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.
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.