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Today's Letters: Council's decision defines a fine line

Published June 13, 2007


I am a Wiccan high priestess and an ordained minister, and I would like to tell you why I believe this was a serious mistake by the New Port Richey Council.

When one licenses an individual in counseling of "spiritual issues, " it allows a fine line between mental health and spirituality. Ministers are trained in spirituality, not experts in mental health. A child walks into a spiritual shop and says, "The other kids don't understand me because I'm pagan." Do they know the proper response to that? Or are they going to get the proverbial: "Well people are afraid of that which they don't understand, dear." This question may appear spiritual in context, but may very well lead to a deeper problem that is the real issue between this child and his fellow students. This answer, the minister is not trained to obtain.

A few weeks of schooling doesn't change that fact. We make psychologists and psychiatrists study and train very thoroughly in this country in matters that involve mental balance. We have several faiths out there preaching that homosexuality can be cured with prayer and counseling, even though we have medical evidence to the contrary. We also have a very high number of teen suicide in the gay community.

Our City Council didn't do its job, which was to look out for the best interest of the people. What they did do was grudgingly approve Teresa Gurnell, rather than tackle the Christian groups who offer the same services. They really should do the right thing by the people and put a stop to all untrained professionals dealing in areas they lack the qualifications to handle.

I have taken enormous grief over my stand on this within the Wiccan/pagan community. Like the mayor, none of it has swayed my opinion one bit. The mayor was right to stand his ground, but just not the reason he chose to do it.

I would urge our council to revisit this issue and look at the broader picture. Is it worth the mental well-being of the people to continue to allow untrained people to do this type of counseling? Just because the law calls for fairness doesn't mean they have to be allowed to do it. It means they can all be denied the right as well.

Do I realize that this is politically incorrect? Absolutely, sometimes politically correct is just wrong.

Dawn C. Thornton-Luty, Hudson

Hoaxes covering up real problem?

Global warming, fact or hoax? If it is true, and polar ice is melting, causing ocean levels to rise, then Florida is in danger.

Then my question is, "When will U.S. 19 at Bayonet Point be under water?" Will it be this year, 10 years from now, or 10, 000 years from now?

My feeling is that it won't be any time soon and that's because Wal-Mart is building a great superstore nearby. They analyze all factors affecting store construction and they wouldn't build if they expected U.S. 19 to be under water within the next 50 to 100 years.

I wonder how the scientists measure the temperature of our Earth. The temperature changes continually by location, by season, and by day and night.

If global warming is a hoax, what is the purpose of the hoax? Is it just one of the many distractions to keep our minds occupied and away from the subject of our failing economy? Other distractions include the war on Christianity, the war on business and the war on civilization - the debasing of music, art and literature.

Charles Derer, Hudson

Our community backs Boy Scouts

On Feb. 20, Boy Scout Troop 177 was the victim of theft. Camping equipment was stolen. A campout was canceled for that weekend. The adult leaders of the troop decided that we should reach out to the community and seek help.

We submitted a press release to this paper, and staff writer Tom Lake called me. I was inundated with calls from the community the very day Mr. Lake's article was printed. Because of this paper and a community that has a very big heart, we were able to replace all the stolen equipment and purchase additional needed items.

It is wonderful to know that the community supports and appreciates a program such as the Boy Scouts of America.

On behalf of the boys, the adult leaders, and our charter organization (James Gills YMCA), I would like to thank this paper and the citizens of this community for their donations and support.

Larry Guthrie, New Port Richey

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[Last modified June 12, 2007, 21:32:55]

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