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Letters

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Republican

Party Creed

    We believe that free enterprise is the most productive supplier of human need and economic justice; that all individuals are entitled to equal rights, justice, and opportunities and individuals should assume responsibilities as citizens in a free society; fiscal responsibility and budgetary restraints must be exercised at all levels of government; the federal government must preserve individual liberty by observing constitutional limitations; peace is best preserved by a strong defense; faith in God, as recognized by our founding fathers, is essential to the moral fiber of the nation.

    I recently joined the Bedford Republican Party and was pleased that the meeting was started with a prayer, a pledge of allegiance and a reading of the Republican Party Creed.

    There is a lot stated in the party creed that differentiates Republican from Democrats.

    The first difference is the emphasis on a free enterprise system (Capitalism) instead of Socialism.

    The next is that individuals should assume responsibilities.  Socialism rewards those that fail to all they can to avoid behavior that leads to disease, death and destruction.   Socialism penalizes those who do live the Christian Lifestyle.

    The next is that government must exercise budget restraints.  Democrats hurt the economy by excessive wasteful spending that does more harm than good.

    The next is a strong defense.   Democrats always destroy the military and the policy of appeasement and negotiation led to the buildup of the Islamic Terrorists and the 9/11 attack on America.

    Finally, I was very pleased that the Republican Party still recognizes the need to recognize God in politics.   The Democratic Party advocation of abortion and homosexuality is a rebuke of God and what is written in the Bible. ...

    I believe the following can be said about Republicans.

    When compared to perfection, Republicans did not look good, but when compared to Democrats, Republicans look brilliant.   Without the propaganda support of the Atheistic Liberal News Media the Democrats would look ridicules.

    Republicans have yet to prove to me that they totally support Christian principles, but Democrats have proven they do “not” support Christian Principles.

    If the Republican party creed is what represents your beliefs, join the Bedford Republican Party and stop the move to Socialism and Atheism by electing Republican to state offices this November and to national offices in November 2010.

Clifford D. Russell

Forest

McLoughlin’s monkey business

     David McLoughlin has yet again challenged historic Christianity (“The monkey origin,” 5/13). Routinely, McLoughlin presented the case as scientific fact verses irrational faith.  The issue, however, is better understood by L.H. Matthews, expressed in his the introduction to Darwin’s Origin of the Species (1971 ed.).  “Belief in the theory of evolution is thus exactly parallel to belief in special creation.  Both are concepts which the believers know to be true, but neither, up to the present, has been capable of proof.”  The battle then is over two mutually exclusive worldviews, two systems of interpreting the “facts”—evolutionary naturalism verses Christian theism.

    McLoughlin assumes evolutionary naturalism as the only “rational” starting point for viewing the “facts” of science.  But if naturalism’s the case, even the scantiest possibility of rationality, knowledge, and science would be annihilated.  Thus, McLoughlin would have to know that naturalism was false to even argue for it.

    To begin with, McLoughlin is guilty of equivocating the term “evolution,” treating its two different meanings interchangeably.  Concerning evolution, either he means micro-evolution, which is simply minor changes within a species, according to the law of biogenesis; or he means what we can call meta-evolution, “The Cosmos is all there was, is, and ever will be,” as popular atheist Carl Sagan stated.  If McLoughlin means the latter, it follows that human rationality is also the product of irrational, impersonal matter, time, and chance.  Since no one argues about microevolution; therefore, consider meta-evolution and its ability to account for human reason and knowledge.

    If, for argument’s sake, naturalism’s true, and human reason is the result of meta-evolutionary processes, then the probability of our reason being reliable and trustworthy would be very low, even inscrutable.  This is because our brains, rather than being designed and created for producing true beliefs, would rather be a chance collision of irrational bits of impersonal matter.  Thus, we’d have strong reason to doubt the validity of all our perceptions and beliefs, including the belief that evolutionary naturalism is true.

    The fact that our reasoning abilities are generally reliable and capable of true beliefs is reason enough to conclude that naturalism cannot be true.  Thus, evolutionary naturalism is irrational as either a starting point for or conclusion to our reasoning process.

    Consider, secondly, that which governs our rationality, logical laws.  If the physical universe is all there is, and it’s in a constant state of change, then the laws of logic cannot exist.  Unlike the physical part of the world, the laws of logic never change, they’re absolute and invariable; these laws are immaterial, and true independent of any physical application.  Logic cannot be extrapolated from nature.  Neither is it generated by the human brain, individually or collectively, since the brain too is ever changing.

