with another one. They obviously don’t respect us at all if they think this is what they’ve been elected to do. And, are you just the tiniest bit suspicious when you learn that the insurance companies are spending $1.4 million dollars a day to kill reform? A large part of that money is going directly to the congressmen and women’s campaign war chests. So, not only are these politicians obstructing any progress that might improve our nation, but they are also ensuring that any challenger next election will have an insurmountable task of unseating these incumbents.
When the Republicans decide that destroying President Obama’s agenda is more important than working to improve our county, then it is time to hand them a pink slip instead.
To the Editor:
I was so happy to join my fellow Democrats in Oconee County last week at an Anti-Health Care Rally at Veterans Park. I began my three minutes at the open mike with "I'm a Democrat and I look at this planet as my home and all human beings as my brothers and sisters." During those short minutes I was screamed at and called a quite interesting assortment of names like "freeloader," “socialist,” “fascist,” and "communist."
After the rally, I spoke to one of the many older white men in the crowd. He was kind, soft-spoken, and articulate. We both talked and listened to each other for quite a while. How pleasant and refreshing it was...until he made a comment about those "worthless human beings." Thoroughly taken aback, I abruptly ended the conversation.
After much pondering over what I heard that day and trying to get at the very roots of their antipathy toward us who want every American cared for, I arrived at the following:
These older white men have worked hard, saved their money, and put themselves in the position in retirement to continue supporting themselves and their families as they think all worthwhile Americans should.
This means they have earned all the perks, like Medicare. “Earn” is a very important concept to them. They see the “worthless human beings” as having made poor choices and thus living as they deserve, with little money for college or health care, not to mention food and shelter. “Choice” is also important in their lexicon. These men have made good choices, and so have earned the perks.
To the Editor:
I would like to share my story about the scary state of the current health care system and why there needs to be reform. All my adult life I have always paid into the system for insurance - always - never let it lag whether I was covered by my employer or not or whether I wasn't working. The need for insurance was instilled in me by my parents, and after seeing their astronomical bills from their health crises I knew that if they didn't have their insurance they would have lost everything.
And when, of course, I come down with a life-threatening and now deadly disease - stage 4 metastatic breast cancer - I am screwed because the industry does not cover pre-existing conditions. I am currently on a conversion policy because the insurance carriers don't like you to move either. If I chose to stay in Virginia four years ago and not be near my remaining family, I would still be paying an affordable premium. However, I, under the faith that my cancer would not return and my desire to live life to the fullest and do what was best for me, I chose to move to Georgia.
Luckily, I was with Blue Cross-Blue Shield, which allows you to move to another BCBS within their association. Not so ideal was the high monthly premium (last year just for myself - my son is on his own policy which is reasonably priced - was $770 a month) plus a $5,000 deductible before they pay one cent each calendar year. After the deductible is met, then BCBS will pay 80% and I pay 20% of everything.
To the Editor:
Celia Murray recently wrote a very compelling argument about the proposed health care plan and why we should all just relax, accept what the Democrats see as wrong with our current system, and go along with their thoroughly-conceived bill to correct the faults. In fact, I was so impressed, I'm going to use the Democrat's logic to solve my own problem.
Last week my dryer quit. What am I to do? First I need to analyze all the things that could be wrong and then correct them. Let’s see, the light-colored load dried perfectly. Then I put in the dark load, pushed the start button and . . . nothing happened. Discrimination? This load was mostly work clothes we use farming, the underclass of clothing that is used to labor in the fields. Many of them were also old, probably ready for the rag pile and I shouldn’t be trying to keep them going anyway.
This shouldn’t be allowed to happen. I’ll throw the dryer away and get one that is more tolerant and accepts everything. But that may not be enough. What if there are still some clothes that can’t get dryer care. What if my jeans had a pre-existing rip and the dryer was afraid to tumble them anymore? There should be another choice. Aha! I need a public option, a commercial type dryer.
But I like my dryer! It always took beautiful care of my laundry. I don’t want to lose what I've got. I guess I need both a fine dryer and a public dryer. Of course, I don’t have room for two dryers. Hmm. I’ll need a new laundry room, a bigger laundry room, and new people to handle things and make sure it all runs smoothly. Wow, this could get expensive! Well, I'll just have to tell my kids and grandkids they'll be responsible for the expense.
To the Editor:
After great disappointment in your initial article on the Hodges trial on August 27, 2009, I was even more outraged by the second article on September 3, 2009, which furthered its approach of sensationalism, biased tones, and inaccurate reporting on the part of Colby Dunn, as well as approval of such an article by Patrick Yost.
Regardless of your smug opinion, I attended the trial five out of six days, and felt that, based on the testimony I heard, Colby Dunn formed her opinion long before ever showing up. The defense had a very strong case based on a condition suffered by the accused called “parasomnia”. A case based on an act that occurred during sleep, verified by the victim, and was never at a level to which criminal charges should have been filed. A case that was not only recognized by the people that attended the trial and listened to evidence, but more importantly acknowledged by the twelve jurors that lead to a not-guilty verdict.
After looking through your archives, I cannot find any trial you covered to this extent. Why them and why now? I also question your choice of photographs. Of all the photographs that were taken during that span, ones more indicative of the emotion & true state of the trial, you pick two nondescript photos of the accused & his wife smiling & talking on a cell phone. I saw your photographer & the photographs that were taken. Many great photographs were shot. The ones you chose were provocative and again validated your slant. Perhaps that is your intent - selling newspapers at whatever cost, even if that means to the detriment of the subject matter.