I found Derf's comic ["The City," October 18] interesting in a couple of ways. For one, I agree that the steel-girder cross was a bit hyped by the media, but I am sure some found it comforting. Derf's main question is: Where was God on September 11? That is an easy question to answer. God was working overtime that day.
He was trying to discourage anyone from taking those flights. Those four flights together had the capacity to carry more than 1,000 passengers, but only 266 were aboard all four planes. He was on four commercial flights, giving terrified passengers the ability to stay calm. Not one of the family members who were called by a loved one from one of those hijacked planes said that passengers were screaming in the background. On one of the flights, God was giving strength to passengers who were overtaking the hijackers.
He was busy trying to create obstacles for employees at the World Trade Center on their way to work. After all, only 20,000 were at the towers when the first plane hit. Since the buildings held over 50,000 workers, this was a miracle in itself. How many people who worked at the World Trade Center told the media that they were late for work?
He was holding up two 110-story buildings so that two-thirds of the workers could get out. I was amazed that the top of the towers didn't topple when the jets crashed. And when they did fall, they fell inward. God didn't allow them to topple over, which would have cost many more lives.
He still isn't finished, though. Just what kind of message is God sending? Derf asks. God's message is simple: "I have given you the important gift of free will. Please use it to make your world a better place."
Pukka's loving her moment of fame:
Just wanted to tell you how much Pukka, Margaret, and I enjoyed the article about our year in paradise that appears in the October 25 issue ["Pukka in Paradise"]. We are Bay Village types, and when the idea of a piece about us in Cleveland Scene was first floated, I was not sure it would be an appropriate fit. But the article was well written, and we (especially Pukka) are very pleased. This demonstrates your ability to produce a newspaper that appeals to a wide spectrum of readers. The only problem I am having with all of this is that the damn cat is getting all the publicity.
If your church won't change, change your church:
I was enormously impressed with Greg Tucker's letter "Church is not the place for comfort," about the matter of religion and the gay lifestyle, in your November 1 issue. [Tucker's letter was in response to "Hell to Pay," October 4.] While I am not personally sympathetic to their attitudes, I do recognize that some religions are not responsive to social change, holding on to what they see as everlasting truths. Many religions, including most of those called "liberal," take societal changes into account. They base their changes on the principle that new interpretation or new insight on old issues is possible. But some religious groups deny the validity of such activity. For example, some Amish people accept change in society, but many reject the influence of modern society.
I am not going to argue with any of them. But I applaud Mr. Tucker for pointing out that, for those people who do not accept modification, reconciliation of their religious beliefs and homosexuality is impossible. I recommend that religiously inclined persons who are gay move to a religious group that does bend with the times. By the way, Mr. Tucker, I think that Jesus would want sinners to feel comfortable in God's house. Wasn't he strongly in favor of forgiveness? None of us is perfect. There are two groups: sinners who know they have sinned and those who don't.
Dr. Myron Stern
Try finding some off-color stories:
I hate to say it, but your paper is so racist. Just about every time I pick up your magazine, there, on the front cover, is some poor black man, woman, or child down on his luck. And "Unfortunate Son" [November 8]: Oh, poor little black boy. Report on something else for a change. Stop exploiting black people. Please.
But Putre's more pleasant in person:
I read the Cavs article you wrote ["Bad News Cavs," November 8]. You're a funny guy, and your name is more pleasant to look at in giant letters than Laura Putre's. Welcome, and keep up the good work.