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Letters to the editor

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.The Associated Press
Wednesday, January 09, 2013 12:01 am
Since 1992 we have walked by the candle in the window. This year it will be 20 years since that candle has been on. It is not a decoration for a holiday, it is a light for hope in finding our daughter’s killer. When we get up in the morning we walk by the candle. When we go to bed in the evening we walk by the candle knowing at the end of each day that the killer’s are still on the loose. We remember when the room with the candle was a happy place filled with a young girl’s dream, where a young girl became a woman before the candle came to be.

Now it is a room that used to be. She had found love, her future was bright, but on that terrible night Christmas eve 1992 there was no joy on this holy night. Only hatred and murder showed its ugly face.

Money was paid, a fire was set and two lives were lost. The lives of two young people in love, and two families were ruined forever.

Why did this happen? We still do not know. We wonder how someone could have so much hatred that they waited until two people were asleep, then slipped in the house and set a fire making sure no one could escape. Did they wait around to hear their screams? Did they laugh when they took their last breaths? Did they do high fives on Christmas Day? Do they celebrate each holiday of a job well done?

For 20 years we have known there are people who know what happened and are protecting the people involved. For 20 years they have allowed the murderers to live a free and guiltless life. They have allowed them to enjoy every holiday and enjoy life, which the killers took away from Joesette and Jeff.

We know she will never come home to remove the candle in the window, but it will stay on to remind us of the two lives lost and to remind the people involved we have not given up. So to the people that know what happened, enough of the cove up. Enough of the hate. You can come forward and put the candle out, finally giving Joesette and Jeff some final peace, allowing the room to become what it was before where a young girl with dreams lived. Not a room with a candle in the window looking for her killer.

You can continue to live with the cover-up and the guilt and do nothing with your life or come foreword and do something right with your life.

John and Janice Purcell

The editorial “Still trying to sneak religion in” (the classroom) Dec. 6 about “proposed ‘truth in education’ legislation” in Indiana mentioned that Tennessee had passed this “search for truth” mess. We live half the year on a mountain just outside the national park in East Tennessee, and I’ve observed an interesting reaction to this legislation by national groups that I’ll call “separation of church and state.”

Regardless of their other differences, these groups from differing points of view agreed that the super majority Republican state of Tennessee was the summum malvor to be combated with a single-mindedness that reminded Tennessee cons of themselves; that is, the motivation borders on paranoia. If, as Carl Schmitt once argued, politics is a matter of finding enemies, then these “separation” thinkers are particularly astute at seeing the real enemy of our time, while cons, blinded ideologically to friends on the right, simply underestimated this constitutional force they now face across the state.

As Tennessee’s minorities grew more confident of their rightful place in Tennessean society, they came to resent the de facto protestant flavor in county school boards and county commissions. Litigation was inevitable. These national separation groups first wrote these local government entities letters asking them to stop the practice of saying the Lord’s Prayer before its meetings and displaying the Ten Commandments, etc. The filing of suits followed across the state.

That is, they are using the federal courts to stop Tennessee’s Protestant influence on local government. How’s that for diabolization?

B.J. Paschal


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