Letters to the Editor

Carter should take history lesson

President Carter's remarks at Coretta Scott King's funeral were inappropriate. Petty politics has no place while celebrating a life lived pursuing justice and equality.

Carter rebuked President Bush's warrantless eavesdropping program during the funeral. Has he forgotten that in 1977 he authorized warrantless electronic surveillance used in conviction of Truong Hung and Ronald Humphrey as Vietnam spies?

Has Carter forgotten his administration?

He watched the Iranian government replaced by Khomeini's Islamic theocracy that sacked the U.S. Embassy, held 52 hostages and lost eight lives when his rescue effort failed. This same Islamic theocracy today threatens extinction of Israel, denies the Holocaust and threatens development of atomic weapons.

He implemented economic policies that created 13.5 percent inflation and 21 percent prime interest rates.

He embargoed sales of grain to Russia on the invasion of Afghanistan, depriving our farmers of a major customer. With this action and high interest rates, we witnessed loss of many family farms as farmers were unable to make mortgage payments.

Carter, as a Christian, may want to reread the Book of James, Chapter 3. The gist of the message is reflected in Verse 5, "So also, the tongue is a small thing, but what enormous damage it can do." Or from the Sermon on the Mount, "How can you say, 'Let me help you get rid of that speck in your eye, ... when you can't see past the log in your own eye? Hypocrite.'"

- Dub Jones


Another example of bad behavior

Three cheers for Darrell Huckaby for stating the obvious in his column ("Back to the peanut gallery, Jimmy," Perspective, Feb. 11). I've lost what miniscule amount of respect I held for Jimmy Carter and Joseph Lowery. I even refuse to attach the title of reverend to the latter's name.

To use a funeral as a political platform is about as disgraceful as it gets. Both of these men leap at every opportunity to cast stones, if doing so helps keep them in the limelight.

For years, Lowery has made a living by stirring up dissension. I don't know what he preaches, but it isn't biblical. Jimmy Carter was the last Democrat I voted for. Now, I wish I had given that vote to Pat Paulsen! (Remember him?)

There is a time and place to make your stand in the political arena. At a funeral, anyone's funeral, is not that time or place. Abraham Lincoln had a bit more common sense than Carter and Lowery (though I'm sure neither would admit it).

One of Lincoln's famous quotes taught some of us: "Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak out and remove all doubt."

Both of these men might jot that down before their next public appearance.

- Adrian Devine


Comments reflected wishes, passions of King family

I'm not going to defend the specific remarks made at Coretta Scott King's funeral that offended Darrell Huckaby and others ("Back to the peanut gallery, Jimmy," Perspective, Feb. 11). I've only heard brief soundbites and quotes.

But I would like to comment on the funeral in general and on Huckaby's column. Most people would agree with Huckaby that each of us is entitled to our opinion.

Unlike most of us, however, he has a public forum to regularly express his opinion, regardless of its value. The rest of us are at the mercy of an editorial staff to decide if our opinions are worthy enough to be printed.

In my opinion, funerals are private affairs even for public people like King. They are private in the sense that a funeral should reflect the struggles and triumphs of that person's life as determined by their family. The general public and dignitaries may be invited, or they may invite themselves, but it is the family's responsibility to determine how best to honor their loved one.

Those who spoke at King's funeral did so I imagine with the blessings of her family. They spoke out for and against issues that King felt deeply and passionately about. She risked her life and her husband gave his for what they believed in. Her funeral was perhaps the truest expression of what her life was all about.

Now to my opinion of Huckaby's editorial. I was merely amused that he quoted Jimmy Carter's brother Billy. I suppose it reinforces his "good ol' boy" image that he tries to cultivate.

But to quote Lester Maddox in the same editorial as Coretta Scott King was a subtle but disgusting attempt to ridicule the King family. No doubt Huckaby is aware that when Martin Luther King was assassinated in 1968, then-Gov. Lester Maddox refused to allow a public tribute to King in the Capitol Rotunda and was outraged to see state flags flying at half-staff.

The striking difference between how Georgia's governors Perdue and Maddox officially observed the deaths of Mrs. King and her husband is poignant. I don't care if Huckaby's Lester Maddox quote was a cheap shot at Jimmy Carter, Huckaby's intentions seem clear enough. At least that is my opinion, of which I am entitled.

- Allan Burns