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Help create a more just society

As the Stewards of the Kentuckiana Association of the United Church of Christ, and as followers of Christ, we are writing to express deep concern for the desperate life situations that many members of our communities are facing — namely poverty, homelessness, and food insecurity. For some, these issues are only becoming worse. For others, this is perhaps the first time in their lives they have struggled to make ends meet. While these systemic injustices have always been present throughout history, the COVID-19 pandemic has compounded the situation.

We represent 18 churches located in Kentucky and Southern Indiana. Many of our congregations are doing their part to provide meals, clothing, and other supplies to those in need within their local community. These congregations also donate monetary resources to support local coalitions, agencies, and community ministries. We do believe small steps combined over time can have a positive impact in the lives of others, but these efforts are merely bandages on a much larger wound. We are doing all we can to follow the directive of Jesus — to love our neighbor, to feed the poor, to clothe the naked, to welcome the stranger — but sometimes to fix a problem this vast you need help from a larger entity with the power to effect major change.

As lawmakers and officials elected by the people, we ask for your commitment and dedication to change these situations. Real change within our community will only occur when those in power address racial inequality, support a living wage, and provide affordable access to health care for people with mental illness and addiction issues. The resources are there, our churches and coalitions are ready, but there has to be a willingness and commitment from the government if we are to heal the wound of homelessness, rather than continuing to just treat the symptoms.

Whether we live in a mansion or a tent under the expressway, our commonality is that each of us calls this community “home.” We live here together, but so long as thousands of our brothers and sisters are living without shelter and food security, our community cannot be considered a healthy one. Our interconnectivity calls us to do more. We must work harder, and combine our efforts if we hope to create a more just and equitable society.

The Stewards, of the Kentuckiana Association of the United Church of Christ

State Sens. Clere and Behning,

What are you thinking and what are your motives? By supporting House Bill 1005, credence is given to further disemboweling public education in Indiana. Under the guise of “equalizing” educational opportunities for more children, lawmakers, like you, are in fact funneling taxpayer dollars to private voucher and charter schools, with no accountability and no oversight of those entities. I have always believed that a robust, American public education, accounting for 94 percent of our children, has been a bedrock of our Democracy and has allowed us to progress, albeit with flaws, to where we are today as a nation.

You have absolutely no proof that educational reform is effective, yet you continue to throw our tax dollars into the abyss of unaccountability and possible misuse. Are you enamored over accolades from other states’ like-minded programs, or are you bowing to private special interest groups? Is this a personal power ploy to ingratiate yourselves to colleagues or select constituents? You and your collaborators presume that there is nothing to stop your prodigal spending of public funds. Certainly not Governor Eric Holcomb, nor the Indiana legislature, as it exists today, would dare to thwart this travesty of legislation.

There is however, a future scenario you may want to consider. The state of Indiana, populated by citizens entirely educated in a disparate assortment of charter and private schools, disconnected and without clear social, civil and moral values to guide them, easily swayed by politicians and.....wait, could THAT be your motive?!

Bob Schulz, Sellersburg

In response to the recent ban of selected Dr. Seuss children’s books:

Dr. Seuss Tribute

I do not like banning books

I do not like the way it looks

I do not like it here or there

I do not like it anywhere

Banning books we do not need

No one should tell us what to read

I will read them on a plane

I will read them on a train

I will read them in my car

I will read them in a bar

I will read them here and there

I will read them everywhere

Hear me now as I plead

Do not tell me what to read

If you say read no more

You, I simply will ignore

So please think twice before you say

You may not read this book today

I will get the books you ban

I will be their biggest fan

I will read them every day

It does not matter what you say

Dr. Seuss is here to stay

You cannot ban his words away

Bill Moore, Charlestown

Query about health workers’ flag

Why do our Public Health Workers have a black and white flag on their jackets instead of the United States flag or the Indiana state flag?

Beth Robinson, New Albany

Editor’s note: The black and white USA flag represents Healthcare Workers as Heroes.

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