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April 17, 2019     The Monroe County Reporter
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**Declare among the nations, and publish, and set up a standard, publish, and conceal not." - Jeremiah 50:2 & EDITORIALS 2018, 2017, 2016 winner: Editoriai Page excellence 2018 winner: Best Headhne Writing 2018, 2017 winner: Best News Photography 2018 winner:. Best Sports Pages 2Oi8 winner:, Best Serious Column - On the Porch 2018, 2OI7 winner: Best Humorous Column - On the Porch ON THE PORCH by Will Davis "~. ~ y mother and step-father were visiting this I~ li past weekend from Raleigh, N.C which is ,V,a long way from Forsyth. I m not just talk- .A. ~ing about geographic distance. Raleigh, where I spent the first 14 years of my life, is the capital city of North Carolina and it's one of the most socially and economically upscale cities in the South. Raleigh is the easternmost point of the Research Triangle Park, which encompasses three major universities, UNC, N.C. State and (throwing up in my mouth) Duke. The social center of the city is the Carolina Country Club, where the blue bloods and the well-heeled play golf, bridge and eat pimento cheese sandwiches while planning ~~,~x~.~ their next trip to the coast or the mountains. It's a beautiful place with a lot to often But it's very interesting growing up in a place like that, and then raising my family in a small town in Georgia. One's not better than the other. It's just different. I asked my step-dad this weekend about a childhood friend. "Oh;' said my step-dad, "her husband is killing it in the venture capital business. Her parents can spend all their money because she won't need any of it." And that's how life goes in Raleigh. I don't know many venture capitalists here in Monroe County. It's a common flaw of men that we compare ourselves to others. It starts early. Kids consider who has the best toys. Teenagers compare who looks the best, has the coolest car or is the most popular. I'd like to say we grow up and quit these silly games. But we know it's not true. We just hide it better. And so I havesome advice: If you worry you haven't done well in life materially and don't have much, move. We are moving from a neighborhood to the country here in Monroe County. We had decided to de-clutter before we put our house on the market to help it sell. And that's when he learned that after 12 years in the same home, we were a lot richer than we thought. It was a week-long process. I filled my pickup truck bed no fewer than 20 times hauling our prized stuff to the Smarr garbage dump and the Circle of Care, and just a l!ttle bit to stor- age. That,was a month ago. Thirty days later I assure you we haven t missed one thing that we carried out. You don t realize how much you have until you have to move it. And then you realize how worthless most of the stuff we long for and covet really is. That's not to say that having nothing i~ preferable to having much. There's nothing glamorous about poverty. But the main advantage of success and having money is that people can then know by experience that while money helps pay the bills, it does not satisfy our hearts. There must be somethin+ g more. Easter this Sunday tells us that man has a spiritual nature that material success cannot satisfy. Easter tells us that we were not made to live in prosperity, but to live for eternity. "If we find ourselves with a desire that nothing in this world can satisfy," wrote C.S. Lewis, "the most probable explanation is that we were made for another world:' But Easter tells us that another world is unreachable for us. Our hearts are too wicked and sinful to deserve to live forever in paradise. And that's why the God-man had to suffer and die a bloody death on the cross 2,000 years ago. "It is finished!" he announced. His death and resurrection make us rich beyond mea- sure. Happy Easter! d~e Monrt~e C~nmly www. MyMCR.net is published every week by The Monroe County Reporter Inc. Will Davis, President. Robert M. Williams Jr Vice President Cheryl S. Williams, Secretary-Treasurer STAFF Will Davis Publisher/Editor publisher@mymcr.net Richard bumas News Editor forsyth@mymcrJlet ];) :]) ]: ] Trellis Grant Business Manager business@mymcr.net Diaqe Glidewell Community Editor news@mymcr.net Carolyn Martel I Brandon'Park Advertising Manager ,~ Creative Director ads@mymcr.net ~ graphics@myrncr.net Official Organ of Monroe County and the City of Forsyth 50 N. Jackson St PO Box 795 Forsyth, GA 31029 Periodicals Postage Paid at Forsyth, GA 31029 POSTMASTER: Send address changes to: THE MONROE COUNTY REPORTER 478-994-2358 SUBSCRIPTION RATE: In County'. $40 Out of County: $48 Single Copy: $1 Deadlines noon on Friday prior to issue. Commen~ featured on opinion pages are the creation of the writers, the do not necessarily reflect the opinions oflhe Reporter management Publication No. USPS g97-840 PEACH STATE POLITICS by Kyie Wingf+e+d The 2019 legis- lative session is complete. Observers of