Play the translation game? Tell me the story of the Virgin Mary

To The Daily Sun,
First, in response to Paul Blake's Saturday letter: Mr. Blake, you write a long letter in which you think you have it all figured out. From Hebrew to Greek then to English, translated by Jewish scholar strangers thousands of years ago, and you have brainwashed yourself into this moral corner in which it is impossible to fathom wine being used for anything good in life. What your one-sided, convoluted rant is devoid of is context or reason.

These were people, Mr. Blake. Human beings living in hard times without any of the luxuries we had today. Short lifespans, high infant death rates, war and disease around every corner yet, you find it incredulous that they would have wine at a wedding. All you present for evidence is that some words which may or may not have meant wine or grape juice. You lack a shred of common sense and that's what scares me. People celebrate joyous occasions with wine and alcohol, not grape cool aid. I'm pretty sure that it doesn't corrupt their soul.

Furthermore, if you want to play the translation game, you want to tell me the story of the Virgin Mary and the Immaculate Conception? I bring this up because the word "virgin" was mistranslated from "young woman." And if you dispute that, then chew on this: The verses surrounding Isaiah 7:14 tell how Ahaz, the king of Judah, is told of a sign to be given in demonstration that the prophet's promise of God's protection is a true one. The sign is that an almah will give birth to a son who will still be very young when Judah's enemies will be destroyed. Most Christians identify the almah of this prophecy with the Virgin Mary. In Isaiah 7, the almah is already pregnant, and modern Jewish translators have therefore rendered almah here as "young woman". The Septuagint translation of the Hebrew Scriptures, which was completed in the late second century BCE, translated almah into Greek as parthenos, which generally means "virgin". For example, the Hebrew word "betulah" for "virgin" is translated as "parthenon" in Exodus 22:16 in the Septuagint. But also, the Septuagint also describes Dinah as a parthenos, even after she has been raped and hence technically no longer a virgin. So by this the Virgin Mary was probably just meant to be known as a young woman, I mean she was married. Common sense says that if she was a virgin when married, that was settled on the wedding night.

I'm beginning to sound a bit like you, so I'm done, but my point is you blindly lead your life by this book that has been interpreted by strangers on different continents over and over again. Again, I respect all of my Christian friends' beliefs, but I personally cannot subscribe to a book which I believe is as precise as an Al Jazeera news report without any true feeling or attachment or trust. Moderation of course, but you cannot tell me a frosty beverage after a hard day's work is a sinful act. If your too detached from reality to understand that wine was drank at a wedding though, I'm sure this letter is just an exercise in futility.

Switching gears, I just wanted to say to everyone out there that if you are not paying attention to the Laconia Muskrats you may just be missing out on history. If my research is correct they have never sent a player to the Major Leagues but that just may change soon. Tim Viehoff is a starting pitcher who right now through two games is sporting a 0.00 ERA with a league leading 18 strikeouts. He's 6 feet 4 inches, throws 90 mph and has a 2-0 record early on here. Check out the teams schedule on and come one out to support the team, watch a fun game up close and perhaps meet one of the future stars of MLB!

Thomas Lemay

  • Category: Letters
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Lawmakers need to protect out state's Renewable Energy Fund

To The Daily Sun,

The House and Senate should preserve the Renewable Energy Fund (REF). It is one of the best things going for New Hampshire. In Plymouth alone, the REF has spurred more than $500,000 of private investment installing residential solar pv panels — and that doesn't include the solar investments made by businesses or the solar thermal and wood pellet heaters installed in Plymouth homes.

I have worked on many different New Hampshire community development efforts over the last 25 years and I have never witnessed a fund that leverages this high level of private investment and is accessed by such a wide diversity of New Hampshire residents and businesses from all walks of life on both sides of the political aisle.

The incentives provided through the Renewable Energy Fund for New Hampshire residents and businesses, get paid back to New Hampshire many times over through the boost it gives to the local economy through a wide range of material purchases, the skilled and unskilled local people these projects put to work and the improved air quality that comes from such things as heating the majority of a household's water with solar thermal evacuated tube collectors instead of propane.

For these reasons, I call on the Legislature and governor to protect New Hampshire's Renewable Energy Fund, a specific to New Hampshire that helping residents and businesses keep their energy spending closer to home.