    There’s utterly no place in the naturalist’s universe for entities like logical laws.  Logic, without which we couldn’t even think, cannot exist if naturalism is true.  To debate the issue, McLoughlin, at some deeper level, must know that his position is false.  Even to enter into debate, the naturalist must concede the Christian worldview, because if evolutionary naturalism were correct, debate couldn’t happen.

    Fourth, the scientific principles that naturalism assumes depend on the more fundamental principle that the universe has a rational structure and operates in a law-like, uniform manner.  According to naturalism, however, the ultimate principle governing all things is irrational, Chance.  Naturalism cannot account for the most basic realities—human reason, logic, induction, the uniformity of the natural order—on which it operates.  Naturalism mauls the very hands that feed it.

    With trepidation, Darwin himself recognized this logical end to his theory, saying, “But then with me the horrid doubt always arises whether the convictions of man’s mind, which has been developed from the mind of the lower animals, are of any value or at all trustworthy. Would any one trust in the convictions of a monkey’s mind, if there are any convictions in such a mind?”  (Charles Darwin, to William Graham, 3 July 1881).  What’s funny is that  McLoughlin said, “The truth is no credible evolutionary scientist...would ever say that humans came from monkeys.”  We agree, Darwin wasn’t a “credible scientist”!

    In conclusion, as Matthews observed, the debate is not over “facts” but two systems of interpreting the “facts,” two worldviews.  By granting evolutionary naturalism’s fundamental commitment to Chance, we discover that the very means we take for granted to make sense of the “facts;” that is, reason, logic, etc., are themselves unintelligible.  Far from “attacking science education” and progress, as McLoughlin charged, the Christian worldview alone provides the rational basis necessary for going to the lab and doing science.  McLoughlin’s evolutionary naturalism obliterates rationality and knowledge, slaying it on the altar of Chance and human autonomy.  Therefore, in his vain attempt to argue against Christian theism, McLoughlin must first assume its truth.  

Kevin Stevenson

Big Island

Smiled at

decision

    I smiled when I saw an article in last weeks paper, re: that Mr. Roger Cheek decided to run to continue being a Supervisor in our county.

    That decision in itself is yet another example of how deeply he cares about the farmers, small businesses and every other little man in our county. He is pushing himself and trying to operate his own small business every day, while he is looking out for the small citizens of the county.

    I am not in his district but I’d stand by him as strongly as he stands by the little people of the county. Rarely in my life have I met other people whom have had the combination of integrity, understanding, compassion and brains of my own dear, wonderful deceased parents, yet, most surely Roger Cheek is one of those rare people, and as long as he is able he’ll be there for “the people.”

Edmund Coffey

Bedford

Don’t take away our leftovers

    Bedford Primary School is the only school in the County without a gym.  Earlier this year Dr. Blevins announced at a PTA meeting that the county would most likely begin construction in August of 2009 and complete construction before the end of the school year.  Now the county is trying to put the project on hold again.

    Parents have put in countless hours making telephone calls, writing letters, and attending and speaking at school board meetings over the last decade in order to get the county to make the health of its youngest students equal in priority with the high school athletic system.  In the meantime auxiliary gyms have been built while the children at the Primary school have spent minimal time in PE on unmopped floors in the cafeteria.

    In the 2004/2005 school year I took my turn speaking to the school board.  They were very gracious in hearing my plea and responded positively, agreeing to my request that the primary gym be included in the first phase of construction along with the Jefferson Forest renovation.  It would be done before auxiliary gyms.  It hasn’t been.

    Since then, the school population has grown from 240 to 350 students.  Obesity and childhood diabetes have continued to rise as well as the number of children diagnosed with ADD.  Schools have faced increased pressure to meet AYP in SOL testing.  While the testing doesn’t begin until the third grade, the pressure starts when the students walk through the door on the first day of kindergarten.  Studies have shown that movement affects performance, but these young children don’t have room to move.  Many city kids also have less safe, ample space to play within their own neighborhoods than the kids in the rural schools do.  They perhaps need the gym more than any others.  

    Two misconceptions may deter residents from setting the gym as a priority.  The first is that the school board has given the reversion of the city to a town as a reason to put off the expenditure.  The city does not own the Primary school and never has.  The city owns and maintains the elementary and middle schools.

    The second misconception is that if the county puts off this expenditure it may be able to save jobs that are being cut due to the recession.  The money cannot be used for anything other than construction.  It was federal money provided through the Public/ Private Education Facilities Infrastructure Act that has guidelines requiring the money to be used for facilities.  It therefore cannot be used to fund positions.  This year we were told again that the gym would be built.  The money that was to be used for the gym was money left over from the renovation of Jefferson Forest and the auxiliary gyms.  Although the Primary school was supposed to be in Phase I, it wasn’t.  We’re just asking to not have our leftovers taken away, leaving us with an empty plate!

