published Tuesday, July 31st, 2012

'Removing prayer violates rights' and more Letters to the Editors

Removing prayer violates rights

Concerning the issue of prayer during commission meetings, I would encourage the minority of people who do not want prayer to not pray if they do not want God's help.

Are we going to ask for God's help in the next hurricane Katrina, 9/11, horrendous earthquake or devastating tsunami?

According to the First Amendment, Dec. 15, 1791, if you take prayer out of commission meetings you are "prohibiting the free exercise of religion and abridging the freedom of speech and of the press." Are we next going to prohibit "the right of the people peaceably to assemble?"

The first settlers fled England to have freedom of religion. Our country was founded on this freedom. Our first president, George Washington, requested to "proclaim a day of public thanksgiving and prayer, to be observed by acknowledging, with grateful hearts, the many signal favors of Almighty God.

He prayed, "Almighty God; We make our earnest prayer that Thou wilt keep the United States in Thy Holy protection; ...Grant our supplication, we beseech Thee, through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen." Do we want God's protection from our enemies? Our first president wanted it and our capital city took his name.


Powers worthy of judgeship

Ron Powers is the best choice for Sessions Court judge.

As we look to fill the position vacated by Judge Bob Moon's untimely death, we are faced with choosing from a large number of candidates. I feel fortunate that I have come to know one of these candidates well: Ron Powers.

I've had the opportunity to deal with Ron on both a professional and personal level. As an attorney, Ron is an honest, straightforward man. He approaches his work in an energetic and ethical manner, displaying great knowledge of the law. I'm confident that these qualities will serve Ron well as he serves the people of Hamilton County.

Ron also serves as our deacon at our church. Ron is a valued leader in our church, who shoulders his responsibilities with strength, wisdom and compassion. I have every confidence that the traits Ron exhibits in his professional and personal life would translate to his role as Sessions Court judge. He is a man truly worthy of the position he seeks. Please vote for Ron.


Apison, Tenn.

Elect Gardenhire for truth, honesty

For many years, Todd Gardenhire and I have attended Highland Park Baptist Church. I know Todd to be an honest, truthful person who is straightforward and lives his conservative, Christian convictions. When Todd tells you something, you can take it to the bank; not like so many politicians who misrepresent the truth to make themselves look better or to say what you what to hear.

For honesty in government, please, vote Todd Gardenhire for state Senate.


Mayfield can help change Washington

As a business owner, there are two challenges I face nearly every day.

One: I have to identify a problem and simultaneously move in a direction to solve that problem. If I hesitate, employees suffer, profits suffer and ultimately, so does my business.

Two: I need to increase my profit without increasing my cost. The best way for me to increase my profit is for me to listen to my customers. I must pay attention to what my customers are saying.

Do I believe government should be run like a business? I think it's a very simple answer. I want leaders in Washington to solve problems as they identify them, and I want them to listen to the needs of those who elected them. Unfortunately, that is not happening; however, I believe Scottie Mayfield will do that as a member of Congress.

Scottie has 40 years of business experience at Mayfield Dairy Farm. He couldn't have stayed in business if he didn't solve problems quickly and efficiently, or if he didn't listen to his customers. I believe his leadership in Washington can change the way government does business. Join me in voting for Scottie.


Panel made right choice in Norton

The Hamilton County Commission made the right choice in March to appoint David Norton as Sessions Court judge.

His education, experience and judicial temperament make him the right choice.

With his 28 years of faithful public service, he knows the problems facing Hamilton County and is concerned about the breakdown of the family.

He will work with faith-based programs to help solve problems. He will give compassion and firmness in every case.

I talked to Judge Norton on Wednesday. He told me about his medical condition and the treatment that he will be taking. I believe in him.

With treatment, our compassion and our prayers for him, he will be able to serve as Sessions Court judge in Hamilton County.

Please join me in voting for Judge David Norton as our Sessions Court judge in Hamilton County, and let God decide if he is physically able to serve.



Wamp is best candidate

Anyone who would compare Chuck Fleischmann to Barack Obama is politically uneducated. Congressman Fleischmann blames this nation's problems on Obama, Pelosi and Harry Reid. Unfortunately this represents the status quo in Washington.

So many elected officials forget about what's best for America and worry more about who's at fault for the problems. Every time there is a problem this country needs solved, they lean on the backs of my fellow soldiers. No one thinks twice about asking young men and women to sacrifice for our country. However, when a young candidate stands up and is willing to go to Washington to work across parties and fix our country's problems, people say he's too young and inexperienced.

If we are more concerned with what is best for America than being Republicans or Democrats, there is only one real choice for Congress: It isn't our incumbent, and it sure isn't a retired spokesperson (for a company owned by Dean Foods) who seems to have learned about Congress on Wikipedia. The best candidate is Weston Wamp.


Starnes best choice for Sessions Court

Please vote for Gary Starnes for Sessions Court judge. Gary has worked tirelessly throughout this campaign.

During the time I have known Gary, he has demonstrated a strong work ethic. He has the qualities to be Sessions Court judge: honesty, integrity and knowledge of the law. There is a reason Gary has been endorsed by both editors of the Chattanooga Times Free Press, the International Brotherhood of Police Officers Chattanooga Local 673, and the Chattanooga Fire Fighters Association. Gary Starnes is the best person for Sessions Court judge.



