Letters to The Tribune-Democrat, Johnstown PA -- a problem of excessive editing and others not published!!

Letters to The Tribune-Democrat, Johnstown PA --
a problem of excessive editing and others subsequently not published!!

Immediately after John McCain's acceptance speech I sent a letter to the editor of the Johnstown Tribune-Democrat newspaper about possible bias in reporting those speeches given by Obama and McCain. The main point was size of front page photos of the candidates on the occasion of their acceptance speeches following the conventions. It was just after the letter was sent that I received a phone call from Chip Minemyer, editor of the Tribune-Democrat, inviting me to be a guest editor at the paper. The date was set for the afternoon of September 24 at 2:30 pm. I spent about 2 hours there in a variety of settings. Chip introduced me to staff persons, showed me the press and how the pages are printed. I sat with them as they discussed stories that they would be printing. They explained that they have to be ready for late breaking news just before press time and changes have to be made at the last minute just before the press starts rolling. One staff member took time to show me how the front page is laid out on computer -- size of headline print, pictures, etc. All in all, it was a positive experience and I thoroughly enjoyed meeting and talking with the staff. I appreciate very much the invitation on the part of editor, Chip Minemyer, to participate as a "Guest Editor." It will be a cherished memory on my part.

Now here is the letter which prompted the phone call and the invitation:

Friday, September 05, 2008


Be careful right now because you just might be accused of being biased in your reporting on the presidential election of 2008. And this in turn would result in your being identified with much of the mass media which is rapidly building a reputation of being very biased toward and supportive of Barack Obama in his bid to be our next president!

Suspicion arises at the present time due to your handling of the acceptance speeches of Barack Obama and John McCain respectively.

Your front pages speak out loud and clear. On August 29th you had a photo of Barack Obama on the front page which measured 7 ¼ inches by 10 inches – not quite a traditional 8 x 10, but close! On September 5th your front page photo of John McCain measured 4 ¼ inches by 6 ½ inches, slightly over ½ the size of Obama’s acceptance speech photo! McCain’s photo doesn’t qualify for a traditional 5 x 7 by a long shot!

Written column space in the AP articles was approximately the same with one glaring difference. The Obama article on the inside page also included a picture of Mrs. Obama and daughters. This photo measured 3 ½ by 3 ¾ inches. John McCain and family did not fare that well as there was no photo of them at all.

Photos do have influence and the size of such do register – the bigger the photo, the more attention it attracts and greater is the impact on the observer, even when it comes to the election process. Cambria County being a kind of “Mecca” for the Democratic Party it can be assumed that Obama will be much higher profile than will McCain when it comes to media coverage.

This has been written by one who is a non-affiliated registered voter. .

Still contending at www.crrange.com, blogging at http://cdharriger.blogspot.com and warning at www.crrange.com/USACoffin.html,

Clayton D. Harriger, Pastor

The above letter was not published. And at this point in time, I likely will not submit any more letters to the Tribune-Democrat -- why spend 42 cents and know it will go into the can anyway when received? I'll be submitting to the other 3 papers in the region. Besides, I spend a bit on postage in sending letters to the president, vice president, elected officials, ambassadors and church leaders on a regular basis. Details of this are given elsewhere on this web site and at my blog which is located at Musings of a Maverick!

Just below is a reporting of the issue of editing regarding a letter sent on September 11, 2004 -- how I wrote it and later how it appeared in print in the Johnstown Tribune-Democrat.

Other letters have been sent to The Tribune-Democrat since the one mentioned below of September 11, 2004. None were published -- I was not called by phone to confirm the letter as has happened with previous letters submitted to the editor.

Could it be that someone is extremely upset because of my comments here on Circuit Rider's Range? I must add that 3 other newspapers in the general area have published the same letters without using the "butchering" process which seems to be the policy at The Tribune-Democrat -- two of them are daily papers and the other a weekly. In fact, the one had even printed my web site address in addition to printing the submitted letter exactly as I had written it -- a refreshing experience after what had been done by those in the editorial department at the J T-B! Those papers, by the way, are the Altoona Mirror, Indiana Gazette, and Mainline Newspapers, Inc.

