Letters to the Editor

   Written by on October 19, 2017 at 10:43 am

The Season Has Changed

The following is a letter in response to the Boy Scouts of America’s Decision to Allow Girls to Participate Beginning 2018.

As I sit at my desk, the brightly colored fall leaves are blowing briskly by my window. The season has most assuredly changed from summer to fall. Life, too, sometimes changes abruptly like the seasons around us. One example of this is the recent change by the Boy Scouts of America to allow girls join the ranks in 2018. This begs questions like: Will it still be “boy” scouts? Will inherent differences of boys and girls be appreciated? In light of the fact that other “girl” scouting programs exist, why even go there? Like the leaves that are blown from the trees, it seems that the founding principles of this one-time respectable organization have been blown away by cultural winds. As the seasons change, we too have to change.

As a pastor, I have a burden for families and the values they (we) cherish. Our boys and girls are to be cherished, provided for and when the need arises, protected. But it is not enough to just shake our heads and consider this just another foolish idea and hope it does not affect us. We have a responsibility to teach and invest in our boys and girls right values. So, about two years ago, we started looking for an answer.

In 2016, Grace Community Church chartered with the national organizations of American Heritage Girls (AHG) and Trail Life USA (TLUSA). Both of these organizations were birthed because of the disturbing trends over the past few decades like the one we read about above. These organizations were brought to Charlotte County through much prayer and sacrifice for our little ones. In AHG, the focus is on building women of character through activities that appeal primarily to girls. With strong female leaders, the girls are challenged and encouraged to embrace who God made them to be. In TLUSA, the focus is on helping boys grow into men of character and integrity. The boys are led by men with strong Christian values who understand the pressures of being a “man” in today’s culture. Both programs are filled with learning, adventure and fun. All boys and girls between 5 and 17 are welcomed to participate regardless of their background.

Change is not always comfortable, but we all have to face it and deal with it. Like preparing for the change in seasons, we have to adapt. The BSA is adapting and so must we. I thank God that he called on us to provide these programs for our children in Charlotte County. But, like anything, we must use them to see any benefit. If you have an interest in registering your children or possibly becoming a leader, then please go to www.connect2gcc.org. Look under “Ministries.”

We do not have to be like the leaves in the wind. Rather, we can stand firm on solid ground. Our Charlotte County “boys” and our “girls” deserve nothing less.

Pastor Robert Perrin

Grace Community Church

Charlotte Court House, Va.

Are Humans no Better Than the Ants?

We all recognize the vulnerable human mind to form bias beliefs and prejudice that we try to educate or even legislate to combat. If we look beyond our own species however, we discover there is an intrinsic characteristic among many creatures of life that recoil against the “outsider.” “Birds of a feather flock together” is an old saying that is oh so true. There must be a genetic reasoning behind these isolationist traits that goes back millions of years that has something to do with a basic purity and preservation of the species.

Having said this, we humans look at our place on planet earth and behold a history of mistreatment among ourselves from slavery to war and wonder afterwards why we haven’t and can’t do better! The Bible says the heart of man is desperately wicked but, so is the heart of so many creatures in nature. Aside from bears and lions seeking to kill the young of their own kind, even the lowly ant has adopted the practice of slavery!

The Polyurgus ant of Arizona survives by invading its neighboring ant colony killing off the adults while robbing the eggs, taking them back to their own colony. Once the captured ant eggs hatch, they will serve as slaves to their captors of that colony its entire life! We humans like to strive for higher standards of life above the animals God gave us dominion over but, there seems to be a common thread that runs through all living things to oppress, dominate, enslave or kill.

We humans are the only “animal” with the intellect to break with a cycle of cruelty toward one another but often lack the will to listen to the “better angels of our nature”! Those who don’t learn from the past are doomed to repeat it. The “offensive” statues of the American Civil War (of every kind) are reminders of a huge turning point in America. If we seek to abolish these mile markers of our past, we invite future generations to travel those same roads progressing no further to make permanent change than the slave owning ant!

Karl Schmidt

Farmville, Va.

Economic  planning nonexistent 
Farmville management proclaims that a few pizza places, a burger place along with a few others will bring a restaurant Renaissance to our area according to an  article in our local newspaper. Town Officials envision these establishments will help prevent people from leaving town for other venues. This is not rational thinking.

