Letters to the Editor

Letters to editor: Readers respond to Prather column on immigrants

Central American migrants waited in line Nov. 14 for a meal at a shelter in Tijuana, Mexico. Migrants traveled in a caravan to reach the U.S. border and apply for asylum.
Central American migrants waited in line Nov. 14 for a meal at a shelter in Tijuana, Mexico. Migrants traveled in a caravan to reach the U.S. border and apply for asylum. The Associated Press

What would Prather do?

I cannot disagree with Paul Prather’s understanding of the Book of Matthew. Jesus clearly commands society to welcome and care for the downtrodden and strangers. But does this obligation apply to individuals as well?

I think it does. In that case, Jesus’ words are a bit more difficult to swallow. If each of us must do as Jesus commands, then each of us, individually, must come to terms with questions about Matthew 25 arising from this thought experiment:

“It is the middle of the night. You and your family are sleeping when you are awakened by a banging on your door. You’re faced with four persons, dirty and disheveled, who speak broken English and appear to have all their possessions on their backs. They demand to come in and have you feed and house them — indefinitely.”

What then of Jesus’ imperatives? Are the foreigners at my door peaceful or dangerous? For how long must I bear the burden of supporting them? What about the well-being of my family?

When Prather has personally carried the weight of Jesus’ words as applied above (and he may have), then he has the moral authority to lecture us about our duties to Christ.

J.R.B. Hacker


U.S. charitable to others

Herald-Leader columnist Paul Prather’s recent commentary was extremely upsetting to me. I read his column after I attended church that day. My pastor stresses deeds, not words.

My church, the largest in Lexington, is a very caring and charitable group of believers locally, statewide and internationally (especially in Haiti). The church is people, and we are attempting to follow Christ’s example in our lives.

Prather is welcome to come participate with us. Maybe he can see we are not the racist heathens he claims most Americans to be.

The United States’ historic and current charity to the world has been demonstrated by the works of its citizens to a point where we’re basically bankrupt. Countries around the world have benefited from our generosity and a good many are thankless. That’s life.

But for Prather to dismiss the United States’ good works is unfair. How many countries have come to our assistance when we have suffered natural disasters? This country has faults, but lack of generosity is not one of them.

Bruce McBrayer


Trump’s failed promise

No doubt Kentucky has suffered from the decline in coal production jobs, as we did from the loss of tobacco jobs. Areas of our beloved state existed solely because of these entities.

President Donald Trump did rescind water protection regulations, attacked the Clean Power Plan and supported removal of life-safety regulations. None of these actions has brought back coal-producing jobs as Trump promised. That’s because the forces that took away coal jobs were market-based.

There was a cheaper way and business used it — natural gas. The November commentary by U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross, “Trump is keeping his promises to forgotten coal communities,” also has nothing to do with creating more coal jobs.

Yes, there apparently has been $60 million in grants as part of the Assistance to Coal Communities, including nearly $15 million in Kentucky “to build infrastructure and invest in the areas hardest hit by the erosion of the coal economy.”

How much are these communities and the state losing from the shortage in the coal severance tax? That price tag is why Hillary Clinton proposed a $30 billion comprehensive plan to help revitalize and diversify the economies in these areas.

C. M. Hancock


Refuse gun-shop ads

I usually have praise for the Herald-Leader but I do not approve of advertising I’ve been seeing lately, namely for local gun shops.

The newspaper is making a statement that guns are OK. It is promoting the sales of weapons at a time when mass shootings in our country have become commonplace. Instead, the Herald-Leader should be writing more editorials for stricter gun control laws. It’s shocking. Is the paper that desperate for money?

Michael Worley