Thank you, Sen. Romney

To the editor:

Here an open letter to Sen. Mitt Romney:

In your speech of Wednesday, Feb. 5, you gave the people of our country a moment of relief, pride, faith, and positive closure for many months of disappointment, fear, and daily mental torture with a president whose disrespect and disregard for our country’s democracy, constitution, international reputation, and the mental wellbeing of its citizens threatened our very livelihood and freedom.

Does it sound like your courage made a huge difference to millions of Americans? The answer is a resounding yes. How can we thank you for your courage to speak up under great pressure to remain silent?

How can we thank you for your love of God and truth and goodness and ethics and Christian morals along with a respect for the rule of law, all made possible by your courageous willingness to live up to your commitment to your religious faith, your country, and your promise to your Lord to do what is right vs. what is easy?

How can we ever thank you othe than thanking God for men like you and praying that there will be others to follow you in the Senate who are patriotic enough to carry the torch of freedom and live by a Constitution based on Christian ethics?

You and your 15-minute speech will go down in history as one of the most patriotic and courageous acts of any American leader. May generations of leaders to come be moved and motivated to model your faith and your courage.

Thank you for making the difference we so desperately needed at this dark time in our American history. May God continue to bless you and your family. I know you will be able to say many times over, in spite of the ugliness that will follow, that it was well worth it.

Valerie Hunziker

Lake Junaluska

The daughter of a great hero and patriot who, like you, walks with God.

Appreciates the history stories

To the editor:

It’s good to see Kathy Ross contributing articles once again to The Mountaineer about Haywood’s history.

The latest article on Walters Dam was wonderful. I think it was in the late ‘80s and early ‘90s when I was back in WNC managing the Canton Modernization Project that I started reading her articles.

It was one of the reasons I became enamored with our local Haywood history.

Carroll Jones


Please include addresses

To the editor:

I have a request. I have lived in Waynesville for five years now full time. I am very interested in your local history. You have some wonderful stories highlighted.

But I have a recurring problem. You always seem to assume that only long-term residents know exactly where the stories take place. No addresses or map locations are given for us new comers to understand where they are.

For example: the Feb. 9 issue has two interesting stories — the article about the Habitat Walton Woods homes and the great story about the Walters Lake Dam. Neither were located for us non-lifelong residents, nor could I find locations on a map or internet.

This happens often even with social events such as “at so and so’s farm or at the _____named business.” It would be very helpful if your stories noted specific locations we could all find.

Jim Filliung


Editor’s note: Great point, Jim. We’ll try to do better.

The National Prayer Breakfast

To the editor:

I hope our citizenry saw the video of the National Prayer Breakfast yesterday, an event meant to bring our leaders together.

The theme of the guest speaker, Harvard professor Arthur Brooks, was how to communicate and work with those who disagree with us politically. To do so, one must follow the teaching of Jesus to “Love your enemies; pray for those who persecute you”(Matthew 5: 43-48).

Brooks said it takes real strength to do the hard thing, to go against our human nature, to follow the teaching of Jesus. “You say you believe in Jesus—act like it! Love your enemies. Ask God to take political contempt from your heart. And sometimes when it’s just too hard, ask God to help you fake it.” Maybe by faking it we will gradually internalize this teaching and make it a part of us.

When Brooks quoted “love your enemies,” no one applauded. He had to elicit a response. Trump slumped in his chair and did not join the others in clapping. In fact, he turned away and did not even look at Brooks.

When it came time for Trump to speak, he went to the mic and said he didn’t think he could agree with the guest speaker. Did he realize he wasn’t disagreeing with Brooks but with Jesus? This is one of the core teachings in the Sermon on the Mount.

Trump then proceeded to attack Mitt Romney for following his conscience, formed by his faith, when he voted Trump guilty in the Senate trial. He accused Romney of hiding behind his religion to do what he knew was wrong.

Then he turned on Nancy Pelosi, a lifelong practicing Christian. She has said publicly several times that she prays daily for the President, the Congress, and the nation. Trump accused her of lying while knowing she was doing so.

This is what happened at a prayer breakfast that was supposed to bring people together. This is our “Christian” President. Forget love your enemies. Now it’s time for a vendetta.

I hope those who support Trump and claim the name of Christian will find this video and watch it. In Matthew 6:24, Jesus says clearly that you cannot serve two masters. You cannot serve God and mammon (money, riches, wealth). I think the time has come for all of us to make a choice. Which master will we serve?

Gary Knapp


Let’s promote an informed discussion about guns

I am writing in response to a column in the Feb. 2, issue entitled “Gun sanctuary issue raises concerns.”

In opposition to Haywood County becoming a Second Amendment sanctuary, the column presented several arguments that I vehemently disagree with.

First of all, the Supreme Court case, District of Columbia vs. Heller, was used as support for the argument that a citizen’s right to own firearms was limited to home protection, state militias, and government control.

The exact statements were that this case “interpreted the Second Amendment to mean that individuals have the right to possess a handgun in the home for purposes of self-defense….Any demand to resist laws beyond this narrow periphery are contrary to Constitutional law.”

Actually, that is a blatant misrepresentation of the case to fit a particular agenda — gun control. On the very first page of this case, in the Syllabus, it states, “The Second Amendment protects an individual right to possess a firearm unconnected with service in a militia, and to use that arm for traditionally lawful purposes, such as self-defense within the home.”

Self-defense within the home was merely an example used by the court to illustrate a lawful purpose, and definitely does not exclude the many other purposes that would be defined as lawful.

As for being limited to militias, on the third page of the majority opinion in this case the court explains that the first part of the Amendment, “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State,” only announces the purpose of the second part, “the right of the people to keep and bear Arms.” The court makes it clear that the first part does not in any way limit the second part.

The next argument presented in the column was that the fear of guns being confiscated is “irrational.” Listening to the national gun debate about red flag laws, a national registry, gun confiscation, etc., clearly proves that those fears are reasonable and well-founded.

The statement, “Public display of firearms and even the awareness that people are carrying deadly weapons creates a climate of fear,” as if the mere sight or thought of a gun is a cause for fear, is more than irrational, it’s ludicrous.

Finally, religion is invoked to sway the reader. An unrelated definition of the word ‘sanctuary’ was randomly presented in an attempt to mislead the reader about the ideology of gun advocates.

A more appropriate and more commonly used definition of the word is “a place of refuge and protection.” This is the definition that was used by those who asked the Commissioners to pass a Second Amendment sanctuary resolution.

They simply wanted Haywood County to be declared a place of refuge and protection from tyrannical government officials who appear to be determined to disarm them.

As for the moral perspective, in Luke 22:36, Jesus told the disciples to sell a garment and buy a sword because he knew that a time would come when they would be forced to defend themselves. Anyone who believes that God is a pacifist who is against self-protection has not read the Bible.

It’s simply not conducive to intellectual discussion to attempt to prove your point by misleading people with misquoted caselaw, narrow definitions, and insincere claims of fear.

One thing is certain, if a bad guy with a gun shows up, I hope that I’m standing next to a good guy with a gun. My biggest fear is that the good guy won’t have a gun.

Kimberly Phillips lives in Clyde.

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