Letters to the Editor

01/19 What you’re saying: Joe Moran, Tim Wigginton, and Nannette Melcher

Radical belief

Kimberly Wnston’s “Largest group of Mennonites splits from greater church” (Jan 11) states as the defining characteristic of Mennonites their adherence to adult baptism.

Mennonites may well be known for their practice of adult baptism, but their most distinguishing tenet, one held with great conviction – despite persecution by the various Roman Catholic and Protestant states in those times (16th century) – was their tolerance of other beliefs. At the heart of this belief is their radical commitment to practice the pacifism of Jesus. They count among Protestants’ historic “peace churches.”

In contrast most major Protestant and Roman Catholic denominations, here in the United States particularly, go along with the “Just War” theory. That theory sees war, even if evil and messy, as a geopolitical necessity, and pacifism as Pollyanna-ish and impractical. Jesus, Menno Simons, the founder of the Mennonites, Ghandi, and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., they will admit, were all very noble-minded, but they are not imitable.

Sadly, what was a radical belief for Christians in the 16th century seems to be equally so for us today.

Joe Moran

Durham

Selecting judges

For all the people who keep complaining about politics in the judiciary, they should probably support a merit-based judicial selection process.

Unlike legislators and governors who get media attention daily and weekly, judges barely get attention. There simply is not enough publicly available impartial information to make informed decisions about judicial candidates. Voters have to rely on party identification and campaign materials, and judges have to engage in the partisan political process. You can’t get more partisan than that.

Second, all judges face an inevitable conflict of interest with every stakeholder they harangue to support their candidacy. Every time a volunteer or donor or even a social media supporter comes to court, that judge is faced with a conflict of electoral interest. No matter what the judge rules, it can be called into question.

For those opposed to merit selection, they would do well to remember merit selection is about history, not current politics. There is a reason 37 states have moved away from direct election of judges.

Tim Wigginton

Carrboro

oprah
Oprah Winfrey accepts the Cecil B. DeMille Award at the 75th Annual Golden Globe Awards in Beverly Hills, Calif., on Sunday, Jan. 7, 2018. Paul Drinkwater AP

No President Oprah

Regarding “Oprah for POTUS?” (Jan. 14): No, no, no. The presidency is not a TV show. We’ve tried that. Oprah may be a great person, but we need someone who has governing experience, the ability to keep quiet when necessary and be able to lead our country in very perilous times.

If we survive the present presidency, let’s find a true, experienced leader, not a TV personality.

Nannette Melcher

Chapel Hill

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