Born once was enough
Jeff Woods’ piece, “Christers at the Gate” (June 14), is dead on. I was born into a Church of Christ family. Both of my late parents were wild-eyed, Bible-beating, Jesus-wheezing Church of Christ fanatics. In everything they saw the reflection of the glare of Hell. I am a graduate of a Church of Christ university. Unfortunately, I know this subject well.
All churches of Christ (they get all tingly when a lower case “c” is used) teach that only they will occupy Heaven. Everyone else, Christian or non-Christian, will roast forever in God’s perpetual, flaming penitentiary. Any Church of Christ member who says otherwise is, quite frankly, a liar.
MICHAEL E. ROYALmichroy@myway.com (Chapmansboro, Tenn.)
The dogma ate it
As a lifelong member of the churches of Christ, I found Jeff Woods’ article laugh-out-loud funny (“Christers at the Gate,” June 14). The guy is obviously clueless, seeking to poison the well by pejorative spin. Your research department should have kept him from embarrassing himself and your publication by checking the facts. Get a copy of a standard unbiased reference such as The Handbook of Denominations by Frank S. Mead. It will help your publication keep from embarrassing itself by printing bigoted religious characterizations. Your writers really should do their homework before publishing.
SCOTT P. WILEYswiley@ccrtc.com (Clay City, Ind.)
Head scratch fever
I enjoyed your coverage of Ted Nugent’s recent appearance here in Nashville (The Spin, June 14). What I’d like to know, however, is how a self-confessed Vietnam-era draft dodger became a right-wing mouthpiece? How does he get away with it?
DUANE DENISONduanedenison@comcast.net (Nashville)
Jowers is right on about the inferior quality of construction in the Nashville area (“Cheap Ain’t Cheap,” June 14). It was already shoddy when we moved here in 1991—now it’s even worse. It shouldn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that boards on a deck can’t be laid upside down. I haven’t seen a deck yet that has all the boards placed correctly, much less rails and stairs cut and nailed right. There’s a huge advantage to having unions represent the trades. Most unions have excellent apprenticeship programs in which beginners are taught the skills they need. Most unions have health insurance programs for members that would otherwise not have insurance due to health histories, injuries and sporadic or seasonal work schedules. Unions require safety gear and inspections and fair wages for skilled workers.
If Nashville doesn’t want to invite a swarm of new unions to the area, the construction industry employers need to honor the self-policing they have been allowed and start doing right by their workers and their customers.
NOREEN MANVELLleathrn@yahoo.com (Nashville)
No more invites
I read the Nashville Scene weekly because I respect your reporting. But I have been very distressed by your coverage of the mayoral race. Nashville’s future is on the line, and it is critical that reporters be unbiased, factual and issue-oriented. Jeff Woods has been anything but that. My recent experience reflects my concern.
Last week I sponsored a neighborhood gathering for Karl Dean at my house. When Jeff asked to attend the gathering, of course I welcomed him into my home. I was shocked to read his account of the gathering (“Anybody But Bob,” June 21). Jeff fully missed the point. Karl addressed each issue with thought, intelligence and passion. His message was clear: reduce the dropout rate in schools, increase public safety and continue planned economic development while respecting the environment. My guests clearly registered Karl’s points. It’s too bad for your readers that Jeff didn’t.
Jeff Woods’ reporting about my gathering was off base and mean-spirited. I warn every thoughtful reader of the Scene to question the validity of his accounts about any candidate running for mayor of Nashville—including the one he so clearly supports.
CELESTE WILSON KRUGMANckrugman@comcast.net (Nashville)
Just when I thought the June 21 cover shot would be of Pacman because of his latest incident, there it was, a breath of fresh air—Nashville Sounds manager Frank Kremblas! This team of ours is exciting and in first place with a first-class Milwaukee farm team system. If we only had a stadium half as nice as AutoZone Park in Memphis.
CARL J. STASIUNASﬂairusa@yahoo.com (Nashville)
The feminist mistake
Maria Browning’s review of Emily Orlando’s Edith Wharton and the Visual Arts (“Painted Ladies,” June 7) reflects a surface reading of both Orlando’s book and Wharton’s oeuvre. Though Browning states that Wharton “has always been regarded as notoriously unfriendly to her own sex,” a closer, less biased reading of her work reveals that it is her male characters for whom she displays little empathy.
Time and again, Wharton gives us male characters ineffectual in their behavior and unreliable in their “gaze.” They show a decided tendency to fall back on their social groups’ evaluations of the women they purportedly value. Much like Browning, they rely on accepted “knowledge,” oblivious to their own incomprehension.
Wharton’s work not only thwarts, but also twists and wrings the “cult of domesticity” limiting women and women writers in her time. She takes the dictated “marriage plot” and turns it on its head. Wharton does not attempt to resolve the vast inequalities between women and men, nor the attendant bitter rivalries between women, so much as she blatantly reveals them.
It is unfortunate that Wharton was so devalued in her own time. It is sadder still that rigidity of thought continues to disparage a great writer. As Orlando’s work thoroughly shows, Wharton uses her intelligence, wit and worldliness to reflect back to society many of the ways it has gone wrong. Wharton’s work, particularly through its references to the visual arts, calls into question the established notions of what is beautiful, what is of value. Much to the chagrin of many a supposed fan, Edith Wharton was no misogynist. She was, indeed, a feminist.
LAUREN TWEETONsltweeton@bellsouth.net (Nashville)
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