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Cap Ripken has kowtowed to threats at expense of a 12-year-old

To The Daily Sun,

In the spring, we registered our son, Nicholas Ritchie, to play for Youngsville (Manchester) Cal Ripken. We completed the registration process using the Babe Ruth online system. There was no indication we did not live in an approved town. There was no indication our son was required to play in a specific town. The system simply took the player information, took our money, and replied, "registration success."

The officials of Youngsville Cal Ripken notified the district and state authorities of their intent to roster our son. Nicholas' participation was approved by both the district commissioner and the state commissioner. He then practiced and played with his Youngsville Cal Ripken team and fulfilled the regular season requirements for participation in all-stars.

Now, the district, state and national commissioners have reversed the original approval to play. Why? They say it is because Nicholas should have played in Concord because it is the closest in proximity to Laconia. If that is true, why didn't the registration system notify us of this requirement? If that is true, why did the national commissioner indicate there was no distance requirement and a parent from outside the geographical boundary of Cal Ripken could choose where to play?

Further, since Concord Cal Ripken league does not accept players from outside its geographical boundary, the next closest league in proximity to Laconia is Youngsville Cal Ripken. Therefore, based on this information, Youngsville Cal Ripken was the only acceptable league in which Nicholas could play.

What is the real reason Nicholas is not being allowed to play? The N.H. State Commissioner has indicated it is not in the best interest of Cal Ripken. The National Commissioner has stated Nicholas cannot play because he lives outside the geographical boundary of Youngsville Cal Ripken.

We believe the real reason, Nicholas is not being allowed to play, is pressure from within Cal Ripken and from outside the organization. The president of Exeter Cal Ripken has campaigned for Nicholas and several other Youngsville players to be disqualified. Not because these kids do not deserve to play, but because they are a threat to Exeter's fourth consecutive state title.

The general manager of the USA Mavericks has implied he would contact the media to stop Nicholas' participation. Who is this man? How is he affiliated with Cal Ripken? His e-mail to the state commissioner only touts his affiliation with the USA Mavericks. Why does his opinion even matter? Plain and simple, the district, state and national commissioners of Cal Ripken have been bullied.

As stated on ripkenbaseball.com, "[t]e goal is to leave every kid, every parent and every coach better than when we first met. The Ripken Experience is about inviting everyone to be a part of the Ripken Family. The Ripken Way is about perseverance, integrity and the unwavering commitment to be, and do our best."

Cal Ripken has kowtowed to threats and unfounded accusations at the expense of a 12-year-old boy. They have justified their decision with inconsistent arguments (i.e., it is acceptable to play in Concord even though you live outside the league boundary, but it is not acceptable to play for Youngsville because you live outside the league boundary). They have justified their decision by claiming notifications should have been in writing even though a written notification was not required and a written roster, which included Nicholas' name, was approved by the state commissioner.

The Cal Ripken organization must take a stand and do what is right. They must not hold a 12-year-old boy responsible for rules that do not exist. They must not hold him responsible for inconsistencies and inadequacies in their registration system. They must not allow a child's experience with Cal Ripken to be tarnished by the apparent inability of league officials to put aside their personal differences. They must let Nicholas play.

Deirdre M. Ritchie


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Don't be misled by the word "wine"

To The Daily Sun,
In response to Mr. Thomas Lemay's letter of June 2, he referenced my letter on the cross of Christ atop the Holy Grail; he disagreed that drinking alcohol is sin.

To defend his perverted belief (unbelief) that drinking alcohol is not (sinful) Mr. Lemay quoted Ecclesiastes 9:7 written by King Solomon (via the Holy Ghost). "Go, eat your food with gladness, and drink your wine with a joyful heart, for it is now that God favors you."

The Hebrew Lexicon says, when interpreting this passage: "Though death comes to us all and time and chance happen to everyone (v.11), we who are acceptable to God (cf. Romans 12:2) should not stop enjoying what He has given us The "wine' (Heb. yayin) referred to here undoubtedly means sweet freshly squeezed grape juice (fruit of the vine).

Mr. Lemay quoted from the Old Testament. Which was translated from the Hebrew language. In general, there are two Hebrew words translated as "wine" in the Holy Bible, (1) The first and most common word is yayin, a generic term used approximately 141 times in the O.T. See Neh.5:18, which speaks of " all sorts of wine [yayin]" On the other hand, yayin is applied to all kinds of fermented grape juice (see Genesis 9:20-21; 19;32-33; 1 Sam.5;36-37; Proverbs. 23:30-31). The tragic results of using fermented grape juice [wine] are described in various places in the O.T. notably Prov. 23:29-35.

On the other hand, yayin is used for the sweet unfermented juice of the grape. It can refer to fresh juice as it is pressed form grapes. Isaiah prophesies, "The treaders shall tread out no wine [yayin] in there presses" (Isaiah 16:10); Likewise Jeremiah says, "I have caused wine [yayin] to fall from the presses; none will tread without shouting" [Jeremiah 48:33]. In fact, Jeremiah even refers to the juice STILL in the grape as [yayin] (see Jeremiah 40:10,12].