the goings-on~ though they are fewer in number than they used to be, are still at work trying to describe and evalu- ate just what went on. Me? I ve moved on to telling you how to evalu- ate next year's session, and the one after that. Tomor- row's opinion toda~ you might say. Even better, I'm not going to conceal my methods. I'll share this less-than-mystic power with yotL And so, herewith, I vouchsafe the metric: Future legislatures shall be judged more favor- ably if they pass fewer bills like House Bill 83. What dastardly thing, you ask, does HB 83 do? It mandates a daffy recess pe- riod in Georgi~ elementary schools, and "encourage(s)" an allotment of 30 minutes per day. Now, don't get me wrong; I'm pro-recess. Very much so. Have been since I was in / kindergarten. I'm grateful my own kids' school takes not one but two recesses per day in the earliest grades. Why, then, would I look down on a bill that gives Georgi schoolchildren something I myself have supported and appreciated for some 35 years? Here comes the trick, the part that f does require ~/I~/~ one to gaze across time and space for discernment. The problem lies not with the bill itself, championed ably and tirelessly in recent years by Rep. Demetrius Douglas, D-Stockbridge, and lately joined by Sen. JeffMullis, R-Chickamauga, The problem lies with the very nece~qity ofm,-h ,~ k;n We are told, and I will stipulate to the notion, schools across our state are shortening recesses or skip- ping them altogether The main reason given for this trend is high-stakes tes +ting: Given a choice between more taking instructional time and trusting that burn- ing some energy will help students focus the rest of TAKING A LIKENS TO YOU by Dole Lik r+s MBany years ago persecuted throughout the Ruth Graham world. ill,y Gra-,Was Ruth Graham cor- ams wife) rect when she sai&"If God was quoted as saying, "If God doesn't punish Amer- ica soon, He will have to apologize to Sodom and Gomorrah:' Shortly after she said this, Kay Arthur, a teacher of God's word, was quoted as telling her listeners throughout America that America was on the brink of losing its soul. Gov. Mike Huckabee of Alabama has been rebuked by some of today's candi- dates for president of the U.S. of America because he believes in our Holy Bible. He claims he does hot hate homosexuals nor those who abort their babies. He truly loves them. Still he is often referred to as homo- phobic and has no right to express his thoughts about abortion. Phil Roberson of the Duck Dynasty television show carries his Bible wherever he goes and pulls scripture from his Bible to prove his love for God. To some, he is a fanatic. The world and America have changed drastically. Science has changed the world of medicineoand farming for the better. Auto- mobiles are now driverless and robots now vacuum your floors. But what about our morals today? Have we changed our morals so much that those of our past would not recognize America today? Has God changed his word about homosexuality? Is abortion truly a woman's decision? Many churches seem to be rewriting our Holy Bible toda Christians are being doesn't punish America soon He will have to apologize to Sodom and Gomorrah'?" To understand Ruth Graham and all the others men- tioned above, one only needs to look at American politics today. At this mo- ment nearly 20 /~[2//e / 'k~ ~/~ men andwomen are entering the Democratic Par- ty's bid for the president of the U.S. of America. Almost all are unabashedly push- ing for a socialistic form of government. Almost all are desperately trying to prove to their followers that our form of government today and our morals are no longer accepted in America. Even though she is not a presidential candidate, Al- exandria Ocasio Cortez (or AOC as she is more often referred to) explains in all her wisdom that this world of ours will only last another 12 years because Americans refuse to do anything about global warming. Cows must go. Planes must go. Houses need to be tom down and rebuilt. A few other candi- dates call Prime Minister Netanyahu a racist because he doesn't want the Arabs to vote in Israel. One candi- date claims Israel must be defeated. "The Israelites are full of hate!" he explains. Do we no longer care that our Bible tells us Israel is God's chosen country, His chosen people? Pete Buttigieg, a mayor from Indiana, has now entered the scene. Of course he moved up immediately in the list of favorite can- didates for the Democrats. He proudly prodaims he is a homosexual and is now married to another man. the day, school leaders are choosing the former. Standardized tests are a useful tool, but there is some truth to the argument that government has attached too much emphasis to them. There is also a strong case to be made that, beyond this weighty expectation, lawmakers have piled too many other mandates onto educators without increas- ing the minutes in an hour, or the hours in a da~; or the months in a year. (To those of you who read my columns advocating school