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Letters to the Editor - April 24

April 24, 2013

What are the implications of the ‘Jesus stomp?’

To the editor:

You might have heard about it, maybe not. A professor at a public (tax-funded) university in Florida had his students conduct the following assignment: Write the name “Jesus” on a sheet of paper. He then told the students to place the paper on the floor, name side up, and then stomp on it with their feet.

According to the professor, one student in the class had an objection and refused to participate. The professor said the student asked repeatedly, “How dare you disrespect someone’s religion?”

The student was disciplined, and reports vary as to why. He said it was after he threatened to take the exercise public, which he did. Others said it was after the professor reported the student to the school, saying the student had come up to him and said, “I want to hit you.”

The university later dropped all academic charges related to the incident and issued a formal apology to the student. The professor was placed on administrative leave, and the governor of Florida has demanded an investigation.

This incident, a type that has become all too common, has generated more questions than answers. Many are troublesome. I challenge you to consider some: How could this happen in America?  What does this say or affirm about academia and its disdain for Christianity? Why conduct this “lesson” so near the Christian holy week? Is this a microcosm of the nation at large? Have we sunk this low? 

The human race saw fit to crucify Jesus. Even Jesus said 2,000 years ago, “they hated me without a cause.” Why then does academia, among other groups, feel obliged to stomp on his name even now? Would a professor dare use names such as Mohammed, Buddha or Martin Luther King for such lessons? 

On a much grander scale, what does it say about our society when just one in a university class stands up and refuses to desecrate the one who many of us deem sinless and holy — God incarnate? Does this constitute a severe falling away from our Judeo-Christian values and the church itself? And lastly, if these numbers do indicate a falling away, can we not believe that the imminent return of Jesus the Christ is much sooner than we think?

Jim Rosko
Boonsboro


‘What difference does it make now?’

To the editor:

“What difference does it make now?” Hilary Clinton snapped when asked who it was who changed “terrorist” to “stupid video” when describing the reason for the slaughter in Benghazi as reported in the intelligence memo.

“What difference does it make now?” that Stephanie Cutter, President Obama’s campaign chief, blathered on with the charge that Mitt Romney was a felon.

“What difference does it make now?” that during the final debate Candy Crowley backed up the president’s claim that he called Benghazi a “terrorist attack” “right from the beginning,” which was patently false. That falsehood was proved when CBS belatedly released a portion of the sit-down interview with Obama right after the attack, revealing him claiming a “video” prompted the murders. He continued to state that falsehood for two weeks.

“What difference does it make now?” when one reflects on Michelle Obama, the night her husband clinched the nomination, claiming this “is the first time in my adult life I have been proud of my country.”

“What difference does it make now?” that the president said to an adoring crowd on his last campaign stop when they booed the name of Romney, “Oh no ... don’t boo ... vote ... vote ... that is the best revenge!” Interesting word isn’t it? Revenge.

“What difference does it make now?” that Harry Reid, on the floor of the Senate, insisted he knew Romney had paid no income taxes for the past 10 years. An untruth, of course.

It is a phrase that will be around a long time. It “speaks a book,” as it were, about character. It ranks right up there with “I did not have you-know-what with you-know-who.”

I’m just sayin’ ...

Nancy C. Boyer
Hagerstown


Cutting school nutrition programs is a bad idea

To the editor:

The suggestions for cutting the federal deficit are simply unreasonable. The sequester looks like an all-time champion of bad ideas in ways to run a modern, technically advanced country. Sure, we can and should cut waste from the federal budget, but to reduce expenses for education, social services, employment retraining and public health mean that our legislators are trading our future for short-term partisan gain.

Let’s examine one edifying issue: school nutrition. Large numbers of children live in poverty. Their families struggle to provide them with healthy meals. Since the 1930s, federal support for school lunches has helped nourish these kids. The programs have been expanded by federal, state and even private granting agencies so that eligible kids can access three meals per day on school days. There are additional food programs that cover the weekends. No child need go hungry. Costs for these programs comes mainly from federal expenditure, the remainder from states, and a small fraction from local sources and families buying school meals at full price.

In Washington County, 48 percent of students qualify for free or reduced-price meals. A family of four living on 130 percent of the calculated poverty income  qualifies ($23,021 was the poverty line in 2012; and 130 percent equaled $29,021). Local school food services work hard to ensure nutritional meals.

Free breakfasts have proved beneficial with positive educational outcomes for recipients. Math and reading scores improve. Memory and speed improve on cognitive testing. Tardiness and discipline problems are significantly reduced. And, children recorded fewer sick visits to the school nurse. Improved nutrition for poor children is a total winner. The results in educational success far outweigh the costs.

So, how can any politician recommend reducing the budget deficit by cutting school nutrition programs? The United States is better than that.

M. Douglas Becker
Hagerstown 

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