50th Annual Macon County 2015 GEMBOREE :: Thursday, July 23 through Sunday, July 26 :: CLICK HERE FOR DETAILS!

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Opinion Letters

Having been raised in Catholic Schools for most of my youth I have always admired their educational system as well as their religious doctrine.

Originally, I admired Pope Francis who reportedly moved into smaller quarters and now eats at the cafeteria with the ordinary employees.

But, I must now take issue with him.

His speeches in Latin America demonstrate a total lack of understand of human nature, as well as how capitalist economies operate. He appears critical of people who want to make enough money to be financially secure in their old age. Extrapolating from his comments, we must assume he envisions some great world government taking care of us in our old age and that personal ambition is wrong.

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There have been disparaging comments in the ‘letters to the editor’ section regarding the Supreme Court’s decision to legalize gay marriage. Troubling concerns have been raised. The moral integrity of our Country has been put in doubt. Alas, millenarian fires have been stoked. Let me be the first to alleviate these concerns, assuage these doubts, and quell these rapturous flames.

Affording homosexuals the same juridical rights as heterosexuals will not initiate the Second Coming. Being born gay or lesbian is not a sin. And, the fear of social and moral decline, mainly from conservatives, is completely unfounded. We are all children of God, made in His image (Imitatio Dei), fashioned by His hand, gay men and lesbian woman not excluded.

Merely stating these truths will not change the minds or eliminate the fears of those concerned about gay marriage. Appealing to science is of no avail when it comes to the conservative mind, as mass climate change denial on the Right has demonstrated. So, I will take the advice of a previous commentator and open my Bible.

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What or who is a bigot? Thinking that I may be one because I, having been born and raised in the South and having relatives who fought in the Civil War, endorse the flying of the Confederate flag at the South Carolina Capitol, looked up the word bigot.

Bigot is defined in Webster’s College Dictionary as a person who is extremely intolerant of another’s creed, belief or opinion. Based upon that definition, aren’t those who oppose the flag, which is part of our Southern heritage, also bigots?

Prior to the Civil War, my great great grandfather moved his family from Swainsboro, Ga., to Florida, so to me, the flag represents the strongly independent, pioneering spirit of the Southern people. It may represent something different to others, and that’s OK, but by placing their belief about what the flag represents over mine, makes them just as much a bigot as they claim I am.

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Congratulations to Jane Kimsey and Andy Shields for receiving the Order of the Long Leaf Pine. Recognition at this level of their excellent service to the citizens of Macon County is well deserved. What a blessing to have had two public servants of this caliber for so many years. It is people like this that make Macon County a wonderful place to live.

Thanks for your service.

Don Swanson — Franklin, N.C.

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