Publication:Johnson City Press; Date:Apr 6, 2008; Section:Opinion; Page Number:2B

County has strong reps who have forgotten it

    I live in Johnson County and we are represented in Nashville by two individuals who live in Sullivan County. They are two individuals who are very well politically connected within the Republican Party. Lt. Gov. Ron Ramsey wants to be governor and House Minority Leader Jason Mumpower wants to lead the House. Neither of these people really needs the vote in Johnson County since Sullivan has enough votes to carry them to re-election.

    The salvation of Johnson County in the eyes of the political duo and our county government is growth through immigration. They ignore the plight of the majority of the residents who live here and suffer the consequences. Almost half the county residents are at or below the federal poverty level.

    The state prison, the county school system and the county government provide more than half our jobs. The county is ranked near the bottom among all counties in Tennessee in terms of present health and long-term projected health of the population. The health statistics are from a statewide study of all counties in the state released a couple of years ago.

    I wonder if Ramsey and Mumpower mention in Nashville that they represent one of the poorest counties in Tennessee. I wonder if they have a sense of urgency as they address our pressing needs for health care, jobs and shelter among many other equally pressing needs. I want to ask the two worthy gentleman if they will forget for a second their political ambitions and address our urgent needs here in Johnson County. GARY WAYNE ROBERTS Mountain City

Speaking Spanish in U.S.

    I came from South Florida and I worked in Miami for 10 1 /2 years. I finally had to quit. I could read, write and speak Spanish. However, I refused to speak it in my own country. It was necessary because I dealt with so many Spanishspeaking companies and letters of credit.

    The Spanish-speaking people I worked with got so they would tell me I would need a green card to continue working in Miami. They thought it was very funny. But, I did not. My department had 38 people in it and only two of us spoke English. And believe me, the first Spanish I learned from them was cuss words.

    Wait until Spanish is a required language in school. CAROLYN NEWTON Johnson City Faith and rationalization

    I am a Christian. I feel no hatred toward the self-avowed atheist who wrote supporting evolution. He is trying to understand things, and he is right about using our rational minds to figure out what is true or not. But ...

    1. Rationally, evolution has nothing to do with creation. It is post-creation. Evolution is the development of what is from what was. It, therefore, requires something from which other things evolve.

    That “something” was creation. There is only scientific speculation (faith?) as to the origin, or creation, of that something, but many scientists do think it was God.

    2. Rationally, God’s existence cannot be proven scientifically — unless he wills it. That’s why it’s called faith. But it is rational to believe he created whatever we evolved from.

    The alternative is that creation just somehow happened; that there was nothing, and then there was something.

    3. Rationally, the Bible may be “ ... a great work of reading fiction.” But “rational” is a human concept. The real concern is whether the Bible is fiction from its author’s point. It may appear fictional, or incomplete, because we don’t understand its message.

    Rather than trying to understand what we’re being taught, we should study the Bible ourselves deeply, inquiringly, open-mindedly and prayerfully.

    I pray neither our atheist friend nor I receive hateful comments. “Christian” and “hate” should not appear in the same sentence (except here). God loves even those who hate or disavow him. So should Christians — both rationally and in faith.



Learning about family

    I thoroughly enjoyed reading the article “Her lives were many” and looking at the photographs on exhibit at the Johnson City Public Library featuring the Hugh L. White collection.

    The woman featured in the picture was my grandmother (Eliza White) holding my father (Lt. Col. Hugh L. White) who was the former Civil Defense Director for Johnson City.

    I also found out through the article that I can research the archives at East Tennesee State University’s Sherrod Library. Both my grandparents were deceased by the time I was born, so this was very special to me.

    My grandfather was also one of the founding fathers of the Johnson City Country Club along with his other achievements written about in the article.

    I wish my parents were still living, as this would have thrilled them also.

    Thank you to Allison Alfonso, Press writer and Lisa Williams, assistant librarian at JCPL. STACEY WHITE FERREN Gray