Son of the South

I am not ashamed to say that I am a son of the South, a product of a culture that has raised up many great Americans.

My paternal great-great-grandfather lived on a farm in Virginia and raised a family of five. He served in the Army of Northern Virginia under Gen. Robert E. Lee in the 28th Virginia Infantry because an invading army threatened his home and family.

My maternal great-great-grandfather was a tenant farmer in southern Virginia with a wife and two young children. He enlisted and served in the Confederate Army, 63rd Virginia Infantry, under Gen. Joe Johnston. He died outside Atlanta, Ga., in 1864 fighting to keep Sherman’s army from overrunning Atlanta.

Both these men were simple farmers, neither of whom ever owned a slave. They did not fight because of slavery or racism but fought because their homes were being threatened and overrun by an enemy army. These were brave Americans, simple Christian family men who put their lives on the line for those they loved.

Now our society would tear down any monument honoring these brave men. They are being reviled and slandered by people who have no idea who these men were and what they fought for. These monuments are not reminders of slavery but reminders of a breed of men who unashamedly took up arms against an invading army that threatened their homes and families and left death and destruction in its wake. May God give us more men like this today.

Fred Barton


Jesus and peace

“No Jesus, No Peace!” Few people publicly have stated that God’s son is the solution to prejudices that affect us all. Sinful mankind must be born again spiritually to receive God’s forgiveness; then they can love their neighbor as themselves.

Many think they can change people’s hearts — only biblical salvation can change hearts. Many are bitter and have not the peace found in John 14:27 and 16:33. God’s son willingly shed his blood on the cross to atone for all hell-deserving sinners who will repent and trust Christ alone for sin’s only remedy. Jesus died for our sins, was buried and rose again (I Corinthians 15:1-4);this is the Gospel. Only through the preaching of this message can mankind be saved (I Corinthians 1:17-2:16).

Area churches paid for a full-page ad in the June 14 Journal. I agree with much of their letter, but it was inadequate and lacking. No scriptural references (Isaiah 55:6-11), and no preaching of the cross! Surely out of 26 ministers, one would’ve thought this ad should include Scripture and Christ’s Gospel message. Perhaps they were afraid they would offend unbelievers; yet how can unbelievers believe if they don’t hear (Romans 1:14-22, 3:9-26, 10:8-17)?

Two of your columnists who are reverends (Richard Groves; Byron Williams) wrote on the same day, but neither told sinners how to be saved. No wonder only a few can say “Know Jesus, Know Peace” (Romans 1:7, 2:10, 5:1, 8:6, 14:17-19, 15:13 and 33, 16:20).

Robert Hutchens

Pastor, Meadowview Baptist Church


Presidential seal

Why does the president of the United States get to display the presidential seal at his rallies, purely partisan events that indeed must be paid for out of private funds? He is no longer representing the nation as a whole. He clearly was functioning as commander in chief when he spoke at the West Point commencement.

I think the seal should come off the podium at rallies. And I would hope that the campaign was paying for the use of the presidential jet and helicopter when the president took a quick round trip to the rally in Tulsa, Okla., and back to D.C.

Robert Conn


Dedicated professionals

I wish to recognize and express profound gratitude to all the employees of the Forsyth County Departments of Public Health and Social Services for their response and tireless efforts to serve the people of Forsyth County.

Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, many of these exceptional folks have been working long hours, some, seven days a week to help keep our community safe from this deadly virus. From measuring and reporting the disease spread, arranging for a growing number of testing sites, providing education on what we all need to do to slow the spread to tracking contacts, these dedicated professionals often go unnoticed as they diligently combat this virus day in and day out.

With the presence of COVID-19, we often forget that our residents are no less in need of the ongoing work of public health and social services. Our infants, children and adults still count on us for assistance. Our blind, deaf, indigent and mentally ill citizens still look to us for help. The good news is that the professionals in the departments of social services and public health have not let our citizens down as COVID-19 has occupied the headlines. Forsyth County is truly fortunate to have such caring and capable people who come to work every day, do their job (and do it well), and go home as unsung heroes.

Thank you each and every one at the Forsyth County Department of Public Health and Department of Social Services. We are truly blessed to have you.

J. Phil Seats

Chair, Forsyth County Health and Human Services Board


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