Calling on Georgia’s senators

Most Sunday mornings you can find me leading worship as one of the ministers at Druid Hills Presbyterian Church in Atlanta. On those Sunday mornings, there are moments when the door to the sanctuary opens at a peculiar time and I feel half a second of fear: “Is it a shooter? What do I do if it’s a shooter?” And then I relax.

This past Saturday, the worshipers at Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh never had the chance to relax. They were already in the midst of a slaughter.

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On Monday, I contacted Senators David Perdue and Johnny Isakson, urging them to speak out about the hate-filled, violence-encouraging vitriol coming from the White House and the president, in particular. It must stop. The senators and their colleagues have the power to rein Mr. Trump in, or, at the very least, speak up against his racist, nationalistic language. A beautiful thing about our country is that each of us has the right to speak our minds and express our values and beliefs. But there is a difference between putting forth an ideological statement of belief and putting forth a thinly veiled call to violence. Our country is becoming unrecognizable, and the senators of the state of Georgia must stand up and take action before we spiral too far out of control.

I recognize that the GOP and I have differing beliefs on a multitude of issues. Differing beliefs is not only acceptable, but also valuable, as it encourages every citizen to seriously consider what is important to her or him. What is not acceptable and certainly not valuable is letting the fires of hate and violence be stoked simply to gain or maintain power.

— Rev. Elizabeth

Soileau Acton,

Lilburn

Congratulations to Judge Ray on appointment to District Court

On behalf of the State Bar of Georgia, I would like to express congratulations to Judge William M. “Billy” Ray II of the Court of Appeals of Georgia, a resident of Grayson, on his nomination by President Donald Trump and recent confirmation by the U.S. Senate to serve as a judge of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia.

Judge Ray will be well served by his 28 years of experience as a member of the State Bar of Georgia, including six years of service on the Court of Appeals and, previously, as a Superior Court judge in the Gwinnett Judicial Circuit for 10 years and in the private practice of law. He also represented Gwinnett County in the Georgia State Senate for six years.

With his acceptance of this nomination and confirmation, Judge Ray demonstrates his ongoing commitment to serving the public and the justice system. We wish him well in this new capacity of judicial leadership.

Sincerely,

— Kenneth B. Hodges III

President,

State Bar of Georgia

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