The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

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Editorials

July 9, 2013

Readers' Forum 7-9 | Community pride, community commitment

— This year is the 30th anniversary of National Night Out, a nationwide event of community civic and crime-watch groups in support of the National Association of Town Watch.

Three city of Johnstown neighborhood groups – Moxham Neighborhood Watch, Roxbury Civic Group and West End Improvement Group – have planned a 10K race/funwalk, “10 Against ‘K’rime,” at Roxbury Park on Aug. 10.

Included will be music, clowns for the children, refreshments and police demonstrations. The purpose is to promote our community’s fight against crime, to gain support by making more people aware of how they can be involved in helping to keep their streets safe.

Through increased community-police relations, the committee members hope to let criminals know that we are united. Proceeds from the event will be used to purchase surveillance cameras, informational literature and other means to reduce crime.

With the recent release of the Johnstown Crime and Violence Commission report outlining recommendations for dealing with crime in Johnstown, there is no better way for citizens to come together in a united voice than to celebrate National Night Out with us at Roxbury Park.

Take pride in your neighborhood and make a commitment to help by emailing Theresa_10K@yahoo.com to register for the race/funwalk. The cost is $15.

Linda Orlosky

Roxbury Civic Group

A same-sex-marriage view worth pondering

In response to the recent Supreme Court ruling, I cite an Orthodox view of same-sex couples and civil rights by the Very Rev. Protopresbyter Thomas Hopko:

“Whether or not persons with same-sex attractions are celibate or sexually active, their civil rights and the rights of the children in their care must be safeguarded and guaranteed. Homosexual people must have the same access to housing, employment, police protection, legal justice, tax benefits and visitation privileges that all members of society possess and enjoy. Those desiring to be joined in ‘civil unions’  or ‘domestic partnerships’ should be allowed to do so with all the social and legal benefits guaranteed by such arrangements.

“I firmly believe that God commands his people to affirm and defend the civil rights and benefits of those who believe and do things that are contrary to his will. Orthodox Scriptures unanimously witness that justice and charity are to be extended to all human beings, without condition or discrimination. That such persons are not admitted to the Holy Eucharist does not mean that they are to be hated, scorned or dealt with unjustly or uncharitably in any way.

“While upholding the civil and legal rights of everyone without discrimination, those professing Orthodox Christianity may never bless or countenance unions between persons of the same sex that contend to be marriages in the same sense as marriages between men and women. It remains the Orthodox conviction that marriage was intended from the beginning to be a union between one man and one woman.”

Roger C. Knepper

Johnstown

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