Letters to the Editor - Owe ‘em April 15 2004

Your cover story “Shame on us” gets it all wrong (April 8). The Republicans get the blame for the ban gay marriage amendment and a lot of other bad legislation this year. They have unfortunately created a powerful political presence in Georgia by exploiting the biased among us.

The Democrats, especially the four you pillory, are our best hope to avoid a complete Republican take-over in our state. Just this year, these powerful Democrats defeated some bad environmental legislation, some awful budget priorities and another amendment that would have taken Georgia a step toward a theocracy.

We owe them a lot. Let’s help ‘em, not hurt ‘em.

-- John Helm, Atlanta

br>?Set an example
I’m cutting out “Shame on us,” (April 8) and tacking it on my bulletin board! I too am embarrassed by the “state.” We must look like a bunch of ignorant hillbillies to the rest of the nation.

-- Ann Crail, Atlanta

br>?Do the right thing
With all the problems facing our state, abysmal education, children without health insurance, crime, traffic, pollution — what do the redneck, hillbilly, uncle Tom, hypocritical bigots in the state Legislature do (“Shame on us,” April 8)? They spend almost the entire session trying to legislate hatred and discrimination. Every one of those idiots who were involved in this mean-spirited initiative should whipped.

And Calvin Smyre should be first in line. He could’ve stopped this abomination in its tracks, and he didn’t have the intestinal fortitude to do the right thing.

-- Eric Pearson, Atlanta

br>?True colors
I have two problems with the annual “Golden Sleaze Awards” (April 1): It should have been a much longer article, and there should have been a photograph of Sen. Casey Cagle, who never met a developer he wasn’t willing to sell his soul to.

Thanks for printing an annual piece that exposes the true character of some of the clowns serving in the Georgia House and Senate. The truth is stranger than fiction with this group of elected officials.

-- Dan Magee, Decatur

?Why, oh why?
At a time when it’s estimated the ratio of deaths between Iraqi civilians and U.S. soldiers in the U.S. invasion of Iraq was 33-1 (from Democracy Now via Free Speech TV), Bob Barr wants us to believe “troops continue to be hamstrung by arbitrary policy restrictions” (Flanking Action, “To Kill or Not to Kill,” April 1).

Tell me again, why this propagandist flux has a column in the Loaf.

-- Arland Miller, Lawrenceville

br>?Thanks for the memories
Thomas Bell: How did you know this history so well (Vibes, “More than skin deep,” March 25)?

I met the [Indigo Girls] at Good Old Days in Buckhead in ‘81. They were 16-17. Thus began our musical relationship.

This was a great story, and you are funnier than ****!

Thank you for the memories in chronological order.

-- Caroline Aiken, Atlanta

br>?Loved, no matter what
Thanks for taking the time and effort to research Christian reconstruction and its influence on modern American culture (“America the theocracy,” March 25). I go to a Presbyterian church in Atlanta (PCA), so I can deeply understand the concerns of what you wrote about.

I don’t feel welcomed or loved by the liberals or the conservatives. Both seem to be full of their own self-importance and arrogance (sometimes unconsciously), unless you wholly subscribe to their ideologies and follow them with total agreement. I have always had a difficult time with the polarizing language (us vs. them) used in our society: Democrat vs. Republican, liberal vs. conservative, etc. That approach to cultural life is not based on cooperation and dialogue in a holistic sense.

I think all people have far more in common than they realize and it’s hypocritical to assume that people from other backgrounds are somehow less deserving of true respect and the benefit of the doubt. Part of the gospel is that I am loved more than I can ever know, even though I am sinful and broken in depths I can’t fully comprehend ... and this is a continuous message for all people at all times — Christians and non-Christians.

-- Andy Rhodes, Atlanta

br>?You’d never know
Thank you for shining a light on the wormy underbelly of these fundamentalist freaks (“America the theocracy,” March 25). As a reluctant resident of Marietta I can tell you that this type of thinking is more widespread than anyone would ever guess. I think you have a great talent and I hope that you can expand your article into book form. It is a story that needs to be told.

-- Christina Schubert, Marietta

br>?Proud to be a conservative
John Sugg did as thorough and detailed a job on presenting the views of reconstructionists and adherents of dominion theology as anyone I’ve ever read in the secular media (“America the theocracy,” March 25). It is refreshing to see a report where the writer truly did his homework. Reconstructionism is cause for concern for those who appreciate the intent of our Founding Fathers and their desire to keep God’s institutions separate while acknowledging the fact that they do influence each other.

It is important to note that some conveniently categorize all sincere Christian fundamentalists, religious conservatives and conservative evangelicas as “extremists.” Sugg was largely successful in avoiding those characterizations and, in fact, noted for the reader that not every conservative Christian is an extremist.

I’m proud to be identified with the religious conservative causes. At the same time, I have no desire to be in a position of governmental leadership. For me, it would be a step away from my calling and a step down in my mission. But being a Christian should no more limit my involvement as a citizen than does my being a conservative.

Kudos to John Sugg and CL for examining an interesting topic in a way that informed, provoked, and for the most part, got it right!

-- Dan Burrell, Charlotte, N.C.

br>?Live in peace
I am a member of the free-thought society, and an avid supporter of church-state separation groups (such as Americans United). In the article “America the Theocracy” (March 25), John Sugg hit the nail square on the head. I agree, America, the “land of the free,” is a theocracy today. The freedom of religion we Americans so proudly sing of, has become nothing more than an oxymoron.

Religious freedom today belongs only to the political powerful. This is a very far cry indeed, from “freedom and justice for all.” The reason is because of a certain demographic in the Christian population: fundamentalists who are hell-bent on claiming this land for God.

Is it freedom to outlaw gay marriage or polymarriage for Mormons; to force religion on other people’s children in school; to block the teaching of evolution in science class; to proscribe by law how and whom individuals can play with in private? All these issues are driven by fundamentalist Christians (and only the tip of the iceberg). By all means, tend to your own flock and live in peace with the rest of society (as the Founding Fathers intended). It’s an un-American treasonous act to subvert out American government toward a theocracy favoring “your” religion.

-- Robert Mckee, Tucker