Letters to the Editor 11.05.17

PROPHET OCASIO-CORTEZ?

Has God updated the Bible and given us a new prophet, Ocasio-Cortez? She claims the end of the world is near.

Matthew Chapter 24, Jesus tells us many false prophets will come before the end. Jesus says only God, our Father knows the time.

As for Pharaoh Cuomo of New York and his abortion law, he is akin to the Egyptian pharaoh who ordered all the Hebrew babies to be slaughtered.

Christians and Jews, we must unite and stop this. With the freedom we have we must be vocal and never vote to let this happen again.

Ann Mitchell, Tyler

TRAGEDY COULD HAVE BEEN PREVENTED

With the recent death of the young Athens school boy, I wonder just when there will ever be real closure, other than the closure of another casket. In the case of this accident, I can only assume that one or more factors were involved, which would be lack of visibility, as in not enough clearance for the driver once he stopped to ascertain an approaching locomotive. Factor No. 2 would be the oncoming speed of the train, which I have already learned has been noted in the past in that area, in which local police have somehow been able to give a speeding citation to an engineer, something I had never heard of. The remaining factor from my perspective would be the lack of a warning signal at that crossing and/or whether or not the engineer blew the train whistle. It is more than obvious to me that this tragic accident could have easily been avoided if any of the above factors been corrected or adhered to, as in proper speed during school delivery hours and sufficient warning devices in place.

John Williams, Rusk

BEST EVER

I have listened to State of the Union speeches for 65 years since 1954. I just heard President Trump give the greatest speech ever! The long list of what he has accomplished is simply incredible! Consider this was done in just two years with little help from Republican leadership and absolutely no help from Democrats! Think what President Trump could have done for America and every citizen if he had had some meaningful help?

Trump is truly helping every American as he promised he would. Trump is truly making America great again. The Democrats are for nothing except radical socialism, which history has proved it has failed every time and every place it has been tried! Imagine what terrible crisis the U.S. would be in today if Hillary had been elected?

Fortunately, we now face a great future instead of a failed socialist government because the Democrats have destroyed themselves with stupid un-American obstruction of everything. Yet Trump is making America prosperous and safe for all Americans! Polling shows 74 percent liked what President Trump said. It was simply a home run with the bases loaded.

Harry Bergman, Tyler

NOT ABOVE THE LAW

President Trump has said and done many inflammatory things that anyone with a passing knowledge of demagogues and fascists should be chilled by — attacking the free press as "the enemy of the people," calling for a ban of an entire religious group from entering the country, ripping children from the arms of their parents for committing the heinous crime of making a multi-thousand mile trek to escape violence and danger.

During the State of the Union on Tuesday night, he continued this erosion of our democratic republic by holding Congress hostage. "If there is going to be peace and legislation, there cannot be war and investigation." The president literally said that he will prevent Congress from doing its job so long as he is under investigation. (Side note: Nixon also called for investigations into him to end during a SOTU. That didn't end well for him.) Trump believes he is above the law because of the office that he holds.

Anyone who cherishes our republic or who trumpets the "rule of law" should be chilled to the bone by his words and actions. No one is above the law.

Drew Corbitt, Longview

SCHOOL CHOICE

Did you know that Governor Greg Abbott pronounced Jan. 20-26 as officially National School Choice Week? Texas has been embarrassingly slow to get on board, but school choice is an exciting movement by which more parents are reclaiming the education of their children.

School choice plans allow parents to send their children to schools that reflect their needs and values. Texas currently provides only limited choice — parents may freely choose only between district schools, charter schools, magnet schools and state online academies. Since they are all “public,” they are secular.

I expect more than just a secular education for my children. The school day is one of the major influences in a child’s life. It should not be secular. Though secular schools may have Christian teachers, they are restrained by law. Every class should inspire children to discover and love God more as the curricular material reflects biblical truths and principles, but public teachers cannot teach this way.

If education is a preparation for adult life, then secular schooling tends to teach that God is irrelevant to most things. I want my child to learn that God is active and involved in all of life — not just “church things.” True school choice will allow all children to access religious schools as freely as they access secular public schools.

School philosophy not only affects spiritual growth but also political perspectives. Public schools draw from and tend to support secular (godless) ideas, whereas America was founded upon traditional Christian ideas. Thus, secular schooling tends to advance a liberal public philosophy whereas religious schooling is necessarily the best support of conservative public philosophy.

If this rings true to you, call your state legislators and ask them to support this year’s school choice proposals. The ones I’ve talked with think there are few supporters of “school choice” in Texas. Prove them wrong!

Craig S. Engelhardt, Ph.D., Chandler; director of Society for the Advancement of Christian Education

OPPORTUNITY TO SAVE LIVES

Recently, I had the privilege of being a living kidney donor through Baylor Scott & White in Dallas. When I first heard that someone needed a kidney, I was tempted to promise prayers and good thoughts and move on. Now, I feel people should know about the wonderful experience I had as a living donor through Baylor Scott & White.

My kidney donation was performed through laparoscopy. I was warned that, should complications arise, an open nephrectomy may become necessary, but this is uncommon. I remained in the hospital for two nights before being discharged with no physical restrictions except to refrain from lifting 10 pounds for the next six weeks. I was prescribed pain medicine, which I have yet to take, and returned to my job as a professor at Tyler Junior College.

Donation requires surgery, of course, with all the risks that accompany it. These are risks that should be discussed with a potential donor’s doctor and family.

I hope to enlighten others, as I have been enlightened, to the lifesaving potential that comes from being a living kidney donor. The National Kidney Foundation reports that currently, over 100,000 people are waiting on transplant lists, nationally. Less than 20,000 transplants are performed annually, even less from living donors. I encourage anyone to consider this opportunity to save lives. Discuss it with your doctor. The impact on the life of a recipient is life-altering, and the imposition on the life of the donor is (typically) minor.

Rebecca Owens, Rusk

PRISON TEMPERATURE BILLS

There are a pair of bills currently pending in the Texas Legislature — SB 321 (sponsored by state senator Jose Menendez) and HB 936 (sponsored by state representative Terry Canales). Both of these bills are relating to the temperature at which a facility operated by TDCJ is maintained. These bills would require TDCJ units to adopt the same standards utilized by the Texas Commission on Jail Standards. If these bills pass, TDCJ would be required to maintain their internal temperatures at a range between 65 and 85 degrees Fahrenheit.

I am one of the most conservative people you would ever meet, and even I support these bills. Why would a politically conservative person support a bill which is pro-inmate? It all goes back to the age-old question: What would Jesus do? Would He approve of prison inmates getting mistreated? These bills are not only pro-inmate, but they are also pro-staff.

The TDCJ population and the TDCJ staff both have to survive in the extreme temperatures. Why should officers jeopardize their health just to support their families? Whether you are pro-inmate, or whether you are pro-staff, I encourage you to contact your state senators and state representatives, and ask them to support these bills. I especially encourage my fellow conservatives to support these bills.

Patrick Capps, Nacogdoches

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