Equality Act Threatens Our Freedom Of Speech And Religion
The passage of the Equality Act (HB 5) expanding civil rights to the LGBT community on May 17 by our US House of Reprehensibles characterizes the poison interspersed throughout the 116th Congress. In essence, an attempt to protect a segment of our society has promoted a future to usurp what our US Constitution has guaranteed Americans since its inception—freedom of speech and freedom of religion. What this bill proposes censors what is preached from the pulpit–not that dissimilar to the Johnson Amendment of 1954. These individuals are nothing more than bigoted monsters. So much for what the preamble states: and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity. While this probably will not pass in our current senate or be signed by the existing president, that could easily change in another election. Even more alarming is the absence of uproar from us comfortable Christians.
The now silent, moral minority has enjoyed and taken for granted two and a half centuries of inalienable rights. We have adopted freedom to mean convenient and cozy. Today we just roll over and play dead and do not defend what we believe, teach, confess, or what we have been given charge to do. To be fair, we should not have to police our representatives who routinely bend over backwards to jump from one band wagon to the next.
Our unprepossessing legislators verbally attack other nations who repress, discriminate, and persecute groups all the while undermining those same liberties in our own front yard. Instead of criticizing the splinters in someone else’s eyes, we should examine the logs in our own. I am surprised Lady Liberty hasn’t keeled over in the harbor.
The concept of separation of church and state was designed to protect the church but is working in the opposite direction. The state progressively attempts to dictate to the church. It is the truculent state with concupiscence that has slaughtered the unborn, massacred marriage, challenged biology specific to gender, emasculated two supreme court justice nominees and presumed them guilty, prohibited specific doctrine preached in the church, and threatened tax-exempt status if state rules are not followed. Yet, the church feeds and clothes needy, counsels women in unwanted pregnancy situations, lends support in times of disaster, as well as many other functions. And the state treats the church as the bad guy.
All of us should take our shovels and start digging a deep grave ready to set in two tombstones which read Freedom of Speech, and Freedom of Religion. This is how low our country has sunk. I favor separation of church and state. So, to all the law makers as they relate to church business: BUTT OUT!
Lynette Montgomery White, Maroa
Agrees With Editor’s Article On ‘Other’ Drivers
I agree with your article on the “other” drivers. Vivian and I talk about it all the time. We see a lot of it on MLK here on the south edge of town. Several years ago I went to Hatfield, AR. to a motorcycle rally called ” Changing of Colors ” of our Christian Motorcyclist Association. It’s close to 700 miles from Decatur.
I headed home thinking I would stop somewhere for the night. However, weather was great, traffic not bad and me and the Ole Goldwing just kept going. First thing I noticed I was getting close to St. Louis so I pulled into a restaurant for supper and gave Vivian a call. I told her I thought I’d just come on home. We talked it over and decided to take a good long break before heading to Decatur.
On my motorcycle it would cruise very easily at 65 mph. I headed up north on I 55. As I rode I noticed I was getting passed a lot. For some reason I got to thinking I would follow every car that passed me. As I did I went to 70, then 75, then 80 and when I got passed at that speed, me and “Ole Brown” slowed down to 65 again. I thought there is no end to it. We got home and had a good ride.
Glenn Spain, Sr., Decatur
Legalized Dope, A Bad Idea
On June 25th, Governor JB Pritzker signed into law a bill which approves so-called “recreational” marijuana for persons 21 years old and older. The law takes effect on January 1, 2020, and it will allow the licensed growth, sales, possession and use of marijuana. It was discovered by the state of Colorado; that legalizing marijuana causes more harm than good. Today’s high potency marijuana is not the marijuana of the 60’s and 70’s. This high potency marijuana is linked to increases in addiction, psychosis, schizophrenia and violence.
States that have legalized it have seen an increase in emergency room visits, hospitalizations, poison control center calls and an increase in use in every age category, including youth. There has also been a dramatic increase in a condition called cannabinoid hyperemesis syndrome.
Last but not least, law enforcement opposes legalized marijuana. They know better than most the negative issues marijuana use creates for the community. How can creating societal woes be a good thing? The law that was enacted contains a provision that allows villages, cities and counties to opt out of legalized marijuana.
