Sunday’s letters to the editor

Easter thoughts

Dear editor:

Imagine with me: In a time long past, I envision I am standing next to my boat on the shore of the Sea of Galilee, a man from Nazareth walks up to me. There is something special about him, but I am not sure what it is. I sense the peace and love that radiates from him, his total lack of self-centeredness, his focus is on me, and a force I have never felt before surrounds me. He represented the person I wanted to be, and at his invitation I went with him and joined others who had also experienced his "Charisma."

After meeting Jesus, those of us who had been damaged both physically and spiritually regained a sense of what it meant to be human, and we told others about this man. It did not take long for powerful men to recognize the threat he posed so they had him crucified. The amazing thing is that his death did not stop the movement from spreading his love.

Currently, the most important part of being a follower is not whether you experience the new life offered in Jesus, but what you believed about him. There are those who think what matters most is that you have the correct belief, not whether you feel the wholeness of your humanity.

I have read books on the subject. I listened to theologians' lecture on the resurrection and heard pastors preach and teachers teach. I know I will never find an answer in a book, lecture, or sermon and know the resurrection is beyond human understanding. The movement continues to grow. It does so because all who know Jesus, still experience the force he radiated even after he had been crucified. Jesus's, dream was to make the world better. His passion to make it better was to "bring God's Kingdom to Earth." The prayer he taught his followers to pray was "thy Kingdom come; thy Will be done on earth as it is in Heaven."

Today, it is estimated there are 2.38 billion Christians in the world, stuck on abortion, same sex marriage, the LGBTQ community and more interested in posting the Ten Commandments in the public square than the Beatitudes.

Jesus asks his followers to pick up their cross and follow him, confronting the crosses of poverty, racism, violence, injustice, oppression of the LGBTQ community, a world that values money over everything else and most challenging, to love everybody always.

Jesus died, that is a fact, and this is truth; Christ arose and lives in the hearts of his disciples who are performing his healing throughout the entirety of humanity.

I believe the true meaning of Easter is not about what happened to the corpse of Jesus. It is that this Easter, and after more than 2,000 years, Jesus continues to be known and that he is Lord. The tomb could not hold him. He is loose in the world. He is still here and is still recruiting for the Kingdom of God.

Happy Easter.

George Lindholm

Hot Springs Village

Downtown public parking

Dear editor:

It's a shame that our FREE PARKING garage will soon not be free parking. That is one of many amenities that make our city unique.

The city paid thousands of dollars for an outside consultant to make downtown parking recommendations. I wish the city directors would have opted for a less expensive city-administered "Best Practices" survey. City staff could have surveyed several cities, especially cities that are comparable to Hot Springs in size, demographics, culture, economy, and other factors. Cities like Boulder, Colorado, come to mind as possible cities to compare -- it, too, is a destination city.

Questions on such a survey could have included areas like means to public parking revenues, events and holidays parking policies and methodologies, type of parking (metered, free, garage, etc.). It's a shame we have to charge for parking at the garage, in the name of "parking improvements."

Eli Vega

Hot Springs

Trump rebuttal revisited

Dear editor:

I believe the contempt for women exhibited in last Sunday's letter defending Trump illustrates the pervasive misogyny afoot in America.

The first example concerns Trump's "private" statement that he can sexually violate a woman by grabbing her "body." Everyone knows Trump didn't use the word "body." "Body" is a sanitized euphemism. What Trump said was that he can "grab 'em by the p - - - - ." The writer seems to say such language, albeit inappropriate and rude, is really OK because everyone talks like that at some point -- it's just life. Blithely accepting hostile and sexist language as a fact of life underscores the problem. Assaulting women is not OK. Using language that demeans women is not acceptable. And the language Trump used goes far beyond inappropriate and rude -- it is an example of his contempt for women and should be called out as such, not defended.

The writer also scoffs at the judgment rendered in a civil case because it concerned an alleged sexual assault by Trump 30 years ago. He seems to suggest that because the assault happened long ago, no one should believe it ever occurred. But the nine-member jury, who sat through the trial and heard the testimony and evidence presented, decided the woman proved her case. Trump had every opportunity to defend himself at this trial, but he lost. Given that result, nothing was left but to challenge the validity of the judgment by assailing the credibility of the entire jury. How? Through the simple expedient of geography. The jury was situated in New York. Only New Yorkers would render a verdict against Trump and award $5 million in damages for sexual assault.

FYI: New York defines sexual assault as subjecting another person to nonconsensual sexual contact. This definition would likely encompass "grabbing 'em by the p - - - - ." Unfortunately, for the woman in this case, a $5 million award suggests that the alleged sexual assault involved more than just grabbing her "body."

Finally, in mocking and dismissing the woman's claims, it is argued that Trump was just defending himself. The writer begrudgingly acknowledges that Trump was found liable "for supposedly defaming this woman." Oh, indeed. A different nine-member jury awarded the vilified victim of Trump's assault $18.3 million in compensatory damages and $65 million in punitive damages. These enormous sums reflect the jury's outrage at the facts presented in the case.

A woman was sexually assaulted and then defamed for taking her allegations into a court of law. Because the assault and defamation cases are on appeal, Trump's defenders likely would say the juries' decisions are without merit. If these awards are not settled out of court, the legal process will proceed, and, ultimately, we may learn who prevails on appeal. If it is Trump, the results will be extolled from the rooftops. If it is the woman, her victories will vanish from the public's view like a figment of your imagination. But what isn't going away is the misogyny underpinning the need to attack a woman who dared to stand up for herself and the unsavory normalizing of the brutal denigration that followed. Even if she wins, the clear take away is that women shouldn't speak up because there will be consequences.

The contempt for women afoot in America today is more than disheartening; it is cruel and destructive -- not only on an individual level, but a societal one as well. Hopefully, in highlighting examples of the misogyny that can be encountered anywhere and calling it out when it is seen, we can work together to contain it and the damage left in its wake.

Ellen Carpenter

Hot Springs

'Junior' remembered

Dear editor:

Garland County athletics lost an indomitable spirit and tireless supporter this week with the passing of F.M. "Junior" Nichols. One would be hard-pressed to talk to any current or former local school coach or athletic director who didn't know Junior and have a fond Junior story to relate. Along with his wife, Jane, I can think of no person who contributed more to local athletics and positively impacted more young lives than Junior Nichols.

I say this from the perspective of having the pleasure of knowing the entire Nichols family for over four decades, and being coached by Junior in basketball and baseball at the Hot Springs Boys Club, where Junior, along with Mike Washington Sr., led the Hot Springs Boys Club All-Stars to the state Boys Club championship my sixth grade year.

Anyone who has regularly followed local school athletics over the years remembers seeing Junior and Jane, hundreds if not thousands, of times at local sporting events. And not just as spectators. Both took the tireless duties no one wanted to do -- manning the scorers' table, readying the locker rooms, setting up the hospitality rooms at tournaments, etc; Junior, and Jane to this day, have a passion for both sports and young people, and the selfless influence they had over the lives of hundreds of Garland County youth is immeasurable.

If there's a scrimmage game going on in Heaven right now, I can guarantee Junior is involved in it somehow, and the game is better off for it.

Anthony Lloyd

Hot Springs

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