I admit that sometimes I may have really aggravated the editorial people -- I recall one time when they made a church front page headlines due to scandal involving the church's pastor, I wrote to them about the way they handled it -- in the process I told them that the only difference between their newspaper and the rag sheets at the check out counters of grocery stores was the size of the paper and use of color! In retrospect I suppose that may have upset the editor a bit, but a lot of people would agree with the assessment. In regard to the incident just mentioned, it was not necessary to print a large picture of the church on the front page since the congregation didn't do anything whatsoever in the matter -- it was strictly a bad choice on the part of the pastor in question!

The unprinted letters are listed below the September 11, 2004 letter. They are listed one after another by date, with subject of letter listed beside the date. To go to those series of unpublished letters, click on Letters by CDH NOT Printed by The Tribune-Democrat

Hello, there! Theo, administrative assistant on Circuit Rider's Range, here to let you know that my boss, CDH (alias Circuit Rider), has sent a letter to The Tribune-Democrat, daily newspaper which is printed in Johnstown, Pennsylvania. The purpose of reprinting the original and The Tribune-Democrat "version" here is to demonstrate how editors can really do a hatchet job on letters which are submitted by readers.

The original letter as submitted is printed just below. Then the letter (?) is printed below the orginal as it appeared on Saturday, September 11, 2004, in The Tribune-Democrat. I almost didn't recognize it as the one I had sent in

Now do you see why editors and newspaper people have to check their scissors and red pencils at the door of Circuit Rider's Range as they enter? This particularly applies to the editorial staff of The Tribune-Democrat -- these people obviously have to have a line item in their yearly budget to cover cost of red pencils and scissors, since they make a far greater use of these than do the editorial staff members of such papers as the Altoona Mirror, Indiana Gazette, and Mainline Newspapers in the central Pennsylvania region!

September 13, 2004 -- CDH decided to run a classified ad in the Tribune-Democrat and relates the experience in his own words. The ad would have read as follows:

NOTICE: The letter in September 11 Readers' Forum about senior citizens and the Cambria County Fair was greatly de-fanged by the editor. For copy of letter with ALL the teeth, contact C. D. Harriger at (phone number given) or go to www.crrange.com.

Well, the lady I spoke with about the ad said she would have to get it approved and then she would call me back. Eventually she got back and said they could not run the ad as I had submitted it, but would run it if there were some changes. She read it and the de-fanged expression was changed to say that the letter had been "edited." And the expression about getting a copy with "ALL the teeth" was changed to read simply full copy of the letter, etc. I had to laugh quite a bit about this and asked who called the shot on that, and she said the publisher, which didn't surprise me. She also added that they said I could resubmit the letter and to make sure it was 250 words or less. Again I had to laugh because I had gone round and round with them before on this.

One time I submitted a letter and it was returned with the note that it exceeded their 250 world "limit." Just after that a letter was printed about a political conflict going on in Jackson Twp. just north of Johnstown. It was a long letter -- in fact I counted over 370 words in it and fired off a letter about their inconsistency on printing letters to the editor. As you might expect, I got no response on that.

Another glaring exception these newspaper people make is in regard to our local rep in the U.S. Congress -- if he writes a letter to the editor which is published in the Readers' Forum, and once in a while he does this, they overlook the 250 word limit for him. Politicians have more "perks" than any of us realize, do they not?

But here on my turf the editors can look and read but are powerless to use their scissors and red pencils -- oooooeeeee! What fun!

Wednesday, September 08, 2004


Is it asking too much for those in charge of the Cambria County Fair to show some special consideration for senior citizens? The majority of these live on very limited incomes with each month proving to be an increasing struggle to meet financial obligations.

The $8 admission fee to the fair is unreasonable for many seniors. They may not be that interested in whatever is going on at the grandstand or in jumping on some moving apparatus for a ride. All some of us want is to move around the grounds a bit, eat some of the food, view exhibits, and visit with friends we may happen to meet.

