letters stock graphic

Where are our churches and religious leaders?

Editor, The Beacon:

If our religious leaders cannot or will not stand up to injustice, call out those who perpetuate an atmosphere where it is OK to be a bigot, where it is OK to hate groups or individuals because of the color of their skin or origin, and find it OK to turn a blind eye to those that relish encouraging a mob torrent against others, then no wonder that we as a country have lost respect for those leaders.

But if the only thing that our churches can do is call for prayer, for both those who are impacted by violence and hate and for those who perpetrate the heinous acts of killing, without calling for their congregations to move toward real action, both political and societal, then again our leaders have failed us, and this non-action is tantamount to doing nothing at all.

Now is the time to demand that our governmental representatives make changes to our gun laws. We should demand health care that addresses the needs of mental illness, and we should become defiant by calling for loud peaceful protest.

Who remembers the Berrigan Brothers? Why did protests like the movement of Martin Luther King have any amount of success? It was because of the strength and moral direction of these heroes.

A number of years ago, a national survey was conducted asking who were the current heroes. No one came to mind, and it was decided that no one could point to anyone with consensus. Cartoon characters had larger followings than real people.

So today we have a president who lies, brags of his sexual conquests of others, cheats, hides his past, and pays for mistakes with bribes and hidden payments, and we wonder why there is no outrage. Our society, our religious institutions, and our elected government officials pay lip service of indignity for the period of a news cycle or two and then go back to the safe protection of their forced shock when the next mass murder happens.

I sat in church Sunday for 90 minutes and during that time heard a 15-second passing reference in the “Prayers of the People” referencing our concern for those impacted. No other statement.

No wonder we do not and cannot change our environment when we have no outrage, no leadership, and no direction from the shepherds of our churches.

Buz Nesbit


President shouldn’t bully Federal Reserve chairman

Editor, The Beacon:

I don’t completely disagree with the decision by the Federal Reserve to lower interest rates. But I do disagree with the unnecessary bullying by the president, who expressed disapproval in Fed Chairman Jerome Powell for not signaling that there will be more cuts in the future.

The last I checked, cuts are normally made to stimulate a sluggish economy, not jump-start an already booming one. Personally, I think this president is looking for bragging rights more than anything else.

I don’t think that we necessarily need a full swing to the progressive left in 2020. But whether it’s a moderate Democrat or centrist Republican, I’ll support a candidate who will promote fiscal responsibility, including deficit reduction and environmental stewardship, which are both lacking in the current administration.

These can be accomplished while also achieving long-term economic growth. This will be a much better deal for our future economy and might even be our saving grace.

Mark J. Smiley


Don’t believe absurdities

Editor, The Beacon:

Don’t believe in absurdities.

The columnists and letters in your past two issues are implying that anyone disagreeing with congressional representatives who are women of color are racist. I disagree.

I am absolutely horrified that Rep. AOC likened border facilities to concentration camps. That statement is repugnant in and of itself regardless of who is saying it.

Rep. Omar dismissed the worst attack ever on American soil as just some guys out doing something. She has stated that the worst terrorists in America are white American men.

Rep. Tlaib’s continual virulent anti-Israel comments are gaining her a hero’s welcome in Palestine.

Much as I disagree with the ideology of AOC and her Gang of Three, I do agree with Voltaire: “I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.”

It is absolutely absurd that they are trying to change this to “disagree with me and I will label you a racist” or any noun to which one can affix “anti.”

Voltaire said, “Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities.”

Mona Bang


Stetson’s klaxon signals the obvious

Editor, The Beacon:

Stetson University’s facilities department evidently was persuaded to install a warning klaxon to alert anyone who is near and listening that a storm is in the area.

It works like this:

Clouds build up, and there is distant lightning and thunder. Anyone in the area and listening can observe this.

The storm approaches, and thunder and lightning become more obvious. If one hasn’t already noticed, it is possible, though not certain, that rain, lightning and thunder may ensue.

Finally there will be some really nearby thunder and lightning, and the klaxon sounds (loud, but similar to a single blast from a car alarm), alerting anyone nearby and listening that thunder has been detected.

Then there is rain and more lightning and thunder.

After a while, the thunder stops, there is a pause, the storm abates, and the klaxon, not detecting any thunder, sounds three klaxon blasts to tell those no longer being rained upon that the storm is past.

Whew. One wonders whether the SAT now predicts that klaxons are needed to succeed in academia.

Joan Carter


Editor’s note: Carter writes from experience. Her home is well within range of the klaxon’s blast.