Karen Shugart's article on gays and the church (June 15) was interesting in many ways, but in the end didn't add up to a real understanding of the complex issue of gays and the church.
The first misunderstanding was in the very title of the article: "They're Christian. They're Gay. Get Used To It." It would be much more accurate to say "They're Religious." Many of the people Shugart quoted in the article openly admitted that their views are other than orthodox Christian views, that they don't attend church, and that they don't believe the Bible is true. By what reasonable standard are these views "Christian"? Just calling his views "Christian" doesn't make it so. As the old Southern saying goes: "If my cat crawls in the oven and has kittens, that don't make 'em biscuits."
A related issue is whether the churches "gay Christians" attend are really a part of Christian practice and belief. Shugart tries to legitimize these radical churches by noting that the pro-gay Metropolitan Community Church (MCC) is a member of the 1.5-million member North Carolina Council of Churches. But the NC Council of Churches is so liberal that the overwhelming majority of Christian churches in North Carolina are not members. Put simply: membership in this body is hardly an affirmation of mainstream of Christianity.
When it was all said and done, the high point of CL's coverage was Jeff Brown's account of his spiritual journey. But Brown himself makes my point when he concludes: "No, I have not totally reconciled being gay with being Christian; maybe some day I will." It's a heartbreaking confession, because it shows his understanding that what he believes and practices is not consistent with Christianity. And while I'm sure that Brown would disagree with me on many points, I hope he knows that I respect his integrity and honesty on that one point, at least.
It's the kind of candor, insight, and truthfulness that would have improved Shugart's article considerably.
— Warren Smith, The Charlotte World
I grew up in a religious family. My father and grandfather (mom's side) were both Methodist ministers. I used to believe homosexuality was wrong because it said so in the Bible and my parents had "programmed" me into believing it.
Once I grew up I realized that being gay is as normal as being straight and that all that stuff in the Bible was ancient propaganda. I also realized that people that hate gays openly are usually gay themselves or deeply insecure with their own sexuality, maybe from being molested themselves. I am not gay myself but one day I had to grow up and stop believing fairy tales. Most never do.
— George Thompson, Charlotte
Props to the CL layout designer who puts "Sugg Blog" and "Citizen Servatius" on facing pages. After reading Sugg's vicious and delusional rants, it's good to return to civility and reality courtesy of Miss Tara. Latest example: Sugg slanders Republicans as "racists" who are "gutting school funding," ("Justice Waits in Mississippi," June 8) while Servatius calmly quotes Judge Manning's findings that other NC school systems (Fayetteville?!) are achieving greater success — especially for black students — than Charlotte-Mecklenburg's while spending — and wasting — far less money ("Genocide's the Word").
No doubt Sugg will soon demand that the two columns be separated — after all, how long will the publisher's ego permit him to be constantly embarrassed by a subordinate?
— Charles Held, Charlotte
Oprah's Undue Influence
Regarding the blurb about Oprah Winfrey in "Let Them Eat Vy-ee-nas" (by John Grooms, June 8): This is the same Oprah who discontinued her "book club" a few years back and said she did so because there were no good books out there.
What an irresponsible and untrue thing to say. Her audience needs to be encouraged to read. Most of them would be better served reading to better themselves, learn more, etc., instead of watching her show. Believe me on this, I am surrounded by such Oprah disciples at my crummy job.
She should have said she was moving on to something else but she encourages all her viewers to keep reading. I guess some "good books" suddenly appeared again so the book club is back on. Geez. And we wonder why the public is getting more gullible and stupid.
— Beverly Rice, Charlotte