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The Readers' Forum: Thursday letters

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Serious diversity

Prior to the event held at Bookmarks on June 18, you quoted a Facebook posting of the Forsyth County Men’s Club that said the Conservative Women of Forsyth County were expected to attend the planned protest (“Groups to protest bookstore’s drag queen story hour,” June 16). As cofounder and co-president I kept waiting for a call, text or email seeking confirmation. Never came. Why? Do you only want to publish one side of the story?

We did not attend the protest. Our organization isn’t homophobic, transphobic or any other “phobic” you can suggest; however, we are against using tax dollars as provided by the Arts Council of Winston-Salem and Forsyth County in support of Bookmarks scheduling an event utilizing a classification of individuals who entertain adults in adult clubs. Our organization does not want our tax dollars funding any adult entertainer (drag queen, strippers, prostitutes, etc.) to read to children.

If Bookmarks and the Arts Council are serious about “diversity,” we look forward to the funding of an event that we can help organize. Perhaps a reading of stories to children: “XX = girls and XY = Boys.” My phone is on …

Myra Bumgardner

Co-founder and co-president

Conservative Women of



No funds from the Arts Council went directly to Bookmarks for this event.

— the editor

Taking a biblical stand

As a liberal Christian minister and student of the Bible, I often am appalled at the way some conservatives use the Bible to defend inexcusable acts, including the assault on the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021. So, listening to the Jan. 6 committee hearings on June 16, it was refreshing to hear Greg Jacob, a conservative lawyer and chief counsel to former Vice President Mike Pence, answer the question of how his faith supported him at that time.

“My faith really sustained me through it,” he said.

Taken down to a secure area in the basement, he pulled out his Bible and turned to Daniel 6 (it’s the “lion’s den” story). Normally, he says, Daniel “completely, faithfully serves” the pagan King of Babylon, until the king issues a decree that goes against Daniel’s faith. So, he “refuses an order from the king that he cannot follow, and he does his duty consistent with his oath to God, and I felt that that’s what had played out that day.”

Sometimes, allegiance to God must relativize, demote and even subvert allegiance to other loyalties, including political parties and politicians. Thank you, Jacob, for reminding us of what lies at the heart of biblical values.

Thomas W. Mann


Building the future

Kudos for the June 16 article “Fuel bill aims at making a point” highlighting the importance of climate policies and illustrating the absurd lengths to which some legislators will go to stand in the way of the clean energy transition. With great professionalism, reporter John Deem airs Rep. Mark Brody’s unfounded complaint that drivers of electric vehicles avoid gas taxes that fund road maintenance, but succinctly points out that EVs are subject to higher registration fees that more than offset the loss of gas tax revenue.

The larger point is that many objections to the clean energy transition are really distractions meant to support a harmful status quo. The sponsors of the bill Deem writes about say it’s unfair to offer free EV charging but not free gasoline at the same locations. Have they forgotten the massive subsidies that fossil fuel companies have received over the decades? These legislators even say that free EV charging is just a giveaway to people who can already afford electric cars, but don’t recognize that making charging cheap and convenient helps chip away at the affordability question.

Let’s end the posturing. What we need is comprehensive, fact-based policy to incentivize a reduction in carbon emissions throughout the economy. One of the most elegant ways to achieve that would be through a carbon fee/rebate structure. But along the way, it is certainly helpful to have complementary policies like convenient and free charging stations. We need to start building the future today.

Matthew Mayers



I’ve had many conversations with family members about when they learned of events such as the moon landing, President Kennedy’s assassination or the attacks on Sept. 11. Many of my “what were you doing when ...” moments are related to mass gun violence.

I was:

  • a sophomore at West Forsyth when two armed boys killed their classmates and teachers at Columbine.
  • a new teacher, heading home for the afternoon, when I heard about a shooting at Virginia Tech.
  • pregnant with my first child, restless and resting my hand on my belly to feel his kicks, when I learned of a shooting at a movie theater in Aurora.
  • walking with my first child, finally asleep on my chest for a nap at six weeks old when a sobbing neighbor told me about what had happened at Sandy Hook Elementary.

And so on. Most recently, I was watching my three children hang up their backpacks when I heard about the tragedy in Uvalde. Will I continue to remember my life’s milestones alongside reports of mass gun violence? Will my children and their children?

I am encouraged that Sens. Richard Burr and Thom Tillis have expressed support for a framework for gun legislation. I know that it is possible to protect the Second Amendment while implementing laws to protect public safety. Senators, please move beyond framework to concrete action in favor of public safety and against gun extremism. Please take action to keep my children, and all our nation’s children, safe from gun violence.

Jessica McCrory


Better message

The turnout of Forsyth County Republican Men’s Club participants at the Pride celebration was surely disappointing to those who hoped for a better showing than five grown men who were afraid to share their real names (“Hundreds gather downtown for Pride Parade,” June 19). One of them finally mustered up the courage to declare Bookmarks’ Drag Queen Story Hour “child abuse.”

Inside the bookstore, “drag queen” Anna Yacht was busy laughing with a bunch of parents who were showing their children that they shouldn’t be afraid of people who are different.

I think that’s the better message.

I don’t want my children to be afraid of the world. It would not serve them well.

Mack Ferguson



What gives? No mention of Father’s Day in the weekend or Monday editions of the Winston-Salem Journal (other than from Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy)?

Leslie DeBroder


A thought

Just a thought: Maybe former President Trump is the RINO.

Matthew Bennett



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