If you oppose this new law, please call or email the Decatur Mayor (Julie Moore Wolfe) and the Macon county board chairman (Kevin Greenfield). Ask them to adopt an ordinance which would opt us out of legal recreational marijuana in the city of Decatur and Macon County. The poorly thought out and very flawed legal recreational marijuana bill will cause for the community issues too numerous to mention. We can’t stand by and allow that to happen. I urge you to contact the Decatur mayor and the MC Board chairman to express your opposition to legal recreational marijuana today.
Roger German, Decatur
How Can Anyone Justify Abortion At Any Stage?
How can anyone justify abortion at any stage. It is a human and alive the minute it is implanted into the female. Don’t take my word for it – take God’s. Scripture Psalms 22:9, Psalms 139:13-16; Isaiah 44:2, Isaiah 49:1, Isaiah 49:5; Jeremiah 1:5; Galatians 1:15. I believe the taking of a life is called murder.
Beverly Williams, Decatur
The Way Has Been Lost In Illinois And Beyond
Dear Mr. Osborne:
Your article in the Tribune really touched my heart: “Illinois Roads Are Not All That Needs Repairing.”
That’s exactly how I’ve felt for so long and I really believe many of us feel this way. The way has indeed been lost and not just in Illinois. But I agree, our state is truly a mess. High taxes, gambling joints, drugs, crime are just a few of our problems. Our country as a whole needs to come back to God. Only then will He continue to bless us! I believe you would make as good a pastor as an editor. Thanks for all you do and your parents did a fine job of raising you. God Bless.
Kathy Gustafson, Macon
Who Decides It Is Time To Go Back?
About 41 years ago I received an anonymous letter suggesting I should go back to India. At that time, I had been working for Project NOW, the social service agency created in 1968 after President Lyndon Johnson declared a “ national war on poverty.” It was June 1978; the letter probably arrived a few days after I had made some public statements regarding the state of poverty in our service area that covered Rock Island, Mercer and Henry Counties. It was a time when emotions ran high; some taxpayers complained about “welfare mothers” and “deadbeats” who were benefiting from public assistance programs.
The disgruntled writer said if I wanted to help poor people, why didn’t I go back to India where there were so many of them? Last year Project NOW noted its 50th year of assisting the elderly, disabled, children, homeless youth, women and children receiving public assistance; it also helps renters and homeowners with weatherization of their dwellings, utility bills, and emergency assistance.
Literally thousands have been served by the programs administered today by Project NOW. I think there was, and, unfortunately, still is, the need for assisting low wage earners; and the need to influence others, as President Johnson admonished the more than 1,000 existing agencies throughout the country to “to alleviate the paradox of poverty in the midst of plenty.”
I would like the 1978 letter writer to know that, with the help of friends, I still have occasion to assist a homeless couple and refugees.
Vincent G. Thomas, Rock Island
‘Democratic Socialist’ Term Is Another Republican Smear Job
Reading Brad Collins’ recent letter I must take exception to his statement, “Some have taken up the banner of Democratic Socialist”. It is not the Democrats that say this, it is another Republican smear job. They have been very successful at this. Ever since the 1876 Rutherford, Tilden election. Tilden had an eye that constantly watered. The Republicans claimed he was suffering from Syphilis. Tilden still won the popular vote and was only one shy of the electoral votes needed for victory, with three states left to count.
However they had underrated the Republicans election stealing skills. After a secret meeting of Republicans, Mark Twain prominent author, convinced Washington newspapers to print the election was too close to call. (Talk about fake news!). After months of delay a “special legislation committee” was appointed. Dominated by Republicans they gave the election to Rutherford. The Republicans have stuck to this winning strategy, (Remember the, “Swift Boat Veterans” smearing a fellow Vietnam veteran?) supporting a candidate who never left the states and a running mate who had gotten five deferments to stay out of defending his country.
Doctoring a photo to make it appear John Kerry and Jane Fonda were standing next to each other and the constant, “Soft on Communism” chant. Lets vote out every CCCCCCC, (Crooked, Corrupt, Conniving, Contemptable, Chicken Hawk, Conservative.)
Bill Steenblock, Decatur