The Bible and capital punishment and more letters to the editors

 timesfreepress.com  8/12/2018 4:04:08 AM  2

The Bible and capital punishment

After reading story on the quandary created for politicians by the Pope's new teaching on capital punishment, I felt hopeful that civilization might be on the verge of taking an important step forward regarding the sanctity of life.

I'm happy to remind my Protestant friends that the United Methodist Church holds the same position Pope Francis is taking in his new teaching.

The "Social Principles," as found in The Book of Discipline of our church states: "We believe the death penalty denies the power of Christ to redeem, restore and transform all human beings ... For this reason, we oppose the death penalty (capital punishment) and urge its elimination from all criminal codes."

While our church is deeply concerned about the violence which permeates our world, we do not believe taking another life is what God would have us do.

Rev. Charles Neal, Signal Mountain

***

Russia vs the GOP's 'Mild-Cats'

After Russia stole the 2016 election for Donald Trump, invaded and annexed Crimea, and used nerve gas to murder civilians in Syria and Britian, Republican politicians shuffled to Russia, hat in hand, to beg for mercy. Spineless Alabama Sen. Shelby told the Russians that he was not there to blame them for anything and that we "don't need to be adversaries."

Seven Republican senators and one congresswoman arrived under the white flag of surrender. They had talked tough in the U.S. but when they got to Russia, they became "mildcats."

These Trump quislings were roundly ridiculed by the Russian media and Russian officials for cowardice. Insult was added to injury when Putin refused to meet with them.

They succeeded in preparing the way for an unconditional surrender of our country to the will of Putin.

Trump has been a shameless defender of Putin. Trump continues to deny that Russians engineered his election. Trump only needs to turn over the nuclear codes in Helsinki to complete Putin's bloodless coup.

The Russians could never have succeeded with their sabotage without the collusion of the rubes in the Republican Party.

Terry Stulce, Ooltewah

***

For health's sake! We need clean cars!

Thank you to TFP reporter Mark Pace and Times editorial page Editor Pam Sohn for their coverage of last Thursday's announcement to roll back cleaner car standards. This announcement will result in dirtier cars that pollute the air and harm public health.

Transportation is the number one source of carbon pollution in the United States. Therefore, cleaner cars standards are critical when it comes to protecting our health and the environment.

Carbon impacts the environment in a way that causes heat waves, droughts, wildfires and floods.

These environmental impacts are taking a toll on Americans' health today. Nearly 38,000 people in Hamilton County with asthma and 33,000 residents with cardiovascular disease are put at greater risk for induced asthma attacks, strokes, and premature death.

Additionally, cleaner cars standards work and are very popular. These standards have proven successful in reducing greenhouse gas emissions since 2012, and polling shows nearly 7 in 10 voters support strong vehicle standards.

The American Lung Association urges the EPA and NHTSA not to roll back the cleaner cars standards. Our health depends on it.

Christine Hart, American Lung Association in Tennessee

***

Reader seeking less harmful rhetoric

"The president/press has declared war on the press/president." (Your choice which goes first.)

War (There is no war, struggle? Yes, no war.): disagree with; competing with/ for; arguing/argument; reaching for different goals; attempting to stifle or change; hopes to get their ideas/plans across.

Fight (There is no fight, candidates are going to work at the job they are elected to.): going to work for the best outcome; attempt to win the vote/election; respect each other's strengths.

Battleground (See above, there is no "war" going on.): in the Senate/ House of Representatives; print and media news outlets; at the hearing/committee meeting.

Armed (No one should be carrying weapons in the debate.): has information relating to; has reason to question.

Nuclear solution (There is no explosion spreading irradiated debris coming, only a vote.): voting procedure minimizing objections.

You folks are the wordsmiths. Can you find a rhetoric that is not apocalyptic? Maybe it would slow us on our path to self-destruction.

I enjoy receiving the paper and reading every day.

Lincoln Christensen

***

Ill-timed tweet traps Trump

President Trump's Aug. 5 tweet was an inadvertent admission he and his son and advisers have lied about the June 2016 meeting with Russian officials in Trump Tower.

Furthermore, it is clear Donald Trump Jr. and the advisers made false statements. It is now abundant and undeniable that:

» The president's son and top advisers knowingly met with individuals connected to Russia, hoping to obtain dirt on their political opponent.

» Documents stolen from the Democratic National Committee and members of the Clinton campaign were used in an overt effort to sway the election.

» When the Trump Tower meeting was uncovered, the president instructed his son and staff to lie about the meeting.

» The president is attempting to end the investigation into this meeting and other instances of attempted collusion between his campaign staff and representatives of the Russian government.

Forty-four years ago, in August 1974, members of the legislative branch were confronted with similar questions of a president's attempted collusion, lying and cover-up, and to their great honor nearly all said such meant the president was no longer fit to serve in office.

The president was convinced to resign, and a constitutional crisis ended.

David Cofield, LaFayette, Ga.

***

Only 'enemy of people' is Trump

In January 2017, Trump tentatively accused the press of being the "enemy of the people." Since then, Trump's attacks on the press have become commonplace, increasing in frequency and intensity.

Trump's repeated use of the phrase "enemy of the people" is disconcerting because it is diametrically opposed to a fundamental principal of democracy and is the embodiment of totalitarianism.

Stalin, Hitler, Mao and Putin have all denounced the press as the "enemy of the people." Their goal was to delegitimize the press, create confusion and ultimately undermine its perceived reliability. That, apparently, is also Trump's goal.

Our Founding Fathers considered the press such an important bulwark in the defense of democracy that they specifically protected the press in the First Amendment to the Constitution.

It is a sad day for democracy when the presumed leader of the free world repeatedly calls the press the "enemy of the people" and encourages angry crowds who regurgitate coarse slogans to harass the press.

Though we may sometimes disagree with the press, all who cherish democracy should unequivocally support the press as an institution. Anyone who characterizes the press as "the enemy of the people" is the enemy of the people.

T. William Alexander

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