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Letters for July 25, 2007

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Don’t mess with my Pope

Dear Sirs, I read with great interest Longworth @ Large in the July 18-24 edition [“Ali had Rope-a-Dope, Benedict’s got Pope-a-Dope”; by Jim Longworth]. Mr. Longworth was apparently upset that the Pope recently stated that Catholicism provides the only path to salvation, and that the statement had been largely ignored by the media. Perhaps the statement was ignored because the Pope was stating a centuries-old and unchanged Catholic doctrine.ÊFor a guy who tosses around the term “News flash,” Mr. Longworth seems rather uninformed. Such a belief makes the Pope “bigoted” according to Mr. Longworth. I would note that the exclusivity of salvation through Christ is bedrockÊdoctrine for both Catholics and Protestants. Should non-Christians consider us “bigoted” for that belief?ÊThey would if they followed the logic of Longworth. The author then proceeds to blame the church for poverty and AIDS in Africa, adding aÊlaundry list of other accusations that make his use of the word “bigoted” more than a little ironic. Finally, he makes much of the wealth of the church, comparing the Pope to the moneychangers of the temple. The church certainly has a lot of money. What do they do with it? Lets check the Forbes list of largest US charities, at number nine (and the largest faith-based charity) it’s… well what do you know… Catholic Charities. Still, Jesus is big business. Across North Carolina I see WWJD bracelets, fish medallions for the car, the Prayer of Jabez, The Purpose Driven Life, Christian stores and mail-order outfits. We’re talking big bucks. And theÊVatican’s cut of that is… zip. Jeez, as a money-changer the Pope is stinkin’ up the place. Lastly, even Mr. Longworth’s knowledge of boxing history is shaky. He states that Ali came off the ropes in 1974 and dropped Foreman “with one punch.”ÊWith 18 seconds left in the eighth round, Ali comes off the ropes and throws three quick right hands, turns Foreman and delivers a fast left and right before Foreman goes down. Mr. Longworth could have found theÊcorrectÊinformation himself… if he gave a ratz ass. Chris Cary Gibsonville

Ol’ Hick’ry

Brian, I just read the article you wrote [“Ink and dirt rise to the surface at Heavy Rebel Weekend”; July 11, 2007; by Brian Clarey]. Out of all the stuff that’s been written about me over the years, this is the greatest thing ever. Thank you brother, I’m truly honored! You and the missus better make it to our shows when we play up your way. Goin to see my hero Morrissey this weekend! YIP! Thanks again brother, and we’ll drink whiskey and do sing-alongs anytime ya want! I’m truly honored man! Hick’ry Hawkins From the road

Teach your children

Amy, I have tried to get every city, state and federal official to listen that I could contact [“Shootings spike among teens”; July 11, 2007; by Amy Kingsley]. IÊhaveÊworked with children between the ages ofÊtwo and 12 years for 12 years. It is at these ages that children form their personalities and their behavior. I have said over and over that prevention is the cureÊfor the ills that plague preteens and teens. The negative behaviors do not begin at 10, 11, 12 or older, they begin at one, two and three years old. Disobedience, at these young ages, is often viewed as cute. Also, children are taught not to respect their parents when it comes to discipline. The law has placed the parents at a grave disadvantage. They tell parents that they cannotÊphysically discipline their children; however, when the child is arrested, he/she is forced to the ground (possibly beaten to restrain the out of control youth), handcuffed and shackled. Why is it okay for a police officer or a juvenile detention employee to physically accost a child when the parent is told not to touch or speak loudly to their child? IÊoperate a learning center whose primary goal is creating aÊpositive personality and then an academically sound individual. If a child is given boundaries and knows there will be consequences (no allowance, loss of telephone privileges, not allowed to visit a friend, etc.) that is an immediate correction of behavior. Self esteem and a sound adult support system is the key. Shirley Ballard Foster, MS, MPM Greensboro The writer is executive director for the Greensboro Lifeskills Center.

An inn between

As a former reporter myself, I really appreciated Amy Kingsley’s fascinating cover story on the Coliseum Inn [“A night at the inn”; July 11, 2007]. Though I don’t live in Greensboro, her story gave me even more civic insight into your intriguing city. I imagine life has to be tough for those who are indeed one step away from homelessness, and Amy really captured that. The story also reminded me of many nose-dive hotels between Petersburg and Richmond off I-95 in Virginia, which I would frequent in my twenties when I was less afraid of becoming a homicide victim. When I saw the cover, I mistakenly thought the story would be about the Greensboro Inn downtown! This is also the sort of story that many mainstream papers would usually stay away from because it would likely be deemed too “artsy” or “experimental.” I only wish I had more editors like Brian Clarey who are willing to take such noble risks and trust the readership to the fullest extent possible. Kudos again to YES! Weekly. Tilly Gokbudak Reidsville

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