November 21, 2005
Contrary to column, some Christians think for themselves
To the editor:
On Nov. 17, James Studdard, after quoting the King James Version, a lovely sounding yet faulty interpretation of the Bible, wrote “God said it. I believe it. That settles it.” Has it come to pass that editorial columns are now relegated to bumper sticker philosophies?
This statement speaks volumes about the theological wasteland in which most conservative Christians dwell. This type of religious dogma is meaningless when it comes from a group of people who don't know, don't want to know, or are frightened of the origins of the Bible (contrary to the beliefs of the misinformed, God did not in fact whip out his laptop and pen the 66 books of the Bible). They somehow insist on letting others do their Biblical interpretations for them.
Unlike Mr. Studdard and others of his ilk, I choose to use the intellect granted to me by God to make informed choices about my theological beliefs. Being informed does not entail following the prescribed tenets of any pastor or Sunday school teacher, but using your own mind to gain an understanding of the divine. I would ask that believers in other faiths and philosophies please not put all Christians in the same category. Not all of us are incapable of deep thought and intellectual discourse. This Christian finds their limited views on our religion disturbing and insulting.
Hampton police chief should stay
To the editor:
The Hampton elections are over and a new wave of destruction is ready to pass through our town. The current agenda for Arley Lowe, Tommy Smith, Paul Jones, and R. W. Coley: the replacement of the state's finest police chief, Bud Smith.
Our Hampton Police Department is one of the finest, most fluid government agencies in the county, consistently responding to any crises that may arise. Bud himself is at the forefront of this response, consistently rising to the occasion, specifically when our children are involved. In one such case, a convicted sex offender moved into a residence near Hampton Elementary School, within 24 hours, Chief Smith had served the man with papers. It is steadfast leadership like that will assure our city is protected for years to come.
You may ask yourself, why would a police chief be replaced for no apparent reasons. The reasons may not seem apparent to most people, but to those actively involved civic and political activities, the reason is all too clear: Personal politics.
It is a known fact that Chief Smith and his wife (who works in the currently dilapidated downtown historic district) support HOTPAC candidates, and that the Smith family have a close personal relationship with outgoing councilman Bobby Jacobs and his family. Sadly, personal ties and political preferences are enough to have your career ruined in a dysfunctional town such as ours.
I ask now of the incoming city council to hold strong to what is right. Mr. Hearn, you campaigned on a promise of positive growth rather than personal gain, so let's keep anything personal out of the situation and realize we must have a strong police department for positive growth. Mr. Meeks, you promised to truly be a voice for the citizens; listen up, the citizens are speaking. Mrs. Mitcham, you said you would make Hampton a great place to live both now and in the future; so make it happen. Mr. Byrd, you aren't obligated to do everything Mr. Lowe tells you; you represent the citizens, not Arley Lowe.
Mr. Jones and Mr. Lowe, we will not lose our police chief without a fight. At some point even those who voted for you will feel you have taken things too far. And to the entire council, in case you haven't noticed, Tommy Smith has not been the mayor of Hampton for quite some time. Stop the childish games and listen to your constituents, not the former mayor.
JOSHUA A. PATTERSON