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Tuesday, Dec. 18, 2012: Religion, politics and Searsport’s safety

Biblical text

I enjoyed Steve Zahm’s letter “Bursting Bible bubble,” which appeared in the BDN on Dec. 12. In it he lists the several ancient languages and dialects of the original texts of the scrolls which were to become the Bible.

While not a biblical scholar myself, I was made aware of some original translations that had changed with subsequent editions. One such change was the equivalent of “pedophile.” It was later changed to “homosexual,” of which its equivalent was not included in the original text.

Ed Barrood


Constituents have spoken

For a year we’ve both endured hearing about the Republican’s plan for our salvation and the country’s future.

It was rejected by majority rule six weeks ago. Why is House Speaker John Boehner still pushing their plan? The voters have spoken. Will someone please let Boehner know?

David Betts


Respect faiths

I shook my head once again last week when reading another opinion piece about religion and people of faith that fell far short of a respectful treatment.

I am speaking of Erin Donovan’s piece, “Finding Religion at Front Door.” Her “humorous” poke at folks who have found the face of Jesus in everyday items reveals a disdain and trivialization of faith.

She goes on to share a story about a seemingly seedy and unkempt stranger randomly setting up an exercise place near her home as an occasion of a possible Jesus sighting to illicit further guffaws from her readership. Donavan’s attempt at generalizing and blanketing faith and religious people as being like her examples is very distasteful, especially considering her stories and comments tend to take on one example of faith: Christianity. Imagine the outcry if she had chosen Islam or Buddhism as her example.

Christianity seems fair game to poke fun at in American media, and it seems there is a double standard. I guess I was hoping that our own Bangor Daily News would be an exception to the prevailing trend.

Ralph Ackley, Jr.


Marketing group kudos

While I am not a Maine native, I have lived in Belfast almost 21 years. I have seen many of the changes described in Tom Groening’s recent article. I agree with so many of the comments. MBNA, business groups, the new economic development director and other groups and organizations have brought so much to Belfast.

However, what has not been mentioned, and what may have set many of these “wheels” in motion, is the Waldo County Marketing group. When Debbie Geiger and four of her associates arrived and decided to involve themselves and take a chance in a new venture, things began to happen in Waldo County.

A small group of innkeepers, restaurateurs, business people and store owners all contributed to make press tours possible and see “Where’s Waldo” in print. Within a few years there was more than $2 million worth of advertising generated, talking about Waldo County and Belfast. It was the real impetus for what has followed. Kudos to all, but some of the credit does need to go to the original marketing group of Waldo County.

Belfast continues to reap the benefits.

Ron Kresge


Keep Searsport safe

I recently was asked to share my testimony at the Searsport Planning Board’s public hearings concerning DCP Midstream’s application with the general public. I am a native of Searsport, a longtime teacher at the Searsport Elementary School and Searsport’s town historian.

“To endanger a large city population is too great a risk. Searsport has the necessary shipping facilities. It is far away from any large city. If the worst happens, it would happen to a comparative few in this small town.”

No, those are not the words of Conoco Philips, Spectra Energy, or DCP Midstream. Instead, they are words that appeared in a news article published in the Boston Globe in 1945, at the end of World War II. The article continues: “Largely through the care and skill of the men of the Chemical Warfare Service, Searsport successfully faced destruction to serve as a port of embarkation, shipping a vast supply of chemical ammunition and toxic gas during World War II. … With such a large quantity being handled, almost anything could have happened.”

The ammunition was shipped to the Searsport docks by train. My grandfather, Alvin Knox, was the station master then — a very nerve-wracking job.

The town of Searsport was asked to sacrifice its safety during WWII due to its small population and deep harbor. In my opinion, Searsport should not be asked to risk its safety at risk again unless the reason is equally compelling.

Charlene Knox Farris


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