By Terrence McCoy
By Allie Conti
By Chuck Strouse
By Scott Fishman
By Terrence McCoy
By Ryan Yousefi
By Ciara LaVelle, Kat Bein, Carolina Del Busto, and Liz Tracy
By Pepe Billete
He Hates Whom?
God doesn't have much use for Marge Phelps either: I read your article "God Hates You" (Brandon Thorp, June 28) first with anger and then with dismay. My anger came from reading about Marge Phelps's antagonistic antics in the name of Christianity. She claims to speak for God. However, people need to understand her message is not a Christian message. She is simply a circus act. You are correct when you say the Bible is "the most widely owned volume in the world and the least frequently read." The Biblical basis for the anti-gay position has a very small foundation, and a crumbly one at that.
There are two Old Testament verses that are frequently used. They are about Lot, who, as the scripture says, protected two visiting angels from a crowd that wanted to gang-rape them (as if angels need protecting). Lot then fled with his family as God poured fire and brimstone onto the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah. What is not provided in the Sunday school version of the story is that Lot saved the angels by offering the crowd his two virgin daughters. I have a difficult time finding the anti-gay message in that scripture.
The New Testament scriptures are from Paul. One needs to remember that Paul, a Hebrew, was originally studying to be a rabbi and was a vicious murderer of Christians. He lived the Leviticus code -- rabbinical law -- and took it very seriously. Among the laws was that a rabbi could not be homosexual. He could also not wear clothes made of two kinds of fabric or sow his fields with two kinds of seeds, et cetera.
The Biblical literalists will say Paul's words were God's words and any other context is missing the point. If that is the case, let us check with the ultimate authority: Christ. Jesus said nothing, nada, zilch about homosexuality or heterosexuality. What he said was that we should love God above all else and love our neighbors as we love ourselves. He didn't say love our neighbors unless they are homosexual. We could spend lifetimes trying to live to the truest nature of what he directed.
Marge Phelps isn't defining Christianity. She is defining religion in the cloak of Christianity. She is no different from the Islamic extremists who hate and kill in the name of Allah. As for her slogan -- "AIDS Cures Homosexuality" -- could it then be said that "Cancer Cures Christianity"? As a Christian, I hope the real message Jesus brought to Earth can be heard over the banging of hate drums.
Still ahead of the curve: Great job on the green energy article ("Clever Green," by Emily Witt, June 21). I thoroughly enjoyed it. It was very interesting to learn of the small number of contractors certified to install alternative energy-powered devices and the small number of people who have sought state rebates and federal tax credits. I remember learning about alternative energy sources and solar power years ago, but it looks like even now I would be considered a pioneer if I installed any of the products mentioned in your article. Keep up the good work!
Chongalicious or Malicious?
Tasty stuff: Regarding Tamara Lush's "Chongas!" (June 14): Great story and pictures! Great chongas! Very talented women! A friend e-mailed me the YouTube video (loved it), but I was sad to see some of our people still perpetuating the old "I put others down to boost my self-esteem" thing. To them I say hellooo! Remember the motto "I'm black and I'm proud"? Well, let's learn from it. Come into the 21st Century, and don't go around calling our own people (or anyone) chusma. Congratulations on a very enjoyable article. I wish the young ladies great success.
Not so yummy: After forcing myself to read Tamara Lush's juvenile and inaccurate writing, I was upset that a professional newspaper is amateur enough to pick on these so-called chongas. As a teenager who does not encourage this type of dress, I also have poked fun at girls who fit the chonga description, but I find it blatantly unethical to pinpoint them in a published paper. The "Chongalicious" song was laughable for a few days. Then it became a nuisance to hear on the radio repeatedly, and a bit of an attack on young ladies who might dress this way for X and Y reasons. Though it is a disgrace that so many girls dress in this provocative manner, it should be blamed not only on them but also pop icons, whom society idolizes.
In addition, I've never heard the word preponga. Also I don't know who D4 is. D4L sings "Shake That Laffy Taffy." And as a bonus, chongas are not primarily Cuban. There is no census that states there is a majority of Cuban chongas. Just take a drive to Davie or a stroll through International Mall and see the variety of chongas from all Caribbean, Central American, and South American countries. Perhaps next time you choose to publish such a stereotypical piece, you should check your sources and do a little something called research.