Tuesday, February 5, 2013
Today, I am a proud American and grateful for the work we do at Virginia Interfaith Power & Light.
During his first news conference after re-election, President Obama mentioned climate change as an obligation we cannot ignore. He reiterated that obligation in his inaugural speech, speaking at length about our responsibility to respond to the science that says our planet is warming.
And he reminded us, as people of faith, that we are called to "preserve our planet, commanded to our care by God." The work of caring for creation is a faithful response to our Creator, who called it good and placed us as stewards to keep it good.
The road will not be easy. But with the support of the president, we can achieve great things. I invite you to join us at Virginia Interfaith Power & Light in making changes in your faith community and your members' homes to embrace energy efficiency and reduce our footprints. May we do so remembering the president's words that "the failure to do so would betray our children and future generations."
Virginia Interfaith Power & Light
Does benefit go to heterosexuals, too?
Carilion Clinic is now offering insurance benefits to domestic partners of gay and lesbian employees ("An insured partnership," Jan.27 news story). Is Carilion Clinic offering those same benefits to heterosexual domestic partners? If not, why not?
Flooding shows folly of private roads
The folly of the Bedford County supervisors' renewed attempt to gut zoning and promote increased reliance on private roads was underscored by the flooding on Meadowlark Road ("Problem private road in Blue Ridge out again," Feb 2 news story).
The dilemma these residents face is similar to that of residents along more than 1,800 private roads in the Bedford region. Allowing developers to sell lots and build homes along roads that do not meet state standards sticks home purchasers with an unforeseen expense that often exceeds their ability to pay.
Supervisors' penchant for unfettered sprawl will create a time bomb that destroys the county's -- and residents' -- finances. Either the county will fix the roads, or home values will become so depressed that they reduce tax revenues while their sprawl raises the cost of basic services.
Supervisors are also proposing to reduce the minimum lot size such that lots would not meet any accepted standard for distance between septic systems and water wells. It's just a matter of time until the public service authority will have to run water pipes to residents with contaminated wells. But they can't do that on private roads.
These ill-advised changes fail even the most basic level of economic logic.
Right to bear arms needs an update
On Dec. 15, 1791, Virginia became the required 10th state to ratify the Second Amendment and the other nine amendments we know as the Bill of Rights to the U.S. Constitution. Amendment II: Right to bear arms, reads as follows: "A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed."
Keep in mind, when these words were written, the firearms of the day included single-shot muskets and revolvers. The Founding Fathers could never have envisioned a world menaced by assault rifles and other semi- and automatic weapons that continue to massacre our children. Weapons with 100-round barrel attachments firing so many shots per second it dwarfs the imagination.
So, in a way, the National Rifle Association is right. Every citizen has the right to bear muskets and single-shot revolvers, as intended by the Founding Fathers. Common sense says the Second Amendment should be modified to better fit the rapid-firing and life-taking weaponry of the day.
MEADOWS OF DAN