Letters to the Editor for April 9, 2013

County Commissioners should not endorse religion

It is coercive for officials of government agencies, whose salaries are paid by all taxpayers, to open their meetings with a “prayer” in facilities that are paid for by all taxpayers.

Citizen taxpayers are compelled to attend these meetings for civil actions, regardless of their religious life.

When governments lend their power and prestige to religion by way of prayer, this implies an endorsement of religion. This power and prestige also implies that religions lack the power and prestige to succeed without government endorsement.

Celia Louderback, Vancouver

Pray in private

Our Clark County commissioners and now the Washougal City Council are both in the process of adding prayer to their public meeting agendas.

I am all for prayer. I’ve been doing it since I was a small child. It has been my experience that real prayer is best accomplished in private.

What these two bodies seem to be proposing for themselves is a public display of prayer. Jesus Christ highly disapproved of this (Matthew 6:5-6) and spoke against it.

So to our commissioners and to the city council I say,”If you want to pray, pray!” A public display of prayer, however, is not prayer at all. It’s a complex statement aimed at whoever is watching.

JH Batten, Camas

Young Life is looking for partnerships

In March, I received a call from the president of the Camas Lions Club, Dr. Paul Fearn. He was calling to tell me the good news that the Lion’s Club wanted to donate $1,000 to Camas-Washougal Young Life.

This contribution is an initial investment in the beginning of a partnership that both groups hope to benefit from. Young Life serves the youth of Camas and Washougal from middle school ages though high school.

This direct ministry outreach group supports and mentors hundreds of local children in our community every year. This group is well known for its dedication to teenagers in their daily lives and world class camping facilities that provide kids with a once-in-a-lifetime experience to grow and learn to be their best. These same kids grow up to be parents, teachers and community leaders, just like those great members of the Lions Club.

Our first chance to join with the Lions Club in partnership will be to provide some muscle to help set up the Lion’s Club booth at the Mother’s Day Plant and Garden Fair at the Camas High School parking lot on May 11. Look for the friendly faces of our youthful membership delivering your plant purchases to your car.

We at Young Life want to challenge other local agencies to find ways to team up with us this year. We can provide youthful energetic workers for all kinds of projects.

Sharon Farra, TDS chairwoman, Camas-Washougal Young Life

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