Letters from the Issue of June 26, 2007

Grady Is a Champ

Punch the pols: Isaiah Thompson's "Grady and the Champ" (July 19) is one of the best stories I have read, and I am not even a boxing fan. I just enjoyed the investigative and human interest aspects of the story. If reporters put as much energy investigating crooked politicians, the world would be a much better place.

Eric Oriol


Muhammad Ali

Via Web commentary

Kill, Kill, Kill

Watch your pets: In a letter to the editor regarding Tamara Lush's July 12 article "Death in the City Beautiful," self-described santero Stuart Myers (yeah, right) lauds ritual sacrifice versus conventional-wisdom hypocrisy regarding meat consumption. He claims to "have a freezer full of meat at home that [he] killed, plucked, and quartered." Does this man operate a licensed slaughterhouse? Are pets missing from his neighborhood? Is he lurking around in back of the pound?

Philip V. Riggio


Santería saves: Although I am not a practitioner of Santería, I am very proud of Ernesto Pichardo for all the hard work he has done to gain recognition and legitimacy for a religion that has existed for hundreds, if not thousands, of years and has been a positive influence on many people.

I know several individuals who have left lives of crime and drugs with the help of their babalawos/padrinos (priests) and the orishas (spirits). The incident in Coral Gables and the ensuing reactions of its residents reflect both white Cuban racism and Anglo-American xenophobia. There are many Cubans of European descent who reside in Coral Gables and who resent Afro-Cubans and their contribution to the island nation's culture. In addition, there are many Anglo-Americans and Americans of European descent who fear and resent anything foreign. Everyone needs to understand that just as African-Americans are steadily rising in prominence and affluence, so are Afro-Cubans. Surely there will be more Santeros moving into Coral Gables and other affluent neighborhoods — and they won't be the balseros and poor black Cubans that people imagine. They will be doctors, lawyers, engineers, and real estate moguls.

Carlos C. Olaechea

North Miami Beach

Enlightening Words

From a real alumnus: I went to Worthy Creations for a few months. Joanne Green's article "Scared Straight" (July 12) is remarkably accurate. There is a reason members are not allowed to spend time alone. Most of them will go back to having gay sex immediately.

For instance, I recall an incident that happened when Worthy Creations held meetings at a church on Miller Road near the Palmetto Expressway. There were some bushes behind the parking lot of the church. One day I began talking to one of the Worthy Creations members, and he asked me to accompany him to the parking lot. Then we kept walking into the semisecluded area populated with bushes. Next thing I knew, he had his hand on my private parts. I told him I was not going to have sex with someone who was actively trying to quit being gay, and I returned to the lit area of the parking lot.

Some of the guys I met in the Worthy Creations group are still my friends several years later. We have all dealt with the gay issue in different ways. One fellow is celibate, a few others are semicelibate or in gay relationships, and the rest are back to dating and clubbing. Nevertheless all of them are sincere Christians, and I love all of them.

Good luck to the current Worthy Creations class. Enjoy the powerful worship, and keep your relationship with God, even if you leave the group and return to your natural same-sex attraction. Christ is bigger than homosexuality or any other human condition, and He loves you even when everybody else condemns you.

David Diaz

Via Web commentary

And a whack at New Times: "Scared Straight" makes me wonder what happened to real journalism. It is difficult to know which is more disturbing — the bias that is so flagrant it is laughable, or the misrepresentation of facts (one example among many: John Paulk did not resign from Exodus as a result of the gay bar visit). Then there are the misstatements of theological beliefs (were they intentional, or did the writer just have no understanding?) and the rude, stereotypical descriptions of people who had no idea they were being set up.

It's too bad Ms. Green is not aware of the concern among many Worthy Creations members about the American Psychological Association's increasingly strong-arm political tactics on this subject. (Perhaps she should have detailed the biases of Dr. Ariel Shidlo and Dr. Michael Schroeder.) Or then again, maybe she is aware — it just didn't fit the conclusion she wanted to reach. And that is the real tragedy of this kind of "journalism."

Bob Stith

Via Web commentary

Swashbuckling in a Wheelchair

You go, kid!: Thanks for the great fencing article, "Pirate of the Caribbean," by Joanne Green in the July 5 issue. This is the best coverage of our nationals I have seen — a real story of courage and sport without swashbuckling or Zorro silliness.

I teach fencing and also work with Miami-Dade County Park and Recreation in its wheelchair fencing program. We are pleased to be able to provide this fine sport to all of our students, regardless of physical ability.

Mike Elder

South Miami

Study the Bible

You free-weekly turds!: I never understand why any paper would permit anti-Semitic letters to be published, when it would clearly not permit racist or gender-hateful letters.

In your July 5 issue, the first letter purports to be from a Jeff Harth in Argentina. He writes, "One needs to remember that Paul, a Hebrew, was originally studying to be a rabbi and was a vicious murderer of Christians."

I spent many years in parochial school and studied the Torah, which forbids murder. The fact that you would publish this ages-old blood libel is insulting to my Jewish faith. I hope an apology is forthcoming. Or do you believe that riling up the public just goes with the territory?

Abe Laeser

Miami Beach


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