The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

December 25, 2012

Readers' Forum 12-25 | Thankful that opinions can be expressed

Submitted by Readers

JOHNSTOWN — I’d like to thank The Tribune-Democrat for allowing the people of the area to express their opinions, whether they are liberal, conservative, secular, religious or whatever. Some, from their biased points of view, do not think the other side should have the opportunity to express their opinions. I may be misinformed, but I always thought that’s what freedom of speech was about.

Robust opinions on political and moral issues of the day are going to bring about stirring debates. Some people don’t seem to understand that just because you disagree with them doesn’t mean you are a hateful person or that you hate them personally. God teaches us to hate sin but to love the sinner.

Speaking of God, I believe the Bible is the real dividing line throughout life’s journey. The Bible is God’s instruction book of how we came about, what our purpose is and how we accomplish that purpose. If the selfish, self-centered “I” gets in the way, problems are created. If “he” takes precedence, then we’re on our way to being the kind of people and nation God wants us to be.

Look around. Do you think we’re more of an “I” people or a “he” people? Pretty easy answer, huh? Talking about “he” (Jesus), I’d like to wish all a very merry Christmas as this is the national holiday set aside to honor the greatest birth ever in all mankind. Emmanuel, God with us.

Bernie Bolha

Upper Yoder Township

In times of need, don’t turn to drugs

The prostitute of addiction; how she attracts many with promises of instant satisfaction and escape from painful realities.

In one way or another, most of us have kept company with her. We’ve smelled her, taken her into our mouths, up our noses, shot her into our arms or raised her up in glasses to relieve the distress in our minds caused by emotional, physical or spiritual abandonment. She ravages our souls and bodies, and in the end betrays all that desire her when they can’t handle her demands anymore.

She has led away friends and family to shackles, to death and some right out of their minds. Breaking free is a frightening proposal. At first we experience more loss; where will we turn now for support when everything eludes us? We may even break down and withdrawal in pain into some sickbed to escape her clutches.

But there begins the real opportunity; if we wait, we will discover a truer friend that rewards us with his constant presence and faithfulness; with no false hopes, promises or strings attached to keep the experience going.

“When my father and my mother forsake me, then the Lord will take me up.” (Psalm 27:10); “There are ‘friends’ who destroy each other, but a real friend sticks closer than a brother.” (Proverbs 18:24); “Taste and see that the Lord is good.” (Psalm 34:8).

You can bring in the new year without heroin, mary jane, crystal, sudsy and ciggy. Seek support in Jesus, he’s waiting for you.

Kirstin DiNinno

Central City

We need to stop killing one another

The growing, senseless killing of our population must stop soon.

The National Rifle Association will say, “Guns don’t kill people” and cloak itself behind the Second Amendment.

I believe in the Constitution and the right to bear arms. However, not even John Quincy Adams, John Hancock or Thomas Jefferson could have foreseen the evolvement of weapons from single-shot muskets to the 500-rounds-per-minute of today’s modern weapons.

The government will not be coming for your guns by changing the gun laws. I will still own my shotgun and my deer rifle, but the assault weapons should not be on the streets or in the schools or workplaces of America.

I would be in favor of having 20 tiny caskets put in the Senate or the House of Representatives and have my senator or congressman cast a vote against a bill banning assault weapons. That individual would lose more than my vote, he or she would lose my respect as well.

This carnage must be stopped. History will keep repeating itself until action is taken.

We the people must stand together and say enough is enough.

If not me, who? If not now, when?

Remember those caskets in the ground next week as you and your family celebrate Christmas and hope that they did not die in vain.

John Fabo

South Fork


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