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Letter to WCP Editor

Letter to WCP Editor

Posted: Tuesday, October 21, 2008 1:46 pm
By: By Henry Parker, Martin

To the Editor, Mr. Ted Alan Hurt wrote a letter to the editor in the Oct. 16 issue of this paper. I am writing to reply to his letter: Dear Mr. Hurt: On Oct. 16, your letter to the editor appeared in the Weakley County Press. It is a detailed attack on a presentation that you did not attend. You based your remarks on hearsay. 323 students heard me talk, and they can tell you that I did not say the things you accused me of. Secondly, your second-hand description made it seem as if my entire talk was about religion and gays. In fact, I spoke for approximately 45 minutes, only 3 to five of which were devoted to this subject. You called my remarks inappropriate, but I sent a description of my talk to the school prior to my visit. In it I listed the categories of students who are bullied and teased in most schools in our country. My list included gays, since they are the most hated ones in school, ones who are called dirty names, beaten, and sometimes killed. Since I did not hear anything from the school to indicate that this particular category was taboo, I mentioned it. Had I known that gays should not be mentioned, I would have certainly respected the rules of the school and never brought it up. When the principal talked to me after my first presentation, and explained that religion and gays are off limits, I immediately deleted all references to this subject in my second presentation, which followed immediately after the first one. I am writing now to explain what actually took place. Your letter is the best example I have ever seen of a fallacy called, “The Straw Man.” When people use this fallacy, they describe their opponent as the opposite of what he is, and then they attack their erroneous description. You wrote, “What I do have an issue on is this professor of philosophy making the statement that the Bible does not condemn homosexuality, that the apostle Paul was not a follower of Jesus, that Paul was probably gay, and also implied that since Jesus only had men as apostles, Jesus just might have been gay also.” Mr. Hurt, I shall now refute each charge that you made: I never said that the Bible does not condemn homosexuality. Such a statement would make no sense, since it is condemned in both the Old and the New Testament. I did not say that Paul was not a follower of Jesus. Do you realize, sir, that I have spent my life in studying the Bible, mastering the New Testament in Greek, and receiving a Ph.D. in Greek from the University of Illinois? Do you not know that as a young man, I lived in the world’s largest monastery, where I read the Bible, prayed, and meditated for six hours a day 365 days a year? Within the course of a year, the monks read the entire Bible, so I know a great deal of it in Greek and Latin by memory! I did not say that Paul was probably gay. Everybody knows that Paul was celibate and wanted his followers to be the same. I never said that Jesus might have been gay. All of your charges against me are false, vicious, mean-spirited. After you made these false allegations, you proceeded to attack them, on the assumption that you were attacking me. Your problem is that I did not say them in the first place, so that your attacks are against a Parker who does not exist, a Parker you have made a “Straw Man.” I am a Christian sir, and I try live by what Jesus taught, which is to love one’s neighbor as oneself. Jesus said that, “Whatever you do to the least of my brethren, that you do unto me.” In schools, the least of his brethren are those who are teased, made fun of, put down, and subjected to name calling, such as, fat, physically disabled, mentally challenged, learning disabled, poor, gay, etc. Some of the children who are made fun of become depressed and stay away from school. Every day 160,000 students in America stay away from school because they are afraid of someone there. Sometimes these students commit suicide, and suicide is third leading cause of death among American teens. 1 stand for justice, sir, I stand for equality for all, and I want every student to be able to walk into his school without being teased or bullied. This is the real Henry Parker, a champion for the little guy, a friend of the nobodies, and a supporter of all of the innocent people who are unfairly vilified because they are different. You wrote your letter as a Christian who was defending his Bible. In reality, your attack against me was un-Christian. You slandered the name of an innocent man, and caused many in this county to believe the untruths that you wrote. I shall pray for you! Dr. Henry Parker Martin WCP 10.21.08


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