Letters to the Editor

From the issue of February 8, 2001

Zealots Eat Their Young
And somehow they manage to make a shabby place like Vermont look good: With Juan Carlos Rodriguez's article "Petition Suspicion"(February 1), New Times has once again exposed how corrupt Miami governmental and lobbying organizations can be. It blows my mind that a place as diverse as Miami-Dade County cannot pass and uphold an ordinance that guarantees basic civil rights for its gay population. With as large a gay population as Miami has today, I find it disgusting that a little backwater state such as Vermont has more liberal laws regarding gays and lesbians.

Take Back Miami-Dade is clearly just another group led by conservative Cuban and religious leaders who wish to make Miami a Wasp haven, or a miniature Havana closed to those who do not adhere to the religious or political beliefs of Cuban leaders. All of Miami should rise up in opposition to this small group of bigots. Someday they may call for the closing of all synagogues, the deportation of all recent immigrants, or unequal pay for nonwhite and non-Latin workers. No matter who you are or what groups you belong to, eventually you may find the ever-damning finger of the religious right pointing at you. If history has taught us anything, it is that eventually coalitions of zealots turn on their own members who are not pure enough, white enough, straight enough, et cetera.

Mark Rubinas
via the Internet

Miami's Bible-Thumping Bigots
Could Eladio Armesto-Garcia's troops be a hint of things to come? I am pleased that Juan Carlos Rodriguez has brought to light the shenanigans of Eladio Armesto-Garcia's organization. Take Back Miami-Dade is a hypocritical, fraudulent front sponsored and funded by the Christian Coalition and its self-serving allies in the Republican Party. Armesto-Garcia's and other anti-civil-rights groups should be using their tax-free, not-for-profit dollars to do good, not evil.

Armesto-Garcia and his local army of churchgoing bigots are prime examples of what will happen once George W. Bush's faith-based organizations get their polluted hands on public money.

Jim Guinnessey
Miami Beach

To the Slammer with Miami's Gang of Crypto-Fascists
Of all people, Cuban exiles should know better: It is a disappointment that among the Take Back Miami gang are Cuban exiles. One must wonder if they came to America for freedom and democracy or to enforce their own form of fascist order.

America and Miami-Dade County function under the legal premise that all people are created equal. We entrust our elected officials to make sure this is enforced, without the need for a popular vote. The end result is that Cubans are not forced back to Castro because of some difference of opinion, Coral Gables retirees are not denied life-saving medication to make room for the young, and Homestead farmers are not enslaved because some think they are simply dumb dirt-pushers.

If this gang committed fraud to undermine democracy, let us deal with the human trash by throwing them in jail. And let all of us together save Miami.

Jeffrey Fichtelberg
Miami Beach

Take Back What?
This week's Bible-study lesson: Jesus never married and lived with twelve men: Just what is Take Back Miami-Dade taking back? Homosexuality has existed since the beginning of time. Miami has a large population of gays and lesbians, and the county should lead the way in treating them in a civilized manner. Ironically the religious right that wants to deny homosexuals equal protection under the law is only encouraging the promiscuity and immorality they claim to oppose.

Gays and lesbians should be allowed to marry and participate openly in all aspects of society. Denying these rights only forces them to live as second-class citizens. Many outstanding citizens of Miami (and worldwide) are gay or lesbian, and they should be permitted to adopt children. Foster homes are filled with abused children whom the religious right conveniently ignores while making it illegal or impossible for homosexuals to adopt. (Ninety-nine percent of those children were abused by heterosexuals.)

So if the members of Take Back Miami-Dade want to create a Christian environment for everyone, they should be leading the way to extend all rights to gays and lesbians. After all, it was Jesus who never married and lived with twelve men.

Alberto Victor Batista
Miami

Hate the Sin, Love the Sinner
The Lord can deal with gay auto mechanics: As a Christian and an American citizen, I am appalled at the behavior of Take Back Miami-Dade. Their affiliation with the Christian Coalition says a lot. Christianity is supposed to be an outreach of love in which people preach the gospel to the unsaved without judging them or repealing their rights. I am absolutely against homosexuality, but I believe such behavior must be judged only by Christ. I don't believe we have the right to deny homosexuals work based on their sexual preference. We're all sinners; therefore we must look to improve ourselves as human beings and not worry whether gay men are fixing our cars or paving our roads.

The Christian Coalition is headed by people like Pat Robertson and Jerry Falwell, who have nothing better to do than to pry into people's lives. They are politically motivated, not biblically motivated. They spread the word of God through hate and judgment, not through love, and that causes resentment toward the Christian community. They are doing our cause (to bring people to the Lord) a grave injustice and should be ashamed of themselves.

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