News from the Tennessee Valley Opinion


Help neighbors instead of criticizing them

To The Daily: Thank you. I was able to use your “Hiding in plain sight” as my object lesson for my 6- to 10-year-old Sunday school students. We were learning about earning “Treasures for Heaven.”

The lesson was to help people, as Jesus would have done. If someone is sick, visit them; if the elderly need help, help them. There are so many ways to earn treasures for heaven.

My object lesson was to tell about your pictures and explain that instead of turning your neighbor in for not mowing their lawn, find out why they are unable to mow it and help them in the ways that you can. Maybe, they are unable to do the work and cannot afford to have someone else do it.

Frailty and poverty should not exclude a person from property ownership.

All these pictures remind me of the Soviet Bloc, which was officially atheist. The KGB encouraged people to tattle on their neighbors. In a Christian society, should we not be trying to understand and help them? Some people are lazy, but let’s not assume without finding out. They may be struggling with two or three minimum wage jobs and have neither time nor money left.

Also, if you buy land between two old trailers because it was cheap and you build a million-dollar house on it, you now own a house that is worth a half-million dollars. The neighbors will not be changing because you are there. Their junk may be their dreams or their income.

If you have so much time on your hands that you must criticize your neighbors, it’s time to get involved with volunteer work and really make a difference in our community. It’s time to see the struggles and hardships in people’s lives.

Janice Martin

Prohibitionists took high road, don’t deserve ridicule

To The Daily: A little knowledge can be dangerous, and I believe Dwight Eddins’ letter to the editor (Aug. 28) proved he has little knowledge concerning the recent wet/dry referendum in Athens.

While his letter did show an English professor can indeed fall in love with the sound of his own voice (and borrow heavily from Mark Twain’s “Letters from the Earth”), his characterization of those who opposed alcohol sales in Athens was condescending and smug.

I have known the Rev. Eddie Gooch for a number of years, and I have no doubt he took the original failure to prevent alcohol sales personally. But to equate this with personal hubris or heresy is to miss the mark entirely. The Rev. Gooch and others have witnessed the effects of alcohol abuse on families repeatedly, and their efforts to rescind the wet vote were not an attempt to turn back the clock. The organizers of the public referendum fervently believed they were in a position to save lives and families.

I also have a problem with Mr. Eddins equating civility with the availability of alcohol. The Italian restaurant did not move to Athens strictly because of its wet status. Other restaurants in Athens have succeeded for years without alcohol sales. People who choose not to drink alcoholic beverages, whether for personal or religious reasons, are not denying themselves a taste of paradise on Earth. That’s why sweet tea was invented, after all.

The Rev. Gooch and other organizers of that public referendum could have promoted their politics from behind the pulpit, but they didn’t. Instead, they maintained proper separation between church and state by holding public meetings in neutral locations. Suggesting the vote to remain wet was somehow a sign from God is nothing more than a cynical slap in the face of Athens residents who voted their consciences.

Michael Pollick

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