2/5 Letters: Praying in the GA isn’t a matter of what’s ‘most prominent.’

Rep. Sydney Batch, right, with her husband Patrick Williams and sons Mason and Grant, say the Pledge of Allegiance as the N.C. General Assembly convenes in Raleigh, N.C., Wednesday, January 9, 2019.
Rep. Sydney Batch, right, with her husband Patrick Williams and sons Mason and Grant, say the Pledge of Allegiance as the N.C. General Assembly convenes in Raleigh, N.C., Wednesday, January 9, 2019. ehyman@newsobserver.com

Unfair prayer

With regard to using Christian prayers to open sessions of our General Assembly, Rev. Mark Creech says non-Christians are not being discriminated against but that “…it’s just that Christianity is what is most prominent.”

The Law of Reciprocity (known to Christians as The Golden Rule) suggests that he treat those in the minority as he would wish to be treated were he in the minority. When the majority imposes its form of prayer on people of other faiths or people of no faith, it privileges its viewpoint at the expense of the minority’s sense of belonging and feeling valued. Would Creech like to be treated this way? Such exclusionary treatment is neither just nor compassionate. It is thoughtless and selfish.

Creech also says the United States has been recognized as Christian nation “from the beginning.” This is simply not true.

Helen Wolfson


A clear choice

As Chair of the Wake Tech Board of Trustees, I was pleased to have led an open and transparent process that led to the selection of Dr. Scott Ralls as the college’s fourth president. For all those who participated in the process, I say, “Thank you and well done.”

While there were over 60 applicants, Scott Ralls was the clear leader. He is an experienced professional with a strong track record of visionary leadership and collaboration. Dr. Ralls is highly regarded from his previous positions as president of the NC Community College System and of Craven Community College. As the current president of Northern Virginia Community College, he understands the complexities of leading a large, multi-campus institution and the value of strong partnerships with business and industry.

Wake Tech and Wake County are growing and evolving. Under Dr. Stephen Scott’s leadership, Wake Tech grew to become the largest of NC’s community colleges. This past November, our citizens showed their support with the passage of a bond initiative that will enable Wake Tech to add new facilities, expand its training, and prepare more students for the jobs of today and tomorrow.

I’m confident that we have chosen a leader who will build on Wake Tech’s solid foundation and strengthen its role in our community. I hope you will join me in welcoming Wake Tech’s new president in April.

Thomas F. Looney, Chair, Wake Tech Board of Trustees


Supporting democracy

Typically, I am not in agreement with John Hood, but I totally concur with hi column on opinion writing (“In praise of opinion writing,” Jan. 31). Supporting opinion writing is supporting our newspapers which is supporting our democracy. Newspapers and democracy go together as they have since the beginning of the USA. Newspapers with their investigative reporters check into what’s going on. Opinion writers be they columnists or letter to the editor correspondents both challenge and inform us. Plus, they provide a public example for how well reasoned and largely polite debate is done, something we have a great need for. Thanks to Hood for his well reasoned apology for spirited public discourse.

Deborah Brogden


No new hires

Since the Board of Governors and the state legislature are apparently running the UNC system, we don’t need a president or a chancellor with their huge salaries. Use that money to pay adjuncts a living wage instead.

Debe Czerwiec


DMV move

The scheme to move DMV headquarters from Raleigh to Rocky Mount is a disservice to taxpayers and the employees who work there. Key agencies should be headquartered in the state capital, not 60 miles away. DMV’s headquarters sees more taxpayers in-person than any other agency.

If this plan is approved, DMV employees will be forced to make a long commute – many for an hour or more – across three counties. This creates unnecessary hardships, including higher bills for gas and wear-and-tear on their cars, as well as time away from their families.

The Council of State needs to reject the Rocky Mount plan. Instead, let’s find a site in the Raleigh area that prioritizes the interests of our dedicated DMV employees and the citizens they serve.

Robert Broome

Executive Director,

State Employees Association of North Carolina