The $5 "walk around" fee is no bargain either. One might as well add the 3 bucks, sit on the merry-go-round a while, take a pillow and sit in the grandstand for part of the evening anyhow.

Part of the $10 ("walk around") fees which my wife and I will save by not attending the fair will put a few quarts of gas in the tank as we go to appointments with our physician, optometrist, dentist, urologist, and cardiologist.

Part of the $10 will also help a bit as we lay out increased payments for our prescriptions at the drug store.

And some of the remainder of that $10 will assist us in meeting monthly premiums on a health care plan which has been sky-rocketing primarily due to trial lawyers' success in suing persons and entities in the health care system. Lawyer/politicians have also contributed to this mess by blocking every serious effort to bring about much needed tort reform!

It sure would be delightful if some year the managers of the Cambria County Fair would announce, "Senior citizens, we know with your limited income you are getting gouged every time you turn around. As of now we no longer will be a part of that. Come on in and enjoy the fair on us at no charge!"

Will it ever happen? Infectious greed being what it is, the chance of such a welcome is less than that of a mouse surviving alive after being tossed into a room full of very hungry pussy cats!

Still contending at www.crrange.com

Clayton D. Harriger

OK, you read the original as sent by CDH -- now take a look at the efficient "hatchet job" the editor of The Tribune-Democrat did on the letter before it was published -- no kidding, folks -- these people think they are the only ones who know how to write a letter! Perhaps they should get a part time job working with dentists -- they are experts at extracting teeth!

Tribune-Democrat print version of letter as published - September 11, 2004

Is it asking too much for those in charge of the Cambria County Fair to show some special consideration for senior citizens? The majority of these people live on very limited incomes.

The $8 admission fee to the fair is unreasonable for many seniors. They may not be that interested in whatever is going on at the grandstand or in jumping on some moving apparatus for a ride. All that some of us want is to move around the grounds a bit, eat some food, view exhibits and visit with friends.

The $5 "walk around" fee is no bargain either. Part of the $10 in "walk around" fees which my wife and I will save by not attending the fair will put a few quarts of gas in the tank as we go to appointments with our various doctors. It will also help with our increased payments and premiums for health care insurance.

It sure would be delightful if some year the managers of the fair would announce: "Come on in and enjoy the fair on us at no charge."

Will it ever happen?

Rev. Clayton D. Harriger


Letters by CDH Which Were
Not Published
by The Tribune-Democrat of Johnstown, PA
And again, many thanks to the editors of the Altoona Mirror, Indiana Gazette, and Mainline Newspapers for printing my letters, which in the vast majority of cases, exactly as I had written them -- no major hatchet jobs were done on any of them.
--- cdh

Sunday, June 29, 2008 --- Thunder in the Valley just another form of idolatry.


It appears that Thunder in the Valley is simply another form of idolatry which has taken root in our culture. The Sunday edition of the Tribune-Democrat gave extensive details of scheduled activities that literally overwhelmed the few details of worship services being held!

But then, that is typical in our republic where generations ago Sunday was recognized and respected as a day set apart for the honoring and worship of Almighty God Who makes life and existence possible for every human being. During that period businesses shut down and the day was given to worship and rest on the part of entire families.

However, in recent decades as the spirit of materialism and pursuit of pleasure have enslaved the majority of our population, we have been witnessing the progressive unraveling of the ethical, moral and spiritual fabric of the entire nation.

Since there is not a particle of evidence of any desire to repent, perhaps we should change the name from Sunday to Funday and then wait for God's response to a nation which has played the hypocrite by printing the phrase, "In God We Trust," on its currency and coins.

The law of sowing and reaping still applies to individuals and nations, though we can be easily deceived into thinking we can get away with defying the laws established by the Creator of this universe!

