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The Readers’ Forum

The Readers' Forum: Tuesday letters

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God-given rights

Where in the Bible do our God-given rights appear?

I admit, I was just skimming. I found a lot of commandments and admonitions, but nothing about rights.

Are they enumerated somewhere? Is there a list, maybe?

I know the Constitution has a Bill of Rights, but I couldn’t find any of those in the Bible.

Surely it couldn’t be that “God-given rights” is just a made-up talking point that Republicans will use to try to strip away more rights from Americans. Surely not.

Martin Murdaugh


Classroom teachers

In reference to “McManus gets $35,000 raise” (June 30), what a time to be new in your job! Winston-Salem/Forsyth County School Superintendent Tricia McManus has been at the helm during a very difficult time. She and her choices of upper management seem worthy.

But what about the bottom of the hierarchy? The teachers and assistants have needed to be tech experts, psychologists, social workers and health experts while teaching stressed students and working with stressed families and colleagues, not to mention their own families. What would happen if the money was allocated to the bottom of the totem pole?

I was teaching in a school once when the principal and assistant principal were both on medical leave at the same time. Did the school fall apart? No, it thrived. All staff was valued and stepped up to the challenges.

I have an image of the one-room schoolhouse concept (in which I once taught) with multi-ages learning much from each other (something that has been missing from the last two years), independent study/learning, parent support/involvement, teacher collaboration and limited administration. Worth a thought?

This is not to criticize McManus or her staff. I would dare say that all school systems in this state and country seem very top-heavy. Teachers are leaving in droves and university education departments are smaller than ever.

When the foundation fails, the house falls. Let’s flip the house. Put the money in the concrete: classroom teachers.

Patricia Williams


No system

Regarding the cartoon on the July 9 editorial page: Americans don’t have a health care system. Americans have a for-profit health care industry.

Kenneth Brian Scalf


Officially Christian

Occasionally I have the misfortune of encountering someone who believes the United States ought to be an officially Christian nation. Though I have many questions for these Taliban wannabes (such as “Have you read any of the founding documents lately?” or “Did you know people talk about you behind your back?”), the most important question I have is this: Which Christianity?

I was Catholic once, and I certainly can’t see the Protestant majority consenting to the transubstantiation or submitting to the authority of the Pope. Methodists seem to be at each other’s throats lately over whether to perform same-sex marriages. And what about Christian Scientists, who refuse blood transfusions and sometimes modern medicine altogether in favor of the power of prayer? Would an officially Christian America codify those practices, even for those of us thankful for penicillin and SSRIs?

The truth is that an officially Christian America would be an ever-tightening circular firing squad, where people ostensibly worshipping the same God and following the same prophet would recreate the obscene bloodbaths from the medieval Reformation with assault weapons. The real victims would be every other religion as well as those without it, made to answer to fickle interpretations of Bronze Age dictums that have little to no bearing on modern, secular societies of this bizarre and chaotic 21st century. What seems like a united front for a theocratic America is really a thief’s guild that would tear itself apart as soon as even the smallest disagreement reared its ecclesiastical head.

John Belmont



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