I really enjoyed catching up with Todd Snider ("Todd Snider's Second Decade," June 14th issue) via Chris Herrington's excellent profile. I spent many nights, back in the hazy 1990s, listening to Snider hone his songcraft and stage presence at the Daily Planet a little club near the Highland Strip. He was always worth seeing — and always delightfully unpredictable. I was pleased to learn he's overcome his personal demons and has emerged better than ever.
The enormous crowd for his performance last weekend at the Levitt Shell made it clear that I'm not the only one who is glad Snider is around for another decade — and hopefully many more.
In response to Robert Koenig's letter (June 7th issue) regarding blogger Tom Jones ("The Gadflyer," May 31st issue): Why would you think it necessary for the local media to bring up Tom Jones' past in this context? Why is it necessary for you to bring it up, other than to cast aspersions and ridicule?
I have known Jones for 50 years and know him as an excellent journalist, a good man who is devoted to his family, and a man of faith. Our past, Mr. Koenig, does not always define who we really are. To keep throwing stones is judgmental and immature.
It is not surprising that President Obama's support of gay marriage (Viewpoint, June 14th issue) evoked a strong response on the part of those who support gay marriage and those who oppose it. There are many in the clergy who have expressed their views in the media. Many are outraged that the president could hold such a position, and most have expressed their feelings that gay marriage is biblically and morally wrong.
I do not remember the clergy reacting so strongly to the news last year, from the United States Census, that 46.2 million people — nearly 1 in 6 Americans — now live in poverty and that the number of Americans without health insurance had risen to 49.9 million.
Many clergy have a problem with gay people. They may be productive citizens, may have fought for their country, may be committed to their loved ones, and may just want to be happy and have the same legal rights as heterosexuals, but some clergy feel they must be condemned because of some verses in the Bible.
There are many verses in the Bible that most people do not follow today. They go against reason and good sense. We do not cut people's hands off any more. We do not stone people to death caught in adultery.
Most people who have sons or daughters or brothers or sisters or cousins or friends who are gay know that they are good people. I am sure former Vice President Cheney feels that his daughter is a good person, even though she is a lesbian.
Jesus said nothing about homosexuality, but he said time and time again that we should take care of those less fortunate than ourselves. Concern and compassion for the poor and less fortunate was also at the heart of the teachings of the prophets in the Old Testament, and it is at the heart of all of the world's great religions. The real moral outrage by the clergy should have been over the fact that so many Americans are falling into poverty and do not have health insurance.
With the president supporting gay marriage (and anything else Hollywood wants), I would like to go one step further: My psychiatrist says that I have a dual/split personality, so I want to marry my other personality — you know, marry myself. And why not? This is no more ludicrous or improper than having two gays wed. And besides, this way, I should be able to file a joint income tax return!
I found it interesting that in the June 14th issue of the Flyer, Bruce VanWyngarden wrote about the precipitous population decline in Detroit (Letter from the Editor) and you also published an article by Jimmie Covington on population trends in Memphis and Shelby County ("Stunted Growth"). One thing seems clear from reading these two articles: Memphis, for all its faults, is in no danger of becoming Detroit anytime soon.
So we got that going for us.