Letters for August 2, 2018

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It was a kinder, gentler, laid back time

The late and great cowboy humorist Will Rogers was fond of saying “All I know is what I read in the newspapers.” Me too, Will. Mayor Taylor’s well written thesis on Maslow’s hierarchy of human needs with respect to a town’s services, especially those relating to security and safety was right on. These interesting and informing aspects reminded me of Social Science 101. Highlands’ various departments are extremely well staffed and magnificently equipped, especially the police department, which employs 12 full time officers and 11 part-time officers. I can remember 30-plus years ago when Highlands had one police officer who lived a mile-plus off of Main Street. The town was also fortunate to have a deputy sheriff who lived on Shortoff Road. These two with a little help from the highway patrol managed to keep a lid on the pulse of the community and bone dry Macon County with little expense to the taxpayers. There were bootleggers, moonshiners and individuals who crossed county and state lines to buy alcoholic beverages legal and illegal. I am sure there were those who trafficked in drugs, but the proliferation of meth and other hard drugs wasn’t as prevalent then as it is now. This was also a kinder, gentler, laid back time when a lot of folks didn’t lock their houses and left the keys in their cars. Mr. Mayor, do I think Highlands’ expanded police force makes our community safer? No, I do not. I miss the good ol’ times and the lower tax base. Progress and time marches on. One can’t dwell on yesterday, but I can remember it fondly.

Philip Powell – N.C.

We cannot afford to destroy ourselves

I read Rexanna Duvall’s letter of June 28th and while she made some points it appears she has some facts distorted. Over my many years I’ve had a number of Latino friends but for a fact they came here legally and honestly and did not put their kids in jeopardy to enter America. I served in the military and did business with them in later years. Frankly, contrary to Ms. Duvall’s letter, I know of and have met no one, including President Trump, who dislikes Latinos. So that’s not the problem. And yes, we are all immigrants but keep in mind all the people in Germany and France came from Africa originally before there were any nations. Therefore the comment we Americans are immigrants is specious to say the least. The reason we need the wall along our border is we have lost 500,000 people to drugs since the year 2,000. Are we willing to sacrifice another 500,000 humans to prove we are good folks? This number does not count the millions more whose lives have been ruined by drugs that came over our borders. You decide how many lives should we sacrifice. One other factor is we can quickly run out of resources. Our oil and coal reserves are finite. Even Saudi Arabia will run out of oil in another 50 to 60 years. And our fresh water supply with which to grow our food will run out. Then what? With a population of around 150 million in 1950 we are already at 340 million and climbing. Were we to open our borders we can expect at a minimum of 200 million South Americans moving here and easily 300 million from the rest of the world. This would bring us close to a billion people in America and the tipping point, as pointed out by economists, is just 500 million. The good life will be over for us. Keep in mind the Latinos and others are moving here for the simple reason they have already over populated their own countries and used up their resources. Is that our fault? For the record, the law separating kids from their parents was nothing new and was the law even under the Obama administration. We don’t put criminals in jail along with their kids do we? The kids needed to be separated for their own safety. The current cost to us right now is $125 billion per year to educate and provide food and health care to the children of illegal immigrants. This is money that would be best spent on our own people, or for that matter building the wall. America cannot afford to shoot itself in the foot and destroy ourselves in an emotional view that can only lead to tragedy.

Bob Wilson – Franklin, N.C.

Where is America’s conscience?

There is little evidence that animals have a conscience similar to that of humans. Animals tend to care for their own offspring. In some species there is evidence of group nurturing and protection. The United States of America has long been known as an advocate of human rights. This has included providing for the sanctity of mother-child bonds (except for dispossessed Native Americans and Africans brought here to develop the wealth of the land). How can Donald Trump convince his fellow Republicans to assist him in carrying out his relentless efforts to belittle and endanger young children at the U.S./Mexican border? What is this merciless behavior communicating to the world about our character as Americans? Remember Matthew 10:42 – “And the King will answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.” Do these words mean nothing to Donald Trump? Do they not mean anything to Republican members of Congress? Have they no place in the collective conscience of America?

Dave Waldrop – Webster, N.C.

No illegal immigration into God’s immaculate home

God is preparing an eternal paradise, described in Revelation 21, 22. He says: “Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea. I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Now the dwelling of God is with men, and He will live with them. They will be His people, and God Himself will be with them and be their God. He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.” I want in already, do you? But God has a “zero tolerance” policy on those trying to get into His eternal paradise. He doesn’t allow everyone to enter. Notice the exclusions: “He said to me: It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. To him who is thirsty I will give to drink without cost from the spring of the water of life. He who overcomes will inherit all this, and I will be his God and he will be My son. But the cowardly, the unbelieving, the vile, the murderers, the sexually immoral, those who practice magic arts, the idolaters, and all liars- their place will be in the fiery lake of burning sulfur. “ In 1 Corinthians 6: 9-11, we read more about these exclusions: “Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor male prostitutes nor homosexual offenders nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. And that is what some of you were. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.” I am so glad for verse 11. There is hope! In Revelation 1:5 we read about being washed from our sins in His own blood. The blood of Jesus is the only detergent strong enough to wash away our sins. And God has to do the washing. The result is that we are sanctified. That means we are made holy. We are clean enough to come into God’s presence. God is just. But He is also the justifier. The president of the United States has the power to pardon a person. That means he can wipe the record clean as far as the state is concerned, so that the person can live as though they had never committed any crimes against the state. But only God can justify a person. And that is what is required in order to get into the kingdom of God. If, after a person had been convicted of a crime by a jury, that person were to stand before a judge and the judge were to say, “I declare you to be justified,” we would say that the judge is unjust. The criminal must be sentenced, and serve their time as punishment for their crime. God does not remove the natural or legal consequences of our sins. But because of who He is, He can substitute His Son, Jesus, to pay the penalty for our sin. This way He remains just, because the penalty has been paid by the only One not guilty of any sin. But now He can declare the person to be just, even though upon scrutiny, the person remains guilty of sin. In the eyes of God, He now only sees that person as having been washed in the blood of the perfectly righteous Son of God. He reckons that person to be just as if he/she had never sinned. Not only that, but He credits that person with the righteousness of Jesus! In other words, He takes away all the violations of His law, and credits the person with all the good that Jesus did. Only God can do that. In Genesis 15:1-7, we read about the covenant God made with Abram. When He finished stating the covenant, it says, “Abram believed the Lord, and He credited it to him as righteousness.” Then in Romans 4:23, it says, “The words ‘it was credited to him’ were written not for him alone, but also for us, to whom God will credit righteousness – for us who believe in Him who raised Jesus our Lord from the dead. He was delivered over to death for our sins and raised to life for our justification.” Do you believe Him? If you do, ask Him justify you. He will credit you with Jesus’ goodness, and remove your badness. Then you will be qualified to be a legal immigrant into the kingdom of God!

Ed Hill – Franklin, N.C.

 

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