Saturday, March 23, 2002

Other takes


Opinions on clergy, boycotts

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        Be careful when you open your voice mail. And that blessed e-mail. Somebody may be sizing you up for angel's wings or devil's horns.

        “Magnificent! Your column looked at religion as it is, not as it is supposed to be.” — Gordon Schilmeister, Mason.

        “Hey chucklehead! You don't know anything about religion. Where did you get your columnist's license? From a box of breakfast cereal?” — D.C. Lewis, West Chester.

        So went the extremes in readers' views of my recent column questioning the words of certain men of the cloth.

        Contradictions abound among the clergy.

        Pedophile priests remain church employees.

        Ministers of the Progressive National Baptist Convention say they'll come to town to help heal this city. Then they say they're not coming.

        The Rev. Billy Graham, found to have made bigoted comments about Jews 30 years ago, apologizes this month before declaring “racism is a sin.”

        I'm confused.

        Why don't those preachers practice the golden rule and treat people as they would want to be treated?

        “Cheers from a P.K., preacher's kid. This would be a better world, if ministers would live by the Bible instead of hurting other people.” — M.E. Reily, Florence.

        “From the president to the pope, you are still human. If you go into any of those roles professing to be so much more than that, you will be confronted with your true self at some point. How you handle yourself at that point will make or break you. Looks like these humans are being broken.” — Patricia Jackson, downtown.

        “People like you, not men of the cloth, cause all the problems in the world because you're always pointing fingers.” — Mary Dark, Oakley.

        “Everyone has said something dumb in their life. At least Rev. Graham was man enough to apologize.” — May R. Green, Norwood.

        “Two of those priests were at my children's schools,” said a Walnut Hills reader who asked that his name not be used. “That these people are still in the church sickens my soul.”
       

Cincinnati parks

        Budget cuts are taking their toll on Cincinnati's parks. Continued cuts could force Willie F. Carden Jr., parks director, to start closing sections of the city's green space.

        The idea of padlocking parks did not sit well with readers.

        “Cut the salaries of council members. Not parks.” — Lew Holmes, Oakley.

        “This problem can be solved with a county metro government.” — Alf Learner, Harrison.

        “The city parks are a treasure,” wrote Shirley Wilcox of Cheviot. “The county parks are well supported by a tax levy that is always overwhelmingly approved. Why shouldn't the city share in this or have its own levy?”
       

Going downtown

        Boycott backers and downtown boosters keep crossing paths — and swords — in my electronic mailboxes. Both sides claim to have Cincinnati's best interests at heart. But, so far, the best they can do is agree to disagree.

        “I may have some issues with the boycott,” said Bob Ehrsam of Mount Lookout. “But, overall, it's right. Nobody has done anything to address some real problems in this town until this boycott came up. In boycotts, people get hurt sometimes. That always happens. But the ultimate end is good.”

        Cindy Scroggins of Fort Mitchell sees the boycott from a different perspective.

        “Big companies will survive this ludicrous act of boycotting,” she wrote. “The small businesses will eventually fail. What will this accomplish other than more names on the welfare roll?”

       Columnist Cliff Radel can be reached at 768-8379; e-mail cradel@enquirer.com.
       

       



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