On our creation, we are all believers in something
Scientist Richard Dawkins' blast against people who believe in the supernatural and miracles (Oct. 15) deserves some comment.
With the typical scorn and bombast against people who believe in God, for which he is so well known, he describes such people as "lazy," "defeatist" and "cowardly."
It is a shame the debate as to whether there is "intelligent design" behind the universe cannot be carried on without such intemperate name calling, but such is the situation we often face with atheists.
Many of us find it remarkable that people such as Dawkins rule out the existence of God but do believe that life came from nothing.
This of course leads to the ultimate absurdity of the radical evolutionist that "nothing, times chance, plus time, equals everything."
Dawkins must know that in this country, with all our divisions and flaws, 90 percent of us believe that there is a God. Which makes more sense, the idea that random mutations have produced the complex world with all its intricate and amazing functions, or that they are designed by a loving creator?
Believers in miracles are not lazy, defeatist and cowardly. We do believe in not only what is probably the greatest miracle of all, creation, but in the miracles Jesus performed when he was on Earth.
Many of us have even experienced in our own lives amazing answers to prayer and healing which defy purely rational explanations.
John F. Thornbury
Miracles do happen
If only Richard Dawkins' scientific mind was courageous enough to objectively read C. S. Lewis' Miracles: A Preliminary Study — it is just as relevant today as it was when written more than 60 years ago.
It is impossible to believe in the supernatural without an acceptance of the greatest miracle, God's incarnation through a virgin 2,000 years ago. Lewis, also an atheist at one time, was humble enough to acknowledge he didn't have all the answers but found the one who did.
It is also interesting that despite the recent notoriety of intellectuals like Dawkins, the number of atheists in the world is actually declining.
My family has been the recipient of a modern-day miracle, no less miraculous than the parting of the Red Sea. Were there only the slightest hint that this was God's providential hand at work, I would still choose to give him the credit and my thanks.
A missed opportunity
I read that our former first lady Phyllis George Brown was auctioning off some of her possessions.
Why doesn't she donate all of these things to our museums where all the folks in Kentucky could enjoy them? Her words — they were "boxed up, unused and unloved."
Just give them to a museum here. We would put her name on a plaque and we would love her for it.
She does not need the money, and these things would be taken good care of.
And folks would always remember her with love.
A large population of residents in Kentucky does not have one of the most basic rights given to all residents: the right to vote.
Ex-felons in Kentucky do not receive the right to vote after they have served their time in jail.
Simply put, this is wrong. Former felons are people, too.
Exciting downtown ideas
Attending the first public forum on "the district," Lexington's proposed Arena, Arts and Entertainment District — including 46 city-owned acres that Lexington Center and Rupp Arena sit on — I was delighted by the exciting possibilities presented by the project's master planner, designer and architect Gary Bates.
Bates presented an intriguing and promising vision for a new downtown neighborhood, full of life and rich with potential to help rejuvenate Lexington's core and secure a dynamic future for the heart of our city.
It is a picture of a vibrant, robust and re-envisioned downtown, home to new restaurants, expanded retail, new entertainment options, a new hotel and more — all anchored by an iconic arena that is a cornerstone of our community.
Clearly, Bates and the rest of the project's task force are dreaming big while working diligently to preserve Lexington's unique charm — as they should. Bravo! A revitalized downtown would make Lexington an even greater place to live, work and play.
Hats off to Mayor Jim Gray for his leadership on developing this long-overdue expansion that will have a lasting positive impact.
Later this month, there will be a second public forum for citizens to have an opportunity to "see the future" of downtown and share their opinion on what that future should ultimately be.
I encourage everyone who lives in Lexington to attend.
Don't get too fancy
In the Oct. 16 front-page article about Rupp Arena, Bill Owen, president and chief executive officer of Lexington Center Corp., said "Popcorn and cokes are not good enough anymore."
Almost anyone would agree that some upgrades are needed, and steps must be taken to keep pace with the competition and limit economic obsolescence.
Owen mentioned the Yum Center. But let's face it, Lexington can't compete on the same level as the much-larger city of Louisville.
However, Lexington's smaller atmosphere can be just as, or more, attractive and provide that "wow" factor when someone watches a game or concert at Rupp Arena, attends a function at the Lexington Center or just walks through downtown Lexington.
Whatever upgrades are made hopefully won't downgrade that nostalgic feeling of watching a game at Rupp. You always want to preserve that as much as possible.
Walking into Butler University's Hinkle Fieldhouse for the first time last year (you've seen the movie Hoosiers, right?) certainly gave me that "wow" feeling. True, it was not the "wow" you get from a state-of-the-art facility, but there is so much history in that place.
Also true, Rupp is just one part of the Lexington downtown scene and the economic engines need more than just basketball in Rupp to keep things thriving downtown.
We get that, and understand that changes may be coming. But sometimes (maybe more so to those who appreciate sports nostalgia) "popcorn and Coke" will be just fine.
Don't change it too much, there's a lot of history in Rupp Arena.
Sticking it to the poor
Why am I not surprised Sen. David Williams' wife, Robyn Williams, says on a campaign ad that she is pro business? Saying you're "pro business" is the kinder, gentler way of saying, shaft the employee.
And as a perfect complement to her pro-business stance she is for a "consumption" or "sales" tax. The beauty of a sales tax is you can get tax revenue from someone no matter how desperately poor they are.
If they spend their last dollar, it will be taxed. Of course conservatives will tell their tax consultants to find Congress' generous loopholes.
As for jobs, what could be more pro business than the Corwin Amendment of 1861? We can attain 100 percent full-time employment for minorities and not have to pay overtime. Win-win. And a bonus, we won't have to offshore our jobs.
Maybe Robyn Williams and her pro-business associates will be more enlightened and not use whips.