Pelham - Windham News January 7, 2011 - 3
The Word Around Town... Letters to our Editor
Is God an Enemy of the State?
Is God an enemy of the state? Is it wrong
to display a Nativity Scene or Menorah ... to hand out candy canes ... display the flag? Of course not. But every day now, it seems like our Natural Rights are under constant attack. Take religion. Where the mere mention
or reference of God offends someone, and immediately an uproar ensues from an individual or small group of people demanding the offensive actions cease, and that all offensive references be removed and/ or the offending person be punished/censored. This happened after NH Representative
David Bates hosted a private ceremony for the nondenominational day of prayer and repentance. The September event took place at the New England Solemn Assembly in Plymouth, MA. For more than half of his six-minute
speech, Representative Bates quoted Abraham Lincoln&#x2019;s proclamation, which was issued during the Civil War &#x2026; calling on the nation to humble itself and pray. A few weeks ago, this was deemed offensive. Our 1st Amendment states: &#x201C;Congress shall
make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.&#x201D; Our Constitution guarantees freedom of
speech and the free exercise of our religion. The Constitution does not guarantee the right to never be offended. That is an impossible goal for a free society. Yet here are a few of the many recent stories that made national attention because someone was offended: &#x2022; In California, a 13-year-old boy was banned by his school from displaying the American flag on his bike.
&#x2022; Federal Reserve examiners told Payne County Bank in Perkins, OK, to remove crosses, Bible verses, and Christmas buttons from display because they could be offensive.
&#x2022; In Virginia, high school students were punished for wearing Christmas sweaters and handing out candy canes before school was in session.
&#x2022; In Washington, a football player was penalized for pointing to the sky after a touchdown.
&#x2022; In Idaho, a condominium homeowners&#x2019; association told a couple to remove the flag they were displaying because it was offensive. They refused and were threatened with eviction.
&#x2022; The Devotion School in Brookline, MA,
recently decided to resume reciting the Pledge of Allegiance &#x2026; after seven years of banning the practice.
&#x2022; After 57 years, a Christmas nativity scene that has been displayed in Canonsburg, PA, will no longer be displayed after one person complained.
&#x2022; On Cinco de Mayo, five high school students in Morgan Hill, CA, were not allowed to wear T-shirts with the American flag. Administrators called their T-shirts insensitive to Mexican-Americans.
&#x2022; In Lewiston, ME, a high school student was suspended for tossing a ham sandwich on a cafeteria table where Muslim students were sitting. Police investigated the act as a &#x201C;hate crime.&#x201D; We have chosen to placate a few that may
be offended. Our silence has emboldened this minority to increase their intolerant attacks on our differences and beliefs &#x2026; all while demanding the rest of us display tolerance for their beliefs. Our history is filled with time-honored
traditions; celebrating Christmas &#x2026; the Pledge of Allegiance &#x2026; a moment of silence &#x2026; displaying our flag &#x2026; We have forgotten that our differences and
beliefs made this country great. Now, our willingness to be silenced and deprived of our inalienable rights is making us weak. Tolerance must be a two-way street.
time for us to stand together for our rights, or soon we will have none.
Ken Eyring - Windham
The Pelham Good Neighbor Fund&#x2019;s Activities in 2010 The Pelham Good Neighbor Fund
Committee has just completed 41 years of helping our Neighbors In Need and since we are all volunteers who are dedicated and committed to this worthy cause, 100 percent of the donations we receive go back into the community. The committee had a very busy and challenging year in 2010 due to the poor economy and the high unemployment, but we were able to take care of our less-fortunate residents in Pelham throughout the year for their household expenses, including rent, heat, electricity, and food, and during the Christmas season, we provided toys clothing and food. We had a lot of help along the way,
including the Post Office, where we coordinated our 14th Annual Food Drive for St. Patrick Food Pantry; our 20th Annual Sponsor-A-Child program, where residents in town purchase gifts for the children and families for Christmas; and our 41st Annual Christmas Drive, where
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volunteers from the various organizations, including The American Legion Post 100, Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 10722, St. Patrick Knights of Columbus Council 6902, the Pelham Firefighters Association, and the Boy Scouts Pack 25, collected food and cash donations at the Pelham Plaza.
