Buyer beware

Buyer beware

I noticed in last weeks Echo (December 13) the photo displaying groceries containing palm oil/derivatives; virtually all the companies producing those products also support genetically modified foods one major biscuit company in particular is no longer Australian owned. I wonder how many consumers are aware of this?

Tony Baron


Dirty tactics to enslave humanity

I hope you print this as it is essential that all people know exactly what kind of world the ruling elites in the United States, Europe and east Asia, including Australia, have on their agenda for us all. I encourage all your readers to view the website This documentary clearly and concisely illustrates the way truth and freedom are being manipulated to enslave humanity into the hands of a select few. This is not a conspiracy theory but a clear analysis of the agenda now being rolled out by the Bush administration and its financial backers. It is particularly relevant considering the level of debate that has been going on in the pages of this publication and I urge you to tell the people of Australia what Howard had us all signed up for and possibly what Rudd has also known for some time too.

M Mizzi


Ovals left in a mess by cricketers

I am writing in regards to all people who play cricket on the ovals opposite Lismore Square, next to the Girl Guides Hall in Magellan Street. Every time without fail, when theyleave after playing theirgames, the state of the ovals are absolutely atrocious! My family and I often go for walks across the oval of a late afternoon after they pack up, to find empty bottles, plastic bags, empty fast food containers and other grotesque things scattered everywhere! Its an absolute mess!

Not only is it bad to look at and creates a bad image for the town of Lismore, but it is also a hazard with animals. Many people walk their dogs around that area and if they eat some of the stuff there itcould make them very very sick. Also other animals such as ducks and birds get caught in plastic bags.

It is just not right that they can get away with that every time they play. Someone needs to do something about it.

Erin Carter


A plea for the heart

To Thomas George MP, Member for Lismore.

Recently I wrote a letter to the Northern Star newspaper, and The Echo, asking what life is worth, and expressing my concerns re a statement in the newspaper that the new angiogram machine installed at St Vincents Hospital would only be available for private patients, with the reason given that to extend it to public patients would cost $3500 per person.

With first-hand experience, I am well aware of the benefits of the results of angiograms, compared to other tests for heart conditions.

The angiogram machine gives a clear picture of any heart defects, pin points the extent of heart problems, and alsohighlights the severity of any condition that may require immediate surgery for survival.

Why, if a machine designed to save lives is now available in Lismore, is it not available to all residents, instead of wasting valuable time sending public patients to Sydney or Brisbane, where long waiting periods can be experienced, and, I expect, the real costs to Medicare, travel costs and accommodation, would exceed the figure quoted.

A reply to my letter from the CEO of St Vincents Hospital was printed in The Echo last week, informing me that St Vincents Hospital does not own the new equipment, but leases space to an independent provider of a health service.

The CEO, Bob Walsh, suggested that I approach this regions parliamentary representative to request public patients have access to such an essential service.

I welcomed this suggestion, and hope that some time in the new year you may follow up this important issue for the residents of the North Coast.

Best wishes for the most wonderful Christmas break that you well deserve.

June Crawford


Less lights the better

In todays world of looming climate change, global warming and a society that is (I hope!) becoming more and more environmentally aware, there is one thing that still strikes me as insane: The obsession people seem to have with draping their homes with garlands of Christmas lights come December.

Not only do I think that these excessive amounts of Christmas lights are ghastly to look at and hellish when youre trying to fall asleep at night (try having neighbours whose entire house is flashing in red and electric blue), theyre also a waste of electricity and thus a detriment to the environment. So whilst us more environmentally aware people are trying to save energy wherever we can, whenever we can, some people are still turning their garish, blinking, electricity-guzzling Christmas lights on every night from as early as December 1. And to tell the truth, its getting worse every year.

Seriously, wouldnt it be possible to just get rid of the lights this year, or, for those who cant give them up completely, limit the amount of lights you have in your garden and on your roof? Not only would it be a welcome rest for my eyes (and Im sure that there are other people out there who agree with my dislike of Christmas lights) but youd be doing your bit for the environment this Christmas.

I am aware that some $80,000 have been raised for charity by the Trinity Drive Light Up, but surely there is some other way of raising money for charity without such a blatant waste of energy. Who cares if you dont win the most-excessive-Christmas-decoration competition! Isnt doing something good for the environment the best Christmas present you could give?

