Letters to the Editor

02/28 What you’re saying: Michael Whittingham, Kent Fletcher, Chapel Hill in the Pines

An unlawful act

Concerning the statue vandalism cases dismissal, I have little interest one way or the other as to the statue; however I do respect law and justice and in this case I believe neither was appropriately served.

I sensed from the beginning that politics might eventually play into the outcome of the cases against the vandals who unlawfully destroyed public property. Almost immediately after this vandalism occurred some of our elected officials made comments to downplay the nature of these offenses.

I sent correspondence to the county commissioners expressing my concerns with the positions they seem to be taking toward the charges filed, and as expected, the felony charges were not pursued! Now, after months of delays we learn that even with all of the video, the public admissions, eye witnesses, and other evidence, all of these vandals escaped consequences for their unlawful act. This, I did not anticipate!

Anyone who remotely follows court proceedings has witnessed successful prosecutions with far less evidence than was available in these vandalism cases. I wonder what will happen with future similar cases. I would prefer a justice system without the influence/interference of politics, but I am not holding my breath until that happens!

Kent Fletcher


Axes and beer, really?

Regarding the news story “A place for ax throwing and beer drinking is coming to Durham,” (Feb. 21)

Uh, hope the employees are up to date on first-aid training.

Michael Whittingham


Children of God

We are a denomination and a congregation that supports immigrants and their children, understanding that we are called to minister to, advocate with, and be in solidarity with those who live on the margins, those who are the most vulnerable. We are actively advocating for legislation such as the DREAM Act (Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors) that offers hope for young migrants by providing a pathway to citizenship. We know that this legislative decision reflects the goodness of the core values of the United States of America, too.

Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) provided a glimpse of how successful the legislative decision would be across the board. It would benefit more than 1 million young people. It would benefit employers. It would benefit families. It would benefit churches and religious institutions. It would benefit higher educational institutions. It would benefit local communities and the country. Sending dedicated, invested young people back underground does not make us safer. It does not make the U.S. better. Offering a pathway to citizenship, in fact, is the best solution to a problem we have let worsen for far too long.

Each one of the Dreamers is nothing other than a child of God. These young people present a deeper reflection of the image of God. They bring additional elements of God’s love, grace, and mercy to our congregations. As expressed in the book of Genesis, we can learn from Joseph’s dreams. He was forced to another land. He adopted that land as his own. He labored to save them. His gifts were a gift to his adoptive home.

Dreamers today bring that same energy and vigor. Even if not every undocumented youth succeeds in a traditional sense, they have struggled intensely to strive despite laws that unfairly burden and exclude them from society. We have heard the clamor of voices in the Dreamers’ movement. They have not stood by and waited for change. These individuals understand what it means to be active citizens participating and exercising their own agency. They understand and live out democracy. We urge our country’s leaders to respond positively in passing a clean Dream Act, which reflects how much we commend this community and reflects how important their contributions are to this nation.

Approved by Session of Chapel in the Pines Presbyterian Church February 19, 2018

Adopted from a recent letter by J. Herbert Nelson, Stated Clerk of PCUSA, to Congress and the President

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