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Sullivan County, Tennessee has had a firestorm of problems over religion in the late 1990s to about 2005. The whole controversy simply dies as all sides decided to ignore it, which i think was best for all. The Ten Commandments still hangs there today, yet they never got the revival they hoped for and the public will not speak out on religious issues without fear of reprisal that once dominated the local culture. Here are a collection of opinions below.

Removing God in Sullivan County Tennessee

The removal of the Ten Commandments (from the Sullivan County Courthouse) is an insult to the forefathers and the men and women who died for the belief of God the Creator as they did, and established this in their oath to the U.S. and the Constitution the words of "under God."

God has answered past presidents' prayers for guidance during wars and the peoples of this country during hard times. There are people who will say under whose God, but one must ask this question too: who would want any God who finds wrong in the words of the Ten Commandments?

What happened to "for the people, by the people," and "in God we trust"? We slowly remove God out of our society and wonder why crime increases, our children are killing each other, 9/11, immoralities, new diseases discovered almost daily, wars, people dying by the thousands daily. Now is the time to say no to ungodliness and the removal of God's words and yes to the God of America and the world.

Does anyone want to stand before his or her creator and say the removal of these words is justified?

Edward Valentine

Copyright February 3, 2004, Kingsport Publishing Corporation.

Honor God

Re. "Sullivan Advised to Remove Ten Commandments Plaque," is it going to take another 9/11 to bring these people to their knees? What are they thinking? After 9/11 almost everyone had little flags on their cars saying God bless America.

Well, if you want God to bless us, give the honor due to him by holding to his words and guidance. Can wrong be in the words of the commandments or is the wrong in the removal of these God-given words?

Debbie Valentine
Mount Carmel

Copyright February 4 2004, Kingsport Publishing Corporation.


Misconceptions

I grew up in Kingsport and enjoy reading the Times-News on a daily basis via the Internet. I am a resident of Alabama and very familiar with the Ten Commandments fiasco created by Judge Roy Moore. I am disappointed to see that the same misconceptions and rhetoric that permeate Alabama are alive and well in East Tennessee.

In a recent letter, John Irwin asks, "Which religion is established by the Ten Commandments?" Gee, let me take a crack at answering that one. Could it be Christianity? I don't think anyone on either side of this argument would argue that the Ten Commandments represent anything but the Christian religion. The plain and simple reason why displaying the Ten Commandments in government buildings is wrong is that it is in violation of the U.S. Constitution.

If you don't like it, then change the Constitution. Meantime, stop whining about persecution because it's falling on deaf ears. I have never understood why religious symbols need to be displayed in public places anyway. Is a courthouse a place of worship?

Mike Dayton
Harvest, Ala.

Copyright February 4 2004, Kingsport Publishing Corporation.


Stand up, speak up

I applaud the letter "Breaking Silence'' Jan. 15 by Donald W. Cole. For a long time I have asked the same question: "Why do we allow the minority to determine what the majority can do?" If you believe in God, stand up. If you believe in the Pledge of Allegiance, stand up. If you believe in prayer at games, stand up. But don't just stand up, speak up.

We must join together and speak out in order to hold on to the rights we were born with. If we don't, the minority will continue to chip away at the moral fiber of our very beings until one morning we will wake up and ask ourselves, "What nation is this anyway?" God Bless the USA.

Catharine H. Blakley
Kingsport

Copyright February 10 2004, Kingsport Publishing Corporation.


Modern Sodom

The once great U.S. seems to be on the fast track to a modern day Sodom and Gomorrah. In light of the recent Supreme Court ruling that overturned the sodomy law in Texas, we now learn that in New York City, there will be an all-homosexual high school. Worse than that is a television network called the pride network with programming geared toward a homosexual audience. "Boy Meets Boy" is a reality dating program for homosexual men. "Queer Eye for the Straight Guy" is airing on the Bravo network, owned by NBC. Our society has let Pandora's box be opened, and we, as a nation, are reaping what we have sown.

