The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

Our Readers Speak

May 15, 2014

Our Readers Speak — Thursday, May 15, 2014

Nerissa Young’s changes a miracle!

Holy Moly! Miracle Of Miracles! Nerissa Young has changed her photograph in The Register-Herald and matured from an idealistic liberal to a moderate Democrat. In the process, she has become a professional writer.

In “The Back Porch” column on May 3, she defended Cliven Bundy by showing the full context of his comments that were rated “racial” by the mainstream media. On May 10, she defended freedom of speech and “racist” Donald Sterling of the Los Angeles Clippers. It seems Nerissa’s style has changed from laid-back liberal to aggressive challenger.

The style change is becoming. Has she come to the realization that liberalism breeds far more bad than good? I give her an A-plus for both articles — also a miracle in my opinion.

 

Richard Richmond, M.D.

Beckley



Students learn historic American religion

Pastor Scott A. Lester’s letter assumes that students are not learning about the religious aspects of early American history. I cannot speak for other history teachers in southern West Virginia, but I teach my students about the religious beliefs of those who came before us.

These lessons include instruction on the role that religion played in founding the first schools in our country.

While religion is a fundamentally important part of our past we would be mistaken if we assumed that colonial America was somehow similar to America today. Standing between the colonial period and our contemporary world is the drafting of the Constitution and, subsequently, its Bill of Rights, as well has over 200 years of case law precedent.

In that time we have decided that government is not a religious institution. Since schools are creatures of government we must recognize that schools are not religious institutions, either.

A strong majority of Americans are Christians, but we are a society that is rich in religious diversity. It would be wrong to use the schools as a tool of religious indoctrination. Religion is one of the most important aspects of our lives, but it is ultimately a personal decision that we each make. Students ought to be free to come to school without being pressured by faculty, administration or curriculum to bend to the will of the majority’s religion.

As a member of the majority religion in this country, Pastor Scott A. Lester feels that representatives of his religion ought to have the right to proselytize in the classroom just because people did so in the past. I think his tune on religion in the classroom would be different if the children under his religious tutelage went to school each day and were the subject of Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist or atheist proselytizing activities.

John McCormick

Athens

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