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Letters to the editor

March 04, 2005

Vote for Alesia Parson


To the editor:

After reading what the Community Focus Group had to say about Alesia Parson, how could I not add my two cents? I too can speak on the community activism of Parson. Let's start with her determination to bring a sense of culture to the city, county and region with a Jamaican Festival held every August at Wheaton Park.

Parson saw the need for diversity, not only for the Jonathan Street community, but also for our county. In six years, the festival has grown to be a vessel of information by bringing together the necessary groups that work to strengthen our community in the areas of awareness and prevention, including the Washington County Health Department, Washington County Department of Social Services (foster care and child support), Mental Health of Western Maryland, voter registration offices and local small business owners.

In 1997, Parson also organized the Family and Friends Day held once a year in Wheaton Park - a day of remembrance of lost loved ones and celebration of life through music and the spoken word. In 1996, she organized a voter campaign. By enlisting the help of her friends, including myself, we made signs that were put out in our community and went door to door (the day before the presidential election) encouraging people to come out and vote.

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Beyond that, the work that Parson has done for the "Around Jonathan Street" column was instrumental in seeing that the voice of the Jonathan Street community became a staple, not only for our community, but also for our city.

Our community is very excited about this election. I'm sure we can all agree that this is a momentous occasion for our community - to see the glee and excitement from the neighborhood can only lead to uplifted spirits and joy. I'm sure Parson will bring the same integrity and grace to this election as she does in her own life.

And in keeping with the sprit of Black History Month: Alesia is the first African-American woman to run for City Council in Hagerstown.

Tamara Doleman
Hagerstown




Chris Rock should be crushed


To the editor:

Last night Chris Rock hosted the Academy Awards show. He wasn't even funny, and whoever said he was an authority on politics? The Academy Awards show certainly was not a forum for launching into a diatribe on President Bush and his administration.

Chris Rock had no business glorifying Maxwell Crawford and his purely politically biased movie. This was not satire. This was raw political slander. Even the leftist Hollywood audience was obviously squeamish listening to his tirade.

If the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences wanted to recognize Maxwell for his work, it would have nominated him for an award. Thank God that they recognized that the award ceremony was not the place for partisan politics.

ABC should be censured for allowing this to happen without bleeping it out. The Republican Party and President Bush should demand equal time, in prime time, from ABC to rebut this political attack.

Jerome "Jerry" Gettler
Hagerstown




Commandments are for hearts, not lawns


To the editor:

On March 2, the U.S. Supreme Court heard arguments on whether our Constitution allows the Ten Commandments to be posted on public property. The decision could have far-reaching implications for many references to God in public life, from "In God We Trust" and "one nation under God" to prayers before sessions of Congress.

Many people of faith are understandably concerned that a ruling against the display of the Ten Commandments could be part of a trend curtailing the right of Americans to express their deeply held religious beliefs. Some churches even observed a "Ten Commandments Sunday" this week, launching a time of special prayer over the Supreme Court case.

How ironic that a majority of the Ten Commandments' ardent supporters neglect a key precept of that document: "Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. . . . The seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work."

The failure of most Christians to keep this command is understandable - centuries of tradition have convinced most people that the holy day has been changed or that God's instruction no longer applies. A careful study of the Bible, however, indicates that this command, like the rest, still stands.

I agree with the Ten Commandments advocates that following God's law will benefit any individual or society.

According to Deuteronomy, God gave these commands for our own good. What better relief from stress-filled, fast-paced modern life than a weekly day of rest? What better antidote for workaholism and consumerism than an entire day in which striving for economic gain takes a back seat?

What better protection against the fragmentation of families and communities than a day spent with those we love and on causes that matter? What better antidote for secularism than a day to reflect on the God who made us? (Interesting how the priorities of the other nine commandments are so well summed up in this one.)

Placing the Ten Commandments on courthouse lawns will never bring about the positive transformation in society that Christian activists desire. Adopting their teachings in our homes and hearts, however, will.

Rachel Whitaker
Hagerstown

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