World had stopped

In a time when people believe what they want to believe, wags (tabloids) and journalists have merged or, at minimum, converged; my own conclusion is easy, when the Casey sign with $1.25 per gallon in March 2020 is mentioned.

For basketball fans, it was the month our world stopped, conference tournaments were ended prematurely, no billion-dollar March Madness, told to go home and stay. A signal from the world, and then-President Trump: The pandemic was real, and everything had stopped. Jobs and salaries were suspended at best, lost at worst.

In technology, we call it a convenient memory.

My friend Art (AI) referenced it as "cheap gas but nowhere to go."


Little Rock

To alter or abolish it

Read Thomas Jefferson's words from the Declaration when speaking of our God given rights: "... that whenever any form of government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or abolish it, and to institute new government, laying its foundation on such principles, and organizing its powers in such form as to them shall seem most likely to effect their safety and happiness."

Those illegally crossing our borders, uncontrolled and unvetted, who I believe have been deliberately invited to do so by our government, threaten our safety and happiness. Our government has become destructive of these ends, and we have the right to defend ourselves by altering or abolishing it.

The time has come to act. Jefferson's words were intended for King George III, and they still apply. We can alter our government by voting to remove Joe Biden and his misguided administration. With God's help, we can keep our country. We can restore law and order, freedom of speech, and return to a press that reports all the facts.


Siloam Springs

Need diverse voices

Three or four feature articles by Philip Martin in each Sunday newspaper is a sign of editorial laziness. Are there no other writers in this state that can meet the deadline and content demands of this task?

Martin's competence is not the issue. What this newspaper and its readers need is a diversity of voices. Book and movie reviews can be contracted out, as can cultural and political opinion pieces. Talented writers can be found that will increase the newspaper's diversity. Working with more freelance writers will mean more work for editors and fact-checkers. But that's what those folks are paid for.

Martin is a prolific writer, but he is given too much column space. Give someone else a chance.


Little Rock

Women pushed back

I was moved by Meridith Armstrong's essay on "A woman's place" on this page on March 23. The progress that women have made (at least in the Western world) over the centuries is gratifying, but it's sad that their equality with men is still well out of reach. This is shown by the failure of the Equal Rights Amendment of 1972 to be ratified and by Arkansas' failure to put in place a Women's Studies course in 2022.

The biggest disappointment of all is that in far too many cases, churches continue to push women to the back of the bus. I refer to conservative churches that are locked in on mostly "literal" readings of the Bible. These churches have given little attention to the biblical scholarship of the last 150 years, and they are reading translations of the Bible that aren't based on the best available Greek manuscripts and aren't accurately worded. Different parts of the Bible say different things. It takes a lot of study to be able to balance these competing claims and make good judgments.

We do best by relying on the life and teachings of Jesus and on the seven authentic letters of Paul. A big problem is the six inauthentic letters of Paul (especially I Timothy) that are from a later period and are tainted by the culture of that time. There is one passage in Paul's authentic letters from I Corinthians that's troublesome: "women should be silent in the church." A good commentary shows that this is probably an insertion by a later editor. It doesn't agree with the rest of I Corinthians or the rest of Paul's genuine letters.

Christians are sharply divided on biblical interpretation. Sadly, in many churches women will long continue to be pushed to the back of the bus as they are denied leadership roles and their voices are muted. The claim will be that all of this is God's will, chiseled eternally in stone.


Bella Vista

Overgrown shrubbery

Once again the newspaper has presented both a problem and its solution in the same issue.

Janet Carson wrote about the correct way to prune shrubbery. For flowering shrubs to achieve their ideal form and their greatest beauty, she recommends cutting back the upper branches to eliminate those that have grown woody and unproductive. The lower branches will then receive the sunlight and nutrients that encourage foliage and blossoms that provide enjoyment and support the butterflies and bees that visit them.

I thought about this when I read of the university's desire to achieve greater efficiency and to save money. I wonder if Carson's advice might be applied elsewhere. Not all of the overgrown shrubbery and woody stems are in the landscape.



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