Letters to the Editor for June 29, 2017

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Man who dares greatly is what counts

My letter is entitled “A Horse in a Hospital” as our president, Mr. Trump was rudely called by a forgettable comedian on the Stephen Colbert Show. Both the comedian and Mr. Colbert seemed to paw the air, slapping each other with inane statements about this unfunny idea as if it were the greatest thing, and hoping to garner a laugh. I was just amazed and only watched the show because Comey had testified that day and the lack of Fox News on my little TV left me desperate to hear of what happened. I was sure Colbert would have something to say about the news of it, but he was limp as usual on any truth and so I turned to your newspaper; only to read the article from Ms. Prangle of her total disdain for our president and her tepid directions of how we must suffer through all this.

It got me to thinking about how president Trump might   be an elegant horse clicking down the corridors of antiseptic holiness; upsetting all the old orders an moldy way of thinking on the way to a race that he might win. Like the racehorse, he nudges and prances, snorts and flaunts his golden mane, thus becoming the envy of lessor men … but let me say he has entered the arena where few men dare to go.

There is a famous poem that declares; “It is not the critic who counts, but the man who enters the arena and dares greatly.”

My father was Fred Cruse; who one day, dared greatly and when he argued with his super to allow his gang of black men take a rest from their exhausting hand hauling of muck to build the Fontana Dam way back in the early ’40s, he lost his job which fed our family of seven but he had no regrets for being human.

I became political when I became a business woman and soon realized I had to work hard, very hard to pay my bills, pay my crew and my taxes, and I am furious when I see the waste, the corruption and the irresponsibility of our culture and the disregard for the truth. An old philosopher once said that “Truth is a jewel that should not be painted over, but may be set to advantage and shown in a good light.”

Many do not recognize the truth and believe me you will find some of it when you enter the arena.

 

Shirley Cruse Cole — Franklin, N.C.

Thanks to small businesses for contributing to TOS

The Committee of “Taste of Scotland” wishes to thank individuals and businesses of Franklin for their strong financial support of our 20th annual festival.  Of those in North Carolina, ours is the only Celtic event that is free of charge to the public.  Forty percent of the small businesses who helped did not see income from visitors; yet the total donation was $3,900 along with $6,300 from grants. (To see a list, visit  www.tasteofscotlandfestival.org.)

This generosity enabled us to bring the “Taste of Scotland” to everyone in the region, with an increase in attendance from the Deep South and Mid-West, and offering more entertainment and education each year.

 

Doug Morton, Chair 2017 Taste of Scotland

Unity within diversity hard to find

Most colleges or universities have or have had in its past, a definition that they were an institution of higher learning and a culmination of various thinking and ideals that were in search for truth and meaning. These diverse thoughts and ideals were to unify and bring together humanity as a whole, which is in itself – unity within diversity –  is the definition of “university.” All this was to be done within a non-biased setting to follow thoughts and thinking and follow truth to wherever truth would lead. This in our current state of affairs, seems hard to find. We instead see disruption and hatred toward our fellow citizens and human beings, and our political leaders seem no better, in fact they seem to encourage us in this type of behavior. We’ve lost all respect of manners and the importance of honoring human dignity towards one another. We relate more with our electronic devices, than we do with face to face discussions with each other. This loss of respect for humanity echoes from the cry of those who least respect it. They demand their rights to be heard while silencing their opposition, instead of learning the art of discussion and resolve.

William Wilberforce fought much of the same cultural discord, the issue in his day was slavery and society’s lack of dignity and mannerisms. He fought these blights on humanity for most of his life, and just three days before he passed away, the politicians passed a resolution for the abolition of slavery. This blight of humanity against humanity never seems to fade, whether it’s race, culture, ethnicity, or religion. Every one of us fights this rebellion that lays deep within each of us. We seem to be slaves to its calling, and it’s something we each must fight against, and help others to see and fight its ugliness wherever it rises. Most can see this for what it is, but there are also those who refuse to hear or see where this leads, their visions are dulled within a self-absorption. They see only themselves and not others, especially those of opposite opinions. Wilberforce spent most of his lifetime fighting for the dignity and respect of human rights, and manners that showed a deep respect for others as well as for our animal companions in animal rights as well. This was all derived from Wilberforce’s worldview of a Christian perspective which supported his thinking. Manners, dignity of good behavior and the like can be achieved without this worldview, but it is a solid source for the why, how, meaning and destiny of what it is to be human, and what makes us unique, and how best to live in harmony with our creator and the creative order which we all live under. We’ve walked away from much of this, but it is most needed. Where is our foundation for life? Where are we going? What are we teaching ourselves?

 

Deni Shepard — Franklin, N.C.

