OneKingsport summit failed miserably if diversity was its goal

Letter To The Editor • Updated Nov 4, 2015 at 9:39 AM

OneKingsport summit failed miserably if diversity was its goal

So city officials and citizens met about revitalizing Kingsport. Visiting the OneKingsport Facebook page I instantly noticed something. The group photo with the mayor and city manager shows zero diversity. Looking hard, I think I see two non-Caucasians in the very back. I see no one with a disability. Hardly equal treatment in a gathering aimed at diversity.

Who was represented? City staff and the usual players ranging from the chamber of commerce to industry leaders. How about greater community representation? How about someone from Colonial Heights? Rock Springs? Lynn Garden? Riverview? I find this appalling and embarrassing. Thursday’s article stated, “Clark said Kingsport should also seek diversity, that ideas come from diverse people. …” He and others need to practice what they preach.

Want to see real leadership? Look elsewhere because in a summit aimed at diversity — among other things — those in charge failed miserably. Only the aims and desires of the affluent and influential were represented. Yet another missed opportunity to unite the community instead of continuing the the good old boy network where the voice of the common citizen remains unheard. It’s almost as if summit attendees were hand-picked, ensuring someone’s agenda was supported. OneKingsport? Suggesting that is disingenuous and insulting.

The article stated Kingsport must “capture” residents from neighboring areas. If so, the asinine one-lane traffic pattern on Center Street should be eliminated. Increased population means an already slow commute becomes painfully slow. This is not appealing to anyone, especially young professionals considering living downtown.

Washington County has ETSU catering to younger generations. To compete, we must be more appealing. We must be smarter about our choices when deciding who shall lead our city.

Melissa Bradley, Kingsport

Make individuals self-sufficient

Many of the current political candidates talk about improving conditions surrounding the lives of many Americans. It is clear that all of these conditions described need attention. The question really is about whose responsibility it is to improve the existing conditions. Can you imagine how many government programs would become unnecessary if individuals were selfsufficient? Not just in economic terms but in social, psychological, physical and behavioral terms.

Government social programs should have only one goal, to make the individuals the government is attempting to help become self-reliant and eliminate the need for the program instead of increasing its size or cost. A measure of the program’s success would simply be the need for the program at any time in the future. A successful program would be needed less and less.

A self-sufficient nation must start with selfsufficient individuals which leads to self-sufficient families which leads to self-sufficient communities which leads to self-sufficient states from which a self-sufficient nation results. Unfortunately, benevolence requires self-sufficiency if it is to be sustainable; not the other way around. Certainly benevolence and charity are necessary in a society such as ours, but the main focus should be on providing a society which can deliver the necessary benevolence and charity.

Maybe our whole system of education and learning needs to be rethought with the goal of self-sufficiency in mind. Achieving the goals of self-sufficiency would have a positive impact on the need for social programs, would make our country stronger, and would truly make it the envy of the world.

Bobby Phillips, Jonesborough

Saturday is the Sabbath

Donald Trump was trying to belittle Doctor Ben Carson because he goes to church on Saturday. Perhaps Mr. Trump doesn’t realize that Saturday, the seventh day of the week, is the only day that God ever sanctified and set apart as a day of rest and worship. This day, called the Sabbath throughout the Bible, was observed as a day of worship until about 321 AD when the Roman Emperor Constitine forced the churches to worship on Sunday instead of the true Sabbath under threat of death.

The seventh-day Sabbath is mentioned some 800 times from Genesis to Revelation, probably more than any other subject. God even wrote it with His own finger in stone and placed it in the heart of the Ten Commandments, yet churches have forgotten it. Only a few independent churches besides the Seventh Day Adventist and the Church Of God (Seventh Day) still observe the correct day of the week.

Carl Ray, Kingsport

Follow the money

At the Holston Presbyterian meeting last December, I asked if there was one verse in the Bible that could justify same-sex marriage. There isn’t even one. If a person were to bring up the nonjudgmental story of Jesus and the adulterous woman; “you without sin, cast the first stone,” the caveat is: “go and sin no more.”

Our Presbytery voted against the blanket approval of same-sex marriage but nationally, it was approved. Now it belongs to the individual Presbyterian church, which can approve or disapprove same-sex marriage. Even further, even if the elders say it is OK, the pastor can decline.

The bottom line in all this is follow the money. The federal government has overruled states’ rights on this issue, and at some point all churches will have decide if they want the tax breaks afforded the church, be it Presbyterian, Catholic, Baptist or whatever denomination.

I think it will be interesting to observe who serves God and who wants the money.

Eddie Doerr, Kingsport