incoming (2006-19)

He’ll Be Missed

Religion vs. Sexuality?

Homeless Mecca?

Delayed Response

An Earthy Perspective

A few years into my law practice, I had the pleasure and privilege of working with him on a civil case. Although principally a criminal defense attorney, Bob knew more about civil practice than most lawyers I had met and I learned more about being a lawyer from him in a short period of time than I did from practicing law for many years. He was, as the saying goes, “a lawyer’s lawyer,” and as fine a man as I have ever met. He set a standard of being a lawyer and gentleman few will attain and a standard for being a human being we should all strive to emulate.

Lewis S. Howard, Jr.

Religion vs. Sexuality?

Christians entering the political warzones of public schools often find themselves engaged in a task worthy of Sisyphus, as they are not allowed to mention Jesus Christ or the all-encompassing scope of a Biblical worldview. Fear tends to be the fallback plan. The Bible, over and over again, condemns the act of adultery on personal and large metaphorical scales. And taken in a large context, one can glean that the “rules” are more about the design of sex and sexuality by God Himself than the oppression of instinctive urges.

This is no excuse to use fear as a textbook tool, but it certainly does present a conundrum. While organizations like Planned Parenthood and the public school system also recognize the epidemic nature of teen sexuality, STDs, broken homes, and the like, they are not Biblically-centered organizations (as evidenced by PPA’s values statement), which makes the peddling of values something of a moot issue. For sooner or later, when speaking of values, the discussion begs the question, “Why?”

When dealing with an issue such as sexuality, one cannot hold onto a value and simply be devoid of religious belief, and thus, a worldview. This is not simply what we are all going to have for dinner, it’s an issue that is wrapped up in Being and Truth. The pages of Metro Pulse are not sufficient to hold the debates that begin with this argument.

However, when discussing these things, we must remember that values without a worldview are pointless. That said, the answer must lie in a worldview that best explains the predicament and the prescription, within the context of reality. Thus, if what you’re doing only works in theory and not in practice, do something else!

Adam Whipple

Homeless Mecca?

Following this flawed thought process, Mr. Hill should also attack virtually all law enforcement experts, The Centers for Disease Control, The Department of Housing and Urban Development as well as Knoxville’s Ten Year Plan to End Chronic Homelessness. Each of the aforementioned, along with simple common sense, calls for decreased concentration and/or dispersed housing for the less fortunate.

Over-concentration of services decreases the likelihood of life changes for those most in need; it creates a situation whereby those likely to be substance abusers are surrounded by substance-abusing peers who will only reinforce behavioral relapses. It also creates a scenario that allows individuals with nefarious objectives to prey upon the weakest in our society.

As Ginny Weatherstone, Executive Director of Volunteer Ministries, alluded in another Knoxville newspaper, our homeless service industry attracts homeless individuals from other undisputed fact supported by Dr. Nooe’s research which indicates that approximately 74 percent of Knoxville’s homeless are not from this area with the many missions being cited as reason the homeless chose to come to Knoxville.

The real issue is the continued over-concentration of these services, which is neither good for our city nor the constituency they supposedly strive to serve. Knoxville can either heed the advice of the aforementioned experts and follow examples of homeless service decentralization in progressive cities such as Seattle or Charlotte, or it can continue the over-concentration of Knoxville’s homeless services which has increased our city’s homeless population. The current homeless industry leaders, some with $100,000-plus salaries, support continued over-concentration; experts and common sense do not.

Knoxville’s inner city is indeed flourishing, but hopefully someday this success will be augmented by civic efforts and not in spite of them.

Bill Pittman

Delayed Response

It is well known that within any urban setting there will always be problems of violence, and unfortunately sometimes that violence will escalate to murder. In any city in America, horrible things occur that are hard to prevent and are truly out of the control of local law enforcement, city officials and the public. However, when violence does take place and an individual has been assaulted with someone’s fist, a knife, or even shot with a gun, it is imperative that there be an emergency service that is able to respond in sufficient time when called upon.

Why did it take 45 minutes for an ambulance to assist a shooting victim in downtown Knoxville? In my opinion, this shouldn’t even be a question. Rural Metro needs to give the citizens of Knoxville an answer for its lack of service in a timely manner that ended in a fatality. In fact, maybe Rural Metro would like to give Edwin Joe Todd Jr.’s mother and father an answer as to why their son is dead.

Wes Romeiser

An Earthy Perspective

For future reference, EarthFest is not about booze sales; it is not about music or food for that matter. It is a day of awareness, education and celebration of our Earth. It is about bringing the community together to improve our local environment and enhance our quality of life. Mr. Neely, if you have a problem with getting your feet a little muddy and walking away from the day with something more valuable than a hangover, then I suggest you look into Brewfest next fall or the end-of-school keg party that I am hosting next week. Solo cups are $5.

David Epley

Guidelines for Incoming Mail