Letters to the Editor - Aug. 7, 2009

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By The Staff

Secure in faith

There have been several writers who have commented on the United States as a “Christian nation” – or not. I don’t usually comment on matters of religion, but the “door has been opened,” so I’ll walk in.

First of all, who are those who would care if the U.S. is classified as a “Christian Nation?” If one is truly a Christian in heart and mind, why should it be bothersome that others may not share his or her religious points of view? Other people of equally good intentions may not believe in Christ. Others of pure vision, not in agreement with Christian theology, may believe in God only, or in Allah, or in Buddha, or in no God at all.

It should be obvious that having a religious affiliation is not an automatic prescription for morality. Every nation in the world has its share of scoundrels. There is no guarantee that being a Christian will assure your “goodness” as a person. It may be concluded that those who insist that America is a “Christian Nation” have a large load of insecurity to lug around. I’m secure enough in my own faith to not begrudge others a point of view not my own. Perhaps this “Christian Nation” thing has something to do with making yourself a wee bit more of an American than your neighbor. This implies certain degrees of elevation in the status of our citizenry. Having thus elevated oneself to a higher position, you are now superior (you think) to your non-Christian neighbors. Such attitudes reflect an arrogance of spirit that Christ would not find very “Christian.”

Am I a Christian? Perhaps I am, and perhaps I’m not. Of this I’m certain: I couldn’t care less if you are a Christian or not a Christian. In my 77 years on God’s earth, religion is not one of my criteria in determining the worth of a human being or even a friend. A Christian nation? If you choose to call it that way, so be it. There are thousands of fallen heroes who did not make it home, who were not Christians, who might dispute your choice of words – and so do I.

Fred Payette


Veterans wanted

for 40 and 8 group

Fellow veterans, please allow me to introduce you to a veterans group that you might not have heard of before. I am talking about the 40 and 8, a veterans group that was part of the American Legion for many years and then went out on its own; however you still had to be a member of the American Legion to become a member of the 40 and 8. Today the only requirement is that you are a veteran that was honorably discharged from the service. It has always been considered an elite group of veterans and remains that today.

The name 40 and 8 came from WW I when troops were transported to the front lines in France in boxcars that held either forty men or eight horses. Troops apparently thought that those who suffered this mode of transport should have recognition by creating an organization named for that mode, thus the forty and eight was born.

The organization uses many French words in naming their officers, meetings etc., and the units are named Voitures and ours is Voiture No. 472 here in Ocala. We meet on the fourth Monday of the month on the second floor of the Park Avenue Bank at the entrance to On Top of The World on S.R. 200 at 1 p.m. There is an elevator just after you enter the front doors. We are at present focusing on the Fisher House in Tampa for our collections and donations. The Fisher House offers a place for the families of veterans being treated at the VA Hospital to stay free of charge. A drive has been started to create a Fisher House in Gainesville, but that is some time in the future. We also seek veterans and their families locally who are in need of help and do whatever we can to assist them. The national organization, with the help of the local Voitures nationwide, award scholarships for nursing students and they have contributed thousands of dollars toward that program. If you have a question regarding membership or any other area, please call Nate at 873-1831.

Nathan Sokoloff


Motivation is the key

Motivation can be defined as an urge to encourage action or activity to achieve a reward or prize, for self-gratification or to reach a goal.

The problems our great nation faces must not be ignored! We need to lay aside our feelings of futility and apathy, discouragement and hopelessness and become motivated to do something constructive to preserve the freedoms we enjoy.

Most of us admire and love our country and many have and continue to serve it in various ways. But never has it been as important as it is now for all to do their part to preserve our nation.

We must rise up and let our elected representatives know how we view their performance. Spending money we do not have, voting on unread bills and giving themselves unbelievable rewards should be explained and/or justified. Our debts are not even imaginable.

If we cannot generate some motivation and find time to write a letter, send an e-mail or make a phone call, we will get what we deserve. Surely a few minutes spent communicating with Congress et al would be richly rewarded if we could mount an effective and successful campaign to inform them they work for us. We are weary of the idiocy that has squandered so many of our values.

The Christian Coalition Leadership manual says it well:

“The growth and use by one special interest group of political power which has no effective check is not the fault of those who achieve power, for it is their right to try. Rather, the fault is principally on the part of those who, by their inactivity and silence, allowed it to happen.”

Voting is essential, of course, but we need far more activity than that affords every other year or every six years to elect a senator.

Most phone books have enough information to locate our congressmen. Few of us have little or no excuse not to get active in the political process. Any literate individual or a group of concerned citizens can compose a communication of some type. Let’s do it!

Don Pixley


Nasty attitude

about health care

The attitude of the Republicans in Congress are that I have my fully paid government health insurance and those without will have to realize how busy I am and will just have to wait. Medical costs may be destroying your economic position if you have a job and if you don’t,  that is your problem and not mine.

How many pages of this proposed health care bill will be read during the month of August when Congress takes their four week summer recess. If they only read 50 pages per day that would still leave them several days to be with their families for much needed R and R. The last time that a congressional bill was over 1,000 pages long where few members of Congress bothered to read the bill was when America voted to go to war with Iraq and we all know the consequences of that action.

It has been written that 153,000 Americans will lose their health insurance coverage during this August recess which should mean there is some urgency to working on these bills in the House and Senate. There are still many questions to ask concerning these bills such as the term of coverage for all Americans but I am suspicious that coverage may be granted to illegal immigrants who really are not Americans. My hope is that when our representatives get back to their home districts their constituents will inform them that universal health care is very important and should be acted on with some urgency and understanding.

The reason that small businesses are being hit hardest by the economic downturn and lack of health insurance for their employees is that small businesses are all that is left in America.

Jerry Segovis