To The Daily Sun,
Laconia set a shining example last week as its leaders — Police Chief Chris Adams, Officer Eric Adams, Horizons Counseling's Jacqui Abikoff, Stand Up Laconia's many representatives, and state Sen. Andrew Hosmer — described the city's innovative leadership in combating addiction to presidential candidate Hillary Clinton and Vermont Gov. Peter Shumlin. The city is a model that others follow in reforming policing, offering peer mentoring and providing a supportive recovery community.
Those assembled at the Boys and Girls Club also heard two stories of a system that has failed, resulting in heartbreaking loss for two families. All of us in the room were moved by these parents' bravery and huge losses.
Hillary Clinton described to those in attendance her plan to combat drug and alcohol addiction and meet mental health needs, a plan developed in response to the needs she heard outlined in her first visits to New Hampshire on the campaign trail. All the speakers outlined the same needs: recovery centers, mental health beds, school partnerships.
The requirement that all these proposals have in common is one thing: adequate funding. We must keep in mind that our legislature's Republican leadership routinely rejects federal funding — even when it is free as in the case of Medicaid expansion — or presents budgets that cut the very services every single speaker cited as critical in the fight against addiction. When school budgets are cut, drug counselors get cut. When the state budget stalemate was on hold, 10 mental health beds at New Hampshire Hospital were on hold.
Hillary Clinton's laudable plan to fight addiction in New Hampshire and beyond will not get far here unless we elect legislators all the way down the ticket who want to fight this problem where it starts: in our schools, on our streets and through our health care delivery system. In a presidential election year, please remember that your candidate cannot get her agenda implemented without support from your representatives in Congress, at the statehouse and at the county level. It is up to New Hampshire voters to make sure her plan has a chance to succeed.
Last Updated on Monday, 28 September 2015 09:24
To The Daily Sun,
I cannot believe the letters I've been reading in The Sun over the last few months. It is shocking that so many who live in this amazing state with the motto "Live Free or Die" can be so narrow-minded. How have people become so ignorant?
We are so quick to throw the blame on everyone else and to label whole groups of people because of the actions of a few. A foreigner with a different color skin commits an act of terrorism. Now all non-white foreigners are terrorists. I have a friend who is a doctor. He's from Pakistan. I don't think he's going to blow me up.
An illegal immigrant is arrested for smuggling drugs across the border. Now every Hispanic person is a drug dealer. Many of my friends are Spanish, but I don't do drugs and nor do they.
A black person is black so he must be bad in some way. My co-worker is black but I can't find one bad thing about him.
Racism remains everywhere in this country. We may of abolished slavery but now it comes in the form of inequality. If I was a black person I would imagine I'd be pretty upset, too.
When I get pulled over by the police I don't ever think that I'm going to get shot. How about you? Do we really think that everyone in this country gets the same chance as everyone else?
Why is Donald Trump leading in the polls? He is a form of racism. What he says out loud is obviously stirring in the guts of many of us. We blame everyone else for the positions we're in because it's the easiest way.
Don't get me wrong, America is still the best country in the world, but maybe we need to take a look at ourselves and fix what is wrong from within. Then, and only then will we be able to speak up. Hopefully what we have to say is that we're all equal. no one is better than anyone else. It's us against the world. We should all have each others backs instead of constantly trying to stab each other in the back. I don't think we want our state motto to say "live free or die, if you're white".
Last Updated on Monday, 28 September 2015 09:19
To The Daily Sun,
On behalf of all the volunteers at St. Vincent de Paul in Laconia, I want to express our appreciation to the United Way volunteers who came to our offices for their Day of Caring. The three ladies were very helpful in working in our Thrift Store operations.
This service rendered by our United Way each September has always be of great benefit to our organization and other non-profits in the Lakes Region.
Thank you for all your support.
Erika Johnson, President
St. Vincent de Paul
Last Updated on Monday, 28 September 2015 09:16
Mark Twain once remarked that if Jesus were here today (early 20th Century), the one thing he would not be is a Christian. Those words resonate when one thinks about some of our ultra-conservative, "Tea Party" Christians today and compares the spirit of Jesus' life and words to those who use his name to promote a mean-spirited, hateful, and bitter political and social agenda.
