Letters to the Editor - January 13 2005

Ask him

Steve Fennessy: You're right, but one could argue that some of the issues you mention are too intrusive ("Idiot wind," Dec. 30). Here's a question that, if it were put to Dylan, wouldn't violate the guy's privacy at all: "Why don't you play guitar onstage anymore?"

If Elton John were to suddenly abandon the piano, I imagine he'd be asked about that during an interview. Dylan is a famous guitarist who has abandoned the guitar. Not noteworthy, apparently, in the eyes of his interviewers.

-- Jeff Norman, Los Angeles, Calif.

br>?Missed opportunities
I enjoyed your article about Bob Dylan ("Idiot wind," Dec. 30). I also thought the guys missed opportunities to unravel mysteries and get important questions answered.

-- Matt Steichen, Remsen, Iowa

[The pirate dog] is quite possibly the funniest thing I have seen in my life (Scene & Herd, "A year in rebuke," Dec. 30).

At the very least, it cracks me up beyond all measure. My friends and I want to make Pirate Dog our mascot. I want to make a T-shirt that reads "Baaaarrrrrrrrrk!!!!" above his picture. I'm heading out right now to pick up 3,000 copies of this week's CL, just so I'll never be without Pirate Dog.

-- Kendra Howe, Atlanta

br>?Shoot me in the foot
Tony Ware perfectly captured the disorganized, drunken frenzy of Underground Atlanta on New Year's Eve (RedEye, Jan. 6). The scene he describes in "Future imperfect" is exactly the kind of situation I strive to avoid when I go out, and as usual he chronicles the ups and downs of Atlanta nightlife with idiosyncratic flair. I don't expect the Underground crowds will last long after the initial bloom of late-night drinking wears off. A bartender friend of mine assures me that after over a year of going to bed early, even her most hardcore regulars have gotten used to early hours. In fact, another friend who went to Underground last weekend said by 2 a.m., the party was pretty much over. It would seem the city's elaborately orchestrated plan to drive the people of Atlanta to Underground (whether they like it or not) has once again turned out to be little more than a well-placed bullet to the foot.

-- Craig Gates, Atlanta

br>?Remember them fondly
(In response to Humbug Square, "The coach," Dec. 9.) I played for Oglethorpe '59-'63. In fact, Charles Lee and I guarded each other that night when Rhode Island came to Atlanta.

I must say that what success that I have had in business and life, I owe a tremendous debt to Garland Pinholster for his guidance on and off the court. We are still best of friends today. My years at Oglethorpe were unforgettable.

-- Bob Nance, Calhoun

br>?Do unto others?
Has everyone forgotten how the people of Malaysia and Indonesia celebrated our losses on Sept. 11? I think they have. Aid? I think not.

-- Craig Stern, Atlanta

br>?Arrive in the middle
Thank you for such an extraordinary editorial (Fishwrapper, "I am a Christian, too," Nov. 18). Quite frankly, I start to cringe when I hear someone proclaim themselves to be Christian. I was under the impression (and belief) that Jesus taught tolerance; a word and concept that appears to have completely vanished with the Christian right; I find this incredibly alarming and frightening. Our population and country are too diverse to not embrace tolerance. I also don't understand why more churches and religious spokespeople don't speak up to voice a more moderate tone. I don't expect everyone to completely agree on the issues of gay marriage and abortion (to name just a couple of "easy" topics), but I have to believe that we can have a discussion and arrive someplace in the middle.

-- Bruce McKay, Charlotte

br>?Calling all liberal Christians
I was encouraged to read John Sugg's "I am a Christian, too" (Fishwrapper, Nov. 18). As a nonbeliever, I stand in stunned incredulity at the sheer number of fundamentalists and the power they've gained over public policy in this country. It does no good at all for atheists to speak out against this hateful idiocy, because nobody listens to atheists, anyway; they had sooner listen to the devil himself.

So it seems to me that only other Christians have a chance of wrenching back control from these hordes of know-nothing bigots. I encourage Mr. Sugg and his ilk to make more noise, to speak out loud and clear. Try to make it clear that creationist ignoramuses don't own God exclusively. More people need to hear the message that science isn't a black-and-white choice between God and Darwin, between gay marriage and burning them at the stake.

It seems to me that a huge swath of the population has become radically Southernized. So-called "scientific creationism" and biblically reinforced homophobia is no longer the exclusive purview of redneck hillbillies. All you liberal Christians! Where are you? Say something!

-- Greg West, Charlotte

Amen, amen and another AMEN for your wonderful piece, "I am a Christian, too" (Fishwrapper, Nov. 18). Thank you for putting into words exactly how I've been feeling.

-- Philip Hargett Jr., Charlotte

br>?Same God
I am writing you to let you know how much I appreciated "I am a Christian, too" (Fishwrapper, Nov. 18). I was raised Southern Baptist in Conway, S.C., 14 miles west of Myrtle Beach. I was in church at North Conway Baptist every time the doors were open since I was 4. I am now 37, a real estate paralegal and living in Charlotte. And I am proud to be a Democrat! An awful thing happened in our church when I was 17, and I left organized religion when I was 18. But God is more in my life than ever before! I so appreciate everything you said in your article. For the record, I am white, female and straight and with all I grew up around, I am not homophobic nor racist — I seem to have the same God that you do. If homosexuality is such a sin, why is it not mentioned in the Ten Commandments? I absolutely despise "W" for all that he stands for and his lies!

-- Eve Lambert Taylor, Charlotte

br>?Spread the word
Thank you for the "I am a Christian, too" article, from the bottom of my heart (Fishwrapper, Nov. 18). It is gentle words like yours, about Christianity, which are so sorely needed — I only wish your article could be plastered on national billboards instead of just the local newspaper. I'm a young Christian - not a very good one, but I'm trying to find my way and I am so frustrated by those people who use the name of Christ for their own personal gains and twisted vendettas, and what is outrageous is that most of them believe that they are the righteous, and the only righteous. Something as wonderful as the word of God has been so horrifically twisted by people that many young (and old) people don't even know what He stands for because of how twisted His word has become through hate-mongering, self-righteous assholes.

I digress, though. I'm glad to know I'm not alone in my beliefs.

Tracy Coker, Charlotte