Letters to the Editor - Aug. 30

August 29, 2011

Brooks to be commended for her leadership
To the editor:

The Herald-Mail editorial (Aug. 24) in appreciation for the community leadership Carolyn Brooks brought to the state initiatives called HotSpots/C-Safe was so very deserving. For more than a decade, I was privileged to watch and be led by this leader. She could assemble diverse constituents, be present to their varied hurts and hopes, and guide their conversations into actions that supported community betterment.

Mrs. Brooks possessed a unique ability to gather diverse citizens with varied agenda preferences and stir them into positive results without compromising integrity. I recall many times where she would stay in the face of all of us around the table until a compassionate and pragmatic solution was found to address a community need. Like a “burr in the saddle,” she refused to let this community gallop along and forget that real community is about sharing in the common good.

Thank you, Carolyn Brooks, for your leadership.

The Rev. Don Stevenson

League of Women Voters addresses redistricting plan

To the editor:

A governor’s redistricting advisory committee is holding meetings at 10 locations around the state. In Maryland, the governor is responsible for developing a redistricting plan in the second year following a census and introducing that bill in the legislature. 2012 would be the year for the next look at redistricting, but because 2012 is a presidential election year, there will be a special legislative session called this fall. This timing is necessary because Maryland holds an April presidential primary and the deadline to file for the presidential primary falls in the October/November time frame.

Redistricting is political. Our political parties work to ensure that the redistricting process protects their interests, and that can mean “protecting incumbents.”  

The League of Women Voters of Washington County encourages all citizens to take an active role in this redistricting process. While the Western Maryland meetings are over, the website lists information and additional meetings. I encourage you to let your elected officials hear what you think should happen in redistricting.

The League of Women Voters promotes:

A state redistricting process and standards that promote fair and effective representation in the state legislature and House of Representatives with maximum opportunity for public scrutiny.

An independent commission as the preferred redistricting body.

The membership of the redistricting commission should be appointed by the governor, the General Assembly and the Court of Appeals; and be bipartisan, geographically representative and not include any current state elected official.

Standards on which the redistricting plan is based should include substantially equal population; and geographic contiguity and geographic compactness.

The League of Women Voters encourages all to become informed about this process and to hold our government to fair and equitable voter representation.

Barbara Rice, president
League of Women Voters of Washington County

Non-Christian sources report facts about Christ

To the editor:

Critics often claim that we know nothing about Jesus outside of the New Testament. I believe this claim is often the result of assumption and not investigation.

There exist 17 known non-Christian sources that were written within 100 to 150 years of Jesus’ life, which is excellent for ancient history.  

Ancient historians such as Tacitus, Suetonius and Thallus record facts about the life of Christ. Furthermore, government officials such as Pliny the Younger, Emperor Trajan and Emperor Hadrian report facts about Jesus.
Finally, there are Jewish sources, other Gentile sources, Gnostic sources and more.

What facts about Jesus do these ancient non-Christian sources report?

Here are 12 of them:

1. Jesus lived during the time of Tiberius Caesar.

2. He lived a virtuous life.

3. He was a wonder-worker.

4. He had a brother named James.

5. He was acclaimed to be the Messiah.

6. He was crucified under Pontius Pilate.

7. He was crucified on the eve of the Jewish Passover.

8. Darkness and an earthquake occurred when he died.

9. His disciples believed he rose from the dead.

10. His disciples were willing to die for their belief.

11. Christianity spread rapidly as far as Rome.

12. His disciples denied the Roman gods and worshipped Jesus as God.

Please note that these facts are completely consistent with what the New Testament documents report concerning Christ.

From these non-Christian sources, we know more than 60 facts of the life of Jesus from outside the New Testament.

Chad Gross

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