Johanna Qualmann


Too broad, but still plenty of proof

Yes I am sorry B. Parker and Echo readers, upon further research I concede that the statement that there is more historical proof of Jesus Christ than Julius Caesar is too broad, but there is much historical evidence that Jesus existed. Contrary to B. Parkers statement, Jesus is mentioned by Roman historians and scholars; notably Tacitus, Suetonius, and Pliny the Younger. According to the Encyclopaedia Brittanica (2002),...these independent accounts prove that in ancient times even the opponents of Christianity never doubted the historicity of Jesus.

Most modern scholars also accept that Jesus was an historical person but I suggest that interested Echo readers do their own research.

B. Parker also says that Lukes gospel states Jesus was born in Nazareth. No it doesnt! Mary and Joseph went from their home of Nazareth to Bethlehem for the Roman Census and Jesus was born there.

Janine Wright


Plenty of evidence to support Jesus

I wish to respond to B. Parkers letter (Echo, December 13).

Just as there have been (and are) doubters that the earth is round or that man walked on the moon, there are those who, for sensational or other reasons, claim that Jesus never existed or claim that the gospel accounts were not written in the first century AD.

Not only is the life of Jesus documented by the gospel writers, but He is mentioned by Josephus (the Jewish historian) and by non-Christian and non-Jewish writers such as Tacitus.

The claim that the gospels were formulated by other men at least 200 years later is not factual but is based on the assumption that the gospels were produced in the same way that any ordinary religious work is produced; that is that the authors relied entirely upon fallible human documents and memories, without any supernatural guidance.

By the way, B. Parker should personally check the gospel accounts, for there is no disagreement between Matthew and Luke with respect to the birth place of Jesus. Both state that He was born in Bethlehem (see Matthew 2:1 and Luke 2:4-7).

Neville Leeson


Sticking to the Bible

B. Parker says, in part, Caesar is mentioned constantly by his living contemporaries; Jesus is not mentioned at all in Roman records, nor by any of his alleged contemporaries. (Render unto Caesar, Echo, December 13).

Really? But I have, in my possession, a photocopy of The Report of Pontius Pilate to Tiberius Caesar Emperor of Rome, Concerning Jesus Christ our Lord. (Pilate is the one who handed Christ over to the Romans to be crucified). You may find this document online at And, if you really are very interested as you state, you may find letters and other documents written by biblical personages such as Herod, Nicodemus and Pilate on the net (some are genuine, some are not do your research, dont be a doubting Thomas). Theres plenty of evidence for the honest in heart, and I hope you find what youre looking for. As for my part, however, Ill stick with the Bible!

G Hagen

Manifold Ministries


Meanwhile, back at the Colosseum...

Lee Andresen (Echo, December 13) makes a valid point that we need to be careful about pupils exposure to outside school influences during accepted breaks for students. But I think the schools are quiet capable of handling this on their own. But as to his complaint about Christians abusing school neutrality since when have schools been neutral? Arent they about education? And since when has that been neutral?

He is correct about the school environment not being the place for proselytising. But if the teaching of science (for example) shouldnt be contained to the classroom why does he want to contain Jesus teachings to four walls? Just what is so dangerous about what Jesus taught that should not be celebrated outside by young consenting adults?

Perhaps B. Parker (the next letter) has the answer. Jesus didnt exist at all! He claims: There is in fact not one iota of real historical evidence for the existence of Jesus. I can only imagine that the letter to the Corinthian Church widely accepted to have been written by one of Jesus previous opponents within 22 years of his death, containing information which has been traced to within five years of Jesus death doesnt count for Mr Parker!

B. Parker appears to forget that the caesars were religious figures too. Both the Emperor and Jesus were worshipped and called Lord by their followers. Of course the followers of the Emperor had little real choice about it. Christians were killed en mass over this very issue. Remember the score from the Colosseum... Lions 30, Christians 0? Strange behaviour indeed if their founder never existed!

No serious historian who has considered the sheer volume and weight of the historical evidence in support of Jesus existence would dare make such a laughable claim unless of course they had some other barrow to push.

John Hannaford


Proof is out there

I had to reply to B. Parkers Render unto Caesar (Echo, December 13) as it was utterly misleading. Surely at Christmas we can have an accurate discussion about the authenticity of Jesus Christ!

B. Parker states that there is actually more historical proof for Julius Caesar than Jesus Christ now thats a big claim indeed.

There is actually not much written proof of the existence of Julius Caesar prior to 1000 AD. However, there is plenty of contemporary historical proof for Jesus, for example, all four Gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke and John) were written before 95 AD because the last book of the Bible (Revelation) was written in 95 AD after the Gospels. The Gospels were written by people who hung out with Jesus or interviewed people who knew Jesus. Jesus is also definitely mentioned by Roman and Jewish historians of the day as well do some research into some of the historians of the day, Josephus (Jewish historian) and Tacitus (Roman historian). I would love to see proof from B. Parker that Julius Caesar is mentioned by his contemporaries as he claims because I could definitely show proof that Jesus is mentioned by his contemporaries.

