The author assumes that readers share his hatred for anything that might smack of "religion" without really examining the actions and issues involved. To be asked to attend a public meeting in a church building! Egad! And with a choir loft, no less! How oppressive. I suspect the author had a nasty Sunday-school teacher at one time and can't differentiate between God and that human authority figure.
I, and many thinking people like me, believe that prayer in schools is vastly preferable to the huge increases in suicide, drug abuse and teen pregnancy that have swept in since prayer was deleted. The world is big enough for all of us, and someone else's peaceful demonstration of faith is not threatening to people who are themselves at peace with their values.
Sure, there are people who call themselves Christians who are crazy, just like there are crazy atheists and Muslims and Hindus. That doesn't make Christ or Christians all bad guys. Get over it.
Kansas City, Missouri
What about Bob: In regard to Casey Logan's " The Lighter Side of Torture " (September 9), Ben Meade has taken what is inarguably a series of horrific crimes and turned them into "entertainment" (which the Pitch has given free advertising to); that my mother, Mark Wallace's sister, "threatened" him is a bold-faced lie.
I read all my mother's correspondence with Mr. Meade, and if anyone at your paper cares, here is how it really went: She contacted him basically to ask that he not exacerbate a tragedy that she, her two daughters and the rest of her family had been trying to cope with for over a decade. She has never threatened him and why would she? Did Casey Logan bother to attempt to contact her to get her side of what happened? No, and that doesn't seem like responsible journalism to me.
Mr. Meade told her he was simply trying to tell the truth of what really occurred in the Bob Berdella case. Casey Logan's article makes it pretty clear Mr. Meade is not at all interested in any facts, only his own sick fascination with torture and murder. Mr. Meade also told her that his brother was a friend of Berdella's, which went curiously unmentioned in the article. This man is a liar, and I dare him to present one convincing argument for reminding anyone, let alone the families of the victims, how brutal and sick these crimes were, and for causing people like my mother, who still suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder, to relive them. Curious sickos like Ben Meade can't understand that pain and choose to profit from it.
Kansas City, Missouri
Dump and run: Really enjoyed Nathan Dinsdale's " The De-Kline of Western Civilization " (August 26). As a librarian out in the hinterlands of northwest Kansas, I think he covered the point that we really don't much care for what Mr. Kline's office did.
In reality, the story is that the music industry used the court settlement to dump on libraries. You would not believe the trash they sent us. Mostly it was stuff they had already marked for the dump. From Michael Bolton with big hair to singing WWE wrestlers to 19 copies of Whitney Houston singing "The Star-Spangled Banner," we did not get things that many of our patrons would ever want to listen to.
The record companies, on the other hand, fulfilled their settlement obligation and reduced their inventories for tax purposes: a win-win for them. Nobody is reporting this angle of the story -- it's just not as catchy as censorship.
Offensive tackle: Regarding Kendrick Blackwood's " Ministers Hate Fags Too" (July 22): I am writing you concerning an issue that is somewhat dated by now, but I have considered some of the issues for some time and have a few comments.
First of all, I found the cover a bit irresponsible and somewhat sensational. It seems that you alienated both sides of the issue, causing more hatred among conservative Christians for the "fags" and for homosexuals against Christian ministers. How does this help the issue? Would this make the conservative Christians want to be more understanding or seek a deeper understanding of homosexuality? Would it make the homosexual want to try to understand the Christian stance? I do not see how it does either of these things, thus, it must do something else. One possibility is that it continues the misunderstanding. Which is exactly what we need -- more hatred and misunderstanding. So I applaud you.