Letters for August 1, 2002

Dance the night away

Susan Coles

Hollywood

Open door:Rebekah Gleaves's July 18 article should be read by all gay business owners in South Florida. Hopefully, sooner rather than later, gay establishments will take the lead, encouraging the gay ghetto mentality to change radically, fostering the integration of our sexual preferences not only with nongays but also within our own spheres, so that these self-imposed barriers among white gay males, lesbians, black gay males, and all "others" melt away. If there is a list for lesbian travel accommodations, please put my bed and breakfast, Caribbean Quarters Inn, on it. I have no issues with lesbians.

I hope the doors of guesthouses in Fort Lauderdale and elsewhere will be opened for all. And will someone tell me, what is the point of "clothing optional" anyway?

Bernd Metz

Caribbean Quarters Inn

Fort Lauderdale

First whack... at those Eisenhower-era loonies:In regard to Bob Norman's July 11 article titled "First Pledge," I don't know whether "under God" is Constitutional or not. But I don't like having to take a political oath that states that the country and hence the oath taker is subservient to a deity. In many cases, grammar, middle, and high school students have to say this pledge. It isn't right to make atheists acknowledge any deity.

The fact that people are forced to do this is what bothers me.

Bob Andrews

Fort Lauderdale And at them Bush-era journos... umm, that means us:In "First Pledge," Bob Norman writes: "An organization called American Atheists, out of York, Pennsylvania, mailed me a sheet of paper titled 'A Mathematical Proof of the Non-existence of God,' which was full of equations." American Atheists Inc. is located in Parsippany, New Jersey, and does not publish anything resembling the document described.

American Atheists is a nationwide movement that defends the civil rights of nonbelievers, works for the separation of church and state, and addresses issues of First Amendment public policy.

Larry Mundinger

American Atheists Internet Representative

via the Internet

And at those religious wackos:Thank God (pun intended) that there's at least someone in the media out there who hasn't gotten all caught up in the knee-jerk groundswell over the Pledge of Allegiance issue. I was beginning to feel like I was the only person in the world who understands what the Constitutionally mandated separation of church and state really means.

Personally, I'm a recovering Southern Baptist and was getting upset enough as it was when the city government I work for began displaying "God Bless America" banners across government buildings and schools, not to mention distributing bumper stickers with the same sentiment and the official city seal. But I didn't feel I could stand up and say anything knowing the overwhelming number of Bible-thumpers employed there for fear of losing my job.

Now, with everyone tripping all over themselves to decry the ruling as positively un-American, to proclaim the judge as something worse than pond scum, and to show their patriotism for both God and country, I wonder if there are any sane people left, including the so-called liberal media. Literally, everyone acts as if it's no big deal to be shoving religion down the throats of everyone else, without the slightest thought of whether it's OK or not. And God help the people (yes, again, pun intended) who would dare to stand up and say that, no, they don't like it (as you've obviously found out).

But what has left me most dumbfounded isn't even the zealotry. It's how people have so completely screwed up the principles upon which this country was founded. Hey, gang, the first settlers were people trying to flee a country that was trying to force a religion down their throats! They felt so strongly about this issue that they risked their lives to take a long and dangerous boat trip and start out with nothing. They even made the separation of church and state a cornerstone of their government.

Yet folks today have it exactly backward. They somehow believe that just because the majority of the founding fathers were Christians that we are, therefore, a Christian nation. They believe that anybody who doesn't like it is not a true American and should just leave. Sorry, you guys are the un-American ones! Idiots!

John Wilson Jr.

Fort Lauderdale

But not at Newdow:For what it is worth, I think Michael Newdow is to be congratulated. If I had an address for him, I would have told him myself.

Marilyn Day

Tampa

File this one... but not at 35,000 feet:After reading Chuck Strouse's "Security Collars" (June 27), I wondered if I should stop bellyaching about being frisked and having my underwear mauled four different times while flying between Atlanta and Green Bay, Wisconsin.

I am a five-foot, three-inch, 60-ish female of slight build. During one of my searches, I noticed that next to me, a nun had surrendered her luggage for a similar rifling. When I finally made it to the plane and asked the stewardess to whom I could write in protest, she began telling me her tale of woe about being searched. Then the pilot came out of the cockpit and told me his tale of woe. Does anybody feel one bit safer because the federal government is making sure there is no senior citizen carrying a nail file at 35,000 feet?

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