Letters to the Editor - July 14

July 14, 2013

Memories of Sam Rock, fisher of men

To the editor:

Sam Rock’s love of fishing goes way back. It was a hobby that brought him great enjoyment. When he could get some time away from his other love — barbering — he would get up early and slip off to one of his favorite fishing spots around the county. He thought nothing of spending hours in the quiet solitude of the natural beauty away from the busyness of work in the city. Catch and release was his custom because, while he loved the sport of catching, he preferred to let the beautiful creatures live to be caught another day.

In May 1972, at the age of 34, Sam would become the “caught one” by the master fisherman. Jesus reached out to the fisherman and caught but did not release him, calling him to become, as He did Peter, James and John, a “fisher of men.” And that’s what Sam was for the past 41 years. 

He was still probably the best-known barber in town, but people everywhere he went came to know him as a fisherman for Jesus. Sam never missed an opportunity to share God’s word with those he might meet, whether the customer in his barber shop, a server in a restaurant, a clerk in a store — anyone who the Lord might bring across his path.

We can never know the number of trout or bass Sam caught and released, but Jesus knows those whose lives were touched by Sam, the fisher of men.

Sam’s reward will come soon as he is now delighting in the presence of his Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, whom he has served so faithfully all his born-again life, and in a blessed reunion with his beloved wife, Bea.

I’m sure he will hear from Jesus, “Well done, good and faithful servant. Enter into the joy of your Lord.”

Donna Staggers

Philosophers who keep their feet on the ground do well

To the editor:

I have to disagree with Robert Stone’s conclusion (June 25) that Allan Powell presents a distorted view of science. I read every Powell column, and his scientific information is spot-on. I find his detractors to be factually and scientifically challenged.

For instance, the charge that Powell promotes “scientism” — the view that the scientific method is universally applicable, and that empirical science constitutes the most authoritative worldview (it does) — is strange. Powell is a philosopher and historian, not a scientist. But he often uses scientific arguments, combining evidence and philosophical-style logic to reach powerful, and sometimes disturbing, conclusions.

Powell appears to recognize that logic without empiricism often results in fantasy.

The charge of “scientism” is popular among theologians and some philosophers who bemoan their loss of status compared to scientists.  But their real problem is their own lack of progress. Many reject empiricism, continually arguing the same topics philosophers did 2000 years ago and still unable to reach useful conclusions. If results mean anything, science wins.

Physics, chemistry, biology, geology and engineering are all the result of scientific inquiry. Smartphones, automobiles, air conditioners, airplanes, surgery, drug therapy and electricity did not spring from theology.

The alternative to empiricism is speculation. Suddenly, Sasquatch becomes real, Nessie a fact, demon position likely. Evidence is belittled, climate change denied, thought becomes a mystical process, criminal guilt the result of one’s appearance. Anything goes.

This lack of empiricism has led theological scholars, such as Thomas Aquinas, to get weird — to, for example, seriously contemplate the nature of angels (“How many angels can dance on the head of a pin?”).  Their reasoning cannot be quantified, cannot be confirmed and has no meaning.

Philosophers who keep their feet on the ground do well.

Larry Zaleski

Children’s Village thanks 5K runners, sponsors, volunteers

To the editor:

The Children’s Village 5K & Kids Fun Run was once again a great success. With the help of local agencies and support of area businesses, we raised well over $5,000.

A tremendous amount of support for this event was provided by the following: Funkstown Volunteer Fire Department, Washington County Sheriff’s Department, Maryland State Police, Washington County Fire Police, Community Rescue Service, Life Net 8-1, Washington County Public Schools, and the Washington County Parks & Recreation Department. These agencies and the fantastic volunteers in our community are what will ensure this event takes place. A sincere thank you to all who volunteered at our event.

Our gratitude extends to the following local sponsors who continue to support the programs at Children’s Village: Hagers-town-Washington County Convention and Visitors Bureau, Family Care Home Medical Equipment, The Greene Turtle, Carpet Gallery, Indigo Moon Amber Sun Therapeutic Massage, Center for Joint Surgery & Sports Medicine, Bella Salon & Spa, Custom Machine, Brewer Associates, Cornerstone Wealth Management, Fraternal Order of Police Thomas Pangborn #88, Monkey Joe’s, Remax Achievers, Funkstown Tavern, Sheetz, Tiger’s Eye Benefits Consulting, Dan Hall State Farm Agency, Planet Fitness, Chick-Fil-A, Old Navy, Kohl’s, Texas Roadhouse, Susquehanna Bank, Brethren Mutual and Hagerstown Church of the Nazarene. We’d also like to thank the other area businesses who donated gift certificates for the event.

And lastly, to our participants. Thank you for choosing to share your morning with us at Children’s Village. Our desire is to continue to teach our county’s second-graders to avoid accidents and to react properly when facing life-threatening emergencies. Your support of our efforts is essential. Thank you.

Jackie Brewer

Are furloughs ‘punishment’ of government workers?

To the editor:

Amid the sequester, I wonder if resultant furloughs can be seen as being a kind of “punishment” of government personnel? It certainly is not a reward for our supposed “valued service.”

Why has the U.S. Congress (they, too, being federal workers — albeit they raise their own salary) not similarly been sequestered and furloughed? With pay, promotions and hiring being frozen, is it any wonder we are cynical?

Joe Hammell
Waynesboro, Pa.

Humane Society to be commended for its efforts

To the editor: 

I recently visited a store in Hagerstown during a pet adoption event hosted by the Humane Society of Washington County. I was impressed with the dedication and energy of the HSWC volunteers who were spending their Sunday afternoon working to help homeless animals find their forever homes.

I commend the efforts of Mike Lausen, the humane society’s executive director, and the organization’s board of directors for moving forward to increase pet adoptions, and decrease euthanasia, through extended hours of operation, partnerships to host regular off-site adoption events, easing the application/adoption process, reducing adoption fees and working to increase the foster care network designed to move adoptable animals into home environments while they await permanent homes. Further, the planned new low-cost spay/neuter center will be a tremendous asset to the community, benefitting animals, pet owners and those involved in animal control into the future.

Hopefully, many in the community will step forward to celebrate and support the efforts of the Humane Society of Washington County as it works to improve the quality of life for all animals. There is much to do, but envisioning a time when there are no more homeless pets can help pave the way for those working tirelessly on behalf of their voiceless charges.

Rochelle Morrell

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