Bring prayer and fasting back to politics
Re: "Charlotte's churches rally in prayer, fasting for DNC," July 27
I want to thank Jenny Rogers and Nikki Schwab for including the information about the 56 churches that will be participating in fasting and praying during the Democratic National Convention in their popular column. It is so difficult to get such columns to write about the spiritual aspects of politics. The Pray at the Pump Movement hopes that the Republican Party will hold a similar gathering during their convention. This development is significant to PAPM because it has held several vigils in front of the White House urging President Obama to follow the example of Gov. Rick Perry and call for a Bipartisan National Day of Prayer and Fasting. Maybe, our message is starting to get through to the president. Last July, we were featured on a radio station in Houston, the site of Perry's event, and mentioned in a Washington Examiner article as pleading with Gov. Perry to invite President Obama to his all-important gathering. To our disappointment, the governor's people never responded to the media attention. Since Obama is the Nobel Peace Prize winner, we strongly feel the he and his faith-based office should lead out in this bipartisan effort.
Just recently, Mrs. Obama turned down our request to have a Bipartisan White House Prayer Summit of past and potential first ladies such as Ann Romney. Since both presidential campaigns have turned us down, we decided to try the first ladies. However, we do applaud Mrs. Obama for appearing on Tom Joyner's popular radio show asking God to pray for her family and the country. PAPM, that boasts of grass roots organization from 2008 gas station vigils, has followers in both of these convention cities and plans to hold prayer vigils at both.
We strongly encourage Obama and Romney to both spend at least one day in fasting and prayer during these conventions. Both of them should read the New York Times best seller "Fasting" by Dr. Jentezen Franklin and "Happiness Digest" by 20th century religious liberty author Ellen White that document the power of these two spiritual weapons. With God's help, King Jehoshaphat in the Bible brought the nation of Israel to a new height of economic prosperity when he ordered them to pray and fast.
Since the divisions between the president and Congress are greater now than ever, PAPM thinks Romney and Obama should give these time-tested solutions a try as we enter one of the most divisive and racially charged presidential campaigns in the history of the nation. God, combined with prayer and fasting can heal the wounds of this divided nation now ... Amen.
Rocky Twyman, founder of the Pray at the Pump Movement
Firing teachers will not solve public schools' problems
Re: "How Unions got Vince Gray elected," July 18
This article fully supports former D.C. Public Schools chancellor Michelle Rhee's efforts to fire hundreds of "underperforming" teachers. Despite all of the firings, there has been little improvement in the children's test scores and, in fact, the racial gap in scores between white and black students has widened.
Meanwhile, the Prince George's County Schools have made measured gains in math scores while maintaining their position in reading. According to Maryland school officials, the favorable results in math were due to strategic planning rather than to teacher firings.
Most of the fired teachers were black people, who were replaced with white teachers.
Is there a lesson to be learned here?
Charles M. Bagenstose
The boundaries of federal government
Most Americans today, including our illustrious and august U.S. Supreme Court justices, have apparently forgotten the original constitutional purpose of the federal government's existence.
The original intent of the federal government's existence was, and still should be, to perform exclusively those functions which individual states are logistically and administratively incapable to perform. It is to act as a collective agent on behalf of states to do such things as carry on foreign relations, provide for a national military defense, print and coin a common monetary currency and resolve inner-state disputes.
Such issues as education and health care should be left entirely to state and local governments to administer. Certainly, nothing in the text of the U.S. Constitution empowers the federal government to micro-manage and control the lives of individual citizens, even as it does today.
Lawrence K Marsh