Reader letters, March 5

Mar 04, 2014

Go Red Wolves

To the editor:

Last Friday night, I was part of a glorious celebration. Both Haywood Christian Academy boys and girls basketball teams became the 2014 Blue Ridge Christian Conference Champions.

All of us in the Haywood Christian Academy family walked away a little prouder that night, with trophies in tow.

Proud because both teams were conference champs?  Perhaps. But I could sense it was a little deeper than that. We walked away knowing that these two teams made up of delightful teenagers had demonstrated respect, discipline and good sportsmanship, not only during the tournament, but throughout the whole season.

The core values taught to them at Haywood Christian Academy and at home include love and respect for themselves and others.

The faculty, staff and coaches at Haywood Christian Academy are irreplaceable. Their attention and dedication, and yes, respect for every student at this school is manifested daily in so many ways.

Proud? Absolutely! Grateful for an extraordinary school? Even more.

Christina Allred


Religious need to practice tolerance

To the editor:

Two recent correspondents to your paper have decried the attempt of one small group in a local high school to form an secular club.

This letter is not about this failed attempt, but the astonishing response of some religious people.

To compare non believers to Al Qaida and fundamental Muslim groups and to say non believers are trying to eradicate all religion is just laughable and an insult to atheists.

The reported response to the high dchool students by so-called religious people and the nonsense letters to you speak volumes about the tolerance of these religious people.

I would also point out that when you consider the widespread presence of religious propaganda and the huge number of churches in this area, the threat imposed by a very few students is minuscule.  I do not believe atheists are trying to do away with all religion.

The constitutionality of our schools being free of religious bias is of very long- standing and it should be kept that way.

In one letter the writer talks of “denying God and His Creation.”  In the context of his letter, I suspect he means denying the teaching of creationism in schools, which certainly is a belief that has no place in public schools.

By all means, go to your church to learn their version of this story, but keep it out of public schools.

Finally, it is my experience that atheists are just as honest and reliable citizens as religious people and care just as much about others, contribute to society and (unlike some church groups here) do not go around trying to spread their point of view.

I have found that atheists use the golden rule, “do unto others as you would like to be treated.”

Robin Cortvriend.


Use no public funds to promote religion

To the editor;

Over 2,000 years ago, a certain homeless, unemployed, mere mortal man advised  “render unto Caesar what is Caesar’s, unto God what is God’s” and “love your neighbor as yourself.” This is the heart of “secular humanism.”

“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion ...” is the means our founders separated the church from the state. It was derived from Thomas Jefferson’s Act For Establishing Religious Freedom Article II. “Be it enacted by the General Assembly, that no man shall be compelled to frequent or support any religious worship, place or ministry whatsoever, nor shall be enforced restrained, molested or burthened in his body or goods, nor shall otherwise suffer on account of his religious opinions or belief; but that all men shall be free to profess, and by argument maintain, their opinion in matters of religion, and that the same shall in no wise diminish, enlarge, or affect their civil capacities.”

To that end, there is no right to prostelitize or otherwise use public monies to promote specific religious opinions. Not by a 14-year-old girl nor her parents at a public school event, nor any public gathering such as commissioners meetings. Only as our courts have allowed can “Almighty God” be used. And, no religious document such as the Ten Commandments nor Bible has any bearing on our shared constitutions as religious opinion exists as opinion only.

Chuck Zimmerman



Emergency care was great in Haywood

To the editor:

On Wednesday, Dec. 3 at 3:15 a.m. my husband awakened me with these words, “I think you need to take me to the hospital, I think I am having a heart attack.”

Due to his family history that both his dad and younger brother had open-heart surgery, I immediately called 911.

The young man who answered was both calming and helpful. He told us what to do before the ambulance arrived.

Within five minutes, the ambulance was at our home. Two paramedics entered and immediately starting checking my husband.

They did an EKG and determined that the pain was not his heart. He had been suffering back and neck pain so they felt this was the problem.

They were both caring and professional in their help. They offered him a free ride to the hospital but the pain had improved and knowing it was not his heart, he declined the offer.

When the left I said a prayers thanking God he was all right. I also thanked God that we have such wonderful care when we need it. Again, thanks to Waynesville EMS, keep up the good work.

Bob and Linda Hansen


Award deserved

To the editor:

Congratulations to the staff at The Mountaineer.

When I first moved here, someone told me, “don’t bother with a big town daily newspaper, The Mountaineer will tell you everything you need to know.”

They were right and because of your local newspaper I always feel connected with what’s going on in my town.

The Guide is so helpful and interesting to locals and to visitors alike.  Thank you for allowing me to be a small part of such a wonderful publication.

Margaret Roberts


Comments (2)
Posted by: Scott Lilly | Mar 05, 2014 09:17

Robin Cortvriend:

I think your comments have two main points:

1) "tolerance of these religious people" -- The proposed atheist group was a self-proclaimed watchdog group.  Any person on or off school property has the constitutional right to be religious.  The only restriction is that a government institution should not favor/promote any religion over another.  Religious people do not have to be tolerant of those trying to force them to be non-religious.  (I sympathize for the public school teacher who checks their religious beliefs and individual constitutional right at the school door.)


2) "atheists are just as honest and reliable citizens as religious people" -- Perhaps that's true.  But how do you measure atheist morality?  What is "legal" is not always morale.  What system of ethics governs atheists?  The "Golden Rule"?  As an example, I suppose what's known as "open marriage" could fit into that framework as well as premarital sex and alcohol and drug use.  So yes, I can see how "religious people" might object to such an open interpretation of morality.  I encourage you to be tolerant of that kind of concern from the religious people.

Posted by: Charles Zimmerman | Mar 05, 2014 10:15

                No one has the right to bother any one else with their religious opinions nor conduct. Equal protection is the role and duty of OUR Government      .

There is no mechanism for OUR secular republic to measure morality.     None.

             Morality can only be judged by "Almighty God", if there be one.

             Public school teachers are obligated to equally protect their students religious freedom by not allowing prosylitizing of any kind whatsoever. Unfortunetly, too many teachers don't teach the religious opinions from which OUR secular republic was founded.


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