As followers of Jesus Christ, a healer known as the Great Physician, as believers in a God who loves and cares for all of his children equally, we at the North Carolina Council of Churches are profoundly grateful for passage of health-care reform legislation by the U.S. House of Representatives. At its core, health care is a justice issue, a human rights issue and, for many of us, a faith issue. All of our brothers and sisters deserve basic health care, and Sunday's actions set us on a path as a nation to provide that.
We pray now both for reform's implementation and for an end to the divisiveness that has plagued this discussion for too long. Let us move beyond the angry and bitter debate to a place where we can work together toward a healthier, stronger nation.
J. George Reed, Sandy Irving, Aleta Payne
N.C. Council of Churches
As a Raleigh resident and 2010 president of the N.C. Association of Realtors (NCAR), I feel compelled to point out that there were several mistakes and misleading statements in a recent article entitled "Realtors association electioneering could foreshadow troubles to come" (March 10).
The article focused on one Realtor's concern over the association using member dues to promote the interests of its members and property owners. Mr. Geary freely quoted the Realtor who complained, but he did not contact the association to check the facts or ask for any reaction to her comments. Ultimately, the Board of Elections' finding was lost in the article: It voted 5-0 to dismiss the complaint because there were no violations of campaign finance laws.
Opinions, mistakes and hearsay were freely quoted in Mr. Geary's article. For example, his statement that membership dues were used for "political contributions" repeatedly was demonstrated to be invalid during the Board of Elections hearing. Nor does NCAR own an MLS nor require anyone to be a member. And Mr. Geary's statement that the complaining Realtor was not allowed to enter association offices is false.
His assertion that $3.5 million was used over two years in 24 local campaigns to fight transfer tax referendums is absurd and ignores the fact that local citizens banded together across the state in these efforts.
I hope future articles will include some fact checks. It's a responsible journalist's job to do so.
Mary Edna Williams