Silence is golden

Silence is golden

Is it really necessary to speak to everyone you meet or is doing that just a symptom of insecurity?

Your primary responsibility is control of the body in space, then there is the incoming data from the five sense bases and thoughts arising from the mind element.

No; it is better to maintain silence unless there is something functional to say and then to beware of sliding into gossip, harsh speech or lies.

P Griffin


Religious right of access

The right of clergy or their representatives to conduct religious instruction is a very special right of Christians in Australia, especially in NSW.

This right of access, as protected in law, allows Christian teaching in government state schools. The right of access occurred in the 1800s when the churches transferred their schools to the state, provided a clergy has access for one hour a day. The one hour a day has since been modified to one period a week.

Each state school was also meant to be a Christian base school with children using the Bible to learn and write.

P Gosper


No-one is worthless

Tom Koo (Echo, November 9) is right to pull me up about not praising the Sheik when he saved Douglas Woods life. I will try to be more positive in the future when he does something else heroic. Many Muslims believe that the next heroic thing for him to do for his faith at this moment would be to resign.

However, unlike Mr Koo I do not find the alleged Jehovah Witnesss description of gays and lesbians as the worthless fruit of a rotten tree just as offensive as the Sheiks cat and meat remarks.

I actually find these alleged remarks more offensive to my fellow human beings.

I am appalled that people of faith who seek to be witnesses for God could describe any other human being as worthless. My Bible teaches me that as human beings, gays and lesbians are unique creations of a God who loves them so much that He would send His only son to die for them.

In my value/belief system you cant get anything more valuable than that.

John Hannaford


Living Library breaks down barriers

The launch of Australias first Living Library on November 3 was one of the most wonderful events Lismore has seen in recent years. With the theme Dont Judge a Book by its Cover, living books as diverse as a farmer, an Aboriginal young person or a gay man living with HIV/AIDS were borrowed by a reader for a half hour of conversation. The launch was the culmination of 12 months hard workby a dedicated group of citizens led by Sabina Baltruweit with the support of Lismore City Councils amazing community development officer Shauna McIntyre.

Anyone who saw Andrew Dentons Enough Rope recently will know that the original Living Library in Denmark aimed at breaking down the barriers of ignoranceto lead to a better understanding of difference and strengthena communitys social cohesion. Lismore is leading the way in doing just that in our country.

As a reader, I take this opportunity to thank Hadia, Angela and Larissa who opened my mind to the life of a Muslim, an Italian migrant and a young Jewish mother in our community and to all the support staff who assisted on the first day of LLL. I look forward to the next time our Lismore Living Library books are again available for borrowing.

Jenny Dowell JP


Anyone for rights?

Okay then, lets have a show of hands.

Those whod be happy to end up with dementia some time down the track?

No takers? Not a one? What about you, John? Stay in the job long enough... it could even happen to a prime minister, you know.

Tony? Not interested?

Right then, I suppose that rules out Alzheimers too, does it? No one for Alzheimers?

Cmon Phillip, make up your mind, is that a yes or a no?

Okay, well what about a cancer thats terminal or something else inoperable? You know, when theres nothing more they can do for you except leave you on the machine or give you some drugs to ease the pain? I mean theyd certainly make you comfortable and though youd be aware of what was going on there wouldnt be much dignity in that, would there? Not with the... you know, the toilet and showering, the dressing and feeding all that stuff. Anyone?

Youre a hard lot to please, arent you. As my father used to say, youll all be wanting portholes in your coffins next. No Alexander, put your hand down, that was a joke.

Well then lets suppose you were given the power... no, lets call that a right... to decide when youd had enough? That you didnt want any more of the pain, you didnt want to be dosed up any longer, kept alive until you finally slipped into the afterlife? Something that was your decision alone to make, no-one elses. And your spouse could have that right, too. Or your elderly parents. Youd have to make that decision while you were still sound of mind, of course.

Hands up those whod want to be given that right?

Barry Walsh


Give youth a go

All over the media recently there has been reports of youths bashing someone up, or youths breaking into a house or a shop, or a witness or victim described the offender as a youth. I feel that, as a youth, this gives young people in general a bad name. After all, does a person described as being lanky and pimplywith baggy jeans, a baseball cap and a T-shirt saying Rusty or some other popular clothing brand necessarily mean that the offender is a young person? No, it does not, but, nine times out of 10, it will be assumed or believed to be a young person.

Yet, on the other hand, there are young people doing amazing things, helping the community, obtaining prizes and scholarships, and generally giving something a go, but I reckon the negatives are focused on too much.

