Ensure mental health
For all of you who feel we have a mental health system in Arkansas that works for all Arkansans, please raise your hands. My bet is that all hands are down. With a fractured system of care, the Department of Human Services testifying before legislative committees, providers closing their doors or on the brink of collapse, the people being forgotten are the ones who are living day to day with brain disorders.
May is Mental Health Awareness Month. We need to pause and reflect on the 750,000 Arkansans living with a diagnosable mental illness while 126,000 of those live with a serious and persistent mental illness needing intensive treatment. If you are fighting cancer, you are a hero. If you are struggling with heart disease or diabetes, you are a hero. And if you are living with schizophrenia, bipolar disorder or depression, you are a hero!
We must all work to protect the rights, dignity and cutting-edge treatment for those we love with a mental health condition. It is our moral and ethical duty as Arkansans.
On campaign workers
Elections are right around the corner. Soon enough our mailboxes will swell with all manner of campaign materials. If those mail pieces are lucky enough to avoid an immediate slam-dunk into your trash can, there is a good chance you'll see phrases like "job creation" and "working Arkansans." But frankly, it's a lot easier to type that on a postcard than it is to actually mean it.
That's why I would like to challenge every candidate running for public office in Arkansas to make one small change this year: Treat your campaign staff like "employees" rather than "independent contractors."
Right now, most campaign workers are classified as independent contractors. This means they aren't protected by the same wage and hour laws, Workers' Compensation, and other protections as normal employees. Here's why that matters. Ground-level campaign staffers work long hours. We're talking easily 12-hour days, seven days a week, no days off. Compensation typically runs between $1,000 to $1,250 bi-weekly, with zero benefits. That works out to less than minimum wage, before taxes (of which they will pay more due to being "self-employed").
If you think it's hard to credit a candidate that allows this to continue, I'm with you. Challenge them on it. And while you're at it, remember those Arkansas legislators who just passed a law that makes everyone's "employee" status subject to a 20-factor test used by the IRS. They are part of the problem.
I've lived over eight decades. I am simply amazed by the evolution of humans during that period. They are now being born knowing absolutely everything.
For example: Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.
Will not be forgiven
The following is merely my opinion. I'm glad to know that there are still some Methodist churches that follow the teaching of the New Testament, where people confess and put away their sins (repent) and find forgiveness, but it makes me mad that there are others among that denomination, as well as some other mainline churches, that spit in the face of Jesus; they seem to be little more than politically correct, keep-your-sin-if-you-like-your-sin; feel-good-about-yourself country clubs.
How can a group of people with even a smattering of an education who band together and consider themselves to be a Christian church not understand the plain English of the first chapter of Romans, which concerns the sin of homosexuality, wherein we are told of men lusting after men and women lusting after women? The question is answered right there too. Because they do not accept the way that God intended for men and women to interact sexually, the willful lusts of homosexuals and lesbians have so overwhelmed the God-ordained natural relationships that they no longer admit their sins, nor will ever find forgiveness until they do.
That is the way of willful sin. Once it is welcomed, it becomes the way of life. Jesus Christ died to save us from our sins, not so that we could continue to live in them. The sin of homosexuality is so egregious in God's sight that it is called "abomination," and the so-called churches which not only accept it but actually permit homosexuals and lesbians to serve as ministers have neither part nor lot with Jesus Christ. If at the end of life the kingdom of God is denied, there is only one other option, and who would ever dare to choose that one?
Listen to the officer
When I started driving over four decades ago, my father told me I better never get pulled over by a police officer, but if I ever did, he told me to do three things: Keep my hands visible at all times, be respectful to the officer, and comply with whatever orders the officer told me to do.
I do not know what happened in the shooting of Bradley Blackshire, and I am not taking any sides, but I believe if the young man would have followed the advice given to me a long time ago by my father he probably would be alive today.
Every time a police officer pulls over a car, the officer has to assume the person in the car may have a weapon. Imagine how stressful this must be. You never know when somebody is going to try and shoot you. Police officers just want to do their jobs and go home to their families every night, just like you and I want to. All of us need to remember this.
Editorial on 05/03/2019
Print Headline: Letters