Letters to the Editor
More Catholic arrogance
I take exception to Mr. Biehl's letter "The gay age of ingratitude" [Mailstrom, August 30]. Who knows how Europe and the USA would have evolved if Christianity was not forced on their inhabitants? I grew up Catholic and later in life became Russian Orthodox. This letter is another example of Catholic arrogance, which this current pope has been accused of being when he visited South America a few years ago.
Personally, I would have been much happier growing up in an earthy religion like Native American and other such religions. What most ancient religions were about was care and nurturing Mother Earth as opposed to Christianity and its Father Sky (in the heavens). I would have been happier in the ancient Egyptian religion, Platonic idealism, Buddhist thought and practice than the arrogant Christian (whatever its form, Catholic, Orthodox or Protestant) teaching. Most ancient cultures would rather had been left alone than having Christianity forced upon them. We will never know If Europe and the United States would have achieved a high state of culture without Christianity. There is still human sacrifice in Christianity more commonly known as war; even the Just War of Augustine is human sacrifice.
I am deeply grateful for Christianity showing me the door as a gay man. For a number of reasons, I no longer consider myself Christian. I prefer the worship of handsome young muscular men as gods, than the arrogant one God. Because of the scholarship for the past few centuries we have a great deal of literature from non-Christian cultures, including the so-called heretical Christian sects, such as the Gnostics. Remember "pagan" is a Christian term that indicates not us, the believers, and them, the non-believers. No culture that was non-Christian ever referred to itself as pagan. Imagine a United States presidential race without religion, i.e. Christianity. Yes, the gospels may be a high form of spiritual literature, but very few people put the Gospels into practice since it became scripture.
If I am ungrateful for how Christianity has "fucked" me up, then so be it. The civilized world would be a better place without Christianity. We should all form our own religions or return to other thought cultures than continue to support a religion which would rather exterminate us than give us equal civil rights. Thank you.
Douglas A. Matley
Bizarre conception of history
I was richly amused by Michael Biehl's bizarre conception of western history. Now I know what Roman Catholic propaganda for third graders looks like since Biehl gives the Roman Catholic Church far too much credit for the good that has come out of western civilization and conveniently ignores nearly 2,000 years of hideous atrocities, and not just large ones like the Crusades.
Sad irony at GOP convention
How sadly ironic that the Republican's revival meeting in Florida last week closed with a rendition of "America the Beautiful." Even though it's Mitt Romney's favorite patriotic hymn, their national platform – which he fully supports, of course – would ban its author, Katherine Lee Bates, an ardent feminist, from marrying Katharine Coman, whom she described as her "joy of life," in all 50 states. The two women's intensely loving relationship lasted more than 25 years. It's especially disappointing to see such hypocrisy in the party that just nominated the candidate with more business experience than any presidential contender since Herbert Hoover.
Who wanted those benches?
A couple years ago somebody decided it would be okay to reinstall the benches connecting Castro Street to Collingwood Street at Harvey Milk Plaza. We were "assured" that the problems that caused the benches to be removed in the first place wouldn't recur ["Milk plaza benches may be modified or removed," August 30].
Would it be possible to look up the names of the community members and/or city employees behind this decision? As your story pointed out, all the problems of years ago have returned with the return of the benches. Add in to the mix throwing stuff onto people entering or leaving the Muni Metro station below.
[Editor's note: According to a March 11, 2010 Bay Area Reporter article on the topic (http://ebar.com/news/article.php?sec=news&article=4617), the Community Benefit District pushed for the benches. The city's Arts Commission rejected the CBD's plan for divided seating, saying it didn't like the design, and voted to approve the divider-less benches.]
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