    Don’t let this money go to bleachers, office renovations or more auxiliary gyms before ensuring that our youngest have a clean, adequate space for a well rounded healthy education.  You don’t have to have a child at the Primary school to care about our city’s kids.  Call, write and meet with our school board representatives to let them know what the priorities should be.  

Barbara Owen

Bedford

Cut testing, not teachers

   

    I am a retired school teacher and have said to myself over and over, “now I don’t have to care, worry or be bothered by whatever there powers that be choose to do. 

    Most of the plain folks that I know realize that the country is run by the drug companies, insurance companies, and textbook companies and that there doesn’t seem to be any way to stop what is happening to our country.   In all of the financial crisis news, we just look at who is covering up something and watch as reporters are repeatedly lead on wild goose chases and ultimately no finding out any specific facts.  Drug companies bombard the air waves with ads about the drugs they want to sell.  TV news can’t offend these people because they provide so much ad money to them.

    Textbook companies don’t even have to advertise, they just print up whatever they want and send their lobbyists out - then the local school systems get sucked up into spending large amounts for texts that really aren’t worth it.  Then there is the testing aspect of education which is used to drive the public with information about scores which in my opinion can be manipulated so many ways that the information doesn’t have much credibility for me.  What is never discussed by the media, the school boards or the administrations is how much all of this testing cost the taxpayers of America and who test the money.

    When I read again about the fact that they are planning to cut teachers in a working population that needs as many trained human persons as possible to monitor (so they can teach) the diverse students who have so many different needs in today’s world, but they never mention cutting the millions of dollars spent on testing, I decided to say something.

    The testing probably absorbs as much as six weeks of class time in a given year in many school systems, and does not and never can reach all of the student population accurately.  If you don’t think this is a real problem, just go to any school system and try to get them to tell you exactly what they spend on testing each year.  You will also find out that the tests are made, and scored by an outside company (which taxpayers pay for) and that occasionally mistakes are made by said companies and the response is usually something like, “Ooops, my bad!”  If they repair the damage, guess who pays.

    I think that before these systems cut people, they should consider the testing.

 

Frankie Puckett

Retired Reading Teacher

Moneta

What they went through

    I am writing to you and all the people of Bedford, numerous states, France, Veterans of WWII, and the wars following WWII. I didn’t attend the morning-noonday services as I am handicapped. My heart was there with all the veterans that were not able to attend the 65th ceremony. I read in the papers, in just our area, of the passing of veterans that weren’t able to be there to tell their stories. They survived and came home. We should listen to their stories and try to envision the hell they went through. Most were just teenagers fighting for what they believed in: their country, their family and a better way of life. This should be instilled in every child that is born here after so they will know the horror of what our American soldiers endured. The D-Day Memorial will live on forever if people are educated to what these boys went through to become “Men.”

    When the war was over, their prime reason was to get on with their lives. They didn’t talk much of the war and atrocities they endured. Therefore, we should open our hearts and ears to the ones that remain and listen to their stories. We have been fortunate to have gotten a lot of Veteran’s experiences on tape. The children of tomorrow will have this history and hope they realize what their grandparents went through to make a better country for them to grow up in.

    I want to commend the D-Day Committee and all the workers for  a wonderful day of remembrance. Thanks a bunch to all the veterans that made their way to the 65th ceremony. We love you for all that you fought for. Those that are still here and those that have passed on, we can’t thank you enough. I think of ours boys that are buried in France that never made it home. Thanks to the French people that care for the graves there.

    I was there at 7 p.m. for the program and the luminary lighting. Our way of showing we care! When that full moon came up and the luminaries were at their brightest, an old song Kate Smith sang came to mind. Its title, “When the Moon Comes Over The Mountains.”  What better place to honor Bedford men than this D-Day Memorial in our town of Bedford, Virginia. Thanks again and again to all that have worked so diligently for this memorial. Let’s remember all our veterans that have served our country whether it is war or peace. Thanks to all the newspaper coverage of the events, pictures, and interviews. Thanks to the television stations that carried it on T.V. for the people to see that weren’t able to be there in person.

    A suggestion to TV stations, make a video or DVD and sell it to keep the D-Day Memorial going. It will be something you can show with your children and grandchildren one day.

Lois Dezelich

Bedford