Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

July 31, 2013

Prayer, coal, guns, more

Bluefield Daily Telegraph

— A selection of reader comments from our Facebook page last week and this week:

On a story about an atheist group demanding Alabama schools cancel a “prayer caravan:”

• Good. If it’s using school district resources in any way, it’s no good — Allison B.

• Don’t do it Alabama school district — Sherry B.

• That’s what is wrong with the schools these days, they’ve locked God out but push him in jails. Hmmm ... — Angel H.

• Freedom of religion does not mean that you can ignore separation of church and state. If the state or any government pays for that school to operate they are breaking the law of separation. This country was founded on freedom of religion. It does not mean that someone can force their beliefs on others ... — Bev O.

• If it’s on Saturday and they aren’t required to go ... that’s kind of OK. But that’s the line right there. Don’t make the kids feel weird on Monday morning if they don’t want to pray outside — Sarah K.

• Luckily, for those atheists, the prayer is voluntary. No one is forcing them to attend, much less pray to a God they don’t believe in. I’ve never understood how a God they choose to believe doesn’t exist, offends them so much. I don’t believe in the existence of Santa Claus, and yet I’ve never been offended by pictures, talk or stories that include him in it — Becky G.

On members of the 304th MP Company returning home:

• Blessed day, 304th! I want to say I am so proud of y’all for the time you have invested in training and the risk of life you have accepted in order to serve and protect our country — Karen S.

On a poll question asking how your family finances are compared to this time last year:

• Worse — Micole B.

• Worse. Prices of everything increased dramatically. Pay has not increased at all — Susan A.

• Worse. Thanks to AEP and their constant rate increases! It’s ridiculous — Theresa M.

• Better! — Roger E.

• Pay is stagnant and expenses are increasing! — Pat J.

On a story about police arresting 69 people on drug-related charges in Giles County:

• About time! — Theresa T.

On a story about the capture of two escaped inmates:

• Way to go West Virginia State Police — Michelle L.

On a story about Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz saying during a stop in West Virginia that President Obama is committed to coal having a role in the national energy strategy:

• Yeah, sure — William K.

• I can’t tell it with all these mine closures! — Kevin T.

• Seems too little too, late, ehhhh? — Danny B.

• Mines are shut down all around me, don’t believe me, come on I’ll give you the tour... I don’t believe what any party tells me, I believe what my eyes see, and right now coal is in trouble ... — Greg B.

• That’s the thing isn’t it. Suddenly he has decided that coal will play a roll. Will that be before or after his previous promise to bankrupt the coal industry? — Drema A.

On if reality shows on former educational channels have changed your viewing habits, and if you watch these channels more or less since their start:

• Less. I would really like if History Channel showed history! — Kimberly M.

• Less — I do not like reality television at all. Glad PBS is seeing a surge in their viewing — at least there is one good channel on the tele to watch! — Robin H.

• Less — Karen C.

• Far less — I don’t watch them at all anymore — Crystal K.

• Less. Sick of most reality shows — Tina Z.

On the Daily Telegraph being used as a teaching tool in China:

• Awesome! — Tida H.

On a story about an Arkansas school district arming 20 teachers and staff members, and if you think teachers should be armed:

• I’m 100 percent pro gun. However, I’m not sure the teachers or service staff need to be the ones focussing on security. I would prefer to see an armed officer of some type — Spring B.

• It’s a great thing — Jim M.

• I think it’s a great idea! As long as they are trained and pass complete background and mental health checks! — Tiffany U.

• Yeah, and what’s going to happen to the teacher when they accidentally shoot a student while trying to defend the classroom from an armed assailant? Bullets go through walls as well as little children. More police presence is all they need. Arming the teachers is as smart as arming the children — Joe H.

• Why allow a gun in the schools when they took out the paddles that were keeping the violence under control to start with? When they took God and discipline out of schools that’s where the leadership and control left. They need to start there first! — Robin S.

• I’m a teacher and a gun owner. Putting a gun into my hands while teaching is why I turned down teaching at a prison. There are miles of pages to be written on why this is a terrible idea. Suffice to succinctly say, then, that the danger to students is greater by increased presence of firearms held by teachers on a school campus. There are too many situations where a teacher could be negligent or a student aggressive enough to take a firearm and commit violence — Sarah K.