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Letters

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Flames spread to Bedford

For the past several years in our country, some politicians, news commentators and talk show hosts have fanned the flames of fear and suspicion over the question of illegal immigration.

Now it appears those flames have jumped the fire line and are burning in Bedford. And the fire has jumped out of the forest of illegal immigration and has burned the private property of one company?s attempt to provide simple, decent housing to workers in a legal migrant worker program.

I refer to the Bedford County Board of Supervisors? decision on March 10th to deny May Brothers, Inc. a special use permit to build townhouses for its seasonal workers.

I was not at the public hearing that night, so my reactions are based solely on what was reported by the Bedford Bulletin. From several of the quotes reported in that article, I must agree with Supervisor Lowry that there seemed to be an underlying racial tone to some of the opposition. References to ?those people? suggest a fear and suspicion totally out of place with reality.

Opposition to providing housing for people who come from a different place, speak a different language, and work under a temporary visa program is at best a callous selfishness and at worst a form of xenophobia. I am very disappointed by the decision made by the Board of Supervisors.

Is that really the community we want to be? Do we really want to say, ?Bedford only welcomes you if you are like us??

I see this as more than a land use or zoning question ? I see it as a moral issue. As a Christian, I am not supposed to look out only for my own selfish interests, but am to be concerned about others ? no matter where they come from. In the Bible, the children of Israel were reminded to care for the strangers in their midst: ?You shall also love the stranger, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt.? (Deuteronomy 10:19) And in the New Testament, Jesus told his disciples that they should treat the stranger as they would treat Jesus himself. ?I was a stranger and you welcomed me.? (Matthew 25:35) For those of us for whom the Bible is a guide for living, I think this is a mandate that we shouldn?t ignore.

Bedford is a great place to live. I hope that in the future we can share the blessing that we have been given and not be so quick to exclude people. Let?s welcome the stranger.

Rev. Bill Moore

Bedford

Anti-American action

The Virginia Taxpayers Association rightfully blasted "anti-American" dictatorial action by House Speaker William J. Howell Feb. 12, 2008, in refusing to allow the House Rules Committee even to discuss a pre-filed bipartisan House Joint Resolution (HJR 86), opposing the unconstitutional North American Union, when senior members of the committee from both parties wanted to bring up the matter.

The resolution supported action by a fellow Virginia Republican in the U.S. House of Representatives, Virgil Goode, R-5th, in introducing House Concurrent Resolution 40 (HCR 40) on the same subject, which already has 45 bipartisan cosponsors, including another Virginia Republican, Rep. Robert J. Wittman, R-1st.

HCR 40 knocks down George W. Bush's unconstitutional Security and Prosperity Partnership (SPP) with leaders of Mexico and Canada, which sets up a North American Union with a single continental government eliminating borders between the three nations. This traitorous move clearly destroys U. S. sovereignty, our national legal system and any chance for continued American freedom.

HCR 40 also states that the U. S. should not engage in construction of a NAFTA Superhighway System, which introduces unrestricted foreign trucking into the United States, that can pose a safety hazard due to 'inadequate maintenance' of these trucks.

A sad "customary protocol" on the House Rules Committee prevents a member from asking the House Speaker if a resolution will be heard at the current meeting. Speaker Howell in arrogantly tossing HJR 86 into the waste basket without letting any committee member question the procedure, wrongfully took the position that the resolution had 'no support' in the committee.

The fact that the House Speaker sometimes has more power than the governor, including committee appointments, and is therefore held in awe, means that no delegate dares to openly buck him by questioning how he does business. So, in effect, Virginia citizens were subject to anti-American one man rule on one of the most important measures that came before the 2008 General Assembly.

George Kelly

Bedford