One Family's New Focus

Thanks for Wallners

Thank you so much for the great article about the Wallners and their passion to inform other parents about the real damage they can inflict on their children when trying to "change" them ["One Family's New Focus," June 22]. We really appreciate Seattle Weekly reporting on this and helping bring the information to your readers.

Barbara Clark-Elliott

Seattle PFLAG

Don't Blame Dobson

I read about the Wallners and their story of their daughter Anna's suicide ["One Family's New Focus," June 22]. Suicide is terrible under any circumstances; being a Christian and having a family member take their life is baffling at best (I've been close to the situation once), not to mention tragic.

But I have to take issue with the article's subhead, "Mary Lou Wallner lost her daughter. She doesn't want Dr. James Dobson to take your child, too." Dobson didn't take their daughter. Mental illness and depression and suicide finally took their daughter. The disconnect between her choice of sexuality and her Christian upbringing caused a conflict that ultimately overcame her. Obviously, we can't "woulda, coulda, shoulda" her parents—I don't know them and their walk with the Lord. But I can say this: Anna's suicide wasn't caused by Dobson or Focus on the Family or anyone else.

Also, there is no (intentional) "harm [being] done by the other side," as Jon Wartes states. "The other side" is presenting the truth as they see it, biblical as well as psychological, in response to direct attacks on some very basic foundations in our society. Whether the information is received depends on the condition of your heart to begin with, and whether you've already got your mind made up about the issue of homosexuality.

Jody Collins


God Made Gays

Bravo to Mike Rogers; may he live a hundred years and continue outing every gay man that is homophobic ["Closet Raider," June 22]. May he teach these so-called Christians who quote the Bible insisting that God Hates Fags that God created white people, black people, yellow people, and red people. He created tall people, short people, fat people, and thin people. He created heterosexual people and homosexual people. All were God's creation. And if Rogers really wants to make a point, he should tell them that the reason God made homosexuals in all animals, including the human animal, is it is God's way of not overpopulating the planet so that we wouldn't have to go to war in order to refine the population. It's called balance. Gays are the saving grace of the human race, and they bring beauty to the world. All one has to do is look at the greatest artists in every endeavor, most of whom are and were gay. Homophobic gays are traitors to God's plan for the human race. They are the real enemies.

Hank McCann

Los Angeles, CA

Fox Not Flourishing

I was referred to Knute Berger's article on defending PBS [Mossback, "Bush's Broadcast Barbarians," June 22]. I appreciate his concern for protecting the valuable resource, and I also would agree in some small measure with his criticism of their news programs' appeal.

However, far from "flourishing," Fox News' viewership in the 25–54 demographic (the supposedly non–"tired and gray" group) has been on the decline, falling almost 60 percent since last November. The NewsHour claims they have 2.7 million daily viewers, a number on par with Bill O'Reilly's top-rated Fox program.

Along with the myth that Bush is a popular president, perpetuating the myth that people enjoy being lied to is dangerous.

Ben Scott

San Francisco, CA

As the NewsHour Goes

Nice column, but I am uncomfortable with Knute Berger's premise that PBS NewsHour is boring, oatmeal, etc., and should make the news more interesting [Mossback, ""Bush's Broadcast Barbarians," June 22].

I've been working in print and broadcast journalism, off and on, since the 1970s. Bottom line re Berger's column is this: I place a very high value on the privilege, via the PBS NewsHour, of hearing knowledgeable people, including some who clearly have biases and agendas to push, allowed to speak at length while being interviewed by tenacious news people. When do you ever hear any of the big network droids tell a senator or a prime minister to answer the question when they launch into a set response? Margaret Warner gets visibly miffed when that happens, and snaps at them all. So does Jeffrey Brown.

I work now for CBS Radio (news), and let me tell you, if the NewsHour goes, so goes the nation. Sure, some of the stuff on the NewsHour is (in my opinion) forgettable, but I'd say 80 percent of it is important stuff. If the increasing cadre of know-nothings in our culture don't like it, to hell with them.

I consider the NewsHour the closest thing to a genuine briefing I'm going to get. And who the hell else has the decency to regularly honor the dead in Iraq with photographs and names? Not one network. I work inside the for-profit media, and I have to tell you: You don't want to go for more "entertaining" news. Do Americans have to be entertained every goddamned minute of the day? If so, we're lost.

Mark Miller

Los Angeles, CA

The Socialist Option

I read George Howland Jr.'s article on the City Council election ["Nice While It Lasted," June 22], looking in vain for information on Linda Averill, Freedom Socialist candidate against Jan Drago. I voted for Averill in 2003 and am excited that she stands for abortion rights, child-care funding, and taxing corporations to pay for schools and job training, and is outspoken against the war in Iraq. A woman after my own heart!

But I'd never know any of this from his article. Howland has a responsibility to let readers know who the candidates are and what they stand for, not dismiss those he deems not viable. Let your readers be the judge of that.

Margaret Viggiani


Is Bach 'Lite'?

Andrew Engelson's review of the current exhibit at the Bellevue Arts Museum reveals once more his deficiency as an art critic ["Teapot Home," June 22]. Engelson seems to think that social comment is the only valid art form and chides Michael Monroe for exhibiting "high-quality art that offends no one." I agree that art has had and still has a role of pushing us into deeper thought about current and historic issues. Yet we should not ignore aesthetics as Engelson does regularly. To take Engelson's view of art is like saying, "I consider Bach as music-lite."

One should not ignore the value art has in delighting us with stimulating visual qualities, completely apart from the literal message. The exhibits at BAM may be "lite" on social content (although I'd suggest Engelson take another look at the teapots). The exhibits are not lite on aesthetics. I found the work in all three shows visually provocative.

Robert S. Purser


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