Letters to the Editor - July 4, 2014

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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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