Still contending at www.crrange.com and blogging at http://cdharriger.blogspot.com,

Clayton D. Harriger, pastor

NOTE: The above was sent to the Johnstown Tribune-Democrat. A few days later a letter was sent to the editors of the three other newspapers in the area which are named above. There was a bit of additional information included in those letters in the first two paragraphs. This is the change from the above letter:

It appears that Thunder in the Valley is simply another form of idolatry which has taken root in our culture. The Sunday edition of a newspaper based in Johnstown gave extensive details of scheduled activities that literally overwhelmed the few details of worship services being held, including a few paid ads by churches in the area!

The Thunder in the Valley event received high profile attention through Sunday with surrounding communities also attempting to cash in on the happenings and appealing to participants to indulge in whatever was being offered. A poll was conducted by the above mentioned newspaper asking readers to express what they liked best about the Thunder action such as the girls, the bikes, the beer, etc. One option in the poll which should have been added but wasn't, was this - "when they leave!" There are citizens in the region who would have checked that box!

I have since learned that Mainline Newspapers printed the letter in its entirety as I wrote it and included the web site and blog references as well. Thanks Mainline!

Tuesday, October 2, 2007 --- Some churches are choosing to leave their parent denominations for very legitimate reasons.


Dissatisfaction with trends in church denominations has prompted 2 congregations in the south central Pennsylvania region to consider leaving their parent denominations. This unfolding event has been discussed in some local media.

In recent decades there has been a growing restlessness at the grass roots level among those identified with mainline denominations in particular.

The primary reason for the intense dissatisfaction is rather simple. There has been an abandonment of Biblical authority on the part of many who hold positions of high level denominational leadership as well as too many pastors of local congregations. To put it in explicit terminology – “The Bible really doesn’t mean what it says!” The twisted and perverted “interpretations” which have crept in over the years has resulted in declining membership numbers for the mainline groups. In the case of one major mainline, the loss is in the tens of thousands each year.

Those widely accepted apostate teachings now tell us such things as the opening chapters of Genesis being the stuff from which myths and fairy tales are born, sexual behavior condemned by a holy God no longer is, Jesus Christ is not really the person portrayed in the New Testament Scriptures, etc!

One research project a few years ago revealed the shocking fact that only about 51 per cent of protestant pastors in this country hold to a Biblical world view in their lives and ministry!

A few of us still hold to the solid fact that the day is coming when God will interrupt the flow of human history and graphically demonstrate that every “jot and tittle” of His Word is true indeed!

Still contending at www.crrange.com and blogging at http://cdharriger.blogspot.com,

Clayton D. Harriger, United Methodist pastor
Western PA Annual Conference

Monday, April 23, 2007 --- The shooting and killing of a number of VA Tech students on April 15, 2007.


The TV media explicitly demonstrated a morphosis from Dr. Jekyll to Mr. Hyde as it relished the tragedy at Virginia Tech a week ago. Or to put it another way, these people resembled a school of piranha in bloody waters stripping its victim to a skeleton in a short period of time.

True to form in their inconsistency, members of the TV networks constantly threw the word "massacre" at us while intentionally avoiding the fact that on April 15, 2007 hundreds of unborn children were massacred in their mothers' wombs! Further, these people will never give us the details with shocking photos for proof regarding the greatest massacre in United States history. The grand total is now approaching 48 million victims and a 9 mm semi-automatic pistol was not the murder weapon used. How about a ban on those instruments which destroy the unborn in the womb?

As could be expected an anti-gun campaign has been revived with able assistance from the media. Get rid of the guns and we will have a safe and peaceful society so we are told. Hypocrisy is rampant on this issue also. Compare how many people have died violently as a result of use of alcoholic beverages in a year's time compared with death by firearms. We can start with number of victims of drunken drivers and then add on the other circumstances, including those who drank some booze and then in anger killed someone with a gun! But then, there hasn't been a campaign to rid the country of alcoholic beverages because of destruction, pain, sorrow, and death which it has caused, has there? Just get rid of those horrible guns and our troubles will be over!

We have yet to witness a full response from the God Whom we profess to trust as inscribed on our coins and currency. In His revelation to us He has made it clear that hypocrisy is not a way of life in which He takes delight and the price to be paid is far greater than any of us can imagine.

