Letters for February 24, 2005

Imagine care for homeless instead of war

Re “From homeless to hopeful” by Heidi Kriz (SN&R Cover, February 17):

Thank you for your interesting article on homeless people in SN&R, though it only scratched the surface of a deep psychosocial issue. We need more such articles so people know and remember that life is not all sunshine and butterflies for many Americans.

I am presently a “client” at the Salvation Army Homeless Shelter and have been one before. I am hopeful that I will gain decent employment in the near future.

I work with a recovery group called CASA [Christians Against Substance Abuse] at the Salvation Army. Many times, it is our own addictions, character defects and shortcomings that result in us being in the homeless situation. It’s certain that chemical addiction, including alcohol, is a leading cause of homelessness, but we must also sternly criticize the U.S. government in general and its systematic apathy for Americans who are actually internally displaced refugees.

Imagine if the many billions being spent by the Bush regime on war were spent on helping to address the basic needs of Americans, including basic housing programs? If we want to know the level of civilization in a society we must examine its treatment of its homeless people, including addicts and the mentally ill.

Peter S. Lopez

Gays won’t be alone in hell

Re “Get straight or get thee to hell” by Harmon Leon (SN&R Cover, February 10):

Harmon Leon did an admirable job going undercover investigating these groups that claim to have left the gay lifestyle and embraced Christ and pointing out the inconsistencies. The biblical view of homosexuality is very simple; committing homosexual acts is wrong, and the Bible plainly tells us so: “Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homosexuals” (1 Corinthians 6:9).

But notice that homosexuals aren’t the only lifestyle that’s met with condemnation; fornicators and adulterers are also mentioned. Fornication, which basically can mean any sex outside the bounds of a heterosexual marriage, is a lot more prevalent than homosexual acts, but I don’t see an organization called “PAF” (Parents Against Fornication).

Combating homosexuality is really no different than combating any other sinful desire, like fornication. There’s no instant “cure,” even if one begins to live a life that God accepts. 1 Corinthians 10:13 says Christians won’t be tempted beyond what they can bear, but there will be temptations. Our main weapons against such desires are constant prayer (1 Thessalonians 5:17), seeking God’s kingdom (Matthew 6:33) and watching whom we associate with (1 Corinthians 15:33).

B.T. Ivy
via e-mail

Sad, sad Leon

Re “Get straight or get thee to hell” by Harmon Leon (SN&R Cover, February 10):

Regardless of one’s stance on the conflict between Christianity and homosexuality, this article is disturbing in the appalling lack of ethics that allowed Harmon Leon to pose as someone in need of help to glean personal information on the pain and suffering of others simply for the purpose of creating a mockery of their individual stories.

That he would actually attend support groups, record their intimate dialogue and report it in a regional newspaper not only violates the fundamental ethics of professional journalism, but also is quite simply a foul act. Anyone who has ever attended a support group for any purpose should be offended at the manner in which this article was staged.

He clearly had a preconceived notion of what information these invasions would turn up, which further discredits the article. And how could all this dialogue be recounted verbatim unless it was actually tape-recorded (a further violation of confidentiality)? If no electronic snooping devices were employed, how could the dialogue be quoted directly? I propose that the information may have been truthful in part, but highly editorialized, creating the equivalent of a 10-cent novel.

And where is the well-turned phrase that may have provided the reader with some understanding of what all this means? He ends abruptly with a quote from a support-group member: “The Lord showed me a sadness in you.” I believe the guy was right. Sad indeed.

Lisa Dornback
Elk Grove

No deal breakers for God

Re “Get straight or get thee to hell” by Harmon Leon (SN&R Cover, February 10):

I enjoyed this article very much, although it was personally frustrating.

As a Christian, I find it offensive when people judge and discriminate in the name of Jesus. I don’t believe homosexuality is a deal breaker for God, and I’m not alone in that thinking. I’m writing to make people aware that there are churches that gay Christians can attend where they will be accepted for who they are and not be expected to change.

I attend Davis United Methodist Church (UMC), which became a reconciling congregation in 1997. This means our church welcomes all people regardless of age, physical condition, race, gender, sexual orientation or class—just as they are, and we mean it. Our congregation includes many gay members and same-sex families, which add to the wonderful diversity that makes our church such an awesome place to be. I’ve never met more loving, generous, socially and globally conscious, intelligent people than I have met at this church, and I believe they are so incredible because they truly love and accept all people without judgment.

It’s not our job to judge or tell people how to live. I am straight, but I have found a church’s view on homosexuality to be a good indicator for how it views other important issues. In Davis UMC, I finally found a church that accepts all people to worship together as they are. How refreshing!

Kelley Phillips

Thou shalt laugh

Re “Thou shalt not mock” (SN&R Letters, February 17):

Obviously, Mr. Rupp missed the main point of Harmon Leon’s article, “Get straight or get thee to hell” (SN&R Cover, February 10). It’s humor! Sure, it wasn’t Pulitzer Prize-winning journalistic brilliance, but it was funny.

I don’t know, but maybe Mr. Rupp is anti-gay. Maybe he’s one of these “crazy-eyed” Christians who try to shove down everyone’s throat their fantasy about a God and a Jesus looking down from heaven with disdain when men and women fall in love with their own sex. Maybe Mr. Rupp thinks one can just switch one’s sexuality like one would switch laundry detergents. Maybe he’s all these things and just can’t laugh at himself, although society certainly has no problem mocking and laughing at homosexuals.

At least, all the gay people in my life keep a sense of humor about their legal discrimination at the hands of the irrational religions that plague our government and culture.

Wayne Schiller

But Flynt makes a lot more money!

I find it so hypocritical for SN&R to constantly act so omnipotent when it comes to issues of morality and ethics. You always rail about conservative Republicans and the so-called capitalist pirates who only care about profit and the bottom line. You would have your readers believe you really care more about people, feel their pain and know what is truly best for everyone, unlike the evil, conspiratorial Republicans.

Unfortunately, you show your true colors in the last 15 or so pages of your weekly Socialist propaganda sheet, with the dehumanization, exploitation and profiteering of women. As Shakespeare once said, “A whore is a whore is a whore.” You are far more guilty of hypocrisy and crass capitalism than the evil Republicans you constantly vilify. There’s no low to which you would not stoop to sell advertisements and generate revenue. I’m quite sure the rationale or justification somehow is being cloaked in the First Amendment. Tom Walsh is more reminiscent of Larry Flynt than Plato or Socrates.

Sheila LaMonica
Granite Bay


Re “Everlasting Love” (SN&R In the mix, February 17):

In last week’s review of Vanessa Williams’ new CD, the original hit recording of the song “Show and Tell” was attributed incorrectly to Al Green. “Show and Tell” originally was recorded by Al Wilson. This has been corrected on the Web site.