The following is a good reference for co-worker harassment: In "The Sexualized Work Environment: A Look at Women Jail Officers" (Prison Journal 77:41-57), co-authors Mark R. Pogrebin and Eric D. Poole describe a "sexualized work environment" in jails and detention facilities in which female deputy sheriffs are forced to endure sexually humiliating and degrading behavior from their male colleagues. Inmates, of course, get it a lot worse.

Greagoir O'Cearullain
via the Internet

Raising the Roof

First of all, I would like to say thank you for being the one paper in the state whose number-one goal does seem to be to find the truth and report it. Second, I must question both the staff and many of the readers of Westword on their anti-Christian slant.

The letter that specifically inspired this note was by John Ottem and was published in the January 13 issue. Mr. Ottem bases his entire letter on what I would believe is a bad experience at a "mega" church, or maybe a bad experience with someone from a "mega" church. I am a youth pastor at a church in Mr. Ottem's own community, Thornton. Our building is worth about $250,000. Mr. Ottem, we have no stained-glass windows, but we do have a couple of cracked ones. Choir loft -- nope! Our preacher being paid $100K -- nope! What we do have is a building that we love and utilize as often as possible. That means we have educational classes and a worship service on Sunday mornings, as well as a Sunday-evening Bible study; we also allow the Disciples of Thunder (Christian "biker" organization) to use the building for their meetings and have free self-defense classes by certified trainers, a weekly ladies' prayer rally, midweek classes, a Thursday-night assembly for high-school-age students and countless other activities. I appreciate Mr. Ottem's idea that we could do more if we sold our building and met at a gymnasium; however, as a staff member of a church that did that for years, I must object. When renting a gymnasium, you do not get educational space, and you can't use the facility for any of the other assemblies I mentioned earlier in this paragraph. Nor could a food bank be run out of a gymnasium, or premarital counseling offered. And what of grief counseling, funerals and weddings?

In Mr. Ottem's final analysis, he asserted that Christianity is about "big money" and that Christianity sees itself as the "only way." Is Christianity about big money? Yeah! So are professional sports, Microsoft, the United States government, US West and Doc Marten shoes. Christians didn't make the world, but we have to live in it. That means we have to live by the same rules that everyone else does. That means we have to also have an "equal" base from which to work. Sure, there are some rotten and crooked churches out there, but to lump us all into the same category is like saying all Democrats are lying, cheating, drug-using scoundrels just because a few in the White House have displayed those behaviors. Also, I grow weary of hearing people attack Christianity for its "exclusionist slant." Islam also believes it is the only way, Jehovah's Witnesses assert that only 144,000 souls will enter heaven, and most branches of Hinduism and Buddhism believe that you must be attuned to their beliefs and practices to reach enlightenment. So are we asserting anything that most of the major belief systems don't believe? No.

Mr. Ottem and other Westword readers/staff, I invite you to Vision Fellowship Assembly any Sunday or Wednesday. Please come see what Christianity is really about!

Lynn Ault

Wife Goes On

Regarding C.J. Janovy's "Take My Wife, Please," in the January 13 issue:

Apparently there are two different films with the title I Can't Believe I Married a Lesbian. The film Janovy described in her article could not possibly be the same one I watched. I thought the filmmaker's handling of this most difficult and personal subject was tasteful and well-balanced. He allowed his subjects to steal many scenes and let the film follow its natural course.

Janovy's comment that it seems "suspiciously like a personals ad" is right out of left field. Why do you think this -- because he's showing he's successful and trying to move on with his life? If you go by that argument, any and all films, books, songs, etc., pertaining to a failed relationship could be relegated to simple personals ads. Perkin even admits in his second ending that he's now trying to be more honest. Give the guy a break.

This film is painful to watch because of its raw honesty. Is that what bothered Janovy so much? Perhaps there is something in it that touched a nerve? That's the only thing I can think of to explain such a biased and skewed review of a fine film. Perhaps she should begin her own journey of self-discovery!

Nell Carson
via the Internet

Mama Mia!

I appreciate your publication and really want to express my appreciation of Laura Bond's review of a great new band, mamaSutra, in "Please Release Me," in the January 27 issue. I have seen this gang a few times now and must say that I think Bond is right: Their music is soon to be on all of the KBCOs across America. I would love to think this letter might make it into your publication, 'cause I want to encourage everyone who read the review to take a shot at seeing this band live. The studio CD is great, without question, but not even close to the pure funk and booty-shakin' (there, I said it) grooves that you are in for when you see these guys go at it live. I think Bond called it "damn sexy" in her review, and there is no argument there. Although I contest that live, the hip-hop gets a lot further than "lighter than a fat-free potato chip" and "harmless," I don't want to make Bond mad and risk a bad review in the future for these guys. I know she did give them plenty of props, too, so I just want to encourage all of the readers to check them out live.

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