Still contending at www.crrange.com and blogging at http://cdharriger.blogspot.com

Clayton D. Harriger, Pastor

Wednesday, January 17, 2007 --- Issue of a high school sophomore standing for her convictions and winning a law suit for the right to distribute pro-life literature at her school.

Dear Editor:

Ah, a breath of fresh air. Once in a great while the good guys manage to win one in a culture plagued with a destructive system of values!

Accolades to sophomore, Sarah Hollen, for her victory in her lawsuit regarding her right to distribute pro-life literature at Penn Cambria High School within certain guidelines.

Sarah’s convictions are most encouraging at a time when there are highly organized efforts to have our young people march in lock step to a drum beat which declares that it is quite acceptable to destroy unborn children, express themselves freely anytime they want in a variety of sexual experiences, and that they are simply products of an evolutionary process which has its roots in lower life forms.

Appreciation also needs to be extended to her parents and friends for their support as she refused to be censored in this unfortunate circumstance.

Way to go, Sarah. Continue to stand by your convictions for what is right and always remember that God will write the final chapter when it comes to our loyalty to what is just, right, and true!

Still contending at www.crrange.com

Clayton D. Harriger, Pastor

Tuesday, July 4, 2006 --- Issue of publicity about breaking the law in Pennsylvania by using "illegal" fireworks versis issue of what is "legal" under Pennsylvania law! There is more than a tad of hypocrisy going on!


It has become an annual ritual bordering on the sacred when the Fourth of July is observed in the state of Pennsylvania. Before the event, the media pulls out all the stops about safety and the fact that certain types of fireworks, while available to the public in other states, are illegal in the commonwealth. Even law enforcement officers are featured on news programs expounding on fireworks and usage of the same. We are reminded that due to illegal use there have been serious injuries such as loss of fingers and eyesight.

However, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania is in the business of selling alcoholic beverages and trying to “regulate” commercial establishments that dispense such beverages. It is impossible to calculate the amount of misery and loss in terms of injury, broken relationships, breakup of families, loss of employment, loss of good health and tragic deaths due to use of alcoholic beverages.

The Commonwealth is also in the process of expanding gambling activities within the state. Again it is impossible to statistically list the sorrow and loss or number of victims due to the driving desire to “get rich quick.” After all, it only takes one more scratch card, one more pull of the handle or push of the button and I’m home free!

“We’ll sell you a bottle of Jack Daniels and some cards to make you rich, but don’t forget that it is illegal to light the fuse of an M-80 on July Fourth because you might lose a couple of fingers.” So says the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, which is determined to save its citizens from themselves but for two major exceptions.

But what can you expect from a state which has the most cumbersome legislature of all 50 states and the members of which have demonstrated that their priority is to fatten their wallets with attempted pay raises at the midnight hour and the enhancement of their perks that are beyond the wildest dreams of the citizens they claim to represent.

Clayton D. Harriger
Retired United Methodist pastor

Tuesday, February 14, 2006 --- Issue of PennDOT proposal to truck about 1 million tons of acid rock (Pyrite) from Centre County, where the I-99 road construction project is stalled because of the pyrite material, to Pine Township in Indiana County and mix it with equal amounts of fly ash hauled from generating stations. This is supposed to "neutralize" the acid rock. Letter below is about this issue and a portion of this web site is devoted to the issue with lots of pictures at Acid Rock, Fly Ash, PennDOT & the DEP -- a Deadly Mix in Any Man's Language!


The meeting at the Heilwood Firehall on February 13th proved to be intensely emotional as reps from PennDOT and the DEP attempted to explain and justify the proposal to transport a massive amount of acid rock material from Centre County and fly-ash material from power stations to a landfill site in Pine Township in Indiana County.

It is obvious that they were ill prepared to deal with citizens' legitimate objections in terms of the health and safety hazards this will present to the area. An excessively high volume truck traffic will present dangers to the families along the traveled Routes of 422 and 403. What to do about the treacherous intersection of 422 and 403 with increased truck traffic has not been seriously addressed.

