LETTER TO THE EDITOR:

Milton Councilwoman Thurman responds to Black Box story

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It is hard to even read or watch the news. The world, national and even local news is almost all negative. Every day we hear about someone whose heart is so full of negativity, hostility and hatred that they resort to injuring and even killing other individuals, including children. Sadly, sometimes these horrendous acts are done in the name of righteousness. We also hear about children and adults taking their own lives because they were bullied. We must stop these negative behaviors.

Those that know me know that my faith is very important to me. When I say my prayers at night, I start by thanking God for sending his Son to die on the cross since this is the very basis of my faith. I then pray for the safety and health of my family who I love dearly. I then pray for Milton. I pray for our public safety officials that are willing to risk their lives every day to protect our citizens. I pray for all of the staff, elected officials, board members and volunteers that are guiding our great city.

I then pray for all the residents of Milton. Yes, based on Luke, Chapter 6, I even pray for those who curse, betray and mistreat me and others. I pray for the bullies. For that is what the Bible tells us to do. We are all so fortunate to live in such a wonderful community. We were recently named the richest city in Georgia. Unfortunately that survey defined “richest” only in financial terms, not in the very things that make the greatest difference for eternity.

I know we have residents of Milton that are hurting, some physically and some mentally and emotionally. I pray for those who I know are hurting by name and also for those individuals that are hurting but for which I am not aware of their individual pain. We must do all we can to help those that are hurting as the Bible instructs us to carry each other’s burdens.

I pray for those in the World, the wonderful country we are all blessed to live in and also the city of Milton whose hearts are full of negativity, hostility and hatred. When a person’s heart is full of negativity, it does not allow God to use the very talents he gave that individual. Unfortunately sometimes this extreme hatred and negativity turns into violence. We hear far too often that a police officer has been killed or an elected official shot simply because of their position. My prayer is this never happens in our city.

One of the greatest freedoms we enjoy is the right to free speech. Unfortunately there are those that choose to misuse this freedom not to make the world and in particular Milton better but to promote their own agenda. They continue to use hate and bullying to achieve their objectives.

The term “fake news” has become a standard term in our vocabulary. Three CNN reporters were recently forced to resign for creating news rather than just reporting facts. The local news, once the primary source of information for a community, has permitted itself to be politicalized. The media has allowed those with a hate filled agenda to use it to promote their “cause”. They do this by carrying very biased stories and articles that intentionally omit pertinent facts to make a more exciting story. The lines between news reporting and tabloid journalism have become very blurred. We often don’t know where one stops and the other begins. We can no longer blindly trust what we hear on the news or read in a paper or in a blog.

The phrase “a man is as good as his word” holds true. The words a person says tells you a lot about that person. If a person’s words are always hateful and negative and their tone is divisive, we must look at their true agenda. If a person’s words betray your trust, what does that say about the character of that individual? If a news reporting agency fails to present an unbiased story but instead prints a politically based story from an unsubstantiated group, what does that say about reporting organization?

The city of Milton has chosen to be a city of ethics. This is not required but something the elected officials chose to pursue. The principles outlined in the ethics ordinance are principles all of us in the city of Milton should adhere to, not just the elected officials and staff. We should adhere to it not because of the resolution that was passed but because it is the right thing to do. Honesty, integrity and loyalty are very important. It is paramount that all those working on behalf of the city, whether as an employee, elected official or community volunteer, possess these traits. The entire city of Milton must be a caring environment of honesty, openness and integrity for all citizens. We must not allow those whose hearts are full of hatred and dishonesty to prevail.

Regardless of your religion, I hope you will join me in praying for Milton. 1 Timothy 2 says that we should do so. I believe in the power of prayer. I will continue to pray that we can all work together to make Milton an even better place to live, work and raise a family. I ask that the city, individual residents and organized groups who truly want to make a positive impact be ethical, transparent and willing to work together in a positive, rather than negative manner. If what we all truly want is to make Milton better, this should not be a hard thing to do.

Proverbs 29:8 states -

Mockers stir up a city, but the wise turn away anger.

There is too much negativity and hatred in this world. Unfortunately we individually can do little to stop this hatred in most parts of the world. We do have some control over what happens in Milton. We must stop the hatred in Milton. I ask that we work together to stop the hostility and bullying we are experiencing. We do not need mockers to stir up our city but caring individuals who are willing to work together. Hopefully the citizens of Milton can be wise and make Milton a positive, caring, inclusive and loving place for all.


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