Letters to the Editor, May 12
Rise above paltriness
In “Real Justice: keeping what you earn,” (5/09) columnist Brian Balfour -- like right-wing apologist Glen Beck before him -- belittles the concept of “social justice.”
Catholics, at least, would respectfully disagree. For that precise doctrinal phrase has been used repeatedly in that church’s teachings and encyclicals for the past 125 years.
For Christians the teaching is even older. John Chrysostom, fourth-century bishop and theologian, wrote: "Not to enable the poor to share in our goods is to deprive them of life. The goods we possess are not ours, but theirs.” And, again: “That which is due in justice is not then, a gift of charity…for when we attend to the needs of those in want, we give them what is theirs, not ours.”
The proposal: “Real justice is keeping what you earn” is a tawdry human inclination, one of which we are all at times guilty.
Our better nature, though -- as individuals, corporate entities and governments -- invites us to rise above that paltriness for the sake of the common good.
For starters, we might refrain from attempts to sanctify the wealth that we, in the most charitable of interpretations, have but fortuitously and casually accrued.
Campaign sign plague
The number of signs that candidates erected this year was disgusting and was a plague on our landscape. Their failure to remove the signs is disgraceful. And this from people who expect us to believe they care about the community. The signs offer no information about the candidate and represent the crudest form of campaigning.
They should be banned, but then that would require action by politicians.
Grateful for caring people
If your car ever has to break down, I hope it happens in a neighborhood as accommodating as Hillsborough Road at I-85.
On Thursday afternoon, I pulled into the Exxon near that intersection with an overheating engine. An employee of the Auto Zone next door who was purchasing a drink at the Exxon noticed my distress, looked at the engine and recommended coolant. I bought some coolant from the gas station, and upon putting it in the car, immediately realized I had a serious leak.
An Exxon employee took a photo of the leaking tube and ran over to the Auto Zone store to see if they had the part. Auto Zone didn't have it, but another Auto Zone employee called several competing auto parts stores, located one at Advance, arranged for a discounted price, then drove me to that store to purchase it, and subsequently installed it in my car. Meanwhile, the Exxon employees stored my groceries in their cooler so they wouldn't get spoiled as the temperature had reached more than 90 degrees.
Everyone who helped me gave me the sense that they had nothing more important to do than to make sure I was safe and had my needs met. I am grateful to have had the good fortune to meet such caring people.