Letters to the editor

Christian “pride” day would be redundant

In response to Petros Rex’s suggestion that the Christian community band together for a “Christian Pride Day” [“Let’s See a Christian Pride Day,” Nov. 16], I’d like to respectfully point out several fundamental problems with the concept.

First, I suspect that many Christians would have trouble with the term “pride day,” as pride is considered one of the seven deadly sins within many of our churches. As Christians, we are called to find our worth in what God has done for us, not what we have done for God.

Christians are often pigeonholed by the media and pagans as narrow-minded individuals who lack respect for culture, diversity and the arts. How sad! I know many Christians who deeply value the environment, cherish their family’s roots, and appreciate the variety and creativity displayed in the creation. Where we must differ is in our belief of where to direct our “thanks” or “worship” for these blessings.

No amount of rhetoric or “meeting of the minds” will ever wash out this difference: The heart of Christianity is the belief that God is knowable through the objective, historical reality of Jesus Christ’s death and resurrection. For us, Christ is not “a way” to God, a tradition that should be honored among others, but the way. From the world’s perspective (and Mr. Rex’s), this may appear narrow-minded, or even be perceived as “foolishness,” as noted in the Bible — but as C.S. Lewis pointed out, truth is narrow: Two plus two cannot equal three, four and five.

I would also like to point out that Christians already do “invite the wider community” to come. Every Sunday, our church doors are open to anyone and everyone — people from all races, traditions and walks of life. Not only do we invite the community to worship with us, we seek out fellowship with the community in our neighborhoods, workplaces and homes. We are active throughout Asheville, caring for the homeless, ministering to elderly, providing hope and solutions for the brokenhearted, helping wherever we can. This is in contrast to Mr. Rex’s group, the Lodge of Sacred Staves, which I notice, according to their contact information on the Internet, does not welcome outsiders to participate in their group and seems isolationist by nature.

No, we are not “perfect,” nor do we naively assume ourselves to be (another misconception), but most of us are trying to reach out and love others regardless of their background, beliefs and behavior.

Finally, I’d like to suggest that the concept of a “Christian Pride Day,” even with the best interpretation of the term “pride,” would be redundant. The church already has two “Christian Pride Days” — days when almost all Christians from various traditions (and many who are not Christians at all) come together to celebrate what God has done for His diverse creation. These days are called Christmas and Easter.

— Elizabeth Price

Coming to our senses

Thank you for the update on disappearing vistas along our Blue Ridge Parkway [“As Far as the Eye Can See,” Nov. 16]. We learned in school there are five senses: sight, hearing, touch, taste and smell.

Disappearing vistas are lost to sight. Other assaults threaten our hearing and sense of smell along this 469-mile stretch of protected national park and treasure. These assaults come in the form of muffler-free motorcycles that illegally blast their motor noise for literally miles in all directions as they speed along the parkway.

With new leadership coming to the superintendent’s chair (former [Superintendent Dan Brown] just retired), maybe the rangers will step up enforcement against these motorcycle scofflaws that care nothing for a quiet experience along our famous, endangered Blue Ridge Parkway.

— Clayton Moore

Government moves in mysterious ways

I am an avid voter, and I have voted for members of both parties at various times.

I find it amazing when a party puts more attention on whether a judge is pro or con on abortions and/or gay rights, than on the serious problems in our great land. I can’t begin to fathom why a vote for a referendum was needed to send our troops the message we are behind them.

I think the priorities of our government are sorely out of priority.

— Jerry Harmon

Who’s the dog in this fight?

I see that Tiger Tom Delay is on the campaign trail. Not to get elected, however. Just to keep his job as the majority leader and Head of Redistricting in Texas. I believe this is his fourth run-in with the ethics committee, only it’s more serious than the three previous trips to the woodshed.

Although the prosecutor, Mr. Earle, has gone after far more Democrats than Republicans, Delay has gone on the smear campaign trail. The smear campaign is nothing new to people of Mr. Delay’s particular persuasion, but this tactic is usually aimed at one’s political counterpart — not the person who is investigating you for behavior befitting a gangster.

His cronies are doing everything within their power to discredit Mr. Earle because he dared to seek justice and stop the blatant abuse of power displayed in Mr. Delay’s everyday dealings. Washington is rife with self-serving politicians whose actions are based almost solely on how they can benefit, and what political implications would arise because of those actions. Mr. Delay’s party has risen to the occasion, amassing hundreds of thousands of dollars for his defense fund, which, of course, includes the ads depicting Mr. Earle as a bad dog going after the chaste Mr.Delay.

I suppose it’s a matter of priorities. Obviously, Mr. Delay and his cronies feel that this money is better spent smearing a person doing his job than to, for instance, donate to hurricane relief. But wait — cuts to Medicare and the other programs for those pesky poor people are going for that. Yes, all is well in Washington.

— Gary M. Poppas

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