Our View: Ups and Downs — ‘Play It Forward’ and the Rev. Jim Turner

Feb. 22, 2013 @ 02:45 AM

THUMBS UP to Pat Plaxico, Kay Dickinson and Bill Phillips for envisioning “Play It Forward” for Penn-Griffin School for the Arts. Because of the need for instruments in Penn-Griffin’s music classes, this local trio of civic-minded folks came up with the idea to promote a search for used instruments that could be donated to the school for students to use. So now, used musical instruments found in closets, attics and elsewhere that are no longer in use can be retrieved and given to Penn-Griffin for use in the school’s music classes. This is a great program for recycling musical instruments and putting them to good use. We’re sure Penn-Griffin Principal Shelley Nixon Green and all of the school’s music students appreciate this effort. It should certainly benefit many students. (THUMBS UP also to Candy Fenn for alerting Our View to this new community effort to benefit the school.)

THUMBS DOWN to Gov. Pat McCrory for signing the bill making changes to the unemployment insurance system on Tuesday at the State Capitol without inviting the media. This was a controversial matter, so this private signing — in contrast to the very public signing of a popular bill Monday at Randolph Community College — doesn’t seem to fulfill the spirit of being transparent and open about the work of state government.

THUMBS DOWN to all those special-interest groups sending out all the gloom-and-doom press releases and statements about the budget cuts that would occur if nothing is done to avoid the sequestration budget reductions. We’d characterize these press releases generally as the “whose ox is being gored” kind, and they always emphasize the worst possible scenario that remotely could occur if dollars are cut. And it’s strange how these special-interest press releases never mention that the United States already is in a deep monetary hole approaching $17 trillion. The biggest problem with sequestration budget cuts is not really the overall $85 billion amount of the cuts, it’s that the cuts aren’t spread out to impact more areas of the federal government. In order to avoid a real gloom-and-doom situation in our nation’s future, the federal government simply must force itself to spend less because any addition of revenues that might be gained through tax reform won’t be enough to correct the overspending habit.

THUMBS UP to the Rev. Jim Turner, the priest at Our Lady of the Highway Catholic Church in Thomasville. In a story published Tuesday in the Enterprise, Turner said he has no qualms with the decision of Pope Benedict XVI to resign because of health issues. “His mind is sharp,” Turner said of the pope, “but his physical health is dwindling.” Turner also said he’d like to see a younger pope who would “be able to do all the things a pope needs to do.” He said, “The new pope should be pastoral and open to marriage and married clergy and that kind of stuff.” The church’s 118 cardinals will select the new pope.
We agree, as Turner said, that we’d like to see a younger pope who’s in good physical health. And we’d also like to see one with an understanding that the world has changed — as has the world’s perception of the Catholic Church — which requires a broader worldview by the church and its leaders.