Further evidence that yayin at times refers to unfermented juice of the grape is found in Lamentations, where the author describes nursing infants as crying out to their mothers for their normal food of "corn and wine" (Lam.2:12). The fact that unfermented grape juice can go by the term "wine' is supported by various scholarly studies. The Jewish Encyclopedia [1901] states: "Fresh wine before fermentation was called yayin-mi-gat {wine of the vat} (Sanh, 70a)." Also. the Encyclopaedia Judaica (1971) attest to the fact that the term yayin was used to refer to the juice of the grape in several stages, including "the newly pressed wine prior to fermentation."

Fermentation is just another word for corruption. The potato has to rot (corruption) to make vodka. There is no corruption in God's kingdom! Fermentation, corruption, represents sin. There is no sin in God's kingdom! The Babylonian Talmud ascribes to Rabbi Hiyya a statement concerning "wine" [yayin] from the press" (Baba Bathra, 97a).

The Old Testament, fermented wine. There are various places in the O.T. where the use of yayin and shekra as fermented beverages is condemned. (1) The Holy Bible first describes the evil effects of intoxicating wine from Noah (Genesis 9:20-27). I believe the first act of homosexuality in human history after the flood. Nothing any good ever comes from corruption (alcohol), nothing. Just ask the courts!

He (Noah) planted a vineyard, harvested it, made intoxicating wine from the grapes, and drank from it. Doing so led to drunkenness, immodesty, indiscretion, and the family tragedy of a curse on Canaan. At the time of Abraham, intoxicating wine was a factor in the incest that led to the pregnancies of Lot's daughters (Genesis 19:31-38). Nothing good ever comes from drinking alcohol. Nothing!

Solomon's God-given wisdom led him to write, "Wine is a mocker, strong drink is raging: and whosoever is deceived thereby is not wise" (see Proverbs 20:1). Alcoholic beverages can cause one to mock God's standard of righteousness and to lose self control with regard to sin and immorality.

Finally, the Scriptures unequivocally state that in order to avoid woe and sorrow and to instead follow God's will, the righteous must not look upon or desire any fermented wine that can intoxicate and addiction (see proverbs 23:29-35).

Mr. Lemay, asked the question: Didn't Jesus make wine at the wedding, in Cana of Galilee? According to the Holy Bible. No. (John 2:1-12).

Wine in the New Testament, stated the Greek Lexicon. The following is an examination of the most common biblical word for wine. The Greek word for "wine" in John 2:10-11) is oinos unfermented juice. This interpretation is supported by the following data.

The Greek word oinos was used by secular and religious authors in pre-Christian and early church times to refer to fresh grape juice: (see Aristole, Meterologica, 387.b9-13). Jewish scholars who translated the O.T. into Greek about 200 B.C. used oinos when translating several Hebrew words for wine. in other words, the writers of the N.T. knew that oinos was unfermented juice of the grape.

Use of wine in the Lord's Supper. Did the Lord Jesus use fermented or unfermented grape juice when He instituted the the Lord's Supper (Matthew 26:26-29; Mark 14:22:25, Luke 22:17-20; 1 Corinthians 11:23-26)? The following data supports the conclusion that what the Lord Jesus and His disciples drank was unfermented grape juice.
Neither Luke nor any other biblical writer used the words "fermented, intoxicating wine" in regards of the Lord's Supper. The first three Gospel writers used "fruit of the vine" (Matthew 26:29; Mark 14:25; Luke 22:18). Unfermented wine is the only true natural "fruit of the vine," containing approximately 20% sugar and no alcohol. Fermentation destroys much of the sugar and alters what the vine produced. Fermented wine is not the produce of the vine.

The Lord's Supper was instituted when Jesus and His disciples were eating the Passover. The Passover law in Exodus 12:14-20 prohibited, during Passover week, the presence and use of Seor (Exo. 12:15), a word referring to Leaven, yeast, of any agent of fermentation. Seor in the ancient world was often obtained from the thick scum on top of fermenting wine. Furthermore, all hametz (i.e. anything containing any fermentation was forbidden (Exo. 12:19; 13:7). God had given these laws because fermentation symbolized corruption and sin. (cf. Mat. 16:6,12; 1 Corinthians 5:7,8).

The Lord Jesus, the Son of God, fulfilled the law in every requirement (Matt. 5:17. Thus, he would have followed God's law for the Passover (Christian's Holy Communion) and not used fermented wine. And certinly, would not have made fermented wine and served to the guest at the wedding of Cana (John 2:1-12).

Have you ever noticed, the ignorant are so expressive, aren't they! You can't put a watermelon-sized idea in a pea-brain!

Bishop Paul W. Blake

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