Letters to the Editor
Chuck’s gonna get him
Chuck Norris’ column on America’s founding creationists [“America’s founding creationists”; July 16, 2008] appears to have kind of neglected the flip side of our founding fathers’ thoughts. Our history as expressed by many of our founders was one of staunch secularism. Instead, Norris appears to come very close to advocating theocracy. Our founding fathers were astoundingly frank, honest and straightforward in their discussions over 200 years ago. To James Madison, the “fruits” of Christianity were “superstition, bigotry and persecution.” “Lighthouses are more useful that churches,” said Benjamin Franklin. “This would be the best of all possible worlds, if there were no religion in it,” said John Adams. “Christianity is the most perverted system that ever shone on man,” said Thomas Jefferson, who also called on us to “fix reason firmly in her seat” and “question with boldness even the existence of a God.” The phrase “building a wall of separation between church and state” was written by Thomas Jefferson in his Jan. 1, 1802 letter to the Danbury Baptist Association. The treaty with Tripoli signed by John Adams in 1797 begins: “As the Government of the United States of America is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion….” That is America’s true and admirable history — keeping church and state safely apart so the former will never usurp the powers of the latter. That is the kind of freedom our founders were seeking for America. After all, mankind did spend centuries trying otherwise.
Paul King Jamestown
I want to ride my bicycle
Dear YES! Weekly Editors, As a frequent cyclist and transit rider, I greatly ap preciated Amy Kingsley’s report on her week without a car [“Transit diary”; July 16,2008]. Getting around the Triad by bicycle and bus is not only cheaper and less polluting, but is often more enjoyable and certainly eye-opening. We should all be trying to accomplish as much of our daily travel as possible without a car. But none of the improvements she suggests will come to pass unless more of us exercise our power both as consumers and citizens. Some upgrades cost little (like adding bike lanes to streets during repaving), while others take years of planning and investment (i.e. building a rail transit system like the one Charlotte has begun construct ing). But none of it will get off the ground unless our elected officials feel the push. Please take some time to contact your representa tives on all levels of government. Tell city council members and county commissioners to add bike lanes and sidewalks to more streets, expand city and regional bus service with more routes and more frequent schedules, and begin investing in commuter rail. Ask state legislators to ramp up state-level plan ning for and investment in bicycle, rail and transit infrastructure projects and provide more matching funds to counties and municipalities for such projects. Finally, urge your US senators and member of Con gress to help enact an 80- to 20-cent matching grant program for state investment in transit and inter-city passenger rail (like the one that exists for highway improvements), establish a dedicated funding source for passenger rail and transit (like the gasoline tax) and enact a national Complete Streets policy, meaning that roadways should be as convenient for cyclists, pedestrians and transit riders to use as they are for motorists. It’s time to begin moving the Triad and the nation into the 21st century by making viable automobile alternatives a priority in public policy, and we can all do our part by flexing our civic muscles and making our desires known to policymakers. Sincerely, Malcolm Kenton Greensboro
Hi Amy, I just read your article on bicycle commuting. Great job! It is my job to make cycling and walking easier in Forsyth County so I take your comments to heart. Please let me know if you would like to do an other story on Winston’s bicycling. We just recently, last week, completed a short bike lane on Reynolda Road and have more in the works. I am starting to get clearer on the projects so I would be happy to provide you more information. With gas prices and household expenses we are seeing a increasing need for bicycle/walking facilities. Great news! Thanks, Todd Peterson Winston-Salem Todd Peterson is bicycle and pedestrian coordinator for the Winston-Salem Department of Transportation.