Dear Editor: 

I am outraged that ECU is consenting to removal of the cross atop its chapel and Bibles from its pews without resistance through 1) refusal to do so, and 2) seeking protection through federal litigation. Regardless of others’ disagreement with this statement, it is truth: the farther America withdraws from the Christian principles upon which it was founded, the more it degenerates as a civilization.

Without God’s protection we are vulnerable to total consumption by evil.

Michael G. Smith

Ada

Dear Editor:

The removal of crosses and Bibles from the ECU chapel represents the fact that we have let the courts overrule the intentions of the Founding Fathers. The Founding Fathers began public education for the primary purpose of insuring that young people were reading the Bible. Of course revisionists have hidden that from our history books. They have also hidden facts like the first Bible printed on American soil, the Aiken Bible, also known as the Bible of the Revolution, was printed “by order of Congress for use in Public Schools.”

Our present-day doctrine of separation of church and state was established by the courts, “Everson vs. the Board of Education, 1947,” not by the Constitution.

I often challenge people with the question, “Can a person be well educated without a working knowledge of the Bible?” The following are just a few of the facts on which I base my question:

The Bible is the undisputed best seller of all times. No other book comes close to it in overall sales. In fact you could take the top ten other best sellers and add them together and they would only total a small fraction of the Bibles sales.

When Guttenberg invented the printing press, the first book to be printed was the Bible.

The Bible was quoted during the founding Congresses of our nation twice as much as any other source.

The Bible is quoted more in English literature than any other book.

There are more than 168,000 Bibles either sold or given away per day according to the Gideons, Wycliffe International and the International Bible Societies.

The Bible has been translated into more than 1,200 languages. No other book can claim that.

One of the marks of the Dark Ages was the absence of the Bible among the common people.

Archeology has consistently proven the accuracy of the Bible.

The first laws passed on American soil were the Massachusetts 1642 Education by Parents Act and The Old Deluder Act (1647). Both were educational laws that required the teaching of the Bible.

When, as president, Jefferson wrote the Plan of Education for Washington DC, he required that reading be taught from the Bible and Watts Hymnal.

Columbus cited Scripture as his inspiration for seeking a westward route to India.

And, the facts go on and on. Lack of knowledge of the Bible can never be considered a good education.

It is sad that the university leaders would back down to bullies of the Americans United for Separation of Church and State so quickly.

Steve Casey

Stonewall, LA

Dear Editor:

I grew up in Ada, but left after High School to go to college and later a ministers program and I am now the Outreach Minister for a Christian Church in Tulsa, OK. I recently was made aware that ECU is going to remove the cross at the Boswell Chapel at ECU. Many of my family worked for ECU for years, and my parents were even married at that chapel. This all being said, it is my opinion the cross should be removed. Mind you, it could be saved if the school administration held a meeting and voted to donate the land to another group, or somehow make it historical, or, or, or… there are many options. How do you think we still have the 10 commandments up at our capital?

I saw an online petition with almost 2,000 signatures encouraging some kind of legal battle with the D.C. group who wrote the letter “demanding” the cross to be removed. I wonder if the same 2,000 signatures would circulate in an action to battle hunger, or clothe the naked, or care for the widow, some of the things directly told to us by Jesus to do. I need to mention that I co-chair a interfaith group in Tulsa that deals directly with this issue of “separation of church and state,” and while it is true these exact words are not directly in our constitution, these words are, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion…” 1st Amendment. I have many friends of many faiths and to some of them, the cross is not a “welcome” but a reminder of hate and bigotry. There is no denying the history of Christianity and its past with “convert of die” language during the crusades, just as it is just as awful that extremist in other faiths do now today. But to be honest, my largest reason for being in support of the removal of the cross is not political, personal, or piety; I believe the Bible directs us. Read this passage and ask yourself what your faith really is about.

“What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can that faith save him? If a brother or sister is poorly clothed and lacking in daily food, and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, be warmed and filled,” without giving them the things needed for the body, what good is that? So also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead. But someone will say, “You have faith and I have works.” Show me your faith apart from your works, and I will show you my faith by my works.” James 2:14-18 ESV

Our faith is not in a cross, or a building, or place. Our faith is one grounded in love and acceptance. My goal here is not to enrage or upset people, but just to ask what really is the big deal? Join in feeding the hungry by giving to local Salvation Army, donate your clothing to families in need, give of your time and your talents not to just a church, but to the community and in that love people will see Christ in you. Is your faith in Jesus or in a cross? Are you as passionate for protecting this cross as you are for taking care of the “least of these?” What really matters more?

Peace,

Rev. Evan Taylor

East Side Christian Church

Tulsa Interfaith Alliance

Tulsa