Miller credentials can't be matched

Ralph Miller, school board candidate, has unparalleled credentials, strong Christian values and 40 years' experience as a teacher, assistant principal and principal in the Hamilton County school system. Has worked at Ganns Middle Valley, Ooltewah Intermediate, East Lake Junior High, East Lake Elementary, Hardy Junior High, Chattanooga High, Northside Junior High, Normal Park Elementary, Wolftever Elementary, James A. Henry Elementary and Cleveland High and Junior High schools.

He also has 10 years' experience working at Boyd-Buchanan School after retirement. His wife taught 33 years in Hamilton County school system; his son currently teaches at Hunter Middle School.

He has strong investment, connections, and experience with all levels of the Hamilton County schools and served on the negotiating committees of the Hamilton County Education Association. He is an outspoken participant and advocate for the arts in education. Has practical, realistic business perspective, analytical, independent thinker; articulate, not afraid to question the status quo, and a gentleman, highly intelligent.

He truly will be able to make a difference in the precious lives of our students. Ralph Miller is the perfect choice for such a time as this!



Comments do not represent the opinions of the Chattanooga Times Free Press, nor does it review every comment. Profanities, slurs and libelous remarks are prohibited. For more information you can view our Terms & Conditions and/or Ethics policy.

DAVID SHERMAN, your understanding of the situation here is as poor as your understanding of history. The first settlers to flee England? Uh, no. I'm sure you're thinking of the Pilgrims, but they weren't particularly interested in religious freedom, except the freedom to do things as THEY wanted. Which was why they left England and even the Netherlands. Yes, they left the Netherlands because it was too liberal and because they wanted to preserve their own culture. But they weren't even the first settlers from England to the New World.

So you're really wrong in your understanding of history.

In regards to the situation involving the County Commission, the problem is not your individual prayers. The problem is the County Commission acting in its public authority in support of prayers. Do not confuse YOU not having the freedom to have the County Commission endorse YOUR prayers with the actual freedom that the rest of us want. And do look up the State's Constitution for once.

As for George Washington, he is dead. Stop pretending he's in support of your wishes. That's an insult to both you and him.

ELLIOTT DAVENPORT, so you say if you hesitate that causes problems.
Have you ever acted precipitously and that cause problems?

And no, you don't need to increase your profits without increasing your costs, sometimes if you listen to your customers, you have to increase your costs to serve them well. I think you're confusing how you think a business should operate with some golden ideal that works everywhere. But even your ideas don't really stand much scrutiny.

TOMMY "D" WINCHESTER, that's true. The attempt to associate each other with President Obama as a negative is an indictment against ALL of the Republican Candidates.

July 31, 2012 at 1:02 a.m.
moon4kat said...

David Sherman, you are exposing your ignorance of U.S. history, the U.S. Constitution, the Bill of Rights, and Supreme Court interpretations of the First Amendment.
Acquiring knowledge requires quite a bit more than praying for God to make you smart.

July 31, 2012 at 7:41 a.m.
daytonsdarwin said...

David Sherman wrote: "Are we going to ask for God's help in the next hurricane Katrina, 9/11, horrendous earthquake or devastating tsunami?"

If a loving and kind god wanted to be a real father to his children James Holmes would have died of a heart attack in the parking lot of the theater before he murdered innocent people.

But god doesn't have a good track record in protecting the innocent (read the Bible).

Since everything is god's will, where are the pious screaming, "Glory to God. He allowed murder and mayhem to show his infinite love. Yea, blessed be His name as Father Knows Best and sends killers to slaughter his children."

That Jehovah is some kind of wonderful fellow. Yes sir, he's worthy of my love and praise.

July 31, 2012 at 8:40 a.m.
Easy123 said...


In reference to the quote you used by David Sherman:

I was thinking along similar lines as you. Isn't god the one that causes the hurricanes, earthquakes and tsunami's? I guess Christian's will blame "Mother Nature" for those catastrophe's.

It is an alarming sort of arrogance that Christians have when they think they can pray their way to safety or wisdom or whatever virtue they are seeking at any moment.

Why would god spare YOU and not the other millions of people that die daily? It's the ultimate arrogance for them to think that god "saved" them instead of another. I guess it's an ego boost. Either way, it's severe and incurable psychosis.

July 31, 2012 at 9:21 a.m.
Fendrel said...

DAVID SHERMAN - There is a difference between the right of an individual to pray (either alone or with friends) and an individual praying when they are representing our government, one that does NOT have and is PROHIBITED from supporting or endorsing any particular religion or faith above another.

It's that simple...

July 31, 2012 at 10:25 a.m.

Easy123, that's the mindset of the Christian Dominionists.

July 31, 2012 at 11:21 a.m.
yddem said...

David Norton told Wayne Keylon "about his medical condition." Unfortunately, David chose not to disclose that he has a "medical condition" until midway through early voting and still has not made a full disclosure, i.e., he has not identified the condition. I certainly hope David recovers, but if David is elected and cannot serve, the county commission will appoint the judge. I for one do not want another David Bales on the bench - one is too many. No sale, Wayne.

July 31, 2012 at 12:21 p.m.
holdout said...

I will support prayers at the County Commission meetings Mr. Sherman when you are willing to stand quietly and respectfully through a Wiccan blessing, a prayer to Odin, a prayer to Buddah, a Shinto blessing, or even a prayer to Lucifer and then say, "Amen". That's just a short sample and by no means covers all the religions that are out there in Hamilton County.

August 1, 2012 at 8:41 a.m.
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