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OPINION | LETTERS TO THE EDITOR: Won't get vaccination | Learning to apologize | Holding accountable

March 24, 2021 at 3:34 a.m.

Won't get vaccination

Let's get something cleared up now for all the covid "Nazis" out there. I understand that you work on as few brain cells as it is, but demanding that everyone take the vaccine when there's nothing wrong with them is as draconian as it gets.

So listen up. I will view any attempt to forcibly vaccinate me, via coercion, as a threat against my life. I urge all others to make the same declaration. It is my right to refuse a vaccine when I'm not sick, and it should remain my right to stay employed when I'm not a "viral" threat to anyone. Capiche?

ROBERT BEMIS

Little Rock

Learning to apologize

Recently, there have been many "apologies" made by numerous people that have made their way to print. Some examples include, "I am sorry if any people of color were offended by my remarks"; "I am sorry if my handling of cleric sexual abuse caused you additional pain"; "I am sorry if your reputation was damaged by the things that I said."

Those are not sincere apologies. That little word if puts all the burden on the offended and casts the offender in a non-responsible role. It is disingenuous. It is for the moment only and requires no self-awareness or commitment for change.

How about: "When I said/did X, I was expressing a very inappropriate and hateful thought. I am ashamed of those attitudes and am appalled that I have become that person. Please accept my most sincere apology. I will spend my time going forward not only measuring my words and actions, but will strive to grow as a human being who has compassion for others."

That is an apology.

SARA LANGSTON

North Little Rock

Holding accountable

I do not understand our society and the direction our culture is headed. It amazes me that people are held to account for what they may have said or written decades ago. People lose jobs, promotions, business relationships, etc., because of it. This approach really dictates people are unable to grow, learn, and change their attitudes and beliefs.

Liberals are quick to point out that criminals should be given a second chance because, after all, they have changed. Funny that the same principle does not apply to the rest of us.

God help us as a society if we are unable to mature, educate ourselves, and benefit from learning about and associating with different races and cultures. It is through these experiences that we often discover some of our previous perceptions were wrong. Some people never change and should be held to account. Most of us, though, can and do change our attitudes and beliefs over the years. There are few if any people who at some point in their life did not utter or think a prejudicial thought, even if just to themselves. All of us are guilty of this, but apparently only if it is recorded or written down.

MARK BERNTHAL

Bella Vista

Can still practice faith

I lead a Catholic ministry that blesses same-sex unions, and we are not alone. We are not part of the Roman Church, but many Catholic, Episcopal, and Protestant churches throughout the world agree that gay, lesbian, and transgender people are by virtue of baptism full members of the body of Christ. We believe that gay, lesbian, and transgender people have an equal claim to the love and care of the church.

We maintain an ardent belief that no one should be left behind, recalling the Gospel of Luke instructing us to go after our lost sheep. This Gospel is often cited as a sword to shame us into bringing home the lost sinner, but we see it as a shield, calling us to gather and provide spiritual shelter to all God's children who are left behind, lost, or ignored. Our experience informs that many people, not just gays, lesbians, and transgender people, are lost to "Big Church" because they do not look like us, are poor, do not have the right job, or because they do not fit in.

We therefore issue this statement in light of the Vatican's denial of same-sex unions. It is surely a blow to many LGBTQ Roman Catholics hoping Pope Francis would accept them. Pray for the Roman Church, but let not your hearts be troubled, for Jesus taught us that "[i]n [his] Father's house are many rooms."

The truth is there are many Catholic communities throughout the world that exist outside of Rome. One need not be a Roman Catholic to be a good Catholic. Thus, do not let the Vatican's announcement drive you away from your faith. There are many Catholic churches in the ISM movement that will welcome you with open arms so you can practice your faith as it was handed down from the early church.

RAYMOND NIBLOCK

Fayetteville

Ignoring bigger crisis

Let me say that I think the murder of eight people, six of them Asian American women, in Atlanta is a terrible thing. That said, for Biden and Harris to travel to Atlanta to offer solace to Asian Americans while completely ignoring the humanitarian crisis at our southern borders is outrageous.

JUDITH JONES

Hot Springs Village

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