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Category Archives: Opinions

Meekness is not weakness, but strength under control

We know that atheists and agnostics have been around since the beginning. There is always someone in the crowd who will disagree about the existence of God, and sadly this view seems to be growing.

I admit that our freewill and independent thinking are beneficial components to establishing what we believe, but it never ceases to amaze me that we would argue over the reality of a divine creator. I can understand different worldviews about science, social issues, politics and even some religious differences, but the subject of whether or not there is a God troubles me deeply.

I have also noticed an increased animosity from those who do not believe in the Bible toward those who do. As a Christian minister, I’ve had my share of attacks from individuals who declare I am insane for accepting the God of the

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Courier Letters to the Editor 8-8-18

Immigrants in the US military

Dear Editor,

Recently, several newspapers have published articles about the Department of Defense discharg-ing immigrant recruits from the military. These articles referenced immigrants who enlisted with a promised path to U.S. citizenship. It is true that the military has a small and very exclusive pro-gram that benefits immigrants and the U.S. military called Military Accessions Vital to the Na-tional Interest (MAVNI). It is a special recruiting program that has been available to certain im-migrants interested in joining the military with a desire to gain eligibility for U.S. citizenship. Additional research indicates that a current estimate of 40 immigrants have a questionable appli-cation jeopardizing their contract with the military and their future path to citizenship out of an estimated 10,000 currently serving in the military.

Every individual who applies for military service must pass background checks, regardless of cit-izenship. Some may require additional screening depending on their background. In 2016, the Obama administration

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From the eyes of a first responder

This column has been on my mind for months. An opportunity for those who serve you — the first responders of Pickens County, to get information out that hopefully will make you aware, answer questions and ultimately keep you safe.

It isn’t meant to be a debate column or even an opinion column. My goal is for facts to be shared and valuable information passed along. Maybe an occasional personal interest story.

Something that has become increasingly evident to me is that the general public does not truly know or understand how emergency response works in Pickens County. Did you know that all fire departments are not the same? All ambulances you see on the road do not provide the same services or even answer 911 calls? What about the rescue squad I see — where do they fit in? How is all of this funded? Who staffs what, and how is my emergency handled?

There will be some who already know the answer (or believe they do), thus

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They’ve got rhythm, music and a band

I’ve been to every one of their concerts and enjoyed them all. Friday night, Aug. 3, at 7 p.m., the Pickens Community Choir is bringing a smorgasborg of tunes from the 1950s, ‘60s and ‘70s to their summer concert at the Holly Springs Center.

I loved the spring concert with its toe-tapping, finger-snapping hits. The summer concert has singers and musicians bringing the Beatles and he Mamas and the Papas hit “Here Comes the Sun,” as well as some favorites jazz pop and folk hits.

This versatile group of area singers and musicians are going to rock it out, and I’ll certainly be there.

The Summer Pops Concert will be at the Holly Springs Center this time. The

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Courier Letters to the Editors 8-1-18

Working for the system

Dear Editor,

By now I think most realize the Pickens County Council has closed the recycling centers on Wednesday and has added a load of days to the holiday schedule.

Two years ago, the county budget was $57.2 million. With all the new houses going up and new spending, the budget this year is $64.6 million. A healthy increase, but yet they can’t maintain the existing level of essential services?

Part of skilled budget management is setting priorities. Essential services are at the top of the list. Cuts to those services are a last resort and should be done only when facing a budget crunch, not when revenues are at record levels. This provides yet another example of how the new council knows how to spend

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Just the facts — the bear facts

This just in. The reports of the widely wandering bear doing the rounds in the Rice’s Creek community have been updated. According to witnesses, last week’s account of the activities of the wandering bear may not be completely accurate.

A first-person account from a witness who wishes to remain anonymous claims there is more than one bear involved in sightings.

According to Jane Doe, a pseudonym for the anonymous witness, more than one bear has been sighted on her property at almost the same time.

Doe said, “There was one good-sized bear and another near who was smaller.”

“Then, just a few minutes later,” Doe said, “a third bear was sighted.”

John Doe, Jane Doe’s spouse, said that there is a possibility that the third bear

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Courier Letter’s to the Editor 7-25-18

Let’s be a community of unity

Dear Editor,

I recently went to California for a family vacation. My son, who had flown into San Francisco, texted me about an hour before his expected arrival time saying, “We will be delayed.” The picture attached to the text was disturbing.

I immediately texted, saying, “David, are you all right? And can you talk?”

Minutes that seemed like hours passed as I kept staring at the picture that my son had texted of his rental car with the back window on the passenger side totally smashed in.

Then I heard the story. Twenty minutes after getting their rental car, David

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Do more to protect

The need to protect vulnerable adults continues to rise with South Carolina’s growing population. But the state has failed to keep pace with that increase despite warnings, leaving a potentially dangerous gap in the investigation of abuse or neglect claims among people who can’t care for themselves.

Adult Protective Services hasn’t had a significant funding increase since at least 2013, even as its case load expanded by 1,300 between 2015 and 2017, The Post and Courier’s Mary Katherine Wildeman reported. It’s troubling that lawmakers haven’t addressed the much larger workload after a 2017 Legislative Audit Council report criticized the Department of Social Services for failing to meet the

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Stay alert — the bear is coming

There have been several bear sightings reported in our community, and we’re not sure whether it’s one bear who really gets around or several who enjoy traveling.

The size of the bear reported varies, so it could be more than one, but the excitement of spotting the bear ambling through a front yard has been known to dramatically increase the reported size.

Here’s what I know.

A month or more ago, our around-the-corner neighbors on Stewart Gin Road had a nocturnal visitor who came through to sample what was being served in the bird feeder.

One evening, the bear lumbered up onto their front porch and peered at them through the window.

Our friends have a horn inside they can blow, so they faced the bear through

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When praying for rain, don’t forget your umbrella

I’ve heard the old saying that “life is not a bed of roses” for as long as I can remember. I understand what it’s trying to convey, but I’ve also thought that it would not really be all that great to lay down on a bed of sharp thorns. Nevertheless, it’s safe to say our journey will have its ups and downs, and unfortunately, most of us will experience our share of hard times.

Whether it’s a financial worry, a medical situation, family problems, a concern for the world, or just being discouraged from the relentless grind of our job, life can be tough. However, in the midst of all that is going on, we can always turn to God, who is filled with an endless source of strength, hope and love. We can choose to embrace the encouraging truth that God cares about our problems and how He has the power and the solutions to give us the victory no matter

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