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Town must consider restrictions in deed
Regarding the recent reports about the Town of Franklin moving toward transferring ownership of the Nikwasi Mound to the nonprofit organization known as Nikwasi Initiative, the question has been raised, “Why does this matter continue to come up?” That is a very good question, why indeed? Have the people who are promoting this proposal even read the deed? Or if they have read it, do they do they plan to just ignore the restrictions that are written into the deed and run rough shod over the people just because it is what they want to do?
The Nikwasi Mound was purchased from private ownership back in 1946 by the hard earned dollars, ($1500) by the people of this area, including school children, for the sole purpose of preserving the Mound, in its entirety for the citizens of Macon County and for posterity. $1500 does not sound like a lot of money by today’s standards, but in 1936 it represented a large sacrifice from people who considered the preservation of the Mound as a part of the history of Macon County important enough to take this step. The Mound was not purchased by the Town of Franklin, but rather it was deemed expedient that the title to the property be conveyed to the Town of Franklin upon the conditions and trusts hereinafter set forth. Why do you think the Macon County Historical Society did not retain the title to the property instead of conveying it to the Town of Franklin? It was because they, in their wisdom, knew that these non-governmental organizations, such as the Historical Society and the Nikwasi Initiative come and go and they expected that the Town of Franklin would continue as a governing body forever. They therefore deemed it expedient to convey the deed to the property to the Town of Franklin with the following trusts and subject to the following terms and conditions: (The following paragraphs are quoted directly from the deed to the property as it is written and filed at the Macon County Courthouse):
“The mound situated upon the property above described shall be preserved for the citizens of Macon County and for posterity, and the same shall be kept as it now stands and shall not be excavated, explored, altered, or impaired in any way or used for any commercial purpose, and shall be kept as a monument to the early history of Macon County, and in order that these trusts and conditions may be carried out, the town is authorized and empowered to exercise such control over the same as it by law might do over other public property belonging to it, subject to the limitations and conditions above set forth.
“Any deed, lease or other contract which in any way may interfere with the objects and purpose of this instrument as above set forth shall be null and void, and should the Town of Franklin at any time fail to carry out the provision of this instrument, then any citizen of Macon County shall have the right to apply to the court for Injunctive relief and to prosecute said action in their own behalf and in behalf of all other citizens of Macon County,
“TO HAVE AND TO HOLD the aforesaid land and premises unto the said party of the second part for the uses and purposes hereinbefore expressed and no other, to its only use and behoof forever.”
It seems to me that the conditions and limitations set forth are very clear and that at the time the Town of Franklin accepted the deed to this property, they also accepted the trust to carry out the purposes and limitations as set forth in the deed.
No one is arguing that the mound is not also a part of the history of the Eastern Band of Cherokee, even though, by their own history, they have said that they did not build the mounds, they were already here before the Cherokee. Certainly, it is a part of their history and no one is keeping them from claiming that as a part of their history. Their claim is that they want to preserve the mound and again no one is preventing them helping to preserve the mound. It is my understanding that they have been offered many times in the past to be a part of maintaining and preserving the mound and have not shown any interest in being a part of that. It seems that the only thing they are interested in is the ownership of the mound. They can’t pick it up and move it over to Cherokee, even if they did have the deed to the property, so if their interest is in preserving the mound, as they say it is, you would think they would consider ways to help in the maintenance and preservation of the mound. The citizens of this area and the Town of Franklin have for the last, soon to be 73 years, maintained and preserved the mound for posterity and the Eastern Band of Cherokee have shown no interest in helping to do this.
We all know from history that the Indians were badly treated in the early history of this country, however no one living now was a part of that and to think that we are somehow obligated to deed the Nikwasi Mound to them to right a wrong that was committed 200 years ago does not hold water. By that reasoning, we would all be obligated to deed the property where we now live over to them, because at one time this whole area was Cherokee territory. I doubt anyone is considering doing that.
Margie L. Keener – Franklin, N.C.
Socialism doesn’t satisfy
Socialists believe the unequal distribution of stuff is the greatest evil, and salvation is achieved by forcible re-distribution of it. There’s no acknowledgment of spiritual issues, just an assumption that if everyone is given equal goods, all the problems in society will go away. This worldview contradicts Christianity, which affirms the existence of both a material and a non-material world, and that mankind’s greatest problems are spiritual. The Bible says the cause of suffering is sin, and salvation is found in repentance and faith in Christ, which liberates us from sin. Because of sin, though, there will always be inequalities in wealth. But Jesus taught that we can still have an abundant life. That’s because our quality of life is not determined by how much we have, but by our relationship to Christ. (Luke 12:15)
The Bible teaches that aid should be tied to responsibility. Anyone who refuses to work should be refused aid. As 2 Thessalonians 3:10 says, “If a man will not work, he shall not eat.” The Apostle Paul said that a man who fails to provide for his family is “worse than an unbeliever.” (1 Tim. 5:8) The church also required widows receiving aid to have “a reputation of good works.” (1 Tim. 5:10) So even in dispensing aid, the church rewarded virtue and discouraged vice. Unfortunately, Socialism does the opposite.
