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Opinion Letters

Appalachian Animal Rescue Center (aka Macon Humane Society) would like to thank all of those who were kind enough to attend our annual Pancake Breakfast fundraiser at Fatz Restaurant right here in Franklin on June 20.

The AARC is funded solely through donations so our fundraisers are extremely important. Most who came paid more than the required $7 per ticket and left tips on the table as well. And all the men seemed pleased to get a surprise Father’s Day gift of a small tool.

People like you are the heart and soul of our organization. We cannot thank you enough for taking time out of your busy day to help us fulfill our mission. Also, a big thanks to Fatz for once again allowing us to use their restaurant and cook.

Fur-ever yours,

The AARC Board of Directors

I always enjoy reading Mr. Hasara’s essays. They never fail to make me think. His essay entitled “Absurdity of symbolic threats” is no exception, but in this case I think his argument overlooks some important points.

First, some background. A symbol becomes a symbol because of its assumed values. A symbol is a visual image that figuratively stands for an idea or a group of ideas. Normally, the evolution of an image into a symbol takes some time. Seldom are they recognized instantly as symbolic. How long did it take a swastika to be acknowledged as a symbol of the Nazi party? How long did it take a cross to be acknowledged as a symbol of Christianity? And so on.

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Although the term radicalization has entered our public discourse of late and some psychologists are using the term to describe someone who goes off to join terrorists groups, I would have to challenge the idea behind it.

I really don’t believe someone becomes radicalized.

What I believe we are looking at is someone who is bored with their unfulfilled lives and need an adrenalin fix, something exciting to do. In the case of people who join ISIS, radical religion provides them with a reason to escape from reality and a boring existence.

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The news of the last couple of weeks brings into sharp focus the divided world we live in. No longer do we have a common language or ethic to guide our thoughts or actions in this complex world.

Let's take just one example of this disconnect, "religious freedom." This country was founded on the principal of the freedom of religion. For some, it means that there should be no restriction on the practice of one's religion. For others it means that the "state" should not promote one religion over another. These, however, are not the same thing.

If there were no restriction on religious practice then the government could not ban animal sacrifice, or slavery, the legal bondage of women, or laws against inter racial marriage. At one time or another all of these ideas have been justified as deeply held religious beliefs. If the state had not acted to ban these practices, it is, in effect, promoting one person's religious beliefs over another.

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