News from the Tennessee Valley Opinion


God is tolerant; GOP is not

An evil power took control of the 2004 presidential campaign: Christian politics.

It seemed that the Republicans had reserved Christianity for themselves and have now convinced themselves that anyone not of their political mindset is evil.

In the May 7 edition of THE DAILY, I read an article about a Baptist church that had recently voted Democrat members out of its congregation.

I am 53 years old and for most of my life I have been a Republican. Somewhere around 1994, I realized that my party was taking on an air of intolerance through the leadership of then-speaker of the House, Newt Gingrich. Mr. Gingrich and Sen. Bob Dole had formed an arrogant and hostile party, totally intolerant of differing views. Reality hit me one day while having a conversation with a gun shop owner in Athens. This man made the statement that the Republicans should take all Democrats out and shoot them for being pro gun control.

I knew at that moment that I was not and probably never had been a Republican. I am, however, a Christian. My God is a God of love, forgiveness, understanding and tolerance. The Republican Party, as with the Baptist church in the article, does not tolerate difference of any kind: political, social or cultural. The United States is a microcosm of differences! Tolerance is a cornerstone of our existence as a nation.

Possibly the biggest danger our country faces today is intolerance of other Americans. United we stand, divided we will fall!

The soldiers who are fighting for us in the Middle East today do not think of themselves as Republicans or Democrats; they are Americans, and we as Americans have the duty to keep our country safe, our economy strong and our future bright.

Bill Webb


ACCR's real agenda is tax hike

There have been many articles by Alabama Citizens for Constitutional Reform complaining that Alabama's income tax is unfair to the poor. I don't believe they care a hoot about the poor; this is simply socialist class-warfare rhetoric contrived to divide and conquer the taxpayers to make it easier to raise taxes. The more they can reduce the number of voters who pay income tax the easier it will be to increase the tax.

This tactic has already been successful with other taxes. Take cigarettes for example. The majority of voters do not smoke, so it has proven very easy to continually increase the tax on cigarettes, which are smoked in higher percentages by the poor. The same whiners who complain that Alabama's income tax applies to a family of four making as little as $4,600 per year remain silent on the unfairness of cigarette taxes. Yet, that poor family's income of $4,600 would have a tax liability (for 2004) of only $1, but if one of them had smoked one pack of cigarettes a day they would have paid $184.33 in state and county cigarette taxes.

Tax revenue attracts bureaucrats. Bureaucrats' natural inclination is to attack liberty. If you don't want more government agents sticking their noses in your business, telling you how to live your life and manage your property, your business and your children, and taking more of your hard-earned money then I suggest you reject ACCR's socialist schemes to raise our taxes.

Kennon Ledbetter


May lose lot due to city lien

The Decatur Building Department charged me $500 in 2003 for overgrown grass on a vacant lot, but I drive around town and see overgrown lots, homes and city property every day.

In 2004, the Building Department put a $1,000 lien on my vacant lot for overgrown grass. I'm going to lose it because I can't afford to pay. Something needs to change up there. I can't be the only citizen in Decatur with this problem.

Shannon Miller


Business license law ludicrous

I am writing about a story that I just read in THE DAILY about a lady who was earning money by cleaning houses in Decatur (which a lot of people here have been doing for years) with no problem until a power-crazy city inspector threatened to jail her for not having a business license for cleaning houses.

I was born and raised in Decatur and it really hurt me when I read about this. Does Decatur really need revenue that bad to go after people for trying to make a little money? What will be next? Will Mr. (Ronne) Harvell force youths to have a business license for cutting grass this summer? Our Building Department really needs to shape up.

David W. Kelley


Fund-raiser most successful ever

April was Autism Awareness month and The National Autism Society of America held its nationwide "Walks for Autism" in almost every state.

Autism is a neurological disorder that affects one out of every 166 individuals with the inability to communicate, to reason and to interact with others. It is a spectrum disorder that affects individuals differently and to varying degrees of severity. Autism is four times more common in boys than girls and is found equally in all walks of life and in all populations worldwide.

We thank the Decatur businesses and individuals for their donations to and support of the April 30 North Central Alabama "Walk For Autism" annual fundraiser held in Cullman and sponsored by Autism Support Groups of Cullman, Decatur, Hartselle, Athens and the Autism Society of Alabama in Birmingham.

Your help was invaluable and made this year's fund-raiser the best ever.

Jan Appling


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