The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA


January 12, 2014

Readers' Forum 1-12 | Did you give a gift to Jesus?

JOHNSTOWN — Christmas has come and gone. Memories are usually fond, but sometimes not so fond. For me, a strong memory that has persevered for years is this: I once was watching Mother Angelica, the founder of EWTN (Eternal Word Television Network). She was talking about gift-giving at Christmas.

“Who’s birthday is it anyhow? It’s not yours, it’s not mine. It’s Jesus’ birthday. Why not give our gifts to Jesus?” she said.

I suspect that not many took her seriously, but I did.

So, how do we give a gift to Jesus? We certainly do not throw it up in the air and let him catch it. No, the answer is found in Matthew 25:40: “I assure you as often as you did it for one of my least brothers, you did it for me.” And who are the least brothers of Jesus? The answer to this is in the eyes of the beholder.

For me, it is the unborn to whom I contribute all year long. But at Christmas time, I consider the very poor and abandoned children.

Each Christmas, I send two checks to Jesus. One in care of Monsignor Arnold Gaus, who collects money for the poorest of the poor in Haiti. And one to the Rev. Joe Maurizio, who has established and is maintaining perhaps 13 orphanages in Honduras and other Central and South American countries.

Richard A. Ruth


Clean house or live with consequences

A natural gas bill, passed by the Republican Legislature and signed by Gov. “Gas Can” Tom Corbett, included removing the right of any municipality to control drilling rights, the right of a gas company to extract gas from a private owner at the price of a neighbor’s contract without any input by the owner, and does not allow your medical doctor to relate health issues to gas drilling.

The Department of Environmental Protection does not report or release information on health issues or complaints connected to drilling. Complaints against gas companies are not released and are kept from the public.

If voters do not take reprisals on election day, they get what they deserve.

Corbett refuses to impose an extraction tax at the well head but is quick to tax the working man at the gas pump.

Come election day, we will have Corbett and Wall Street types running against immoral gay wedding and abortion rights advocates. As an independent, I usually have no one to vote for. Too many uninformed voters vote a straight party line and get what they deserve.

We also have a local newspaper with the moral fortitude of a rabbit, afraid to take a stand or give an opinion and explain these  issues. Where are the journalists of old?

D.V. Hankinson

New Baltimore

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What is the biggest key to reducing gun violence in Johnstown?

Tackling the area's drug problem.
Controlling folks moving into city housing.
Monitoring folks in treatment centers and halfway houses.
Tougher sentencing by the court system.
More police on the streets.

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