Reassessing politics, God’s will

To the editor:

As a lifelong Republican, watching the GOP morph into something unrecognizable is heart-wrenching.

Christian faith always directs my lifestyle. In professional, civic and nonprofit arenas, reprehensive behavior teaches bitter lessons.

Through prayer, God guides how to overcome anger to instead practice discernment for Godliness.

Abandonment of Christian values causes deep concern. Leaders establish or dismantle values through their faith or lack thereof. Hatred divisiveness is contagious. Self examination for everyone seems in order. Do we display selfish, prejudicial or hateful behavior or unconditional love?

Malicious behaviors cannot be reconciled with values Jesus taught. Bitter politics, autocratic leadership and social unrest exemplify spiritual warfare. As God and Satan influence behavior, allegiances come to light.

Historically, Satan causes manipulation of truth, facts and rule of law to accomplish horrific goals. Leaders motivated to provoke animosity escalates to wars and ethnic cleansing.

Defiance of validated elections, protecting lawless individuals or political parties knowingly sabotages democracy. Fear-mongering erodes logic, white supremacy and anti-Semitism go unchecked, radical extremism infiltrates government and violent defiance spills into our streets. In America others may condone abortion or sexual immorality. I don’t condone these, but recognize them as private choices that must be left to God.

Matthew 7 says, “Don’t judge or you, too, will be judged.” Paraphrased, God is God and I am not. Again, individual accountability to our God is required.

God through his Holy Spirit instructs us to embody “fruits of the spirit” — love, peace, goodness, self-control and more. Throughout this pandemic, sacrifice, compassion and generosity offered by medical professionals, food suppliers, essential works and total strangers prompted hope. Let’s adopt anew commands of Jesus to “love God and love your neighbor.”

For years, I wore a pin saying: Jesus is the answer. What’s the question? God offers a remedy: “If my people, who are called by name will humble themselves and pray, seek my face and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven. I will forgive their sin and heal their land.” 2 Chronicles, 7:1.

May God’s will be done.

Ellen Russell


Bless the vaccinators

To the editor:

Haywood County is blessed to have such a great group of people doing the COVID vaccinations at the fairgrounds. They are doing a tremendous job.

I have now received both my first and second shots. May God bless each and every one and their families.

Margaret Biddix


Support treatment, not jail expansion

To the editor:

I am opposed to the proposed jail expansion for the following reasons.

1) The $16 million cost is certain to increase during the projected two year construction timeline.

2) The $16 million does not include new ongoing costs of $7 million annually. That figure is the quoted 240 new prisoners, at $40 per day of my local taxes and $40 per day of my state taxes, totaling $29,000 annually per prisoner, almost $7 million total, and that is every year.

3) We don’t need more government costs, we need more taxpaying citizens. 70% of the prisoners are there for mental health and substance problems. For the proposed annual $7 million, the country could hire dozens of mental health and substance abuse professionals and employees to help them get on their feet financially, and the current (and future proposed) high-cost prisoners would become taxpaying citizens.

It is ineffective and expensive to build more jails housing more prisoners. It is less expensive and more effective to spend the funds on prevention and rehabilitation. Even half the funds for the proposed new jail would make a huge difference in numbers of incarcerated and would pay more rewards in fewer crimes and in increased tax revenues.

Virginia S. Moe


Professional operation

To the editor:

Kudos to the Haywood County Health Department, shot administrators, and especially to the volunteers.

We received our second COVID-19 shots at the fairgrounds yesterday.

The professionalism of everyone supporting this effort was truly impressive.

Many areas of this country seem to be experiencing distribution and administration issues with the vaccine. That is certainly not the issue in Haywood County.

Bruce Gill

Maggie Valley

Haywood is fortunate

To the editor:

Congratulations and kudos to the Haywood County Health and medical services. Their employees and the many volunteers who engaged in the courteous and effective distribution of the second COVID-19 vaccine shot on Wednesday, Feb. 109 at the former Haywood County fairgrounds.

The first and second events were well thought out and ran very efficiently. We in Haywood are very fortunate to live with such caring neighbors and friends.

May God bless the great people of Haywood County and the United States of America.

Hollis and Lynn Prior



To the editor:

I hear all these people in Washington, D.C. talking about our democracy.

They need to do some research. We are not a democracy we are a constitutional republic. Look at our pledge. I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America and to the republic for which it stands.

That is all.

Ronald Conner


Should be banned

To the editor:

I am a 68 year old woman who was born in this country and who has come to value the the political system by which we are governed. Allowing this offensive, self-serving liar to get away with the storm he has created back into our country’s political arena would be a crime against our democracy.

Lives have been lost because of his rhetoric and his push to his followers for insurrection. And now he’s walking away scot free? How can this happen in country as great as ours? He needs to banned from ever taking office again.

Vicki O’Connor

Jonathan Creek

Killing animals for the fun of it

To the editor:

I’ve seen advertisements last weekend and for this coming weekend for what are being called wildlife killing contests. It’s a game for hunters, where you can throw in about $100 and head out over the weekend to kill as many animals as you can. You pile them up on a Sunday as a group and win prizes and cash for the most, the heaviest, and even take side bets for the smallest coyote pup. The animals being targeted are coyote, bobcat, raccoon and opossum.

Maybe some people wouldn’t miss these animals if they were gone but most people wouldn’t condone a game to just wipe them out for no legitimate purpose either — it’s the opposite of being a sportsman and a conservationist. Even our Wildlife Resources Commission says these animals biologically bounce right back as soon as you wipe them out of an area — a contest to kill the most will never even begin to manage their populations so these games are completely unnecessary. Nor will a contest save the deer populations. When is the last time you saw an opossum trailing after a deer for dinner. No, these contests are purely recreational.

It’s hard to believe the Commission allows it, they’re illegal in a lot of other states. I hope that in this day and age, with as much going on as there is — that we’re still able to care about animals. It’s important to care about each other as much as we care about the wild things among us. Killing animals for the fun of it to win cash and prizes is not ethical.

If hunters want non-hunters to support their traditions they should stop sharing photos of coyotes with their eyes popping out while grinning from ear to ear next to them with all the cash they won. This behavior and these games won’t endear them to wildlife lovers.

Sherry Kellett


Recovery may not be possible

To the editor:

It appears that one of our community’s Trump Derangement Syndrome (TDS) patients has recovered and moved on to more sensible offerings.

But we still have one who is so badly afflicted that recovery is unlikely. His latest repetition of boring nonsense is published heregularly.

Every week or two he exhibits precisely how obsessed he is with Donald Trump. It is always the same old thing. Trump is incompetent; Trump hates democracy; Trump is evil, etc.

If the man is married, I offer his spouse my deepest sympathies. It must be torturous to live with a man whose mind is so firmly cemented in confused, uninformed hatred.

Scott Muirhead


Great job

To the editor:

This is an open letter to the employees at the Haywood County Health and Human Services Department.

I personally, along with hundreds of other Haywood County citizens, want to thank you for our dedication and hard work involving the COVID-19 shots given at the former Haywood County fairgrounds (currently known at the Smoky Mountain Events Center.)

It was perfection and each of the local participating organization, made it an experience we will never forget.

Your county is talking and they can’t thank you enough.

It was a family affair, a gathering of friends who sincerely cared about each other, it was the smiles and happy greetings and so much more. Thank God, we live in Haywood County and have you helping us to survive this pandemic.

Just wanted you to know.

Glenn Arnette III


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