Keep them separate
I join the writer of the Nov. 20 letter “Fearful yet?” in condemning former presidential candidate Beto O’Rourke’s desire to end tax-exempt status for churches. Church-sponsored organizations that receive government funds are one thing — a totally different thing — but churches should be tax-exempt, as long as they don’t raise funds for political causes.
I think most Democrats, like me, would reject O’Rourke’s conviction, which may largely be why he’s out of the race now.
I’m also concerned, though, with a case currently before the Supreme Court, Espinoza v. Montana Department of Revenue, in which a private religious school is trying to access public school funds, which would essentially mean that taxpayers would be forced to support religious education. That is simply wrong and, in fact, unconstitutional. But we can’t trust President Trump’s Supreme Court to support constitutional principles.
We should, simply, keep church and state separate, like our founders intended.
William B. Perry
A rare opportunity
It was disappointing to read in “Clash scuttles vote on preserve” (Nov 19) that the Winston-Salem City Council failed to approve the funding proposed, a fraction of what was requested, and then clashed over the proposed increase to $200,000. The City Council gives/forgives loans much greater than the requested $500,000 at times. I hope its members will work to find a way to provide the entire sum and invest in this sure thing. There will be more than acreage preserved.
As one of Winston-Salem’s priceless landscapes along Reynolda Road, this former farmland will be preserved for generations to come to enjoy. This tract of land is irreplaceable in its urban setting. With the funds raised by preservation, the legacy of the Children’s Home, where many youths found family and community when they had none, will continue in the work of the Crossnore School. The school will continue to reach out to all children in crisis in North Carolina. The preserved area, with its proposed trails and healthful open spaces, will be accessible to the neighborhood of Boston-Thurmond, which has no such area now; the retirement community of Arbor Acres; and the Buena Vista area. Anyone familiar with the Piedmont Land Conservancy’s Knight Brown Preserve in Rockingham County knows it will be more than preserved landscape, but a natural heritage asset that will continue to give back to all city residents.
I hope the City Council will consider approving the entire $500,000 request. Opportunities such as this are rare indeed.
This is the time
If there was ever a time that cries out for congressional term limits, it is now.
The legislative branch of our federal government is in virtual stagnation. Our elected representatives are so consumed in political gamesmanship that such critical issues as immigration, climate, infrastructure, education, health and so many others are being given little attention. The focus is on what is good for me and my party, not what is good for my country and its citizens. I fear this will forever be the case as long we have career politicians devoting more hours to protecting and preserving their jobs than addressing the concerns of the nation.
Now the reality. Unfortunately, the only way that this is going to change under our present system is through the very legislature that is benefiting from the limitless terms. They are not about to vote to give up those benefits.
Wouldn’t it be interesting to see what the results would be if term limits were to be included as a referendum in a national election? My prediction? Overwhelming approval.
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