Christian free will fits with free market
In response to “No footnote in Bible” (Sept. 8 Letters to the Editor): Jesus did encourage people to help the less fortunate. What I don’t recall from Sunday school is any instance where Jesus implored the government to use force to transfer resources from one group to another.
Indeed, the Christian belief system is not exclusive of free-market capitalism. Free will in Christianity and free markets in economies appear complementary to me. While the citizens of government-planned economies starve, the poor in the United States are threatened more by obesity than starvation. Many people who are on record as staunch free-market capitalists are generous donors of time and money on their own accord.
Freedom provides better lives for everyone, and less freedom via a bigger government will ultimately reduce the quality of life for all.
While I understand that not all of those within a political group think alike, I do chuckle a bit when the policies embraced by liberals include removing any religious ideology and prayer from public schools, while calling our leaders hypocritical for not mandating biblical principles using public policy.
Mixing church, state
Americans United for Separation of Church and State in Washington, D.C., recently sent more than 60,000 letters to clergy across the country to remind them that federal law prohibits tax-exempt entities such as houses of worship from endorsing candidates for public office. The mass mailing comes as religious right groups are stepping up their efforts to persuade pastors to politicize their pulpits. The Alliance Defending Freedom is urging conservative Christian pastors to violate tax law next month by endorsing or opposing candidates from the pulpit on the so-called Pulpit Freedom Sunday.
Barry Lynn notes: “Church-based electioneering divides congregations and communities, violates federal tax law, and diverts attention from the true mission of religious communities.”
Lynn is the executive director of Americans United and the leading voice of church-state separation issues in America. He will be in Wichita to deliver remarks before the Great Plains Chapter of Americans United at 7 p.m. Sept. 21 at College Hill United Methodist Church, 2930 E. First St.
Americans United has a membership of 120,000 and is committed to religious freedom in America. But that freedom is in peril if politicians and religious leaders use their religion to further their own political agendas. Politics cheapens religion, and some religions can paralyze society with uncompromising stances.
KENT H. LITTLE
College Hill United Methodist Church
What about cars?
Why is it that the media only report the negative things when it comes to our school buses? The accidents involving buses are always reported when the driver is suspected of being at fault.
I know of a recent hit-and-run on a special-needs school bus in which the car hit the bus so hard it went under the rear end of the bus, then backed up and took off. Fortunately, no one was hurt.
Why was this not reported, as well as the fact that drivers have no regard for the harm they are putting the children in? They run the stop signs daily when children are exiting buses. What if their children were on the bus? They would be calling an attorney before they left the scene.
MARY ANN JOCHIMS
I read with utter amazement the comment regarding how “Republicans preach fear” (Sept. 10 Opinion Line).
For my entire life I’ve heard from the Democrats: “Elect Republicans and Granny will be eating dog food,” “Republicans will shove Granny over the cliff in a wheelchair,” “Republicans will take away your police and fire protection,” “Republicans want your children to be illiterate,” “Republicans want dirty air and water,” “Republicans want women to be pregnant, barefoot and in the kitchen.” The list is unending.
It seems as though some folks can see their own faults better in others.
As I have progressed in age, I have continued to tell myself that I am growing wiser. Part of what I see as wisdom is the ability to understand that most words spoken by politicians must be thoroughly checked for accuracy. Despite my underlying belief in the good nature of humankind, I realize that twisting facts to lead the innocent flock in one particular direction is an inherent part of today’s politics.
Knowing this, I am still totally blown away at the arrogance, or perhaps stupidity, displayed by Michael O’Donnell in addressing questions about paying rent (or not) for the house he lives in (“O’Donnell recants his account of his housing deal,” Sept. 11 Eagle).
Possibly more disturbing is that a large part of the voting bloc will defend his actions. From my perspective, O’Donnell has blown any trust or respect that he may think he is due as a Wichita City Council member or a potential state senator.
We have enough shenanigans going on in politics already. Is it asking too much to expect at least an outward appearance of integrity from our elected leaders?