John Falwell?

Figure It Out I write this letter smack dab in the midst of relocating my base of operation from the Seattle area back to Greater Cincinnati. Why? It's good to notice that apathy is falling away

Figure It Out
I write this letter smack dab in the midst of relocating my base of operation from the Seattle area back to Greater Cincinnati. Why? It's good to notice that apathy is falling away like so many leaves. The great awakening continues underfoot. Watch your step, watch your thinking and mind your interpretations. The great synergy lies ahead.

Resisting mightily the urge to expound and touching on all the issues, I'll close with words from the first half of my art collaborative's "Declaration of Interdependence" exhibit displayed at Cincinnati City Hall for six weeks in 2001: "We the People do hereby recognize and honor our deeply intertwined Interdependence on each other and with all Life here on our Beautiful Earth. We do choose to honor each other's Gifts and all of Creation and are free to co-create places of awesome Beauty."

You get to figure out the how. Imagine that!

— Cherri Ann Forrest, Cincinnati

You're No Hero
Here's a riddle: What's the difference between Jerry Falwell and a CityBeat editor?

Not that much, really.

Falwell assumes, even insists, that he's right. He preaches to the choir, which assures him that he is indeed right. You have your own choir, but it's all really the same thing.

I know, you're sure that you're enlightened and that Jerry is a fool. Stop and think how it looks to someone standing in the middle contemplating the issues from all directions. You all look like fools from here.

There are facts, and there are issues. By definition, issues have at least two legitimate sides; don't be too sure that yours is more legitimate. You preach tolerance, but you mean tolerance for your own people and not those other people over there. Read your own paper. I rarely see any writing anywhere that's so close-minded and small.

I challenge you to select some of your intellectual and moral heroes (perhaps Mahatma Ghandi, Abraham Lincoln, Jesus, Martin Luther King Jr., Aristotle, Socrates) and compare yourself to them. Get my point? Falwell is no Jesus, and you're none of the above.

As one of my heroes, Red Green, always says, "We're all in this together. I'm pulling for you."

— Chip Kussmaul, Clifton Heights

We're Doomed
Now I know what people meant by living long enough to see things come around full circle.

As I stood on the corner by Great American Ball Park during the Oct. 31 Bush rally holding a sign urging others to vote "No" on state Issue 1, I was surrounded by African Americans urging the opposite. They said the Bible justifies discrimination against gays. This is the same logic I confronted 40 years ago as I argued with my dad and uncles who justified slavery and second-class status for "the colored."

I still don't understand how we heterosexuals are "protecting" marriage or what we're protecting it from. Nor do I see the logic of those who claimed that Issue 3 sought "special rights" for gays or how that threatens the civil rights of others.

I'm also religious, but my Bible urges us to love, seek justice and not judge. It's sad to see religion twisted for political purposes.

If we remain a nation of sheep who refuse to think, we're doomed.

— Mike Shryock, Madeira

Intolerance Has Its Effects
Thanks for the great article on Citizens for Community Values' involvement with the "No on Issue 3" campaign ("Sex, Lies and Values," issue of Oct. 27-Nov. 2). I lived in Cincinnati from 1989 to 2001 and recently traveled back for a weekend. While the new Contemporary Arts Center is gorgeous, downtown looks like a grimy hell hole.

You can see the city withering. It's obvious that Cincinnati's perceived intolerance is having an effect.

— Scott Kirschman, Columbus