• Remove flag from S.C. Capitol grounds

    If the S.C. General Assembly doesn’t get the Confederate battle flag off the Statehouse grounds after what happened in Charleston last week, then we may as well replace the Palmetto Tree on the proper state flag – the beautiful blue one – with a swastika.

    I’m sick of the cockeyed excuses from state politicians about why the Confederate flag issue is so complicated.

  • Confederate heritage group issues statement on massacre

    On the night of June 17, an attempt was made to break the spirit of all South Carolinians. The deranged mind of a horrendous individual entered Emanuel AME Church in Charleston and took the lives of nine admirable individuals.

    This historic house of God became the scene of a brutal massacre beyond understanding. We all contemplate, why did this happen? Perhaps this is a question that cannot be answered. What kind of a world are we leaving behind for our children, when you can’t go into God’s house without the threat of being gunned down?

  • Pay tribute to Daddy on Father’s Day

    Our Daddy, Jack Caskey, left this world on May 15, 2015, after having been in hospice care since September 2014.

    First of all, my sincere prayer is that every daughter has a wonderful father in their life. I know that I am looking through rose-colored glasses, if I think this is always true, but my sisters and I were the blessed ones.

    Daddy was an amazing man, to his children, to many, many Boy Scouts, to many children and young people whom he worked with in his beloved church.

  • Fathers need to be present every day for their children

    Sadly, too many Americans are growing up without the presence of a father. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 24 million children live in homes without their biological fathers.

    The positive impacts of having dad around are numerous, such as better social/emotional and academic functioning and fewer behavioral problems.

    Children in absent-father homes are almost four times more likely to be poor. In 2011, 12 percent of children in two-parent families were living in poverty, compared to 44 percent of children in single-mother families.

  • Cell phones best option for police oversight

    Hardly a week goes by now without the surfacing of a cell-phone video of police abuse, often of minorities.

    These private camera videos are providing the best and often only record of police confrontations, such as the shooting of Walter Scott in North Charleston, or the more recent incident at a pool party in Texas.

    South Carolina just passed a law requiring police to wear body cameras, and while they may do some internal good, don’t expect to see the images in the news.

  • Words to live by

    After reading the guest column,“Jesus leaves disciples and us with words of comfort,” by Pastor Bob Lanning of Cornerstone Bible Church in the June 14 edition of The Lancaster News, I feel compelled to tell the following story of how God continues to perform miracles and that he does answer prayer.

    When I was hired at Counseling Services of Lancaster in 1995, Walter Quinn, the executive director, said to work there, I’d have to put “God first, family second and then work.”

  • I celebrate Juneteenth, because I can

    Juneteenth, also known as Emancipation Day, honors African-American heritage by commemorating the abolition of slavery in America.

    It marks the day on June 19, 1865, when Union soldiers, led by Maj. Gen. Gordon Granger, landed at Galveston, Texas, with the news that the Civil War had ended and all enslaved people were free.

    That was two years after President Abraham Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation, a declaration that was promising, but had minimal benefit for many slaves like those in Texas, who could not escape to Union military lines.

  • Council needs to take closer look at new projects

    Lancaster County Council passed second reading of the county’s 2016 budget at its June 8 meeting. There were no comments at the public hearing. A copy of the budget was posted on the county’s website.

    Previous comments concerning the sheriff’s office, E-911, EMS, voter registration and other departments still apply. All are in the current budget, but are hanging by a thread.

  • Jesus leaves disciples and us with words of comfort

    On the day before his crucifixion, Jesus gathered his apostles into an upper room in Jerusalem. After washing their feet, he predicted that one of them would betray him.

    After Judas left, he declared that he himself would soon leave them, and that Peter would deny him three times. It is no wonder, then, that the remaining apostles were unsettled by what had just occurred.

    Jesus comforted his apostles by saying,  “Let not your heart be troubled; ye believe in God, believe also in me (John 14:1).”

  • Freedom hard to get, easy to lose

    On Independence Day we celebrate the gift of freedom given to us 239 years ago by the founders of our great nation. Freedom is as precious as life itself.However, its true value is rarely appreciated unless it is either threatened or lost.

    July Fourth isn’t just a day off. It’s more than barbecues and parties. The Fourth of July is a time to renew your gratitude for your good fortune to be living in the greatest country in the world.