we receive donations throughout the year from businesses, organizations, schools, churches, families, and individuals. We held our 17th Annual Golf Tournament that is run by a separate committee comprised of businesspeople and residents in town. These donations and our fundraisers
have made it possible to provide financial assistance to our Pelham residents for household expenses, the food pantry, an annual scholarship for a high school senior to attend college, and financially support a men&#x2019;s and women&#x2019;s shelter. Our slogan is People Helping People, where the people in the community work together and, more importantly, care about the people they help. The committee would like to thank you for
your support and we look forward to being of service to the community in the year 2011. For more information about the Pelham Good Neighbor Fund, please visit us at www. pelhamgoodneighborfund.org
Frank Sullivan, President, Pelham Good Neighbor Fund - Pelham
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Area Businesses Support Positive Action Program at Windham Middle School Many local businesses have donated gifts in support of the
PTA and Windham Middle School&#x2019;s Seventh Grade Positive Action Program, known more familiarly at the school as &#x201C;Bonus Bucks.&#x201D; This program recognizes and rewards responsible student behavior and excellence in academics. The plan involves students doing positive things for themselves and others, and earning &#x201C;Bonus Bucks&#x201D; from teachers for their actions. With these &#x201C;bucks,&#x201D; the students are able to purchase special privileges and bid on prizes at rewards auctions held during the school year. We held the first of our three rewards auctions on December
23. Windham Middle School and PTA would like to thank the following businesses for contributing to our auctions: Amesbury Sports Park, Boston Red Sox, Canobie Lake Park, Chunky&#x2019;s, Cobbett&#x2019;s Pond Pizza, Cyclones Arena, Donabedian Brothers, Game Stop, It&#x2019;s All About Moi, J. Michaels Sports Pub, Laser Craze, Li&#x2019;s Asian Gourmet, Life is good, Lobster Tail, Maddie&#x2019;s Bagel and Eatery, McDonalds/Napoli Group, Metro Rock, NH Fisher Cats, Park Place Lanes, Pat&#x2019;s Peak, Pip Jewelry and Novelty, the Pellerin Family, Shabby Chic, Shaw&#x2019;s, Sports Authority, T- Bones, Trisha Conaton/Lia Sophia, Tutoring Center of NH, Vertical Dreams, Wal-Mart, WHS Jaguar Booster Club, and Windham Junction. Windham Middle School would not be able to offer such great prizes to the students without the help of area businesses; your generosity to the school helps the seventh-grade teachers reward the students with the positive attention they deserve. All of us at WMS appreciate your support of this program!
The Windham Middle School Seventh Grade Team - Windham Is CACR 26 What We Need?
CACR 26, which was filed in the past session by Representative Bates and others, is unconstitutional. It violates the New Hampshire constitution Bill of Rights, Article 6, which states, in part, &#x201C;&#x2026; every person, denomination or sect shall be equally under the protection of law; and no subordinate of any sect, denomination or persuasion to another shall ever be established.&#x201D; Article 5 says, in part, &#x201C;&#x2026; provided that he doth not disturb public peace or disturb others in their religious worship &#x2026; &#x201D; Representative Bates and his disciples, with their intention of pushing forward CACR 26, give preference to Christians over non-Christians. As such, it violates not only the New Hampshire Constitution Bill of Rights, but also the U.S. Constitution&#x2019;s separation of church and state. Simply put, and unanswered by Representative Bates, is do his religious beliefs become his political agenda? I hope we will receive an answer, or do we simply assume that his positions in the past will, in the future, continue to be the same and, as such, co-mingle his religious beliefs with his political agenda? If so, he has violated his oath of office when swearing to uphold both the State and Federal Constitutions.
Anthony R. DiFruscia - Windham
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