Tastingers overwhelmed by outpouring of love

On May 8,  our entire world fell apart.  God sent family, friends and even strangers into our world to help us begin to pick up the pieces.  We will never be able to find the words to express our sincere gratitude to all of you who answered that call. Our family is overwhelmed with the unceasing love and generosity that has been poured out to us by our community. We would not live and/or raise our children in any other place on Earth.

Although we will never be able to repay the kindness shown to us, please know that during this time of great sadness my only comfort is prayer. It is you that I ask God to bless abundantly, for it is the only gift I can offer in return.

With sincere heart and much love,

 

John and Julie Tastinger — Franklin, N.C.

Darwinism requires blind leap of faith

With all of the scientific advances over the past several decades, particularly the mapping of the DNA molecule, it is amazing the there are some who still believe that we got here through the process of natural selection, or Darwinian Evolution.

Our pastor at Holly Springs Baptist Church recently conducted a study based on Lee Strobel’s book, “The Case for a Creator” in which many notable scientists, through their extensive research, have come to the conclusion that there had to have been a Creator.

The book makes the point that to believe in evolution through natural selection you must believe that nothing produces everything, non-life produces life, randomness produces fine tuning, unconsciousness produces consciousness and non-reason produces reason. In light of this, Lee Strobel, who was at one time an atheist and a strong believer in Darwinian Evolution, stated that he was forced to conclude that Darwinism would require a blind leap of faith that he was not willing to make.

If you are among those who still believe in Darwinism, I challenge you to read “The Case for a Creator.” Read it with an open mind and I am confident it will change your life.

 

Buck Miller — Franklin, N.C.

Climate change not occurring for right-wingers

Over the last few weeks there has been an interesting back-and-forth going on in the Letters section. It started with a call for religious devotees to accept science, particularly the science of evolution. I do not wish interject myself into the quagmire of an evolution vs. creation debate, partly because we live in a post-truth society; Trump’s America, if you will. Appeals to science are ineffective. Facts are too easily dismissed and countered with contradictory pseudo-facts. Confirmation bias is too strong. Simply put, I do not wish to enter this debate over science because it is the wrong (kind of) debate over science. And, it calls out the wrong subset of Americans that need to believe in science.

There’s an exceedingly more impactful and momentous case of science denial that is occurring and it represents a more imminent threat: the denial of climate science by American right-wingers. I say American right-wings pointedly because the Republican Party is virtually the only political party on the planet to deny the incontrovertible fact of anthropogenic climate change.

Given the backdrop of our post-truth society, climate denial is not about the science of climate change. It is about politics, human motives, and the ideological implications that relate to the sacrifices needed to avert ecological collapse. For those unfamiliar, the science of climate change is widely accessible to the public. And it is intellectually overwhelming. Yet, it is also ineffective when presented to some, perhaps most, right-wingers. So appealing to science, as in the evolution vs. creation debate, is essentially a waste of time. The question is why do right-wingers deny the obvious?

Undoubtedly, the billions of dollars spent by the fossil fuel industries on quack science and think tank propaganda have dramatically distorted the minds of many. This is well documented and probably the most crucial aspect of climate science denial. However, I want to bracket this fact and set it to the side. As a thought experiment, I want to pretend right-wingers are not the unsuspecting victims of a propaganda campaign perpetrated by vested interests. I want to claim they would still deny the science of climate change without the said distortions. Here’s why.

The dominant conception of human nature on the right does not contain an ideological answer to climate change. In a very real sense, anthropogenic climate change cannot be occurring for right-wingers. Their ideas about who we are and how we should treat the planet and other human beings are in direct conflict with the required solutions. Right-wingers might not be Darwinists, but they are without-a-doubt Social Darwinists. Accordingly, human beings are thought to be isolated, atomic individuals in constant competition with one another over limited resources. And, through rational pleasure-seeking activities, human beings are encouraged to maximize their utility without any thought, care, or concern for the planet or their fellow man with whom they are in competition.  In fact, it is positively irrational and harmful to their market driven logic for individuals to concern themselves with the utility of another human being or the harm they are inflicting on the planet. Succumbing to such a moral weakness would distort their god, the market.

Understanding right-wingers’ egoistic and antagonistic conception of humankind is the key to understanding their denial of climate science. This becomes apparent when you posit anthropogenic climate change as true and try to formulate solutions from within their restrictive worldview. One obvious obstacle to formulating solutions is that there can be absolutely no collective effort in solving this problem (or any problem). We are egocentric individuals and our purpose on this earth is to pleasure-seek, consume to the hilt, and let the magical market sort things out.

Humanity’s response to anthropogenic change climate must be, if nothing else, collective. Until right-wingers change their market-based, hedonistic, self-absorbed view of the world, they will continue to deny climate science.

 

Marshall Solomon — Franklin, N.C.

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