Citizens elect and appoint the same people year after year. Apathy is what’s killing Farmville and has come to haunt the folks on High Street and The Greens. The recent delay in the rezoning request and giving it to consultants is only to pass the blame when town council passes it in a few years.  But, be honest folks. If it were not for Walk2Campus half the homes here would be termite food. A unanimous vote to spend $500,000 of taxpayer money for what’s left of Wilkes Lake so people can walk a few extra steps?  Are you happy with this decision?
The rooftop bar/restaurant proposed at the Weyanoke Hotel could provide a unique attraction. If they can pull it off and if the town provides help with their parking problem.

One possible solution is to  build a parking deck where Farmville Printing is located, if it’s large enough. This location solves many parking problems for the hotel, LU and the town. If the owners will not sell build it at the Farmers Market location.

All this talk about another grocery store is nothing but noise. When we can recruit and sustain something like a Fresh Market is the day our community can smile with pride.
Vision of our future is an asset I hope our new assistant town manager brings to Farmville. Scott Davis’s resume looks outstanding and is more than qualified to be our town manager.  Let him permanently hire qualified town economic planners
from his network of professionals. Mr Davis should be able to bring transparency to our community. 

Randal Phillips

Farmville, Va.

On Drugs and Addicts

The use of drugs and drug addiction is a major problem in the U.S. The US Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration estimates over 7 million drug addicts in the United States. I am, of course, referring to illicit drugs, not the array of pharmaceutical drugs our medical profession prescribes for the many ills of our frail humanity. These include the sedatives, tranquilizers, and pain relievers, the latter of which has created a further problem for our society. We have become so dependent on chemistry to alleviate all the problems of mankind. Our mass media advertising promises a benevolent chemical to cure all ills, soothe minor ailments and discomforts, alter our visual and olfactory senses, improve our sleep, and regulate our bodily functions. There are also chemicals to improve the taste, color and freshness of our processed food.

To deal with the problem of illicit drugs, former president Richard Nixon penned the legislation to deal with the problem: The War on Drugs. The total cost of our war is difficult to calculate. The governmental account of nationwide drug deaths shows roughly 64,000 people died from drug overdoses in 2016. The economic cost of drug abuse in 2002 was estimated at $180.9 billion. This value represents both the use of resources to address health and crime consequences as well as the loss of potential productivity from disability, death and withdrawal from the legitimate workforce.

Other factors must be included in a realistic estimate. A number of other federal agencies such as the FBI, Customs, ATF, and the Coast Guard are involved. Most of the illicit drugs to American consumers come through Latin America. Our ‘foreign aid’ to Mexico in 2013 was $51.5 million ostensibly to help a developing economy. How much is our attempt to capture and prosecute the Latin American drug lords?

I certainly don’t seek to be a misanthrope, but for some reason, my view of things is certainly not in the mainstream of my culture’s thought pattern. The general feeling our American society has for those who are drug addicted is compassion and benevolence. Compassion in that we feel sorry for their plight. Benevolence in that we pass laws and publicly fund support for those who have drug problems.

Drug addicts and users are usually labeled disadvantaged persons and are recipients of those benefits accorded to the physically and mentally handicapped. I find this appalling in that the truly disadvantaged are those either born with or accrue their difficulties from accident or sickness. They didn’t choose their affliction, but drug addicts did choose their predicament, so why should society treat them in the same manner as the truly mentally and physically handicapped? To me, anyone who uses drugs is a social liability. People who feel the need to remove some psychic burden to their existence show some sort of pathological deficiency. They are knowingly engaging in a harmful pursuit and not facing their perceived difficulty in a mature manner. Nobody twisted their arm to take their first indulgence.

I believe we should equate our “War on Drugs” as a real war situation. It is costing the U.S. human and material resources that could and should be used elsewhere, tax-payer money that could be spent more usefully, time, and even lives. To me, drug users are committing treason by using their funds to support the enemy. Anyone involved in the trafficking or using drugs should not be treated as disease sufferers but be prosecuted as traitors in time of war. As I’ve said, I’m somewhat misanthropic.

David Torrence

Meherrin, Va.

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