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," Mar. 24). 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.
Some conveniently categorize all sincere Christian fundamentalists, religious conservatives and conservative evangelicals as "extremists." Such hyperbole only masks or dilutes the real dangers of extremism. By painting the whole of religious conservatives with the broad brush of excess, it is possible to miss the real threat of religious totalitarianism -- of any stripe. 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 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!
-- Rev. Dan Burrell, Pastor, Northside Baptist Church, Charlotte
I read Margaret Atwood's The Handmaid's Tale last year after hearing her on NPR. I found the book to be disturbing, yet the entire time I was reading, I thought, "This could never happen. It's just too outrageous." After reading "America the Theocracy," I'm not so sure. It's crazy what ultra-rightwing Christians believe and that people who claim to follow the teachings of a man who encouraged love and tolerance of everyone could be so full of hate and racism. It scares me to think that these people are infiltrating our government.
-- Joseph K. Cross, Davidson
They're All Talk
Journalists too often overstate the threat of extremist groups for dramatic effect. I enjoyed John F. Sugg's "America the Theocracy," but I'm not convinced I should be concerned about stonings creeping into state statutes. These groups' rhetoric is usually stronger than their ability to swell their own ranks beyond the already initiated. However, my ears will perk up whenever I hear anything about Christian Reconstructionist, which should be the goal of such articles.
-- Chris Richter, Charlotte
Save The Planet With Light Rail
How tedious of Ms. Servatius ("Say huh, do what?," Mar. 24). It's all very well for armchair critics to sound off on their own pet gripes, however I would suggest that she consider the larger picture; such myopic accounting is one reason why this country guzzles world resources and invades countries to ensure that its appetite is satiated. Charlotte's transit planners, and CATS in particular, are to be congratulated for taking the initiative of tempting commuters out of their cars and onto public transport. Maybe this way we will get a few steps closer to saving our planet for future generations. Wouldn't that be worth it?
-- Chris Grech, Charlotte
Walters Is A Riot
Is David Walters a comic? His routine on light rail is hysterically funny ("Great Cities, Great Trains," Mar. 31)!
It is a little late to be a cheerleader for "rapid transit" after Tara Servatius has presented Charlotte's citizens with the FACTS. Organizations such as Charlotteans For Affordable and Sensible Transit, have a right to present not only Tara's facts, but also the disastrous results gathered from other US cities.
I must say, it reaches to a low depth for Mr. Walters to play the race card in his attempt to lampoon the honorable efforts of C-FAST, when the real issue is the outrageous costs vs. the minute benefits. Mr. Walters' attempt at lampooning, shows his fear of the facts becoming available for all to see.
Citizens have been given rose-colored glasses through which they are being encouraged to view the "visions" of the planners. Looking at other US cities the size of Charlotte reveals the American Dream has been transformed into an American Nightmare!!
-- Suzanne Stallings, Charlotte
Tempting Fate (and its Mouthpiece)
I enjoy your paper. Whether I take the time to read your features (most of the time I don't), I appreciate your status as a muckraking contrarian. I also terribly dislike local television news for its general incompetence, production sensationalism, and lack of thoroughness and perspective. In reference to the recent WCNC issue ("Amateur Hour" by Tara Servatius, Mar. 24), WCNC's main failure appears not to be playing a little loose with the facts, but in lacking any real investigative drive (i.e., they act as a mouthpiece for the police and fail to challenge their approaches or motives). On the other side, if you had an "informal" policy to deal with such an inflammatory issue, you may have been tempting fate a bit here.
-- Mike Hansen, Charlotte
News At Its Worst
There should be enough blame to go around among the Police, Creative Loafing, and WCNC-TV for judgmental lapses and poor journalistic conduct regarding prostitution at a South End spa.
Creative Loafing has chosen to waste valuable newsprint to openly vent against WCNC-TV (especially reporter Nicole Allshouse, who covered the story) regarding their internal advertising policies with illegally operating businesses rather than focusing on the story at hand. This example of over-reactive journalistic posturing is representative of Creative Loafing as the poster children for local print news at its worst.
-- Adrian DeVore, Charlotte
Passion for Christ Films
There are two more "Jesus" movies that should be added to Matt Brunson's list ("Cinematic Messiah," Mar. 17):
1) The Gospel According to St. Matthew (1964) by Pier Paolo Pasolini. I saw this when I was young and it had a profound effect on me. What is miraculous to me is that Pasolini was an Italian gay Marxist -- who knew that he would get this right?
2) Jesus of Montreal (1989) by Denys Arcand. It could be viewed as irreverent, but I just loved how it was a different interpretation of the Gospels.
I have no desire to see The Passion of the Christ and don't need to see a gorefest to prove my faith.
-- Martha Goetz, Charlotte
Check Your Facts
The reason Lucinda Williams "jetted off" was because her mother had died that afternoon ("Scene & Herd" by Timothy C. Davis, Mar. 10). I will continue to be an avid reader of your publication, but you really should have checked into what happened before you bash someone. While it was not published on the Visulite website due to their respect for her privacy, it was published on her own website. A little fact checking would have prevented the writer from looking less than bright. Keep up the good work.
-- Hal Kempson, Charlotte
Editor's Note: We have re-read and re-re-read Tim Davis' Scene & Herd column noted by Mr. Kempson and we can't find anything in it that "bashes" Lucinda Williams, just a straightforward mention that she had "jetted" because of "illness in the family."