The problem of debris and dust from the fly-ash transported cannot be controlled and it will prove to be a menace under all kinds of weather conditions. Personal health and property will both be adversely affected during the time the "project" runs its course.

Law enforcement officers would have to be posted at least a mile apart along the traveled routes in order to control the speed of the trucks. We all know that simply will not happen due to lack of numbers of personnel needed for enforcement. My wife was nearly launched into eternity a few years ago by a tri-axle truck driver who felt the speed limit didn't apply to him!

There are grounds for believing that a political "deal" was worked out in which with the wealth and political clout existing in the State College area that it was agreed to make "lowly" Pine Township in lndiana County their "toilet!"

Let's also not forget that PennDOT is one of the worst polluters in the commonwealth and that with DEP approval. Who else can get away with dumping huge amounts of toxic chemicals on our highways which in turn hasten the corrosion and deterioration of our bridges and vehicles, kill vegetation, and pollute our water systems!

The issue of acid rock being transported to Pine Township would not even surface if high level PennDOT and DEP officials and their families were forced to live along Rt. 403 from Rt. 422 to the proposed Centre County "toilet" during the term of the "project!"

Still contending at www.crrange.com

Clayton D. Harriger, Pastor

Friday November 25, 2005 --- Issue of a Republican congressman making a junket to Iraq after Congressman John Murtha issues a call for withdrawing our troops from Iraq. If you are not aware of this yet, you will be -- when a congressman makes such a trip for a few days at most, he comes back as an "instant expert" on the situation -- if you don't believe it, just ask him!


You have to give him credit! Congressman Bill Schuster certainly knows how to exploit a circumstance for making "political hay!"

In response to Congressman Jack Murtha's call for getting our troops out of Iraq at the earliest possible date, Schuster is now heading for Iraq for the third time and taking 3 Republicans and 3 Democrats with him on his junket into that torn up country for a couple of days.

He will return and then exploit the media in an attempt to convince us that he is now an "expert" on the Iraq situation, that we need to support the Bush administration position on its "war on terror," and that Jack Murtha has really fumbled the ball in suggesting we bring our military home from Iraq!

It's too bad that we taxpayers, who are footing the bill for this latest escapade on Schuster's part, could not have stipulated that we pay only for the trip to Iraq and leave Schuster and his congressional buddies in that country for about 10 or 15 years and then maybe he would come to face reality about Islam and its ultimate goals not just for Iraq, but for the world!

Still contending at www.crrange.com

Clayton D. Harriger, Pastor
And former Sgt. USMC - 1952-1955

Tuesday July 26, 2005 --- Issue of politicians giving themselves pay raises - the Harrisburg PA breed and the Washington DC breed!


They did it again, and as usual in their customary underhanded ways of operation, our politicians in Harrisburg and Washington DC doled out for themselves (from our pockets) liberal pay raises.

The one thing these people, who have betrayed the citizens who elected them in more ways than one, are very reluctant to do is to publicly lay out the explicit details as to what they receive by way of salary, excessive "perks," health care benefits, retirement benefits, etc. And once having done that, then place along side their record of financial and perk benefits one of the average citizen whom they claim to "represent!" If this comparison were made widely known, it may well be that few would ever want to enter a voting booth again!

Initiating a cure for this disease of greed on the part of elected officials would involve:

  • Having all proposed salary and perk increases solely determined by vote of the citizens. After all, what other group of employees can you identify which has total power to determine what their wages and benefits are going to be?

  • In the case of the Pennsylvania legislature, which is acknowledged to be one of the most cumbersome in the whole country in terms of size, reducing the body by 50 per cent of its present number!

  • Establishing term limits for all elected officials at both state and federal levels.

  • Every citizen being resolved to vote anti-incumbent in each election for a few years!

Reality bluntly reminds us that the above changes have about as much chance of taking place in our political experience as a snowball has of surviving in that very hot place you may have heard about. The main reason for this being that in spite of our complaining, the politicians know that after they have gnawed all the meat off the bone and then throw us the bone, we will be grateful, praise them for "doing a good job," and vote them back into office with the assurance that later on down the road we will get another bone or two!

