God Is Hate
There is no ambiguity there. The fact is, most religions have become so secular they are little more than social organizations. The only reason this is even being discussed is because organized religions are so far from anything like real Christianity that they would crucify Christ all over again. Religions nowadays doesn’t hold a gun to anyone’s head and say, “Get baptized or die!” It is a totally voluntary entity. But it is an obscenity to suggest that God Almighty must compromise His standard of conduct in order to appease people! Besides, no one has enforced those standards for so long that if people were disqualified from public office or public service positions for adultery, lying, or thieving, no one would be left to run the country but Jehovah’s Witnesses! And they won’t do it!
The point is, these religious organizations need to give up any pretense at being Christian and just admit they are secular. The issue will then go away. Anyone who wants can have their ears tickled. (2 Timothy 4:3-4) “For there will be a period of time when they will accumulate teachers for themselves to have their ears tickled.”
It doesn’t matter what you say, it matters what you do. If a group shows another group a black piece of paper and tells them it is white and they disagree, it is because that paper is actually black, not because they hate white. It has to do with the reality of the color of paper. A problem will only exist if people want to write on the black paper with black ink and call it legible. Homosexuals and Christianity are much like black ink on black paper, nothing is “legible.” It will only work if spiritual organizations who want to accept homosexuals and “minister to” homosexual’s spiritual needs give up any pretense at Christianity. If they become white ink on black paper, they will make sense. You can’t have it both ways and expect people to accept it. It isn’t about hate. It’s about logic. It isn’t logical to say “God loves” something He says He hates.
Judith B. Evans
I don’t know whether I should applaud the city for taking down a person of power who abused city funds or if I should blast the city for leaving this guy holding the bag (“Eddie,” June 1 and 8). Former Baltimore police commissioner Ed Norris obviously did a bad thing—he misused funds entrusted to him by the people of this city. It doesn’t matter if everybody was doing it, it doesn’t matter that it was an accepted practice among other city executives, and it doesn’t matter that the funds were paid back. The fact is the funds were misused. Another fact is that the city is almost as much to blame as Mr. Norris.
Please, don’t misunderstand me. While I do believe that every person is ultimately responsible for his or her own actions, the city and “city politics” did everything possible to allow this type of behavior. Mr. Norris did not create this special fund—and we all know that these types of funds exist—he didn’t sign off on his own receipts, and he didn’t directly see to it that the bills were paid. This was obviously a working system long before he got there. Anybody who knows anything about the city also knows that nothing ever gets done with just one person’s OK. Items to be paid must be logged, sent to fiscal for signature, and finally sent to disbursements so that a check can be cut to pay the vendor. There is no way that Mr. Norris’ use of this fund was a secret to anybody. It is quite clear that Mr. Norris was singled out and taken down for reasons other than mishandling funds or misrepresenting himself on a loan application.
Brian Morton does his usual party dance around the bush, pointing out how the Republicans are wrong, again, as they assail W. Mark Felt’s wrongdoing (Political Animal, June 8). Can’t Mr. Morton just admit that the Democrats have their share of wrong deeds and this is one of those?
The fact that Mr. Felt was a very high-level FBI guy, and the FBI was immersed in misdeeds such as wiretapping, along with tailing the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. and labeling him a subversive, are among many other woefully wrong items brushed off or not mentioned by Mr. Morton.
Felt leaked information that should have gone to a grand jury and then hid his misstep for more than 30 years, and that is just brushed over, among many other woeful foundations, and he seems to be Mr. Morton’s idea of a hero. The fact that U.S. Sen. Robert Byrd (D-W.Va.) was a Klansman in his “youth” isn’t condemned either. Is he a hero of Morton’s, too? Guess Sandy Berger is, as stealing secret documents was in the interest of “national security” as well, and because he fell on the sword for Bill Clinton. Felt’s reason for coming out now—not to make amends for his misdeed but because his family needs money—is not mentioned by Mr. Morton.
But, I guess it is OK if you are a Democrat. Sorta like the states that flew the Confederate flag over their various capitals were states that Democrats were in charge of when the flags were first put up, done on their watch, now it is spin time.
My crap detector is ringing here also.
Kudos to Russ Smith for his continuing spot-on parody of right-wing commentators everywhere (Right Field, June 8). His latest joke—pretending to draw some kind of equivalency between W. Mark Felt (at great personal risk helped expose a president bent on undermining our constitutional democracy) and Linda Tripp (for purely partisan political purposes helped expose an illicit affair)—was a riot!
Oh, sweet easy money. I bet a fortune in hell bank notes that City Paper was incapable of writing an article about this year’s Sowebo Festival without turning it into another hatchet job on our neighborhood. It’s been about a year since the last one, and sure enough, along comes Charles Cohen’s June 8 “All Quiet on the Southwestern Front” (Mobtown Beat).
