Letters to the Editor

Won't help themselves

If Bill McEwen intended to create sympathy for Ina Briney, her son and his girlfriend, his Nov. 22 column had the opposite effect on me. Ms. Briney, herself, seems to be the only member of the family who has any "gumption."

Her 39-year-old son hasn't held a job since 2001, has a prison record and has often "gotten into trouble" because of a bad temper. He looks after his mother by checking with her several times a day. His girlfriend apparently does not work. That leaves Ms. Briney as the principal provider for a family of three adults and three dogs.

During my career in pastoral ministry, I have devoted a large part of my effort to helping the poor. However, I have little sympathy for a family in which two able-bodied adults do little or no work and expect an elderly mother to support them with the sale of items she knits and crochets and sells to passersby on the sidewalk.

I do not walk in these people's shoes. Maybe there are factors I don't know. But sad to say, these are people I am not willing to help, because they seem unwilling to help themselves.

Newell P. Knudson, Retired minister, United Methodist Church

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