B. Parker you have made some incredible unsubstantiated claims about Jesus and about Julius Caesar and it shows that you havent done your research. Jesus is embedded in history and you dont need to be a Christian to see it all you need is the ability to do some research and you will see real historical evidence.

Following Jesus is not about blind faith just ask C.S. Lewis (who was considered one of the top 20 most influential writers of the 20th century). C.S. Lewis was an atheist who tried to use history and the Bible to disprove Christianity he did a lot of research and ended up becoming a Christian. His famous quote about Jesus is Jesus is either Lord, Liar or Lunatic. Notice in the quote the word legend (or myth) is not there C.S. Lewis knew that Jesus was an historical figure.

D. McPherson


Exo Day an excellent idea

In response to the letter God in government schools by Lee Andresen (Echo, November 15).

I have just finished year 12 at Kadina High and was a leader for its Exo Day. We were not funded or resourced by Hillsong or Assemblies of God. The Exo Day idea came from Hillsong, however, we did not receive funding etc from them. The Exo Day team of students and myself did seek sponsorship from local businesses and big companies in our local area for any support they would like to or be able to contribute. We received many donations ranging from sausages, bread, lollies, showbags and money for resources and prizes to give out. The team and myself are so very grateful for your support!

Exo Day was and is about promoting that life is excellent and it is worth valuing. A few of us shared personal experiences in our life and how we have coped with different difficult situations, such as the deaths of our friends. This did involve God because it is the truth. However, we did not force God upon anyone, we simply shared.

Exo Day was a gift to the school, by us as students. No one was forced to come and they did not have to pay for a thing.

We showed that life is excellent, our lives are worth valuing, and for us its because of God, who sent His Son, Jesus, to die for us, forgiving us of all our sins and rising again. I am not worthy of His awesome love and grace but I have experienced it and I am not ashamed to share it, without forcing it.

My principal allowed us to have Exo Day as it was during lunchtime. No one was forced to come and no one had to pay.

Whats stopping Scientology students having a Dianetics Day, or Muslim students a Koran Day, or humanist students a Freethinker Day? Nothing! We wanted to put on Exo Day as a gift to the school to have fun, so we asked for the permission of our principal who granted the idea.

Exo Day was excellent and many Kadina students enjoyed the lunchtime and look forward to another one!

Tiahna Franks


Keep state schools religion-free

Regarding the Exo Day debate. As a student at Lismore High School, I watched last year as the advertising for the event went up. I heard the playground gossip Whats Exo Day? Whos running it? Whats gonna happen? that created interest among students.

For those of you who arent aware, Exo Day was an event held at local high schools (in Lismore High Schools case, it was held last year) that was basically a big Christian promotion. It was held at no cost to the students, with a sausage sizzle held and free music (mostly songs about God and Jesus and how great they are) plus giveaways (small knick knacks) and showbags with lollies and pamphlets about Christian youth groups. Whilst I did spend most of that lunchtime trying to get as far away as possible, my fellow students lapped it up.

I was, and still am, disgusted that an ultra-Christian event was held at my state school. My parents specifically chose to send me to a state school. They do not want religion rammed down my throat as it is at private schools. Neither do I.

I do not believe that this would be an issue if a Muslim day was held, and a Hindu day was held, and a Mormon day was held, and there were activities held by a wide variety of religions. But the fact remains that Exo Day was purely Christian, and Christian/Catholic events are the only religious events ever held at my school.

Most of my peers do not care that they are being bombarded by such religious propaganda. Of course there arestudents at my school who are religious and who are Christian, so it is all very well for them, but I am sure that if a Muslim group was formed at school there would be a huge uproar.

It is up to the Department of Education and Training todecide what it is appropriate for schools andthey are thegroup that attempt to filter out all inappropriateness, but when it comes to religion, I believe they have failed. While they allow not just Christianand Catholicgroups to preach their beliefs to us, I am yet to see a different religion being pushed.

Sarah Hort

Lismore Edited for length

Picnics hard with out boiled eggs

Picnics hard with out boiled eggs

All about the notion of the picnic

Airport gets 4.5 million investment

Airport gets 4.5 million investment

Funds allocated for airport, Hannah Cabinet and tennis courts

Lantern Parade Update #3

Lantern Parade Update #3

Lantern Parade extends the festivities to bring in the river