copyright Bill Widener 2000

'Free' Speech

Letter to the Editor:

In reality, companies must answer to their shareholders ad customers for both the content of their ads and the content of the problems the ads support [Letters, Oct. 11]. Far from "black mail," efforts to discontinue support of a program, based unfavorable content represent a valued American tradition: Voting with your pocket book. This concept should be familiar to Mr. Hart as he is doing the same thing by requesting a boycott of companies, which discontinued their support of Politically Incorrect.

If advertising dollars are in fact "The most corrupt form of speech influence in modern media today", as asserted by Lloyd Hart in the October 11 Edition of ACE, then the courageous Mr. Maher should break free of the chains of corporate support. The truth of the matter is Mr. Maher's free speech is not being infringed upon, he can walk to any corner in America and say whatever he wants to say. What is being limited by the companies refusal to continue footing the bill for the program is Mr. Maher's ability to earn a lot of money while saying whatever he pleases. That is not free speech.

I support both Mr. Maher and Mr. Hart's free speech rights, I also support the right of companies to advertise where and when they choose.

Ellen Mills

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Mail: 486 West Second St , Lexington, Ky 40507


Faith, Hope, and Charity

And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity.

-First Corinthians 13:13

(King James version)

So faith, hope, love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love.

-First Corinthians 13:13

(standard revised version)

"A reading from the first letter of Paul to the Corinthians.."

Those were the first words I ever uttered into a microphone, in what would turn out to be a long career punctuated heavily by public speaking.

I was all of maybe seven years old and Sister Catherine Regina and Father Heitzman had tapped me as a regular reader at our daily masses.

I had to leave my pew, genuflect, walk behind the altar to fetch the little wooden step-stool that would allow me to reach the podium and microphone (but just barely), and then deliver the epistle to a far-from-packed house.

Still the first time I did it, my knees were shaking, and I know my voice quivered, and it's safe to say that I had no idea what I was reading.

Soon I got comfortable with my weekly role - growing more and more familiar with the territory (Galatians, Ephesians, Collossians, Thessalonians, and so on) - and eventually relaxing enough that I began to actually process what I was reading.

If memory serves, Paul wrote nine epistles to seven ecclesias and four letters to three individuals, at least as is literarily recorded.

But it's fair to say (and theologians can feel free to contradict me here) that his "greatest hit" was probably First Corinthians 13:13.

I average about one wedding a week these days, and it is almost always one of the designated readings, and it's always read as "faith, hope, and love," and that always makes me cringe.

I was raised on the "faith, hope, and charity" version, and if you read the entire epistle, it seems clear that (whatever your stance is on the translation), it really was never intended to be the fodder of romance or sentimentality. It speaks to something else entirely.

I was thinking about all this over the weekend, because I spent my Saturday morning with my mom and her girlfriends at their diocesan women's meeting (and I also had to squeeze in a wedding).

As this chapel full of women detailed the long list of projects they'd all conceived and grown, I became more and more impressed.

My parents belong to a tiny little parish in southeastern Kentucky. I don't know what their membership is, but I know that (proportionately) when it comes to charity, they put their money where their mouth is.

Religion often has a bad reputation (often well-earned in some instances), but I grew up in a large parish and a small parochial school where we fed the hungry, and sheltered the homeless, and cared for the sick every single day.

I was also raised in a home where it was completely unacceptable to see suffering or need (human or animal), without actively trying to do something to help.

And when I was young, and we were desperately poor and had nothing, I'm sure half of that battle was even finding people who were less fortunate.

As we grew into more comfortable circumstances, and had more, we did more - according to our means.

That's what our upcoming Charity Issue (November 22) is all about -an opportunity for all of us to learn how we can contribute, in a way that utilizes our own particular talents, skills, and resources.

Area non-profits and charities will find a coupon in this issue (page 9) that they can mail in to have their "holiday wish lists" included in this annual Thanksgiving issue.

We usually have categories that range from arts and culture to animals to women and children and many more - according to participation. We also encourage you to include photographs of your charity's activities in the community.

This is a story that we, in editorial, have really enjoyed telling for the past few years.

We welcome your participation, and we hope that you'll share this information with any organization that could benefit from the considerable talents and resources of our readers - whom we know to be the most active, motivated, involved force in the city.

When they put their minds and hearts to something, the results are truly impressive.