incoming (2005-43)

Leave Fourth & Gill Alone

Searching for Facts

Horsin’ Around

A Lot Came Out

Misled in Christ

Beyond Race

Leave Fourth & Gill Alone

We have some problems with being located so close to the “homeless” shelters, but I think we should take a careful look at who we are calling “homeless.” We also seem to have local thieves who prey on this whole area, not just Fourth & Gill.

We are developing a neighborhood network program, stressing getting to know our neighbors and connecting with the police. We also have some folks in the neighborhood who seem to think it is necessary to wash all our dirty linen in local websites, and who seem to think a vigilante group is necessary.

Molly, perhaps you need to talk to more people in our neighborhood before you write about us [Citybeat, 15.41]. Better yet, leave us alone for a while, so we can sort out our problems without the spotlight of the press bringing our problems to the attention of those who think we are a crime-ridden neighborhood where no decent people would want to live, work or raise our children.

Virginia Douglas


Searching for Facts

1.) Why doesn’t MP publish a voters’ guide that devotes equal coverage to all candidates?

2.) Why doesn’t MP publish a calendar of election-related events like debates?

I encourage Metro Pulse readers to take responsibility for educating themselves regarding Knoxville City Council candidates. Like me, they might discover inaccuracies. An example? According to Metro Pulse , Barbara Pelot’s opponent, Ken Knight, lacks Pelot’s political background based on neighborhood organizational work. It took me about two minutes of exploring Ken Knight’s website to learn that he is the vice president of the Anteelah Neighborhood Association.

Thanks to Metro Pulse , I have learned a lot of valuable information simply by fact-checking.

Donna Doyle


Horsin’ Around

But what really excited me was the mention of an equestrian trail. Imagine riding a horse to work! Hope this becomes a reality in my lifetime.

Tina Bentrup


A Lot Came Out

I was pleased at the number of religious denominations showing support and saw the Tennessee Valley Unitarians, Westside Unitarians, United Church of Christ, Church of the Savior, Quakers, and the Metropolitan Community Church with banners. In addition there were people from Whosoever Fellowship, Episcopalians, Presbyterians, Buddhists, Methodists, Jews, Catholics, Baptists and many others who don’t wear their religion on their sleeves. A large number of people from the congregations with banners were there as straight supporters. Many have family members and friends who identify as LGBT and see the hurts that religion can cause.

I’m suspect of the couple with the picture posters. I grieve with them for the loss of their son. However, their motives are in question. Somehow the message seems different from what was presented to Metro Pulse at the event. Now it appears that the Groff parents want to promote stigma for a disease that knows nothing of a person’s sexual orientation. This is a great disservice to public health and makes efforts to combat the disease more difficult. Notwithstanding that, I’m glad they were there to show that the oppression is real and how parents can fail to love unconditionally. It made the struggle for equality real.

Coming out is an experience many people don’t have to face. The Groff parents seem to want to perpetuate the idea that their son chose a path of condemnation. I think they weren’t open to what he needed to tell them all along. The remarks about the theater contradict his success stories in the obituaries. Russell appeared to be following his passions and using his talents well. Chances are that they also condemn the Quakers who welcomed Russell and valued his abilities. It’s sad that the Groffs couldn’t love their son and embrace the world through his eyes. He loved and committed to another person and offered the chance to bring families together. Instead it looks like divisiveness has resulted. I get a strong sense that the parents want to blame the victim. Come Out Knoxville was an important event. There is another event at the UT Student Center on Thursday, Oct. 27. Jason and DeMarco, a gay Christian duo, will present a concert. 

Thank you again for the coverage and provoking me to think. Please seek out additional sources.

Paul Balo


Misled in Christ

I was happy to see that few people gave any notice to the religious protesters. They fooled no one, regardless of the Bible verses they quoted (incorrectly in some cases). These people have hearts full of hate, and their actions clearly show it. I glanced over a couple of times as the parade was flowing by and noticed the scowls on protesters’ faces as they were shaking their Bibles in the air. Clearly not the image of Christ. Perhaps if these protesters continue to read their Bibles and pray, God will show them the error of their own ways. They don’t own Christianity, and frankly don’t represent Christians well at all. 

I am very sorry for the grief that Mr./Mrs. Groff are experiencing over the death of their son. I hope that they stood by their son through his illness and death demonstrating God’s unconditional love. I have lost close friends and family members to AIDS, cancer and other illnesses so I understand their sorrow. I will be praying for them and their church members, believing that God can give them the peace and joy that He has given me through the years.

John Bruce


Beyond Race

I believe that when groups are formed for specific groups, there is reason beyond race. We have several groups that are open only to minorities. Why? Because we can identify; we must move beyond this racial tension all over this world. If I were to invite someone to a Mexican festivity, they might enjoy it, but would they identify? Would they understand? Maybe not, unless they were specifically involved with a Mexican community, and it doesn’t have to be Mexican; it can be Iranian, Japanese, Chinese—any descent. The fact still remains that if we are not specifically involved, we would not fit in.

Let’s face it: It’s a melting pot here in the U.S., and there is nothing wrong with specific groups. Furthermore, it is not a matter of good reason; it’s a matter of respect. If we wish to be respected we must show respect. And if any group wants to exclude another for any reason, we must learn to respect their decision, as we would wish they respect ours to not be in agreement with them and not automatically believe them to be racists.

That is how all this racism starts, from ignorance, but not the ignorance referred to in the letter.

Laura E. Contreras

Guidelines for Incoming Mail

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