Forget about opening your eyes and ears to the amazing festival so many strove so hard to create that day. More noir traveling down memory lane to last year’s cop melee, picking at the scab, feeling the pulse of the traumatized, simmering up the anxiety we might have with the police this year. I’ll let you on to a little secret: We got over it. We had great final day’s communications with the police and have nothing but good things to say about their service this time ’round.
Look, sorry we couldn’t supply you with a riot again, sorry the 50 bands bored you, sorry the dozens of arts and crafts vendors and Carriage House art show didn’t catch your eye, sorry the children played and painted, sorry the weather was great and the beer flowed, sorry this was one of the most successful festivals in years. Jesus, of all the photos you could pick from a nine-hour festival, you choose the sad closing moment of a palooka busted by the cops. I don’t mean to take anything away from Frank Klein’s great photography, I mean to take away from City Paper’s lazy inability to connect to our community.
I know you are not obligated to write a boring fluff piece on a stupid neighborhood festival. But as a community with so many challenges that manages year in and year out to pull this festival off, we expect more than to be a backdrop for a police blotter. I don’t know why City Paper has it in for us. Maybe you never forgave us for losing those watering holes so long ago. But hey, what the hell, anytime you need a bogeyman to scare the bejesus out of some upstart urban living experiment, I am glad we are here for you. Boo! Corner drug dealers. Boo! Section 8 housing. Boo! No familiar restaurant bars to get drunk in. . . . As far as the positive happenings in the ’hood, we included those in a letter last year as a rebuttal to a previous hatchet job. You’re not getting it twice.
BDC and O’Malley Are Insane
Unless your last name is Hilton, one does not wake up one morning and decide to develop a mixed-use, 752-key hotel complex in a major U.S. metropolitan area (“Strange Bedfellows,” Mobtown Beat, June 1). That’s absurd. This is a project that Mayor Martin O’Malley and the Baltimore Development Corp. are simply unqualified to execute, though that does not seem to be stopping them, even after the project was deemed nonviable by private developers.
Few people understand the influence wielded by the BDC. It is a quasi-public enigma whose original mandate was to facilitate private entities in obtaining and developing Baltimore’s vast stock of underutilized properties. Over time, its role has expanded. It is now the sole city government body that judges and approves all programming, design, and construction of all of downtown’s real estate, both private and public. It decides the fates of projects behind closed doors, to further its own agenda, which, so far, is demonstrated by the disastrous west side rejuvenation. Now these arrogant nonelected civilians, who are unaccountable to the public, wish to become hotel developers with your money.
BDC President M.J. “Jay” Brodie may have announced on April 11 that the city ran out of options and must finance the project, but long before that the design was awarded to RTKL and astrologer-type consultants were hired to create reports with predetermined results. Such preparation shows that the BDC recognized that no sane private developer was going to touch this site anytime soon, so it did what anybody would do if he or she held all your money and had no accountability: It pressed ahead anyway.
Most repugnant were the comments made by Irene Van Sant, a BDC middle manager. While claiming to speak on behalf of the city, she openly denigrates an elected city councilman, Keiffer Mitchell Jr. (D-11th), and mocks his authority.
Be aware, citizens, that if these demagogues become a competitor in the local hotel industry, they will saturate a struggling market and may force some hotels out of business. These are the same hotels whose design and construction was originally dictated and controlled by the BDC, their new competitor. None of this adds up.
What is really needed is more public outrage at this abuse of power and misuse of public money. Unchecked, O’Malley will force this project through and claim it as part of his legacy; however, by the time it is built and fails, he will either be in the White House or touring with U2, and Baltimore will be stuck with a $305 million tumor on its face.
I wish good luck to Councilman Mitchell and all those that support the concept of a nonsocialist free marketplace. Please defeat this proposal, continue to search for a private developer, and send the message to BDC officials that they are not our elected guardians and are accountable after all.
Correction: In our Media Circus on Dan Rodricks (Mobtown Beat, June 15), University of Maryland journalism professor Christopher Hanson’s name was misspelled. City Paper regrets the error and takes the F with no excuses.
Editor’s note: City Paper art director Joe MacLeod, senior staff writer Van Smith, and freelance illustrator M. Wartella won third place in the Format Buster category as part of the Association of Alternative Weeklies’ 2005 AltWeekly Awards for “Homicidal Tendencies” (Sept. 8, 2004). CP production assistant/freelance photographer Uli Loskot won honorable mention in the Photography category for her “Prettyboy Reservoir” (Best of Baltimore, Sept. 22, 2004). Congratulations all around.
This week marks the debut of our revived sports column, courtesy long-time CP contributor and sports nut Gabriel Wardell. It’s called Benchwarmer, and you can find the first installment cooling its heels here.
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