For the few who are very sensitive to the special revelation that God has made readily available to us, there is a comforting hope that the day will come in which all persons who are in some position of governing authority will be removed from those positions and the lavish salaries and perks will be gone permanently! It will be the moment when peace has finally come to earth, not by the manipulating efforts of governing powers all over the world, but by the direct intervention in human affairs on the part of our Creator Himself!

Still contending at www.crrange.com

Clayton D. Harriger, Pastor

PS - Further clarification on the last paragraph is seen at Good News! A Day Coming in Which All Politicians Will Be Removed from Office!"

Thursday April 28, 2005 --- Issue of evolutionary theory vs. the creative acts of God.


Debate over the origin of the universe and the human race continues to rage with an unprecedented intensity. Fueling this issue have been the efforts to inject the idea of "intelligent design." This powerfully challenges the theory of evolution which has long been widely accepted in the educational process in a majority of schools at all levels.

I remember with much amusement being in a college classroom many moons ago where a professor attempted to show us that evolution was the way things came to be. "Evidence" in part consisted of a display of ancient skull fragments placed in what was allegedly the "family tree" of the human race!

Evolutionary theory is very convenient because it either denies God or at best relegates Him to non-active status on the sidelines. As a result there is no personal accountability as to what we have done with life. Therefore we can make our own "rules," live like alley cats, pursue a life of selfishness and greed, settle our differences with others in violent fashion, and measure our "success" by the plummeting United States dollar!

Sadly a majority of our young has little or no exposure as to what God has revealed about Himself, His acts in bringing this mighty universe into existence by spoken command, His purpose for human life, and what He has done to make possible the reconciling of humans to Himself through His Son, Jesus Christ. We should not be surprised at the destructive patterns of abuse, violence, immorality, and sense of hopelessness which dominate the lives of many of all ages due to the far reaching influence of evolutionary theory after school days are over!

There are some who attempt to put a "Christian" twist to evolutionary theory by suggesting that God "worked" through the process as we evolved over long time periods. This attempt to wed God and evolutionary theory is about as impressive and effective as making a team out of an ox and a jackass!

Indeed the acceptance of the fact that God created all things by spoken command is a faith matter. However, it is also a rock solid reality in the lives of those who have centered their faith in this God Who chose to become human in the Person of Jesus Christ. To know His presence, His peace, His power, His purpose, and His plan for time and eternity is something that evolutionary theory cannot and will not provide.

For the time being the "ball" has been tossed into the "court of human choice" by the Creator. We can fumble it by the acceptance of false and destructive theories, which a majority has chosen to do because of rejecting His special revelation to us, or pick it up and make a positive response to this all powerful God Who calls us and created us for a very high and holy purpose.

Still contending at www.crrange.com,

Clayton D. Harriger, Pastor

Friday, March 22, 2005 --- Issue of life in light of the experience of Terri Schiavo and others.


News headlines on March 22nd were shocking reminders that our "culture of death" continues to thrive without serious restraint!

While the President and the Congress made a last minute scramble in a bid to prevent the slow starvation death of Terri Schiavo, this same elected group has made no consistent effort to prevent the mutilation and violent murders of thousands of unborn children each week in a republic which boasts that all should have "the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness."

Another news event has underscored the truth that the law of sowing and reaping is permanent with no alteration possible. A student went on a shooting rampage killing grandparents, others and finally himself.

What more could we expect and why should we be surprised? For decades now we have been programming the young via the entertainment, gaming, and music industries that you set your own ethical and moral code of conduct. "If it feels good, then by all means do it -- instant gratification is the way to go!" But worse than that, "If I have a disagreement with someone or an axe to grind over some supposed wrong I have suffered, then I take the law into my own hands and level the playing field by the use of a violent response!"

As a small minority recalls with joy God's merciful provision in making a "culture of life" a distinct possibility this Easter season, it is also unmistakably clear that the majority still prefer the "culture of death" as it continues to shout with great enthusiasm, "Crucify Him!"

