Whitesburg KY

Defending a neighbor

To the Editor:

I read in The Mountain Eagle where Courtney Baker attempted to defend herself against the gossip of the shallow narrowminded people so prevalent in this county. Courtney doesn’t need to apologize to anyone. She’s one of the nicest people I know.

She descends from a family very similar. If you’ve ever met Carl Franklin, her father, you’ll see what I mean. I worked with her grandfather, Ben Franklin, nearly 20 years and lived near him nearly 40 years. You couldn’t find a better neighbor. Going back further to her greatgrandfather, Ben Franklin Sr., you could only describe him as a conservative Southern gentleman.

She has an uncle, Jessy Bill, who I watched grow up and raise a family. They paddled canoes hundreds of miles with my daughter and me, and shared many memorable campfires on remote rivers and lakes. It has been a distinct pleasure to have called the whole clan friends. If there were more people like them, and fewer like the selfrighteous hypocrites mentioned previously, this would be a better place to live.

I’m not much of a drinking man, but I like to sample the deep red wines at the Seco Company Store. It’s the only place in the county where you can find fine food, fine wine and interesting conversation. The last time I was there, I met people from Texas, New York, Pennsylvania, and Washington, D.C.

Red wine was Jesus’s favorite drink. He and the apostles toasted the greatest contract in human history (the new covenant) with it. Psalms 104:15 says, “Wine makes the heart of mortal man rejoice.” Isaiah 25:6 describes a meal with wine prepared by God for His people. Jesus once turned the water into wine at a wedding. Do you think He abstained from that wine? That would be like a non-smoker giving cigarettes to his children.

The Bible warns us of “overdrinking”, “overeating”, and several other “over” indulgences that would harm our bodies. Food is my worst vice.

I know a lot of Bible thumpers say it was a grape juice they used or “fruit of the vine.” The original Greek Scriptures which all Bibles are translations of, use the Greek word ovino, which translates to wine in English, not Welch’s grape juice. If it were grape juice, it wouldn’t burst the wineskins in the parable.

Grape juice couldn’t be kept from spoiling without refrigeration during the eight months from the late July harvest till the last supper in early April. Water was stored in earthenware jars in those days, and even worse, sometimes animal skins. Bacteria built up quickly and it was common practice to mix small amounts of wine with the water to kill bacteria. Without alcohol content, this wouldn’t work. This is probably what Paul was talking about when he told Timothy to drink “a little wine” for his stomach’s sake.

Unfortunately, there will always be self-righteous know-italls who try to set their standards higher than those of the Bible, then try to impose them on others. Some who come to mind are Stalin, Hitler, Pol Pot, Kim Jon Il, Osama, Khomeni, and David Koresh. I couldn’t care less what that kind of people believe. You shouldn’t either, Courtney. You stand head and shoulders above all of them.


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