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Much ground to cover in spring

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Dear Friends,

Good morning.

Today is catch up day … so many items to cover.

Let’s begin with the Quakertown Rotary Club’s Four-Way Test speech contest. Every year, Rotary Clubs throughout the world sponsor contests to emphasize Rotary Club’s core beliefs:

1. “Is it the Truth?

2. Is it Fair to all concerned?

3. Will it build good will and better friendships?

4. Will it be beneficial

to all concerned?”

The 4-Way test was created in 1932 and has been translated into more than a hundred languages. Here in Quakertown several weeks ago, the Rotary Club ran the yearly contest at the Quakertown Community High School. Nicole Roeder was the teacher who supervised the five students and their preparations.

Alex Brandis won first place. She will compete against other Rotary Club winners in the state as the contest progresses. The other participants were Amelia Derry, Angie Hall, Nicholas Symer, and Gwyn Bartholomew. All gave excellent presentations on topics ranging from human trafficking to the opioid crisis.

Turning to another subject, each year, the Quakertown Community Education Foundation presents a program at the Quakertown High School. The foundation provides funding for programs that will supplement educational experiences for students. In Quakertown, it’s named after Anna Neamond, who taught civics and problems of democracy (POD) for more than 50 years.

Quakertown’s Robert Leight introduced Professor Brian Fife as this year’s speaker. Fife is the chair of the Department of Political Science at Lehigh University. Recently, he gave a lecture to several classes of civics students in Quakertown.

In his introductory remarks, Fife referred to Anna Neamond who believed in preparing students to be effective citizens. He also spoke about Horace Mann, who once said, “Be ashamed to die unless you’ve done something positive for society.”

Dr. Fife emphasized the following: (1) the role of public education in society; (2) the challenges to society because of its passive citizenry; (3) what young people can do to protect democracy? (4) the lessons from the 2000 election; and (5) should America abandon the Electoral College system? (Yes, Dr. Fife concluded.)

Leight was a busy fellow last week. In addition to introducing Fife’s program at the Quakertown High School, a few days later, Leight gave an interesting talk at the Quakertown Historical Society. The subject was Richard Moore, the Quakertown Quaker who operated the slave “Underground Railroad” in Quakertown from 1834 to 1861 prior to the Civil War.

Moore was a school teacher who devoted his life to educating poor children. He was best known for running one of the “stations” of the “Underground Railroad,” which helped runaway slaves escape to Canada.

To avoid the Fugitive Slave Acts, sympathizers established locations along the Northeast Corridor to help slaves escape through Maryland and Delaware on their way north to freedom.

Leight told the historical association that Moore helped more than 600 slaves escape. A highway marker will be erected on the former Richard Moore property on Quakertown’s South Main Street on Sept. 14.

Finally, the Upper Bucks area is mourning the death of the Rev. Craig Landis, 80. A Lutheran pastor, he served churches in Richlandtown (19 years) and Perkasie (more than 50 years). Craig was an Eagle Scout and a devoted family and community member.

“A tireless advocate for the disenfranchised and struggling, Craig was faced with a personal family tragedy of his own when his son, Marc, committed suicide in 1983,” his obituary stated.

“He was a man of great curiosity and many interests. With interests as diverse as astrophysics and philosophy, he spent years developing his own theory of cosmogony to explain the creation of the Universe.”

One last item. I received a cordial letter from a Warminster reader whom I’ll call “Nancy.” She took issue with my March 14 column, which referred to the divide many churches are experiencing concerning the ordination and embrace of Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender (LGBT) issues.

“The reason churches in the Christian faith cannot accept these (LBGT) concepts is that they are condemned by the word of God,” Nancy’s letter began. She referenced the following books from the Bible: Genesis, Matthew, First Corinthians, Hebrews, Leviticus and Romans.

“The Christians I know love gay people and pray for them, but do not accept their lifestyle,” she concluded.

Nancy, in my column, I noted that I found no quotes from Jesus about homosexuality. In the Matthews text which you cite (Chapter 19, versus 4 thru 6), Jesus was discussing divorce, not homosexuality.

So I stand by my original thought: I believe that sexuality is determined before birth.

On the other hand, Nancy, you should remember what my dear wife (Mighty Betsy) always says about me: “Charlie is seldom right but never in doubt.”

Sincerely, Charles Meredith


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