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Letters: Duties, vaccines and healthy food | Opinion



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Promote the general welfare

Vintage myself at 91, I often read your items in Today in History. The quip from April 13, 1966, caught my eye and my reflection. “Voting is the process of standing in line for the opportunity to help decide which party will spend your money.” It is clever, catchy, readable and quotable but doesn’t necessarily engender thoughtfulness.

However, it did make me think. The intro to the Constitution which begins with, “We the People,” goes on to list the things which We the People are to ensure through the Constitution. Among them is “promote the general welfare.” It is my belief that our money, taxes, are intended to do exactly that, affected through our elected leaders.

Prevalent in our culture these days is the concept of social justice defined in multiple ways to adapt to our diverse population. Happily, my pastor, the Rev. Doctor Brian Wyatt, in his sermons, conversations, and church activities continues to biblically define social justice as distributive justice demonstrated through the life and teachings of Jesus. While we may accept this, it is seldom easy to do. For me, my taxes are one way to contribute my share.

I continue to believe that “the common good” also known as “the general welfare” is always the task for the party we elect to “spend our money” (taxes for social justice/distributive justice). If “the general welfare” doesn’t lead us to consider the importance of everyone finding it easy to vote what in the world would convince us?

JEAN HALL

Johnson City

 

Thankful for the vaccine

Hallelujah! I received the second COVID vaccine! I am so grateful to have received my second dose!

So many people must be thanked for the emergency action taken for COVID vaccines. President Trump and his administration worked diligently along with area legislators, the pharmaceutical companies and the volunteers who stepped up for the vaccine trials are just a small group involved in this historic event. Thank you.

I want to thank State of Franklin Healthcare Associates for all their hard work making it possible for their patients to receive the vaccine in the best circumstances. The drive-thru site was so organized and everyone, staff and volunteers, did a fantastic job.

I hope everyone will get the vaccine so Tennesseans will be protected. It is important to protect your family and yourself.

I cannot wait to see my granddaughter!

KAREN HOLDEN

Johnson City

 

Switch to sustainable diets

With Earth Day coming on April 22, we have reduced our carbon footprint by curtailing travel and our thermostat. We recycle. But we can do so much more by cutting our consumption of animal meat and milk products. Yes, that.

A recent article in The Guardian argues that animal agriculture is a major driver of climate change, as well as air and water pollution, depletion of soil and water resources, and destruction of wildlife habitats. Oxford University’s prestigious Food Climate Research Network reports that solving the global warming catastrophe requires massive shift to plant-based eating. The Netflix feature Seaspiracy documents the devastating environmental impacts of the fishing industry.

In an environmentally sustainable world, we must replace meat, fish, and dairy products with vegetables, fruits, legumes, nuts, seeds, and grains, just as we replace fossil fuels with wind, solar, and other renewable energy sources.

Each of us has a unique opportunity to heal our planet by transitioning to plant-based eating. We can begin with the one-minute New York Times diet quiz. Then, let’s celebrate Earth Day by checking out the rich variety of plant-based meat and dairy products at our supermarket. The internet offers ample advice and recipes.

JIM CALDWELL

Johnson City