Sandra Jones, Director

Plymouth Area Renewable Energy Initiative

  • Category: Letters
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Thanks for your generous support of the Laconia MS Walk 2015

To The Daily Sun,

On behalf of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, Greater New England Chapter, we would like to thank the following local businesses for their generous support of the Laconia MS Walk 2015:

Annie's Cafe & Catering, Laconia; Coca Cola Bottling, Belmont; Domino's Pizza, Laconia; Hannaford Supermarket, Gilford; Laconia Ice Company, Laconia; Laconia Village Bakery, Laconia; Market Basket, Tilton; Michaud Distributors, Laconia; Sal's Pizza, Belmont; Starbuck's, Tilton; The 99, Tilton; and DJ Tim.

These local businesses helped provide food and beverage items and entertainment for all participants in the Laconia MS Walk 2015.

The Laconia MS Walk 2015 hosted more than 100 walkers and raised in excess of $13,000. Thank you to all of you who walked and/or donated to this event.

Funds from this event will support research into the cause and cure of MS. The money raised will also fund community-based education, support and advocacy within Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Vermont. The NMSS Greater New England Chapter responds to the needs of the nearly 19,000 individuals and their families who are confronted every day by the many challenges of living with multiple sclerosis, empowering them with the resources to maintain independence and to live their lives as fully as possible.

Thank you for joining the movement to create a world free of MS. We appreciate all of the help that these local businesses have provided.

Colleen Akerman

Committee Member

Laconia MS Walk 2015

  • Category: Letters
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Selling contraceptives over the counter will cost poor women

To The Daily Sun,

Does Senator Kelly Ayotte really think women will support her bill to make contraceptives available over the counter? Ayotte's bill would remove such medications from the formularies covered by insurance under Obamacare, currently available at no cost for women. Insurance companies pay less to help avoid unwanted pregnancies than to cover pregnancy-related charges. But business, for some reason, doesn't like this coverage.

Without some thought, it sounds like a good idea — making contraceptives available at the corner drugstore. Yet for most women, especially middle-class and poorer women, it's a terrible idea. Sold over the counter, such meds (essential for women with specific medical conditions, not just those avoiding pregnancy) would cost around $600 each year, a hefty sum for many. But perhaps not for those who Ayotte considers her real constituents; for them $600 just isn't a big deal.

This bill is another example of the senator's poor attitude toward women. Ayotte favors restricting women's rights (e.g., to abortion and equal pay). She votes to defund Planned Parenthood, shred the safety net and repeal Obamacare. She seems cavalier toward other women, especially poor or middle-class women. Why, I wonder?

A rising star in the Republican ranks, Ayotte toes the GOP line. She supports issues favorable to big business and Wall Street, where the money is. Those are generally not issues supportive of most women. Perhaps she cynically thinks "those" women don't vote?

Voters in New Hampshire, especially women, should think twice before re-electing Ayotte next year. We deserve better.

Anne Rogers

  • Category: Letters
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Isn't purposed of our system to rehabilitate people & reduce recidivism?

To the Daily Sun,

I am writing regarding news articles which have recently appeared in both daily papers that cover our area.

At least five articles naming Tammy Dunn, and a sixth inferring her situation, have recently been published, possibly more that I have not seen. Why is this person getting so much coverage? Is this a notorious murder case? A series of daring burglaries? Perhaps a hit-and-run or a drug bust? Surprisingly, none of the above. Tammy has been convicted of perjury in a landlord and tenant case.

My copy of "Black's Law Dictionary" defines perjury, in part, as "A person is guilty of perjury if in any official proceeding he makes a false statement under oath ...when the statement is material and he does not believe it to be true."

While I respect the law and our court system, I know Tammy to be an honest person, perhaps not well versed in the law. I believe that she made a mistake and is being severely punished for it. As a landlord, I have appeared in our District Court numerous times on landlord-tenant issues and have known of many tenants who did not tell the truth under oath. An example of this is tenants who owe money to the landlord and fill out paperwork for the court attesting that their income is zero and their monthly expenses are over $1,000 a month. While I do not condone this behavior, it does appear that Tammy is being singled out by both the court and the press with the intention of punishing and humiliating her beyond what her crime justifies.

I had always believed that the purpose of our system of law was to rehabilitate criminals and reduce recidivism, with punishment playing a secondary role. This does not appear to be the case in this instance.

Enough, already. It is time for the papers to cover more serious and newsworthy items and leave Tammy alone. I call Tammy Dunn my friend as I know that she would do anything that I asked of her, within reason, as I have seen her do for other people.

Susan Condodemetraky

  • Category: Letters
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