Letters from the week of March 5, 2001

Letters 

Letters from the week of March 5, 2001

Paper Cuts
When you dish upon The Star: I am so tired of the Pitch's constant criticism of The Kansas City Star. C.J. Janovy's attempt at digging up trash about The Star was pathetic ("Paper Money," March 22). The Star's cost-cutting needs are unfortunate but inevitable.

Wasn't it just a short time ago that this "independent" paper sold out to a national company and now features ads on page two? If the Pitch wants to cover the "huge" news about a smaller Monday edition for The Star, it just reveals how jealous it is of a paper that by far surpasses newspapers in cities comparable to Kansas City.

Stay with your roots, Pitch, and leave The Star alone.
Jeff Silver
Leawood


The Magic Kingdom
Whistle while you work: Bravo on Casey Logan's insight into Disney's call center ("Cast System," March 29)! I'm a former cast member, and his story brings back memories of odd scheduling hours, wacky marketing/incentive programs and bizarre customers. And forget reading or crosswords while the calls are slow -- you are to look busy at all times (1 a.m.?).

Would I do it again? Probably. Good discounts on merchandise and theme-park tickets, and $10 an hour to sit in front of a computer beats $7 an hour at Wendy's.
Denise Bradshaw
Overland Park


Dancers in the Dark
Lord of the dance: At first glance, I viewed Casey Logan's "Where Would Jesus Dance?" (March 29) as an attack on MidAmerica Nazarene University and College Church of the Nazarene, of which I am an alum and a member. Now I don't feel as if he attacked MNU, although I feel he didn't represent MNU in the correct context.

I work at the university as a resident educator. I am one of those "bad guys" who have to punish those who violate MNU policies. (By the way, the students are the ones who come up with the severity and types of punishments.)

Our policies are a small part of the bigger picture. What are the statistics on fatalities involving drinking and driving in the U.S.? What are the stats on rape and alcohol and/or drugs? What are the stats on STDs, unwed pregnancies and abortions? What are the stats on divorce because of infidelity? I find it interesting that the exploitation of women is condoned by so many people. What are the stats on porn addiction in the U.S., and what are its effects? Do people go to bars for the sole purpose to drink and maybe find a partner, or do they just go to hang out and have a good time? You would probably say the latter, but what are the stats on alcoholism and spousal abuse in the U.S.? These questions can stand alone as a defense of living a moral life, and I didn't mention God one time.

This world scares me to death because of the tough issues my children will have to face. MNU is far from a Draconian institution that forbids students to think for themselves. Using the information above helps students choose to contribute to the horrible statistics OR contribute to helping others pick themselves up if they become a statistic.

Where would Jesus dance? You decide.
Neil Friesland
Olathe


Hell, no, we won't grow: Thank you for Casey Logan's insightful feature. I recently moved to Olathe. I came with full knowledge that this area is conservative. I had no idea just how conservative -- until I read Logan's article.

All of my friends here swore to me that Kansas legislators would wise up and overturn the ban on teaching evolution in schools. I only hope Olathe comes to its senses as well and takes advantage of its wide-open spaces to place as much distance as possible between itself and the religious extremism espoused by Bill Gothard's IBLP.

Olathe is booming. With economic growth comes social expansion. And with social expansion comes social ills.

Olathe might react to fewer than a handful of nightclub fights -- one resulting, tragically, in a murder -- by closing down the dance halls. Logan has indicated such action would be taken at the behind-the-scenes urging of a private university in conjunction with the ideas of a perceived religious fringe leader. THESE factors will cause a halt to the growth. Local businesses will leave. Companies who are considering Olathe as a home will opt for more people-friendly communities. Olathe will become the "strange uncle" of the Bible Belt.

Logan also pointed out the prevalence of Church of the Nazarene and Olathe Bible Church members in key community posts. I assume most of these good people were properly elected to their positions. I am all for the will of the people. However, I don't believe that residents-at-large will accept these officials' forcing an outsider's authoritarian beliefs into their lives.

If I am expected to become some mindless, subservient automaton after already having been properly raised by decent loving parents to respect authority figures, I will gladly resume this new phase of my life east of the river.
Name Withheld Upon Request
Olathe


Better Red Than Dead
The cartridge family: Regarding Joe Miller's article, "Front of the Bus" (March 22): I was surprised that the Pitch, of all newspapers, would stereotype people. On the cover of that issue, it refers to members of the Western Missouri Shooters Alliance as "gun-toting rednecks." I view a redneck as someone who is an ignorant, racist, sexist, homophobic hillbilly. I would not associate with that type of person.

Our members come from all walks of life. They are state legislators, judges, lawyers, law-enforcement officers, bus drivers, farmers, black, white, Hispanic, Jewish. I know "redneck" is a colorful word that would draw people's attention to pick up the paper, but "gun owners" would have been a better description. WMSA is a very inclusive organization; as long as you support the Second Amendment and carry firearms in a safe and responsible manner, we will welcome you.

Overall, I think Miller did give the gun owners a fair shake, and the article was good. And, for the first time, the Pitch was on our table at the gun show and on the counter of several gun shops, so it was in good company.
Gary Davis
President, WMSA
Kansas City, Missouri


Girl Power
The beating goes on: There are many upsetting things going on in the world today: bombings, wars and the shooting in our schools. Another incident is the story of the girls who beat up and humiliated their friend (Deb Hipp's "Tough Love," March 15).

What I read and heard about this made me sick, just as it did many others. But then I read the comments people made about it (Letters, March 29). Some of these people claim to be Christians and religious people. Well, who gives them the right to judge anyone? Things happened and, yes, they were awful, but why does it give anyone else the right to wish harm upon anyone involved? It makes them no better than these girls.

We live in such an odd time. I am sure these girls will look back at their past and see the horrible thing they did that night, and they will have to live with that for the rest of their lives. We have all made bad choices in our lives that have led us to become the people we are today. Change is possible for everyone.

I do not wish harm or agony in life to any of the people involved in this. For those who do, I hope that you can see the wrong in your doings as well. There is just one thing I can share with the girls involved in this: God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.
Name Withheld Upon Request
Kansas City, Kansas

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