Letters to the Editor - July 4, 2014

Questions reasons for closure

In his goodbye article in The Sun, Clinton Vining said lack of people getting the paper, and lack of advertisers, were the reasons for the Sun’s demise.

I retired after 40 successful years of selling cutting tools for various companies. When sales were low, the tendency was to blame the salesman.

I know from considerable experience that it’s the product that’s at fault. If you give the customers what they want and need, they will not only buy it, they will come back for more.

I certainly hope the News-Register will not only pick up the slack, but do a better job of keeping Sheridan residents informed of local events affecting their community — without prejudice, allowing those of us who want to voice our opinions to do so.

Terry L. Davis



Prayers might help

Last week, several letters to the editor opposed generic prayers before the county commissioners commenced their meetings.

The commissioners have a huge responsibility to our residents in making the right decisions for the people of this county. I feel any help that might make a difference in their judgments should be used, large or small, including silent or spoken prayers.

As for me, when I make personal decisions, I ask for guidance. Many presidents of this great country, past and present, have done so either silently or publicly as well. Why should the commissioners not do the same?

It takes only a few minutes, at negligible cost, and time spent in prayer could make the difference between a right or wrong decision.

We voted, in part, for their principles. They should not be asked to change.

Dick White



Consider private prayer

My husband and I pray before our evening meal. I don’t know what he says, but I give thanks for our time together and remember those who are, for some reason, in my thoughts that day.

Prayer is, for me, a clarifying experience. It helps me focus on what is important. It reminds me what I need to do, what people and things matter to me, where I should be kinder. Although prayer is not a religious sacrament for me, it serves to connect me with the wider world and to confirm how my thoughts and actions affect others.

Were I a church member, I would find great comfort in praying with my church family, knowing that we are sharing common beliefs and principles. But apart from church, family and private gatherings, I think prayer should remain a personal thing. One can, indeed, offer a silent prayer anywhere, any time and for any purpose.

It is incredibly poor judgment on the part of Commissioner Springer to impose his personal desire for prayer on those attending commission meetings. While individuals with business before the commission have no choice other than to attend, they should have a choice as to whether or not to be subjected to prayer before being allowed to get to work.

While some suggest that forcing prayer prior to commission meetings is an unseemly public display by Commissioner Springer, designed merely to demonstrate his piety, I rather suspect that it is a misguided attempt to add a higher dimension to the proceedings.

There is no way of knowing, but I implore him to consider a private prayer in his office before entering the meeting room. This would address his need for prayerful guidance while avoiding the inappropriate imposition of his personal beliefs upon the general public.

Erma S. Vasquez



Doesn’t buy the argument

The hypocrisy evidenced in the letters by Bates and Hilbert makes their opinions laughable (Readers’ Forum, June 27). Their attempts to exhibit enlightenment and inclusiveness in their views are overshadowed by hatred and intolerance shown toward a practice with centuries of precedent in the United States — invocations at public meetings.

It seems to me Commissioner Springer seeks to use opening prayer as an indication to all that the meeting to follow should be focused on the best possible result for citizens, rather than advancing personal causes.

The U.S. Constitution may well be a secular document, as Mr. Bates says, but many of its authors espoused Christianity. The shrill cries and polarizing terms utilized by Bates and Hilbert suggest concerns about offending folks — i.e., “disenfranchising and marginalizing” them with prayer. I don’t buy that argument.

Those who might view God as a “wizard from outer space,” or who don’t believe in God at all, aren’t superior to people who find meaning in religion. The same Constitution, as amended by the Bill of Rights, says as much. If they think they are, then their insistence on elimination of a symbolic prayer is indicative of their own judgmental and dogmatic attitudes.

Leave the guy alone. He was duly elected and is showing sincerity in his pledge to discharge his duties to the best of his ability. The opening prayer is a way of proving to his constituents his desire to serve them responsibly.

James Klein



David Bates

There is a profound difference between "hatred and intolerance" and the cordial expression of honest disagreement over policy. Discussion of this issue will be more productive if participants are able to distinguish between the two.

James Klein

Believe it or not, I agree with Mr. Bates' comment on my letter. In recent years, however, I have seen those inflammatory terms used (almost always together) in attacking several traditions that have deep personal meaning.

I employed them as an oblique reference to what I perceive as their overuse and misuse. Mr. Bates' response points up the strong reactions they evoke--confirmation he and I have common ground--and I respect him for pointing out my poor judgment.


