Durham City Councilwoman Vernetta Alston is an accomplished woman who lives a life of service. My school, Immaculata Catholic School, invited her to speak at our Friday Morning Prayer during our celebration of African American Heritage for the theme “Influential African American Women.” When people threatened to protest, this offer was revoked by the church, and school was canceled (“Catholic school cancels class after protests over lesbian guest,” Feb. 8).
I disagree strongly with this decision. People have told me it was a small group that were disturbed by Ms. Alston being committed to another woman and having a child. At ICS we are taught to respect God, self, and others. This woman went to our school and became very successful in her career of lifelong service. We have lost the opportunity to hear from her because of one small small idea, that people cannot be committed to the same gender. This is not just. I think that God might be looking down and thinking the hateful people protesting are the sinners. Jesus came down to save us from ourselves and our hate. Jesus teaches us to love. Ms. Alston is strong, and I hope she continues to change our community for the better.
I think our school should invite her to speak again, with optional attendance. I don’t care if there are protesters. I would march through them proudly with my parents and sisters, so that I may have the chance to hear her speak and to spread love.
Immaculata Catholic School Eighth Grade Class of 2019
The problem with opening government meetings with prayer is: What prayer should be used?
Today, that almost always means Christian prayer, but the Constitution prohibits government from favoring one religion over another. So any religion could apply to open a meeting with their prayers. See the problem? And 25 percent of Americans (and growing) are not religious. The government cannot favor religion over non-religion so they get their opening statement too.
The best policy is keep religion out of government and government out of religion. In Congress, a non-religious organization applied to give the opening “prayer” and was turned down strictly because the Congressional Chaplin did not want them. That issue is in the courts now.
Governmental organizations will continue to lose court cases trying to promote religion, costing taxpayers money. It’s easy - keep religion out of government.
There have been indisputable lies promoted by the current president, such as questioning Obama’s birth certificate and promoting Trump University and the Trump Foundation. Why is this okay with millions of American voters? I’m incredulous that this behavior is now acceptable to so many people. It’s scary that there are that many voters in our country who turn a blind eye to a president who lies on a daily basis. Have the morals of our country sunk that low? How do we explain this to our children and grandchildren? It’s so hard to believe and explain how he has an approval rating of above zero, when he has no interest in telling the American people the truth. This simple issue needs to be a top priority in the 2020 elections!
New medical plans
Regarding State Treasurer Folwell’s announcement of the State Health Plan going to a RBP (Referenced Based Pricing) model, I applaud him for making this decision. As an insurance agent specializing in group health insurance I have been following RBP’s and knew this was a viable option for businesses. The problem was there were so few “experts” to assist on the potential problem of balance billing. The State of North Carolina with its enormous purchasing power will pave the way for many businesses to consider this option. As more and more medical providers take part in the NC plan it will give the smaller businesses an opportunity to lower their increasing healthcare costs by considering and moving to this type of medical plan.
I have read with interest these past two days the articles detailing how ICE has raided several locations and taken numerous workers into custody. I have yet to read what the penalties are for the or business owners. It would be appropriate to read that, at the minimum, each of the business owners, site managers and HR managers where the raids have taken place have been arrested and charged. If you want to put a stop to illegal hiring, start arresting those Americans who hire the people. There is no excuse not to.