The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA


June 21, 2013

Readers' Forum 6-21 | New authority questioned; leader responds


JOHNSTOWN — Courteous actions were rewarded

This letter is to thank the coal truck drivers who travel Swigle Mountain Road in Jackson Township and who purchased a gift card for me.

I drive school bus on Swigle Mountain Road, a two-lane road, during the mornings. I pull over to let the trucks pass. That way, they don’t have to stop and start for every one of my dozen or so stops.

In a note that accompanied the gift card, the drivers said they appreciated the gesture and thanked me for my courtesy.

I was very surprised and greatly appreciate the gesture.

Donna Nicol


Only learned should interpret Bible

It didn’t take long for the Rev. Tony Joseph to be attacked (hater, bigot) for his article. But, Jesus said if you stand up for him, you will be persecuted. The most interesting attack, however, is the claim of “selective interpretation” as if the writer has a better grasp of the Bible.

The Bible is a very sophisticated book with many messages. Priests, ministers and rabbis spend years being trained to read and interpret the Bible and biblical messages. Some even become biblical scholars. They learn ancient Hebrew and Greek and read the original manuscripts in those languages.

They then train other priests, ministers and rabbis.

That’s why we go to churches and synagogues and listen to homilies. And often during these homilies we hear uncomfortable things about ourselves.

The Bible has many stories about people (they were called prophets) who brought uncomfortable messages, which were typically rejected. The Bible also relates the consequences of those rejections. But we continue to reject these messages by attacking the messenger, not by a knowledgeable response.

Everyone interprets the Bible. The difference between religious and lay interpretations is that the religious interpretations are based on education and study, which is typically not the case with others. If you want to challenge a religious interpretation, you need to state your qualifications.

When ministerial people tell you the Bible says you’re doing something wrong, you can accept or reject that. What you can’t say is the Bible says what you’re doing is right. You don’t have the credentials.

Tom O’Toole

Indian Lake


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Tackling the area's drug problem.
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