A slogan among Christians today is "what would Jesus do?" Of course, it is difficult or to know what a 1st Century Palestinian Jewish rabbi would do or say in today's social context but it is interesting to think about. Many Biblical fundamentalists and literalists who practice "Biblical quarterbacking" might not agree, but if one avoids a legalistic interpretation of the Gospels (and the Jewish Bible for that matter) and looks at the totality of his life and teachings and applies them in spirit, one might come to the conclusion that the "Christian Right" is neither.
The Jesus portrayed in the New Testament was a man of integrity, compassion, love and mercy who spoke out against injustices but, as is the case with many fundamentalist, extremist Muslims who misinterpret the Qu'ran, "Christians" of the same stripe often use Bible verses to justify their own selfish agendas. In fact, Jesus (and other rabbis) taught the "spirit" and not the "letter" of the law to be much more important. He and other rabbis taught that the Old Testament laws could be summed up as loving God and loving your neighbor. When in doubt, the love of one's neighbor was more important.
What WOULD Jesus do? The Gospels are silent on abortion (although Jewish rabbinical teaching long held that life begins at birth, not conception). Can we imagine Jesus telling a scared 12-year old rape victim that she must have the baby? Or can you imagine Jesus hating gays and lesbians? Actually, Jesus was silent on the subject of homosexuality. Would he have demanded his "religious freedom" to the point that he would have refused to serve gays? Of course, many Evangelical Christians claim they actually "love" gays and lesbians in spite of their "sin" but still want to deny them basic civil and human rights. Isn't that a lot like an old-school segregationist saying he or she "loves" black people?
It is hard to think of Jesus demanding that all "illegal immigrants" be rounded up and deported, especially the children from Central America who are fleeing conditions that were, least in part, caused by the U.S.A. The Gospels report that Jesus liked kids and warned those who would oppress them. And, even the Old Testament warns us not to "oppress a stranger in thy land."
Today, would Jesus vote to cut food stamps and other programs for the needy? Would he, a humble carpenter, bash unions and attempts by working people to obtain more dignity? Would he tell lies about "death panels" to oppose health care reform? (Didn't he provide free health care?).
Would Jesus, a man who was brutally tortured himself, justify torture in the name of "national security"? Would he support the death penalty when the Gospels themselves say that he stopped an execution in progress?
When one compares the actions and words of many "Conservative Christians" with those of Jesus, one has to wonder how "Christian" the former really are. Jesus put mercy and justice ahead of legalisms. On the other hand, Jesus was not passive. He spoke out strongly against injustice and hypocrisy. He gave the money-changers (bankers?) who were taking advantage of poor people a good flogging!
If some Christians are right, there will be a judgment. Will Jesus say to some of the Christian Right, "depart from me, I never knew you, ye workers of iniquity?" Are some of our Tea Party Christians violating the commandment not to use God's name "in vain" when they use that name to justify a selfish and greedy agenda?
Call it selfishness, greed, bitterness, hatred or "I got mine and you cannot have yours" but for "Christ's sake" please do not call it Christianity.
(Scott Cracraft is a citizen, a taxpayer, a veteran, and a resident of Gilford. While he is not a clergyman or a theologian, he tries to be a man of "faith, charity, and hope".)
Last Updated on Monday, 28 September 2015 09:12
To The Daily Sun,
In response to Susan Estrich's comments in Friday's Daily Sun, readers must understand that pro-life advocates, for the most part, are not opposed to Planned Parenthood's gynecological, obstetric, and other positive offerings. The opposition is against abortion.
Though abortion remains legal in our country as it has been for more than 40 years, time has thrown much light on this evil deed through improved ultra-sounds, DNA testing, and media coverage of the selling of baby parts. Now, for one to be pro-abortion, that person must be selfishly motivated to kill an unborn or ignorant of the abortion process.
The procedure involved in an abortion has been made clear by the media of late: unborn babies feel pain, legs flap against the knives, tiny arms thrash as the abortion proceeds, hearts beat and then cease beating as vacuums suck out the baby, and little lives are lost.
How anyone can support this tragedy is incomprehensible. Abortions kill babies. Life is precious.
Last Updated on Friday, 25 September 2015 07:30