Still contending at www.crrange.com

Clayton D. Harriger, Pastor

Friday, March 11, 2005 --- Issue of homosexuality in response to a letter written to J T-D Readers' Forum.


Emma Cowle (Mar. 11, "Biblical translations err on homosexuality") is the one who is in error on a number of counts

First, the issue is not a Hebrew or a Greek word and its translation related to homosexuality. The issue is God's plain revelation that a man is absolutely forbidden to enter into sexual intimacy with another man as he would with a woman. God labels such activity as an abomination.

The moral code for all human behavior has been clearly defined by God, including sexual experience which is specifically limited to a male and a female within the bond of marriage!

Second, the Bible is explicitly clear that all Scripture has come into existence through the inspiration of God the Holy Spirit. In the final analysis it is considered by a small minority known as "Bible believing Christians" to be the Word of God. And yes, Jesus is also referred to as the Word of God. He adorned Himself with flesh and blood and paid a personal visit to this planet 2 millennia ago.

Third, "theologians" are not the final authority on anything any more than psychologists are the final authority on human behavior. Rembert S. Truluck is an aggressive homosexual who is deeply involved in advancing the homosexual agenda in our culture. His view of the Scriptures reflects that position. He and others such as he put a "spin" on the Scriptures that make a corkscrew seem straight as an arrow by way of comparison!

Still contending at www.crrange.com

Clayton D. Harriger, Pastor

Monday January 03, 2005 --- Issue of programming by WJAC-TV in Johnstown PA as expressed by a former news anchor of that station.


Ron Stephenson made some very appropriate remarks regarding WJAC-TV and its style of programming in his January 3rd letter.

He did not cover quite all the bases in his suggested "tips" as to what might be done by way of "improving" daily news reporting.

How about a substantial increase in reminders of "First at Six" and "You saw it here first on Channel 6!"

There is something that leaves a lasting impression when people insist on tooting their own horns endlessly in the public arena. The same kind of impression made on a young lady and her parents by a rather thoughtless young man who sits at the curb side tooting his horn as the signal for her to come out and join him on a scheduled date instead of showing her respect, going politely to the door and escorting her to the car as a true gentleman would!

Right on target Ron!

Still contending at www.crrange.com

Clayton D. Harriger

Saturday December 18, 2004 --- Issue of the alleged Social Security "crisis" as stressed by President George W. Bush.


President Bush has emphatically stressed that the Social Security system is in "crisis" at the present time and action must be taken to correct the problem. A number of officials seem to agree with this assessment.

However it has obviously not dawned on our elected officials that the Social Security system would be a bit stronger financially than it is if we had not implemented a most heinous "policy" nearly 32 years ago. That national policy began when the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that it is a "constitutional right" for a woman to destroy her unborn child by choice!

If the victims of the United States' customized version of "holocaust" had been permitted to live, millions would now be paying millions of dollars into the Social Security fund. The oldest of these victims would be nearly 32 years of age. Add the number of victims ranging in age from 18 to nearly 32 and you have quite a crowd! The grand total of victims as the hemorrhaging continues is nearing 45 million since initiation of the destruction of unborn children in January of 1973.

Not only is the Social Security fund poorer because of the Supreme Court debacle of 1973, but the entire nation is poorer because the skills and talented gifts of the victims were never used due to the fact that they were murdered before birth in the name of "constitutional rights!"

Since there is no aggressive action being taken to stop the mass murder of the innocents, we can only expect a future "crisis" which will make the Social Security situation seem like a game of Tiddly-Winks by comparison. That crisis will take place when the Creator of this mighty universe, after repeated warnings, finally makes His response to our callused elimination of millions of unborn children whom He knew and identified and for whom He had special plans before this world was ever created! Jeremiah 1 and Psalm 139 are authoritative sources which confirm the ageless truth of God's view of human beings.

Still contending at www.crrange.com

Clayton D. Harriger, Pastor
Gipsy Christian Church
Gipsy, PA


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