What They Said (July 2, 2015) ... 

Letters and comments from Flyer readers — The Mighty Mississippi, white privilege, gay marriage.

click to enlarge GREG CRAVENS
  • Greg Cravens

About Toby Sells' cover story, "Engaging the Big Muddy" ...

Toby Sells and Brandon Dill captured the mystery, the magic, and the majesty of the big river, not to mention the good-time fun. And Joe Royer is the Mississippi's greatest Memphis protagonist!  

The only thing not covered were details about safety, e.g., when to go and when not to go — and the myriad considerations paddlers need to make when approaching such a powerful force of nature. Fortunately, there is an excellent guide available on the internet: The River Gator's Paddler's Guide.  

Anyone considering safe paddling in the Memphis area (and beyond), please visit the River Gator. Some of the Memphis routes described in the River Gator were pioneered by Joe Royer and his wife Carol Lee. Many Memphians were consulted as experts for the River Gator (including the editor of the Flyer!).

There are dozens of pages covering the many choices for paddlers in between Shelby Forest State Park and Memphis, including the main channel, and enticing alternate back-channel routes such as those behind Brandywine, Hickman, Loosahatchie, and Redman. There is a very detailed safety section describing the specific skills paddlers should know before attempting the challenges of the biggest river in North America.

John Ruskey

About Bianca Phillips' post, "State Bill Would Allow Religious Clergy to Deny Same-Sex Marriage" ...

I'm trying to remember anywhere in all of the arguments over this where gay people said they wanted to force ministers and other clergy members to marry them. Everything I've seen has been they wanted the government to allow them to marry and for the government to recognize it. That is all.

Charlie Eppes

I am pretty sure that religious clergy already have the freedom to refuse to marry two individuals regardless of the reason. The only purpose of this proposal is to score political points.

Barf

Today's ruling clearly stated that no minister was going to be forced to marry a same-sex couple if they did not choose to do so. Again, this is a way of wasting Tennesseans' taxpayer money on frivolous bills rather than working to decrease our uninsured or create jobs, neither of which the Republican majority has shown any interest in.

Lane Scoggins

This is just the first step toward man-turtle unions and the death of Christianity. I firmly believe that although Christianity survived the Roman empire, it is helpless in the face of gay marriage.

Jeff

About Bruce VanWyngarden's Letter From the Editor, "Black is the New White" ...

VanWyngarden conveniently failed or refused to admit the lost war on poverty has much to do with the policies of the Democratic Party. Poverty, strife, and divisiveness will continue to swell until politicos stop rewarding bad behavior.

By his own admission, President Johnson's "Great Society" entitlement programs were created to cement constituents to the Democratic Party. This nefarious scheme damaged the African-American communities most. Instead of the government concentrating on how to get citizens out of ghettos, the entitlement programs too often kept them there.

Victimization has become the key to successful Democratic election results. President Obama's policies and that of most democratic strongholds in American cities have resulted in the greatest degree of black poverty and black-on-black crime in recent history.

There are no easy answers, but a strong economy fueled by less taxation and a healthier business climate will go far toward creating opportunity for all.

William Pollack

Many whites exist in a poverty of compassion that is compounded by the illusions created by what Douglas Adams called the "Somebody Else's Problem" effect (SEP). SEP is a psychological effect where people choose to dissociate themselves from an issue that may be in critical need of recognition. Such issues may be of large concern to the population as a whole but can easily be a choice of ignorance by an individual.

Scott Banbury

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