The "opening prayer" is a proof of nothing. I'd much prefer to witness common sense and maturity than a bowed head and clasped hands.


Truth is truth, whether one accepts it as such or not. Truth is, there is one true God in three persons; Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. The fool in his heart says there is no God. I choose to not be so foolish as to deny or reject or mock God.
God is omniscient, all knowing; omnipotent, all powerful; and omnipresent, simultaneously everywhere and every when as well. To acknowledge God seems to be a very wise thing indeed. There is a vast resource of power, strength, knowledge, wisdom, truth, love, and peace in God. That resource is available to those who recognize and acknowledge God. Seems like a very positive advantage to me. That advantage can be had in any or all aspects of our lives if we acknowledge God.
Seems to me to invoke God at our local government meetings or our service club meetings or our breakfast tables or our daily commutes or tasks is a wise thing to do. Why not have the ultimate power in the universe by one's side at any and all aspects of one's life?
I don't believe Allen Springer's actions are to proselytize or convert or preach the Gospel. I think he is wisely asking for God's presence and God's guidance in our commissioner's meetings for the benefit of all. Seems to be a real positive action to bring to the table.

David C. Koch


Prove there is one true God. Your statement doesn't make it true. I believe Allen Springer's actions are flatly to project a picture of piousness that I'm not buying.
Making people stand to pray is ridiculous and divisive.
I'm surprised he doesn't make them kneel. Or grovel. How about some teeth-gnashing? Talking in tongues...rattlesnake handling...


I have been watching this local debate with interest. Following the recent Supreme Court “Hobby Lobby” decision, the subject seems to have intensified. Religion is an extremely personal issue. We all have our own spiritual beliefs that work for us. In America, no one can dictate that citizens must adhere to one religious practice or another, or indeed to ANY religious activity at all. If Commissioner Springer sees a need to offer a prayer before a business meeting, and participation is optional, what is the harm? Conversely, why is it necessary or even appropriate, to compel folks to stand up to participate? Is it a way to identify who in the room is religious, or who is comfortable declaring or not declaring their faith, or who may or may not be in agreement with Mr. Springer’s religious agenda? I hope he will reconsider that aspect of this new practice. In Tuesday’s edition of the N/R, Mr. Springer encourages people who “have a problem” to “check it out for themselves.” How exactly would that make a difference? It appears that the Commissioner does not comprehend the nature of the "problem."


Treefarmer is absolutely correct. Making people stand, and in so doing declaring their unanimity with Springer and his dictates, remains the issue here. I also believe he is very pleased with his silly "power" over others in a situation that should never have proceeded this far. This represents a serious misstep and, worse, one that hints at future problems connected with an overly large and immature ego.


With apologies to The Bard, methinks Lulu doth protest too much. We can disagree over whether or not the commissioners should offer an invocation, and speculate about the motivations behind the exercise, but Lulu is now trying to psycho-analyze Mr. Springer ("I also believe he is very pleased with his silly "power" over others..."), and assign him to the slippery slope of despotism ("...a serious misstep and, worse, one that hints at future problems connected with an overly large and immature ego."). Oh, my!

I don't know how well Lulu actually knows the commissioner, but she seems unrestrained in casting judgements against him. If Lulu truly believes that, "Making people stand, and in so doing declaring their unanimity with Springer and his dictates, remains the issue here.", I would suggest perhaps communicating that specific concern directly with Commissioner Springer and the other board members. Regardless of Lulu's denunciation of the chair, I don't believe Mr. Springer is so unreasonable that he wouldn't consider allowing people to remain seated for an invocation.

But, Lulu may have far greater powers of divination into the mind of Allen Springer than he - or any of the rest of us - could imagine.


God was hijacking my hand as I wrote my comments, (while in a seated position, incidentally). It's absolutely true.
Yes, Sponge, Springer will certainly not smite people opting not to stand, but we all know what such behavior silently communicates. With apologies to the movie "Freaks," it suggests they're not "one of us."
Zounds, methinks this argument has grown circular.


Lulu, those in church circles probably wouldn't use the phrase, "God was hijacking my hand", but rather the more ecclesiastically appropriate, "God was using me as His instrument of rebuke." You were bold to remain seated - and to keep your eyes open and head up (I assume). I've never seen the movie "Freaks," but I have read "Hamlet." At least we have spanned the cultural touchstones of Western Civilization as props for our exchange. I appreciate your good humor.

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