Theologically this is not debatable. The reason this sin is being singled out is because those that commit it are proud and promote homosexuality as an acceptable lifestyle. This is just one more way to destroy the traditional American family. Over the past 40 years we have watched with horror as the family has become perverted. The destruction of the traditional American family will ultimately become the destruction of society. Be the army and soldiers of the cross. Follow the Bible's instruction for living a joyful life as God intended. The good news is many have been able to break free of the bondage of homosexuality and live the life that was planned for them with the help of God.

Doris Early
Kingsport

Copyright February 11 2004, Kingsport Publishing Corporation.


No morals

I love America, but I believe we are on a downward spiral due to our lack of morals. Abortion, homosexuality, and sexual freedom are on the uprise. What has happened? We have turned our backs on God. Regardless of what our nation was founded on, we can know that our country will continue to spiral down if we don't bring morals back to our people.

We need to teach our children that it is wrong to have sex of any kind until we are bound to the opposite sex in holy matrimony. Cursing is not an acceptable language. Our children need to dress in non-provocative clothing. Yes, smoking, drinking, and drugs can, and do kill people and ruin lives every day.

If you need help with teaching your children good morals, look to your local church. Take your children to Sunday school; don't just send them. Christians should seek God's face and ask Him what we can do to help our country. We should be praying for our president and other leaders every day. Let's not just sit back and let Satan ruin our God-given country. Join me on your knees in prayer.

Sheila R. Ball
Kingsport

Copyright February 11 2004, Kingsport Publishing Corporation.


Tell about God

Every day I hear or see something about the Ten Commandments being removed from a public place. Our children are not even allowed to say anything about Christ. I hear a lot of people say parents should teach children about Christ and the commandments.

That is fine for Christians because we try to live our lives the way God commands us to. But what about all the children who do not have Christian parents or any Christian influence to tell them of Christ, or even step foot inside a church - where are they going to hear about God?

The government has allowed a select group of people to dictate what our schools are allowed to engage in. This has helped lead to the demoralization of our young people. If children do not have guidelines to go by, they become corrupt. Our young people are not disturbed by anything that happens in the world today because society accepts it.

I refuse to sit back and let someone dictate my life, and all people who believe in God need to take a stand. We cannot serve two masters. Everyone that opens a door for me I am going to tell them of my God, and of the greatest commandment of all: Thou shalt Love the Lord thy God with all thy heart and with all thy soul and all thy mind.

S.M. McGee
Gate City, Va.

Copyright February 11 2004, Kingsport Publishing Corporation.


Petty issues

The Sullivan County Courthouse is the next target for religion-based attacks. Our nation's legal system and laws are based on such commandments, and religion is not the issue.

Next they will want "In God we trust" removed from our currency. I am amazed that we are squabbling over such petty issues when we have soldiers preserving our freedom.

Those disturbed by this plaque will scream "our rights" and get what they want because we have allowed it before. How many more times do we have to deal with this type of nitpicking? When will people realize that our nation was built on beliefs much like those contained in the Ten Commandments?

Jamie Hatfield

Copyright February 11 2004, Kingsport Publishing Corporation.


Separation lie

I disagree with your editorial advocating removing the Ten Commandments from the courthouse because of the separation clause. The first ten amendments, written to protect us from the federal government, did so until 1947 when Supreme Court Justice Black fabricated law by judging there was a wall separating church and state. It has been said that if one tells a lie big enough and long enough, people will believe it. I shudder when I hear Christians promoting separation of church and state because the lie has prevailed too long, and even the elect have succumbed.

James Madison, the chief architect of our Constitution and prime contributor to the first amendment, wrote: "We have staked the future of our political institutions upon the capacity of mankind for self-government; upon the capacity of each and all of us to govern ourselves, to control ourselves, to sustain ourselves according to the Ten Commandments of God."

You're concerned about one being offended by the Ten Commandments. Are the people not offended by runaway activist judges who, instead of interpreting the Constitution, concoct laws out of the blue and strip prayer, Bible reading and the Ten Commandments from our institutions? One can hardly recognize the Christian heritage our founding fathers envisioned for America.