Barack Obama once defended his socialist policies to a little girl by saying, “We’ve got to make sure that people who have more money help the people who have less money. If you had a whole pizza, and your friend had no pizza, would you give him a slice?” But Obama was confusing personal sharing with government forcibly taking a piece of the pie from one person and giving it to another.
Socialists believe the government should own all of the means of production. And communists seek to control even personal effects and individual rights. But Psalm 24:1 says, “The earth is the LORD’s, and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it.” He passed on responsibility to the first family to take dominion over all that He had created. They were to be good stewards of God’s creation, so they could pass it on to their descendants, not to the state.
Socialists demonize the rich, blaming all of society’s problems on them. Bernie Sanders once posted, “Let us wage a moral and political war against the billionaires and corporate leaders on Wall Street and elsewhere, whose policies and greed are destroying the middle class of America.” Scripture strongly warns the rich and powerful not to oppress the poor. Proverbs 14:31 says, “Whoever oppresses the poor shows contempt for his maker . . .” But Sanders, Hillary Clinton, and other leftists go far beyond decrying specific acts of injustice. They basically condemn an entire class of people simply for possessing wealth. They encourage those who are poor to overthrow the rich. Clinton once said the U.S. economy required a “toppling” of the wealthiest 1%.
But the rich are not causing all the problems in American society. [Reputable businessmen] are not acquiring wealth by stealing from the masses. They’re creating great products, which produce wealth, and providing jobs for many people. But even if they were selfish, they couldn’t avoid helping others. Every time they purchase a yacht, they are helping the people who make, deliver, fuel, insure and service it. The Bible teaches that we should not covet (Exodus 20:17) and should be content in all circumstances (Phil. 4:11-13) and should “give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” (1 Thessalonians 5:18) If we do these things, we will be joyous, even if not wealthy.
In the 20th century, socialist dictators murdered over 100 million of their own people, and caused hardship for many more. Socialism doesn’t deliver what it advertises. Instead of raising the poor to a higher position, it lowers everyone’s standard of living except the elite ruling class.
Socialism seeks to destroy marriage and family. It tries to replace the family with the state, so it can indoctrinate children in its leftist way of thinking, and remove from them any notions of God and religion. Ephesians 6:4 says fathers should “not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord.” Fathers have a very important role to teach their children the truth about God. When they do this, it is much harder to sell Socialism to the young.
Ed Hill – Franklin, N.C.
The blazing spark of life
While reading a book by Lauren Green, titled “Lighthouse Faith,” Green mentioned a recent new discovery, researchers from Northwestern University discovered and filmed a magnificent, but brief blaze of light when an egg and sperm make contact. It seems to be throwing sparks of light in every direction. I was amazed while watching this on the internet. It seemed to be a grand announcement of celebration welcoming a new life into our world. When an egg that displays more blaze of brilliance than others, they seem to be healthier than those that give less light. Dr. Eve Feinburg had stated “If we have the ability up front to see what is a good egg and what’s not, it will help us know which embryo to transfer, avoid a lot of heartache and achieve pregnancy much more quickly.” This seems a big step for planting a healthy embryo into a individual who has problems in achieving pregnancy.
For myself, I’m amazed of how science brings me closer to the Divine. The working and direction of things past and present within creation we are all part of, gives me a hope and trust for the things true and into the future. Human life is precious and is deserving of respect no matter where life finds itself. My view is not shared by all and may need further discussion over coffee, but I’m saddened by some of our nation’s leaders, like New York Mayor Andrew Cuomo and Governor Ralph Northam of Virginia in celebrating and allowing abortions even after the birth of a child, which in the past was once called an execution. For me, God becomes more evident as evil increases. This has been told and given warning to those who listen or have eyes to see. There’s a sharp distinction of light versus darkness. The spark and light placed in life and humanity is given by God, and humanity should not take the light away from the innocent.
I’m not sure if there is a correlation, but the essence of God is sometimes referred to as “light.” Could this brilliant spark of light at life’s beginning be the light that seems to call us throughout our existence? In the never ending disappointments of humanity’s search and resolve of life’s discontent, could this light be drawing our focus or search for something else? There seems to be a Divine something beyond us, should we not seek this out? In creation, one of the first things created was “let there be light.” (Gen. 1:3) Then it seems to be repeated in (Gen, 3:14-19) but is very definitive, in that light is referencing sun, moon and stars or heavenly bodies. The first light I believe was the essence of God himself as in, “I am the Light of the world.” (Jn. 8:12a) Maybe this calling should be, “Scientists find the Spark of Life, that lights every man that comes into the world.” Type this into your computer and be amazed at the Divine.
Deni Shepard – email@example.com