Life is about choices of more or less
This letter is a reaction to a letter placed in your 14 Dec. 14 issue by a very confused person (or possibly a communist thug).
The goal of socialism is the imposition of a social system which people would not choose for themselves, therefore a police state is requisite. Socialism cannot be had without a police state to do the imposing. One who claims this to be not so, is one of two things: either a socialist and a liar or not a socialist but thinks he is. He who is not a socialist but thinks he is, is fooled – you can fool all of the people some of the time and some of the people all of the time. Once in my life, I was fooled, but then I started reading beyond the classic works of socialist political economy.
Socialism cannot exist, even theoretically, without force. Every socialist leaning of our present government, has guns behind it – is forced upon us. Capitalism can exist without force, at least theoretically, though I don’t know that it ever has. Socialism cannot produce more wealth than it consumes. Capitalism can and does everyday, but it has never been content to have only that which it produces. It has always harnessed the force of government to transfer into its own pockets, some of that wealth produced by others.
Capitalism is less evil than socialism, but it is evil. Nothing created by man is free of evil. Life’s choices are seldom between good and evil. More often the choices are between less evil and more evil, between more good and less good.
Laissez faire, in which government would do nothing for business but protect it from criminality and foreign invasion, would be good. But such is not possible. Each man is constantly striving through politics to gain some advantage over some other man. Thus, freedom has never been absolute. We enjoy only a greater or lesser degree of freedom. That we cannot have laissez faire does not mean we should turn completely away from freedom and adopt socialism.
Our founding fathers tried to create a federalism in which power would be divided between levels of government and no level would have very much power, thus less governmental power for designing individuals to apply against the people than under the centralized monarchy that they had just freed themselves from. Another set of founders, the capitalists, decided we should have the constitution that we have today. They threw out the original federalism and created a powerful central government. Confederate Americans tried to turn government back toward more freedom (in part). They failed. Today, some folks would like to turn our government further away from freedom, to socialism.
More freedom is better than less freedom, and since life is a constant striving, let us strive for freedom, not for socialism.
George Crockett – Franklin, N.C.
The real meaning of repentance
Wouldn’t it be refreshing if a well known politician would come to the press and say, “I’ve been a phony all my life. I cheated, lied, slandered my opponents and stole elections. I promised my constituents everything, and then went to Washington and did what the lobbyists wanted, and took in millions in bribes. I had people killed if they knew too much, just to keep them from testifying against me. I raised billions of dollars to help poor people in dire straits, and then pocketed the money to bribe intelligence agencies into silence regarding my many crimes. Even though it is way too late, I am truly sorry for all this. I deserve whatever punishment I am sentenced to, and I willingly submit to the authorities. I have pled for mercy from Almighty God. I don’t merit any favors from Him either. I will spend whatever time I have left looking for ways to pay back the huge debt I owe to society for my life of crime and deception. My sins are too numerous and terrible to list here, and some are so bad that I will never be able to forgive myself. Only God is big enough to extend sufficient mercy to cover all of this.”
If this person then wrote a book to document the whole story, and refused to accept any royalties, instead choosing to donate the proceeds to this person’s many victims and their families, this would be an example of what true repentance is.
We are all guilty, not to the same extent, but we must all confess (from the Greek word “homologeo” which means to say the same thing as God says regarding our sin). Then we must repent (from the Greek word “metanoeo” which means to turn 180 degrees and go in the opposite direction).
Jesus Christ was only the third person to be brought into this world free from sin. The first two were Adam and Eve. But that didn’t last long. Jesus lived a sinless life, and then offered Himself as a sacrifice to pay the penalty for your sin and mine. One of the thieves hanging next to Jesus said, “We are receiving the just penalty for our crimes, but this man has done nothing wrong!”
God’s justice requires that the penalty for sin be paid. But His love and mercy compelled Him to send Jesus Christ into the world to be born as a human being, so that as the spotless Lamb of God, He could become the perfect and final sacrifice for sinners. This was the greatest gift ever given, and completely undeserved.
Now you can have your sins forgiven by turning away from them, and toward Jesus. Then you can live the rest of your life for the One who loved you, and gave Himself for you. And best of all, you will be given eternal life in the place He has gone to prepare for those who receive Him (John 14:1-6).
No one’s sins are so great that He will not forgive, if we truly repent and rely on God’s mercy. “For God so loved the world, that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but shall have everlasting life” (John 3:16).
Ed Hill – Franklin, N.C.
What will the kids do now on Fridays and Saturdays?
My 10-year-old daughter recently received a second hand pair of roller skates and we started going to the skating rink. It’s been about six weeks now and she’s gotten the hang of it pretty well.
I recently learned that the skating rink and bowling alley are slated to be demolished and that a car lot will be built in their place. This seems to be a great loss for the people of Macon County and the surrounding area. I have witnessed busloads of visitors, birthday parties and a group of 20-somethings along with the kids. The kids are the ones who will lose the most. They will no longer have a safe, supervised space to go to. The skating rink is also good exercise for the children that I’m sure the parents appreciate. Where will the kids go now? What are they going to do on Friday and Saturday night? I’m pretty sure we all know the answer…
James Pader – Franklin, N.C.
Can you explain this to us, Franklin?
Is it true that evangelist Franklin Graham saw the “hand of God” in the election of Donald Trump as president? My! My! Then, God may have showed Vladimir Putin how to wreck America’s democratic republic. Is this part of America’s Manifest Destiny?
Did God design the latest Republican tax reform bill that gouges the poor in order to help the rich /wealthy corporations? Did God design the tax reform bill to kick millions of needy Americans out of their health care program (Affordable Care Act) while allowing the politicians who enacted the bill to remain well-covered?
When I re-read Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount I get a little confused. Why would God get entangled in this political mess involving Trump and Putin in direct opposition to the teachings of Jesus?
Can you explain this to us, Franklin?
Dave Waldrop – Webster, N.C.