Letters to the Editor

Fine and Balanced?

To the Editor:

An otherwise fine and balanced article ("Gay in Memphis," March 24th issue) was marred by the downplaying of the Triangle Journal News, a periodical which has been around for more than 15 years and which publishes a far higher percentage of news -- local and national -- than Family and Friends magazine, which was featured.

Anyone who compares the news content of the two publications will readily see how much more emphasis is placed on local news and announcements in TJN. And the amount of verbatim press-release material is much less, in favor of longer columns and original articles.

Family and Friends is basically an entertainment magazine. To say that it is representative of what goes on in the GLBT community in Memphis is an exaggeration.

Vincent Astor


That New Testament Thing

To the Editor:

In a country where the evangelical right can whip up an act of Congress to invade a family's most intimate decisions and when all of us Midtown pagan idolaters are diving for the cover of "progressive" houses of worship (see the Flyer's new religious advertising section, "Word"), I just can't let a letter from a fundamentalist nut job like Charles Gillihan (Letters, March 24th issue) go unanswered.

It's not a 19th-century point of view he's pitching. He's coming from the 6th century, and we're talking B.C., not A.D. If these guys could pry their noses out of the book of Leviticus for a minute, they might notice we've got this whole New Testament thing going now.

People like Gillihan already exercise too much control over the presidency and both houses of Congress. And it's only a small step from their slipshod Calvinist fundamentalism to dangerous concepts such as Dominion Theology and Christian Identity. I know Thomas Jefferson advised that when you saw one of these people coming to step aside and give them the road. But I just can't anymore, because I don't want to wake up one day stoning adulterers or enslaving my neighbors. I'm afraid we might lose our hard-won free secular society.

James Manning


More Black Oak

To the Editor:

Thanks for printing music producer Jim Dickinson's letter (March 17th issue) about the major impact "Jim Dandy" Mangrum and Black Oak Arkansas had on the music industry.

To those of us who grew up in Memphis during the late '60s, Knowbody Else (later known as Black Oak Arkansas) were a real phenomenon. Wherever they played, especially the Overton Park Shell, people were blown away by a band with incredible energy, presence, and commitment. While the band's career was marked by the standard arc of rock-and-roll excess, Black Oak's inextinguishable spirit lives on.

Randy Norwood


Domestic Disarmament

To the Editor:

Donald Rumsfeld and Condoleeza Rice are trying to stop Venezualan president Hugo Chavez from purchasing 100,000 AK-47 assault rifles. So why aren't they trying to stop the same thing domestically?

We just had another gun massacre that was tagged a "school shooting." There's no such thing. School shootings as a phrase to describe shootings that happen at schools suggests the school is the reason for the shooting. Schools don't shoot people. People with guns shoot people, and the Bush administration knows it.

It's too bad no one can get elected without money from groups like the National Rifle Association or with money from school children.

Karim Myles Davis


Why Pander?

To the Editor:

The president abandoned his vacation to fly to Washington to sign a bill created solely for Terri Schiavo. Tom DeLay, Bill Frist, and some (not all) Republicans saw the Schiavo family's plight as a perfect way to pander to the religious right. It backfired on them, as polls showed nearly 70 percent of Americans thought Congress and the president had no business interfering in a family's personal decision.

So why on earth was 9th District representative Harold Ford Jr. among a handful of Democrats who signed the bill? Just how low will this alleged Democrat stoop to pander in his zeal to win statewide office? I'm afraid the answer is: as low as he thinks he has to.

James Ward


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