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Opinion Letters

Most of the civilized world was outraged by the killing of 12 journalist/cartoonists. Their magazine specialized in biting satirical articles and cartoons meant to offend everyone, especially the religious. For the freedom to publish this offensive material, they paid with their lives. But this is just the latest example of death in the name of religion.

Violent religious conflict can be seen in the old Testament, where the Jews spared no one in their march to the promised land. On the orders of a Pope over a million Muslims were slaughtered by the Crusaders. Shiite and Sunni have been killing each other over 1200 years. Over 3 million died in Europe during the "Thirty Years War" between Protestants and Catholics. Hundreds of thousands died as Hindu and Muslims engage in mutual genocide after India's independence. The list is as long as the history of the human race.

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This is an open invitation to all people in Macon County to meet members of the Academic Foundation Board on Thursday, Jan. 15, at 6 p.m. in the School Board Room at the school district county office (1202 Old Murphy Rd). We are especially interested in discussing our mission and accomplishments with members of the private business community upon whose support we rely every year to raise money for use in all public classrooms of Macon County.

The Macon County Academic Foundation is an all volunteer, not-for-profit organization whose mission is to raise and grant funds to teachers for classroom project materials and field trips. In 2014 alone, MCAF granted over $14,000 to programs that directly benefit our students, including the purchase of harps for a new music program at Mountain View Intermediate, clay pottery kits for East Franklin Elementary, and new P.E. equipment for Union Academy. The money raised at our yearly Academic Auction – set for May 2, 2015 at Cartoogechaye School – helps students across all grade levels in this way.

We look forward to hosting community members interested in meeting the Academic Foundation board. If you have any questions, or would like to RSVP for the meeting, email anytime: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Brian Aulisio — Franklin, N.C.

Robert Burns is credited with saving the folk music of Scotland. He was born just a few years after England conquered Scotland in 1746, intent upon destroying the clan system. Edicts of Proscription were issued forbidding the remaining Scottish people from wearing tartan and speaking Gaelic upon removal or threat of death. Scottish leaders and their families were hunted down. The lucky ones escaped, some to America. Not many decades passed before the old language, except in the darkest dell of Scotland, was lost.

Robert Burns was a poor farmer in Ayreshire, Scotland, but an accomplished poet. He began to compose a collection of poems about familiar country characters and legends. To make the subjects more human, he wrote in the Old Scots dialect that was used in story telling. He set many of these to old pub ballads. He performed this repertoire in meeting halls and salons around Scotland, attracted mentors, and became famous. These songs and poems might not have become world famous if England had not been the world power in the 19th century. As their armies moved, Burns songs and poems went with them. Although many artists and writers have been honored, Robert Burns is the only one who has an annual celebration named for him. Robert Burns Night highlighting his poems and songs are still bringing people together around the world. He did not live long to do it. He died at 35.

Merrilee Bordeaux President, Friends of the Scottish Tartans Museum

I actually like reading Mr. Bob Wilson’s weekly letters to the editor. With their illogical rants, convoluted logic, and fanciful view of history, it reminds me why I have never voted Republican.

R. Michael Jones — Sylva, N.C.

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