choice and think I'm just a public-schools "hater": See? I do think y'all have a point sometimes.) Let's assume it's true that testing and other require- ments to blame for kids' recesslessness. If so, a mandate to reinstate time for free play is not just an unintended consequence of those earlier policies. It is, itself, bound to have unin- squeezing a boJloon, that which is displaced has to go somewhere. Maybe recess is worth the displacement of something else. And while I'm skeptical Georgia will solve our child- hood-obesity problem by sending students outdoors for 30 minutes a day - the law does not (yet) require them to actually run or 0 His demeanor is convinc- ing. He has a pleasant look, speaks many languages ~d is convincing to many voters that he may be their new messiah. Often visiting television programs, such as the Ellen Degeneres show, where her audiences enthu- siastically applaud him, he has admonished those of us who disbelieve in homo- sexual marriages. Then he challenged Vice President Mike Pence (who has never scolded Pete for his beliefs but simply expressed his own beliefs about homo- sexuality and abortion) that his disagreement with Pete's- lifestyle should not be with him but with God. Al- though our Bible condemns homosexuality, Pete believes we need to get on board and change our beliefs to accommodate all, no mat- ter what our Bible tells us. Many Americans support Pete Buttigieg's views. Olhan Omar, a congress- woman from Minnesota, boldly daims that Israel is our biggest enemy and must go. Since she is a proud Muslim other representatives are afraid to speak against her evil voice. Many churches are now supporting these bold, new ideas as to what should be accepted in America and what should not be accepted. Those of us who disagree are now guilty of a hate crime. Some Hollywood super- stars are now exposed for paying others to take their children's ACT and SAT tests. Our media is still do- ing everything they can to bring down our President instead of trying to make America great again. Dan Cathy, CEO of Chick-Fil-A, is being attacked for simply giving his Biblical opinion ofhomosexuali . Chris- tians across America are being harassed and con- demned for believing abor- tion is murder, especially when a child has been born and left lying comfortably jump or do anything active, and there are plenty of other reasons for kids' expanding waistlines - maybe it's worth a shot. lust keep in mind that someone, somewhere, thought the same thing about whichever mandate(s) led to the rarity ofrecess. Ultimatd ; this is an exam- ple of why I always return to letting students and families have more choices over their education. Let educational entrepreneurs experiment with various ways to teach and to run their schools. Let parents decide which way is best for their individual child. Let teachers, as well, decide which way is most agreeable to them as they survey a wider army ofjob opportunities. Let, let, let. Not mandate, mandate, mandate. Maybe, just maybe, giv- ing students, families and .even teachers more choices would spur our dected offi- a L -,-,ucrats alike to give school administrators more latitude in how they operate. The kids on the play- ground might not be the only ones who ended up running freer. The president and CEO of the Georgia Public Policy Foundation, Kfle Wing- field's column runs in papers around the state of Georgia. r until this child's mother and doctor decide whether the child should be allowed to live or die. But what about you and me? Are we also caught up in a world that laughs at God's words? As Christians do we now lock our per- sonal beliefs and our deep love for God in our local churches never to speak His word throughout our daily lives? Do we truly believe the first amendment--the second amendment? Is it fine to tell our dirty jokes and only speak of God when we swear? What about the popular rap music that uses filthy language to describe our President? Are you okay with that? Are we ashamed of God? I am not telling other Christians they should be- lieve as I do. However, I am suggesting it may be time Christians begin speaking out as to why we believe as we do. Do we believe in homosexual marriages? Do we believe in abortion? Do our beliefs follow our t~ible? Drugs are flowing across our borders and killing our children. Television and intemet are full of indecent sights and sounds. Speaking out against these atrocities and behaviors will cause others to accuse us of hate crimes. Are we bold enough to stand firm in our beliefs as Vice President Pence, Dan Cathy; Mike Huckabee and other strong Chris- tians? Until we do, I'm afraid Ruth Graham may be correct in what she has said: If God doesn't punish America for its dastardly deeds then I would guess He might apologize to Sodom and Gomorrah. On the other hand, I don't believe God will apologize to anyone or any nation. I believe God has already spoken. Now it's up to us. God bless! Dale Likens is an author who lives in Monroe Count)z. q.