Social service system failures lead to problems
A recent article on the Catholic Action Center did not address systematic failures in our service delivery system, including our mental-health services (which range from severely inept to inadequate), long-term substance-abuse treatment programs and aftercare that are gravely overcrowded.
Nor did it address an overall lack of affordable housing for the disabled, the homeless or others whose issues are complicated by a lack of services.
Lexington is not only failing to meet the needs of these most vulnerable populations, but our programs are overburdened by "drop-offs" from surrounding counties (law enforcement agencies dumping mentally ill or addicted people at our doors and failing to reclaim them). We have many such people migrating to the Hope Center, Catholic Action Center, Messner Home or Phoenix Park who are not receiving appropriate basic care or services. They are often released to wander our streets, and end up being harmed or harming others.
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This recent publicity is only the tip of the iceberg.
Our city officials and social-service agencies need to examine our entire system. Let's take this opportunity to form a community-based response team that can screen for crisis intervention, make needed service program referrals and provide intensive case management until stabilization.
We also need more collaborative partnerships among public, non-profit and faith groups.
Prather a phony
Paul Prather's Aug. 13 column, "The evangelicals I know don't yell," skews perceptions of a movement worthy of praise, and perfectly exhibits his phoniness. He begins with a quote, "the entire evangelical movement often has been pilloried among progressives as reactionary, myopic, anti-intellectual and, if anything, immoral." Prather would not abide such narrow-minded yelling.
But quickly he likens supporters of Sarah Palin to Nazis ("Because I don't wear a swastika on my cap or a Sarah Palin button on my lapel, they assume I can't be among those flakes who believe the New Testament is true"). Continuing, he charges that, "Significant numbers of evangelicals ignore the teachings of Jesus to align themselves with various far-right whack-jobs." Then for the piece de resistance he asserts, "Jesus sure as heck wouldn't be a conservative Republican." All from someone who is offended by yelling?
I have a theory that folks are only allowed to enter heaven two by two. Anyone who shows up at the pearly gates alone has to wait for the next person. I imagine Prather arriving alone and, after a short wait, the next person who appears for admission is a card-carrying conservative Republican with a Sarah Palin button. Can't you just feel his disappointment?
Yes, there are many, including Prather, who continue to yell that conservatives are reactionary, myopic, anti-intellectual and immoral. Well, I sure would like to take his hand and walk through those gates with him, unless, of course, he would refuse. Would he do that?
Wildcat football: You showed no discipline, no emotion. You want some respect, earn it on the field. Let your play do your talking instead of your newspaper interviews.
Ray Current Jr.
Sacrificing valuable space for Christian apologetics in your Life+Faith section is disappointing enough, but when faith pieces metastasize to the editorial page they are less easily ignored.
The latest, Larry Thompson's flailing rebuttal to an article on the evolutionary origins of religious belief, is especially troublesome.
His arguments for the existence of God are tired and discredited, his assault on science and reason disgusting. He says evolution — the established, unifying theory for almost all of science — is "unproven." He breezily informs us that the scientific method is "limited" — the same science that has produced the medical and technological advances upon which he is dependent.
The reverend solemnly concludes that the void left by reason (as if the Enlightenment, a mere three centuries old, should not still have a ways to go) should be filled not by more reason, but by faith.
Thompson should rely on prayer alone next time he is gripped by a medical problem. That you gave a preacher and ad salesman a forum to critique science is a shame. That the reverend blithely leads others toward the dark is, by the standard of any value system, a sin.