Make plans to celebrate July 4

Published 12:00 am Thursday, June 28, 2001

Everyone is urged to "come on out" to Pike County’s Fourth of July festivities.

Brundidge will celebrate the holiday in a big way.

The Brundidge Independence Day Parade will roll down Main Street beginning at 9 a.m., Saturday.

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It’s not something to be missed since this is one of few opportunities available to experience a patriotic parade.

Then, on July 4, everyone is invited to the big celebration at the Troy Sportsplex. Activities will begin at 5 p.m. and include games for the children, live entertainment and plenty of free watermelon.

Businesses, organizations and churches are encouraged to make this a family event by pitching a tent, firing up the grill and just having a good time.

The festivities will be topped off with a spectacular fireworks show at 9 p.m. that will include music provided by WTBF Radio.

So, don the red, white and blue, wave your American flag and enjoy the freedom we all have in the United States of America.


Should races be held to same standards?

Syndicated Columnist Walter Williams, A Minority View

A measure of accommodation is accorded children because they are not adults and thus not to be held to the same accountability standards. But should that same accommodation be accorded to a race of people?

In the March 2001 edition of The American Enterprise magazine, there’s an article titled "The Soft Bigotry of Double Standards." Author Jonah Goldberg’s first observation is: "Here’s one thing we learned from the post-election Florida folderol: Black ‘leaders’ can say anything, and the mainstream press will take it seriously."

Jesse Jackson said, "This is a replay of Selma all over again." He yelled that "Holocaust survivors have been disenfranchised." Jackson spoke of the "blood of blacks and Jews." Not one mainstream news media outfit challenged Jackson to substantiate his claims either at the time of the Florida recount or since. In the midst of the Florida folderol, despite Jackson’s ranting, New York Times correspondent Lynette Holloway wrote, "Mr. Jackson has been careful not to be inflammatory."

Goldberg says that not one of Jackson’s allegations – about blocked polling places, "targeted" blacks and Jews, harassed immigrants – was ever brought before an actual judge. Why? Because they’re all lies. Ask yourself whether it is in any way conceivable that a prominent white conservative could invent lies about blacks and stir up white anger without a major investigation and attack launched by the mainstream press?

Some years ago, Al Sharpton tried to frame innocent men for a non-existent crime (the Tawana Brawley affair), ruining the lives of the accused. Goldberg says that, despite this, Sharpton is "treated like Gandhi with a Jerri-curl by many reporters because he’s the ‘authentic voice’ of a ‘disenfranchised’ constituency."

During the presidential campaign, the NAACP ran despicable ads suggesting that then-Gov. George Bush favored the racist murder of James Byrd Jr., a Texas black man. The ad ignored the fact that Byrd’s murderers had been sentenced to death. Only Fox News questioned the propriety of NAACP ads.

Peter Jennings of ABC News, suggesting that maybe Gen. Colin Powell was a GOP Uncle Tom, asked, "Do you ever feel that maybe this is the professional wing of the party trying to use you?" For white liberals, and unfortunately too many blacks, black people such as Secretary of State Colin Powell and National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice – two eminently qualified Bush appointees – not to mention senior Bush Supreme Court appointee Justice Clarence Thomas, aren’t sufficiently black. What might really bother white liberals is that Bush hasn’t followed the tradition of appointing blacks to "black jobs."

"Unfortunately," Goldberg says, "it’s almost impossible to exaggerate the degree to which the media have adopted the left-wing propaganda that (a) being black means being left-wing and (b) opposing left-wing blacks is racist." Much more racially insulting is the media elite’s demeaning attitude toward black people by their failure to hold them accountable to the standards to which they hold whites.

I don’t believe white liberals are racists in the sense that Klansmen and neo-Nazis are, but their paternalistic vision, preconception and attitudes are far more debilitating to black Americans than today’s Klansmen and neo-Nazis. Black people know Klansmen and neo-Nazis are enemies, but liberals masquerade as trustworthy friends whose counsel is to be believed.

Since many white liberals are driven by guilt about slavery and discrimination, I’ve written a certificate of amnesty and pardon (available under gifts at: My hope is that if white liberals can stop feeling guilty, they might stop behaving as fools in their relationship with black people.

To find out more about Walter Williams, and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate web page at



What’s a good Catholic to do?

Joan Ryan, Syndicated Columnist

Last week, the nation’s Roman Catholic bishops voted to forbid its Catholic-affiliated hospitals from performing tubal ligations and vasectomies. They declared sterilizations to be "intrinsically evil."

The directive would also prevent rape victims from receiving the morning-after pill, unless tests confirmed that fertilization had not yet taken place. In other words, the hospital will give her the pill only if she doesn’t need it.

(Also at the conference, the bishops declined to endorse the practice of holding hands during the Lord’s Prayer. One bishop was concerned about "inappropriate touching.")

These decisions follow up on the Vatican’s reaffirmation last December, on the eve of World AIDS Day, that the Church was opposed to the use of condoms even to check the spread of AIDS.

One can’t help but wonder if the Catholic Church has been taken over by sociological researchers conducting a massive experiment on faith. They seem to be testing how far good Catholics can be pushed before they run screaming into the nearest Unitarian service.

I grew up Catholic. My parents are still Catholics. My aunt is a Catholic nun. I love the ritual of the Mass, the familiarity of the prayers. But to follow Catholic doctrine in today’s world demands a suspension of common sense that surely challenges even the most devout followers.

I wanted to understand the basis on which the bishops had come to their decision about sterilization. So I read through the "Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Health Care Services, Fourth Edition, National Conference of Bishops." I found few references to the Bible but plenty to Encyclical Letters issued by various infallible popes, the same folks who declared the Crusades were God’s will and the sun orbited Earth.

"It is necessary that each and every marriage act remain ordered per se to the procreation of human life," the bishops’ document says. Each and every.

Thus, they are opposed to sterilization and all artificial birth control. Yet it says "natural" birth control, such as the rhythm method, is moral. I don’t get the logic. If each and every marriage act remains ordered to the creation of human life, then why is it OK to have sex when you purposely have timed it so you do not procreate?

The bishops refer frequently in the document to what is and is not "consistent with human dignity." I am not clear on how reducing the poor in Africa and other developing countries to AIDS-ridden, scavenging creatures breeding themselves into extinction is consistent with human dignity. I am not clear on how ignoring the needs of a mother of six who is already at the breaking point, financially and emotionally, is consistent with human dignity.

"The laws of Christ are difficult to accept," a top Vatican official said recently," and there is compassion and understanding for those who are weak, but no exceptions to moral laws can be made."

These aren’t the laws of Christ. Christ walked among the people. He witnessed their suffering up close, not from a palace in Rome. These "moral laws" are the laws of men who believe they speak for Christ, and Catholics are supposed to accept their interpretation without question.

At what point will a good Catholic’s faith in the interpreters give way to the interpreter within, the one that understands that compassion and dignity are not rooted in man-made rules but in God-given conscience?

Joan Ryan is a columnist for the San Francisco Chronicle. Send comments to her in care of this newspaper or send her e-mail at


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