Your Aug. 21 cover story (“Born Again”) about the transitioned Baptist minister was a beautiful article. Thank you so much for writing such an inspiring piece. I have a friend who is in the middle of transitioning but is struggling greatly. It’s difficult to know how to encourage her. I’ve passed the article on to her so that she’ll know she’s not alone. Thanks also to Elise and her family for their courage and for allowing the article to be written. They should know that there are many Christians in Nashville who would feel privileged to be among their friends. God bless them!
So, you didn’t like the story?
What? We don’t have anything worth writing about for our cover story? Quick, we need a story that will ruffle as many feathers as possible. How about a theologian who thinks Jesus’ body was eaten by dogs? Nah, that’s so 2002. I’ve got it! Gay ministers. Nope, it’s been done. Someone find me a story about a person who’s had a sex change. If he professes to be a Christian, good. Baptist minister? Even better. Let’s go with it.
Sound familiar? It’s really getting old guys. Even my friends who are gay are getting tired of it. I mean, I can probably find a person with a Gideon’s Bible who is in a romantic relationship with a llama, but that doesn’t mean that that’s what the church or Christianity looks like although, if you found this person, I’m sure you would slap them on the cover and write 5,000 words on how some judgmental Christian didn’t show him love and told him he was wrong. Here’s a shocking cover story: Sometimes the best way to love someone is not just telling him he’s OK. Can we please take a break from the shocking religious stories and stick with the “grab-you-and-don’t-let-go” stories about a girl who runs, swims and bikes?
But we never professed unconditional love
I think it’s hypocritical that the Scene was critical of the two churches that Elise Elrod visited because the people of the churches were uncomfortable with her (“Born Again,” Aug. 21). You even named the churches. But the hometown and family members, who still have problems with her transgender position, weren’t identified so as to “protect them.” The church sign was a nice touch since it really didn’t have anything to do with what a transgendered person is going through. You just took a good opportunity to bash a couple of churches. Interesting that you did what you accused the churches of doing: You “judged” them.
David Wilson, Judson Baptist Church
For the letter writer above me
While reading John Spragens’ description of Judson Baptist Church’s removal of “Elise” one Sunday morning (“Born Again,” Aug. 21), I was reminded of Will Campbell’s book The Stem of Jesse. Campbell relates the story of how Southern Baptist churchmen physically barred Mercer University’s first black student from attending Sunday services in the 1960s. I’m a lifelong Baptist (including Southern Baptist university and seminary degrees) and I can honestly say that the more things change everywhere else, the more Southern Baptists stay the same.
The problem with most SBC churches is that they are more interested in building predictable suburban clubs than they are promoting a courageous stand to care about others. The “Elise” incident shows that churches like Judson would rather mimic the fashionable vanity around them than be sanctuary for those whom society rejects. Escorting people out of church on the highest holy day of the week is obscene; doing so to be comfy-cozy is plainly sinful.
The next Sunday that Judson’s pastor opens his Bible to preach Christ to the lost, he might consider verses in which Jesus openly received people scorned because they made “respectable” folk uncomfortable, even if that message won’t preach at Judson.
Dr. Michael Byrd
Some turnover, please
Your Aug. 21 editorial on interim Police Chief Deborah Faulkner and the Tabitha Tuders case was dead on. The police department desperately needs new leadership from the outside. The Turner years were full of embarrassments, and Faulkner was part and parcel of that. When is the last time Metro police solved a tough case? A reasonably intelligent murderer or abductor should ply his trade in Nashville. His or her chances of being caught are low.
In your editorial about the police department and the Tabitha Tudors case (Aug. 21), you make several remarks about interim Police Chief Deborah Faulkner taking “cheap shots” at the Tudors family during an AP interview. I would like to submit to the people of Nashville that the editors, and most of the reporters of the Scene, should certainly know a “cheap shot” when they see one. They merely need to look in the mirror each day to find the experts at creating them.
The people of Nashville should also know that there is not a more dedicated police department in the United States. Every officer in the department, including our leaders, cares about each citizen of our city and those who pass through it. Although every officer in our department cannot work on Tabitha’s case 24 hours a day, I’m confident that all is being done to find her. I’m confident as well that Tabitha and her family are in the prayers of every one of Nashville’s finest.
Calvin E. Hullett, president
Fraternal Order of Police, Andrew Jackson Lodge # 5
It’s time to get out the lead pipes, boys, and make them goombahs over at Nfocus an offer they can’t refuse. I guess Bruce Dobie has already run through the wad he made when he cashed out his own sweat equity with the multinational bizpigs. How else can you explain the hardball now being played for someone else’s sweat (Desperately Seeking the News, Aug. 21)?
After enriching himself in the lucrative alternative weekly GOPig bashing rackets, maybe Dobie feels it’s time to expand his territory to include the profit potential of his erstwhile “bidness associates” from the West Side. The smart money says Del Favero, Dobie, et al. have the muscle to force the sweetheart sale, in which case Fox, Massey, et al. will be forced into an unplanned retirement. Too bad them soft country club types didn’t read the fine print on their contract before they tried to shake their parasitic option holders. Any chance now the South Side boys will let their hapless partners off the hook for old time’s sake and forgive this act of disrespect? Fuhgeddaboutit!
email@example.com (Vienna, Va.)
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