Love/Hate Mail 

Pagan pouting

Pagan pouting

I was truly shocked and disappointed when I read your paper this week and, in place of the usual good reporting and witty commentary that I have become accustomed to, I found obviously ill-informed and prejudiced tripe disguised as journalism. I have to say that Daniel Casse’s article on the “absurd” left wingers and the talking heads who prey on them (“The Loony Left,” Oct. 18) left a bad taste in my mouth. The main absurdity was his comments about the ACLU rushing to the defense of Wiccans and Satanists—obviously the product of a small mind that likes to hear itself talk. If he had half the reporter savvy that he thinks he does, Mr. Casse would already know a few facts:

1. There are quite a few more religions that are not “God-specific” than just Wicca and Satanism. I, myself, am a pagan goddess worshiper and, therefore, neither.

2. Pagans in general and Wiccans specifically are tired of being lumped in the same category as Satanists.

3. There are quite a few pagans and Wiccans in this community who are proud to be Americans and love this country far more than some Christians do.

I had hoped that in this time of unprecedented support for religious diversity, we had moved beyond picking on those who worship their deity in a different or unfamiliar way. It seems, however, that this is only important if one is Christian, Jew, Muslim or Hindu.

Floyd D. Kent (Nashville)

In defense of Wiccans

While Mr. Casse offers an insightful analysis of the schisms within the American Left, his criticism of the ACLU’s case against the “God Bless America” banner is not only juvenile, but overlooks the fundamental freedoms that make our country unique. Perhaps “God Bless America” can be “embraced equally by Christians, Muslims, Jews and Hindus,” though the phrase was Christian in origin and intent, but “Wiccans and Satanists” are not the only ones who object. While I don’t necessarily agree with Casse’s condescension toward the latter two groups, any knowledgeable person could offer a hundred other groups, ranging from agnostics to atheists to Buddhists, who wouldn’t support the phrase “God Bless America.”

Furthermore, I can speak for some Christians who are offended by such a statement. Some people believe the crazy notion that God neither favors nor “blesses” particular nations and doesn’t even recognize national, racial or ethnic boundaries. Asking God to bless our nation and not the other peoples of the world (the corollary “God Curse Afghanistan” is not so distant) is a conceited and selfishly distorted view of religion.

Gayle Rogers

2112 Fairfax Ave., Nashville

Double exposure

Last week’s headline, “Sex, Lies and Videotape,” was a clever handle for a tantalizing story, but I object to your including Don Blanton’s mug shot along with a picture of his home. A wonderful wife and sweet son are being exposed and humiliated by your “voyeuristic” journalism.

Nina Thomas (Nashville)

Three-way praise

Thank you, Phil Ashford, for your article (“Has Anything Changed?,” Oct 18). I just hope and pray that more and more people are waking up to such insight. And thank you, Kay West, for your wonderful description of Margot Café and Bar (“Simple Pleasure,” Oct. 18). My daughter knew Margot from Hillwood High, heard about the restaurant and took me there on my birthday. Terrific! I also thank the editors for the editorial, “In the Name of Vigilance.” Well stated. I totally agree. We must support those who have been so devastated by the events on Sept. 11, but we must also continue to take care of those who were already hurting.

Patricia H. Williams (Murfreesboro)

Friends in low places

Ben Taylor is so full of shit in his references to Garth Brooks that I’m nearly reluctant to respond (Pop Life, Oct. 18). The Scene, although free to espouse anything it likes, should at least base opinions on fact. To blame Brooks for the shallowness of today’s country music is a sham. Ben, obviously heartbroken by Brooks’ retirement or lack thereof, seems to have a personal vendetta against Garth and his contribution to the country music industry. Garth has never remixed a song for the pop ears. Garth has never taken off fiddles and steel and replaced them with “pop” instruments as many other “country” artists have done seeking pop success. He has also never cut a Diane Warren ballad.

M.J. Miller (Nashville)

On all fours

Thank God I took a moment and didn’t skim past the winners to the Oct. 11 fiction writing contest. Reed Richards’ poetry piece “Dog” made me fall to my knees, cry deep sobs and wonder why I react this way about animals—but can keep my composure regarding human death. His cold and his desperation were mine for a moment, and in an unexplainable, bizarre way, I’m thankful for this. Please tell Reed Richards that I see Robert Frost behind one of the trees in the woods.

Elena La Scola (Hendersonville)


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