Was talk out of bounds?
Editor's note: Former football player Herman Weaver recently gave several anti-drug talks with religious overtones to middle and high school students. School officials said they were unaware Weaver's talk would be religious in nature and that he would attempt to proselytize and hand out cards seeking to sign up students to receive religious material. Students had no choice; they had to attend the assembly.
We have been asking readers if they agree it was appropriate for a speaker at a mandatory assembly, whose sole topic was supposed to be about drugs, to inject religious material into that speech, and would it have been better for students to have been advised in advance and given the option of not attending? Here are some of their replies:
From: Mary K. Strawhorn
I have followed the brouhaha raised by the media over the spiritual talk given to students to help them cope with present-day pressure to abuse alcohol and other drugs and wondered why you object so loudly to a person trying to
help simply because that person found help from a power greater than himself.
We raise our children in a spiritual vacuum and wonder why they turn to drugs and alcohol for "highs" and then scream to high heaven when someone who has experience with that "trip" shares his own experience, strength and hope with the children.
You would not object to someone telling the children that psychotherapy (the "religion of the age of reason") has all the answers to their problems. Why are you so angered by someone telling them the truth about a way that has worked for many?
I have tried for the past 20 years to help others with problems caused by alcohol and other drugs. I know many therapists who also work with them, and it always comes down to the bottom line -- until a person finds a power greater than humankind to turn to, the problem remains.
From all I have been able to read in the paper, the speaker to whom you raised such objections simply tried to share his own story with others. Just because it is essentially a spiritual solution to what the media likes to think of as a totally "self-esteem" and/or physical problem, you castigate him.
I am sure if he had been ready to give handouts about humanistic therapies available, you would have said nothing. Whether you like it or not, this problem that seems to be so physical responds to spiritual treatment. Check your statistics and you will find that 12-step programs that offer spiritual answers work where other things fail.
If it works, why fight it? Because it makes you look at your own spiritual vacuum?
From: John Topper
Free speech is free speech.
Because he is a Christian, he does not give up this right. That, at least, is in the Constitution.
The speech was about drugs, his faith was what kept him away from that life. He is not allowed to state this fact?
Who framed this question -- Jeff Griffith?
Just further evidence of the liberal bias of the Sunpapers. Maybe it's time to cancel my subscription.
Editor's note: County and school employees were told this year to take several furlough days to help balance the budget. Employees already had been denied salary increases because of the fiscal woes. However, recently the commissioners and school board reversed their decision, canceling any remaining furlough days and refunding the money lost for those already taken. However, it's doubtful at this point that they will receive pay raises. We have been asking readers if they agree with the original furlough policy or if it should have been canceled. Should employees receive pay raises? Here are some of their replies:
From: Robert Bruce
Furloughs to balance a tax-supported budget penalizes the county taxpayer who works in Carroll County.
Everyone should pay for county services. Let's face it, compared to other counties, we get off cheap.
Do employees deserve raises? Yes! Our county government delivers quality service at a bargain. If you don't believe me, check out the quality and tax rate in Baltimore City and other places.