Re Ms. Judith Baum's letter from the Sunday edition: I believe the propensity to prejudice, as with any other sin (sin being defined as attitudes or actions against God's law) is inborn and automatically comes with our fallen nature. The only way to overcome that fallen nature is to be born anew, through faith in the blood of Jesus. Even then it can take years to overcome inborn fallen-nature traits. I've often used this anonymous quote that would cover any form of prejudice: The closer we get to God, the more we become like each other.
Find a church that practices this simple truth. When you walk in, you can look at the congregation and know.
Blame for problems
I am not sure why I keep reading Mike Masterson's columns. I guess it is an attempt to understand the thinking of conservatives who seem to form their worldview from Fox News and OANN.
Sunday's column musing on the passing of time took a hard turn for the right when he summed up 2021 as the worst year our country has lived through. He should be reminded that a majority of Americans breathed easier last year as they saw a president come into office who didn't spend his time seeing what new chaos he could create via his Twitter account and had the ability to speak in coherent sentences. Instead Masterson made a list of political negatives and finished with the statement that "crimes in major cities exploded as radicalized prosecutors failed to perform their duty to society."
There are a lot of reasons homicide rates have grown in major cities: the easy access to high-powered weapons, poverty, poorly trained and underpaid law enforcement, a breakdown in families, a failed educational system and a host of other problems that neither party has found solutions for, but the Republicans have either ignored or made worse. So let's blame it on the Democratic mayors and "radicalized" prosecutors.
Yes, 2021 was a hard year, but no harder than 2020. Unemployment numbers are down, people generally had a good summer with the ability to see families and take vacations again. Students are back in school and we just watched bowl games with packed stadiums again. Maybe I'm a glass-half-full guy, but then I don't watch Fox News so I don't believe we can blame every problem on the current administration.
The United States, and the rest of the world, has gone through a serious test the last two years facing a viral pandemic unlike any we have seen before. Blaming the problems caused by that on our political leaders, whether they are Republican or Democrat, does not help anyone.
Think about future
Re debt, it is past the time when our country needs to think about the long-range future we are leaving for oncoming generations.
No sense of decency
The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette has no idea how many of its readers (probably at least a third) have ground their teeth daily and endured its endless attacks on Democrats. This newspaper is so partisan that it became virtually the only statewide newspaper in the nation to advocate for the re-election of Donald Trump in 2020.
My puzzlement as to how low the ADG could stoop was answered in the Dec. 30 issue when your unnamed editorialists responded to the death of Harry Reid by kicking him in the teeth in death just as they had kicked him in the teeth when he was alive. This cheap, tacky essay was far beyond the pale. It was mean-spirited and showed you folks to be incredibly little. This editorial stands as one of the lowest points in American journalism--ever.
Today a lot of us feel like Joseph Welch, when on June 9, 1954, he addressed Joe McCarthy at a hearing: "Until this moment, Senator, I think I never really gauged your cruelty or your recklessness. ... Let us not assassinate this lad further, Senator. You've done enough. Have you no sense of decency?"
It's a very sad day when a state's newspaper has no sense of decency. All of the people at the ADG should hang their heads in shame because, as is frequently stated, these editorials are the official opinions of this paper.
Framing of opinion
Here's a perfect example of how the mainstream media can change one word and make the meaning fit their narrative. If you remember, Republican Sen. John McCain gave a thumb-down vote on ending Obamacare. His vote against this initiative got him labeled a "maverick" by the media. He was greeted as a hero who put the country before party.
On the other side, Democrat Sen. Joe Manchin recently said he would vote no to the bloated climate and social spending bill, known as Build Back Better, proposed by President Joe Biden. Instead of calling him a maverick, they have branded him an "obstructionist." News outlets have portrayed Manchin's decision as a betrayal. Some even said that his decision was objectively devastating for the planet.
Notice the difference in reporting? One is a maverick, while the other is an obstructionist. I urge all readers of this newspaper and those who watch television newscasts to carefully scrutinize how the media can intentionally paint the picture they want their readers and viewers to receive. Don't allow the media to frame your opinion. Study the facts and make your own decision.