Finally, it's never right to flee when no one's pursuing or to cower and ignore one's principles. Mayor Venerable and the county commission have backbone. I support them.

Phyllis Ramey
Kingsport

Copyright February 12 2004, Kingsport Publishing Corporation.


Supreme law

I am amazed as I read day after day, letter after letter of people proclaiming the Constitution of the United States as the supreme law of this land. Arguments are made for gay rights, abortion, etc. on what is afforded under our Constitution. There is one supreme law and lawgiver, the God of the Bible who wrote with his own hand the Ten Commandments and gave them to Moses.

His word is absolute truth and authority. God and his word are far above our Constitution, Supreme Court, president and Congress. Abortion is murder, period.

God destroyed Sodom and those evil cities for the sin of homosexuality. It does not matter what men say or think about these issues. Men can scoff and mock, but there is already a day appointed that every knee will bow and every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord.

Mark A. Clonce
Mount Carmel

Copyright February 12 2004, Kingsport Publishing Corporation.


Doing his job

Re. the letter to the editor from Mr. John Irwin concerning the display of the Ten Commandments, while I thoroughly agree with Mr. Irwin on the display of the Ten Commandments, I respectfully disagree with his statement regarding Dan Street, our county attorney.

Mr. Street is a very honorable man, a faithful and active member of his church, and his statement did not necessarily reflect his thoughts on the subject. It is his job to interpret the law, and he is doing just that.

No, as Mr. Irwin wrote, "he is not a commissioner elected to represent the people," but he would be less than candid if he suggested that we disobey the law.

Elizabeth Powell
Kingsport

Copyright February 13 2004, Kingsport Publishing Corporation.


Gays have rights

In response to Doris Early's letter Feb. 11, I am not homosexual. I am married to a woman with a baby on the way. The problem with her conservative view on homosexuality is that it is totally un-American. By telling a homosexual that he or she may not live their life the way in which they choose, we are becoming the tyranny that our ancestors sailed away from.

One of the basic foundations of being an American is the right to choose the way in which we live and how we conduct our daily business. Imagine for a second that heterosexuals were the minority. Would you want homosexuals telling us that we were not able to be wedded because their beliefs dictated that our way of life was wrong? There are a few people in this country who have differing views of religion.

It is every citizen's responsibility to respect the beliefs and rights of others. If you don't want to watch homosexual television programs, then don't. Don't let your kids watch if you find it inappropriate. I don't understand how anyone could think that a show is inappropriate just because it involves homosexual culture.

Have you watched "South Park," almost any soap operas or any other filthy shows lately? I bet the amount of shows on television that don't involve violence, sexuality, or clothed porn could be counted on 10 fingers or less. The U.S. is great today because of our diversity. If we tell homosexuals that they don't have any rights because we don't like what they are doing, then we might as well pack it up and pick a king and do away with our present government, equality, and the rights that we all cherish.

Joshua Hopkins
Elizabethton, Tenn.

Copyright February 13 2004, Kingsport Publishing Corporation.


Removing God

Re. the display of the Ten Commandments, the First Amendment does not state anything about separation of church and state or where you could exercise your faith. Congress has not made any law that establishes any religion or to prohibit the free exercise thereof.

The Constitution says what it means. There is no law written for these secular humanist judges to interpret. Our freedom is being taken away while we sleep. We are being hounded by judges writing laws from the bench.

They are not legislators. Jefferson warned of judges ruling outside of the law, over the people's elected representative. When prayer and Bible reading were in public places and our schools, our nation was protected and prospered.

Since God has been removed from public places and our schools, our nations is filled with violence. We are unsafe in our homes, our community, our nation. Many of our schools have gangs and drugs. This is what happens when God is removed from any society. What else could we expect? America has lost its spiritual and moral soul.

The Ten Commandments is not a religion. They are the laws of God whether we like it or not.

William Derting
Mount Carmel

Copyright February 13 2004, Kingsport Publishing Corporation.









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