Courier Letters to the Editor 12-25-13

Delegation meeting set for Jan. 2

Dear Editor,

There will be a Pickens County Legislative Delegation meeting on Jan. 2 at 5:30 p.m. at the Dacusville Community Center. This will be a great time for all citizens to look our delegation members — Larry Martin, Phil Owens, B.R. Skelton and Davey Hiott — in the eye and ask tough questions about why South Carolina’s educational system, our ethics laws and our roadways are consistently rated some of the worst in the nation. These guys have been in Columbia for years, and we still see little to no improvement in these core functions of government.

We can also ask why our delegation overwhelmingly voted against Gov. Haley’s common-sense budget reductions. It seems odd that they would vote against common-sense measures to reduce spending in June, and now there is talk of tax increases to fund road work. Why do they always look to grow government and spend more? We need less, more-efficient government. Another example is the Hiott-Skelton at-large school board bill. Do we really need more politicians in education, or do we need to focus on teachers and students? I believe we need to listen to and support teachers and reduce the number of politicians with their fingers in the pie.

And finally, we need to pin them down on Common Core educational standards. Our current educational standards are developed by South Carolinians and are rated some of the best in the nation. Yet, some in Columbia want to hand over education standards to out-of-state interests; many who do not reflect our values. Our children are too important to hand over to unaccountable out-of-state interests. We must stop nationalized educational standards. I hope to see you on Jan. 2 in Dacusville.

Michelle Wiles


Pickens County Republican Party

An appeal to all people of good will

Dear Editor,

This is an appeal to Christians and all people of good will in Pickens County. All Christians know that we are taught by our Lord to love God and neighbor, and even our enemies. All major world religions teach the Golden Rule. It would be wonderful if we could project this image to the world from this place.

We can vilify or glorify Sheriff Rick Clark for our latest image. We can remain a divided people here. Or we can, perhaps, remember that Jesus lived, died, and rose again for Rick Clark, Barack Obama, Nelson Mandela, our fallen soldiers, indeed for all of us. We can, perhaps, remember our pledge of allegiance to our American flag: “one nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.”

Who, or what, do you serve? Jesus said, “Abide in me.” Can we Christians come together in peace, led by the Prince of Peace? Can all people of good will learn to focus on what is right and true and positive here? There is so much. Can we work together to show the world how life together can be good, even when we don’t agree — on politics or religion or much of anything else? Can we examine our hearts and our motivations and make room for love?

Bert Allison


Remember the reason for the season

Dear Editor,

It seems these days, we are the nation of the offended. We can no longer have organized prayer before a school district board meeting or an athletic game at public schools, and teachers can’t play Christian-themed Christmas songs between classes. They were told they could only play secular music like “Frosty the Snowman.” They are prohibited from playing songs like “Silent Night,” “Oh Little Town of Bethlehem” and “Away in a Manger,” because they might offend a very small percentage of people with their Christian lyrics. Well, after the billboard in New York City being sponsored by an atheist group with a statement I will not repeat and definitely do not agree with, I want to take a Jesus Christ stand and say I am offended. You can’t even spell Christmas without Christ. I understand they have the right to put up a billboard, but we as American Christians have the right and privilege to stand firm for our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

You see, for more than 2000 years, Satan has tried to stamp out Christianity and has not even come close. The only thing that has happened, is that the word of God, the Bible, has become the No. 1 best-selling book in the world. This Bible even tells us that, “The gates of hell shall not prevail against His Church,” in Matthew 16:18 KJV. I am part of His Bride, the church, and want to proclaim the great news of the best gift ever given to our world in a manger in Bethlehem on the very first Christmas morning. Mary wrapped the Savior of the world in swaddling clothes and laid him in a manger. Mary wrapped the first Christmas gift ever, Jesus, and the multitude of the heavenly host praised God, saying, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men,” in Luke 2:7,13,14. This has always been the greatest season of all, Christmas. The time we celebrate Emmanuel, God with us.

I want our local businesses to know, as a Christian, I will not willingly support their restaurants, their stores or their organizations if they wish me “Happy Holidays.” Wish me happy holidays at New Year, Valentine’s Day and Halloween, but not at Christmas. That sign offends me, and I challenge all Christians to start standing up for the true and only reason for the Christmas season, Jesus. Jesus is the reason for all seasons, and it’s time we stand up and proclaim it boldly from the church house to our, Americans’, White House. Our nation was founded on Biblical Christian principles, and it is time we ask our county, state and government officials to listen to our voice as Christian Americans, that we the people of the United States of America want God in America again. The truth offends, but His truth also saves. I pray you know my Jesus and celebrate His birth (which is Christmas), His life, His sacrifice and His return, which will be soon. May God bless America again, and have a Jesus-filled Merry Christmas!

Brad Dover