Many a time I have heard people making gross generalisations on my generation, and it is totally unfair. While there may be a small minority of young people that are not abiding by the law, and doing whatever they please, there are also plenty of youths doing astonishingly excellent things.

I urge all readers to know that the young people of today arent all bad, and I reckon the leaders of tomorrow can and hopefully will do a great job, and, easily a better job than the pathetic leaders of today.

Its great that a lot of older people, aka adults, are providing many opportunities and programs for the youth, and genuinely believing in us, but its time for the rest of you to give youth a go you may be pleasantly surprised!

Sarah Hort (aged 13)


Common sense please

Im one of many parents in Lismore Shire who are considered alternative in their approach to living which really just means that I dont live on fast foods, watch copious amounts of TV, spend my life at the doctors or playing the pokies at the pub.

My circle of friends and acquaintances are simply outraged by Lismore Councils total lack of regard for personal choice in the fluoride matter. As many Lismorons juggle work, studies and young children, were often unable to attend anti-fluoride meetings, and too many voices are going unheard.

Its certainly clear to us however that the majority rules mentality is fast tracking our global destruction. I often wonder when simple common sense (the bodys innate ability to sense the most harmonious path) will begin to override the opinions (perceptions from conditioned minds) of academics.

I asked my seven-year-old son if we should put poison in our water in order for him to have better teeth (although theyre perfect now) and he looked at me as if I was stupid which is exactly how many people are looking at Lismore Council!

If our water supply is contaminated, Ill be forced to purchase drinking water or move to another shire all very costly. I wonder whether Council will reimburse me?

And I wonder why our conscientious objection regarding immunisation is accepted, but the choice to drink fluoride free water denied?

Come on Council loosen your mind, and come to your senses please!

Mel Manar


Matter of fact

The flourishing of tracts based on out of context Biblical questions shouldnt worry P De Grey (Biblical Bandits on the Loose, Echo, November 2).

Over recent years I have read that the Bible is scientifically accurate because it refers to the Earth as a globe, that Noahs Ark has been found on Mount Ararat, and that people with tertiary education are more prone to mental disorders all in Jehovahs Witness publications. When I put it to my Witness visitors that Eratosthenes of Alexandria measured the diameter of the Earth in the third century B.C. (he was only 50 miles out) and that this would have been quickly known throughout the Greek-speaking scientific world of a Middle East obsessed with astronomy, I was met with evasive and glib answers. No reputable scientist has testified to the truth of the other two assertions.

Truth is a malleable concept in the hands of an organisation that, in defiance of all recorded history, claims to be the representative of a religious movement founded not in 1881 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, but by the Biblical Abel, the first witness. Perhaps their historical consultant is Dan Brown, author of The Da Vinci Code.

But what would you expect of a sect that accords its members the right of utterance of a Divine Lie if caught in difficult circumstances while performing the Lords work?

Peter Mullins


A false sense of security

The pamphlet this time said something about the end of false religion, so the end of the world must be nigh again!

Because I was called a liar at my front door I decided to write this letter to the editor.

I told the Watchtower people their organisation joined the United Nations for 10 years. Their religion taught them that the UN is the wild beast of the bible book of Revelation yet the Watchtower secretly joined the UN as an NGO member from 1991-2001, a total betrayal to their unsuspecting followers!

The UN has very strict criteria for membership which has never changed. The NGO has to support and respect all the UN principles and charter and yet in the WT Revelation book on page 249, par 9,10 it states that anyone who joined the UN would not be written in the book of life. (Also page 248, par 4, 6, 8, 9, page 250 par 13, page 251, par 1).

With the facts now presented, is this the wisdom from God? This is the epitome of hypocrisy!

All an honest person needs to do is check the UNs official website, which is to Google NGO/DPI then click on first link to it with the heading non-government organisations, then when the web page opens left hand click on relevant documents and events, then click Watchtower Bible & Tract Society of New York. You will find a permanently printed email from the UN setting out all the circumstances of their joining and leaving once they were discovered as a member by a British journalist.

Another revealing website so the community can be protected is Next time the recruiters knock on your door you can talk to them about the tell-tale signs of false religion and ask them a question. Out of all the prophecies their organisation has printed, can they name one that ever came true? Hopefully it will lead to a healthy discussion or the JW will become psychologically paralysed by the facts!

J Mayall


High five all you awesome women out there

High five all you awesome women out there

Jenny Dowell slam-dunked the final question on QandA

PHOTOS: Did we take your photo in the Q&A audience?

PHOTOS: Did we take your photo in the Q&A audience?

Producers impressed by "informed, passionate” Lismore locals

North Coast groups gather for farmers out west

North Coast groups gather for farmers out west

North Coast groups gather for farmers out west

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