Letters to the Editor

From the week of May 5, 2005

I remember going to a doctor who would write me a prescription but also give me samples of the same drug that was given to him by drug-company reps. He had a large closet full of different drugs. The same doctor tried to get me on a weight-loss program and wanted $120 a month for it. He claimed it was covered by the HMO. In short, he was pocketing the money. I called the state board to report this and was told that it was not a crime, only unethical, and they could not do anything about it. My point is that Dr. Mallory was only doing good, old-fashioned bartering. Maybe it was unethical -- but hardly a crime.

Yaakov Ben Avraham

Reynolds Wrap

Shedding light: I just wanted to thank you for "A House Divided," in the April 14 issue. Reverend Benjamin Reynolds's story is incredible, and Laura Bond covered it so well. I think she's done a service to the people here in Colorado by bringing light to his efforts.

James Greengrass

Take heart: Great article on Reverend Reynolds. Finally, someone in the news with a reasoned voice and an enlightened heart.

Don Whitfield
West Hollywood, California

Amen: Thanks to Westword and especially to writer Laura Bond for "A House Divided." The story about the significant and courageous ministry of Reverend Benjamin Reynolds, senior pastor of Emmanuel Baptist Church in Colorado Springs, is important to both persons within the Christian church and those who are not.

It seems that prejudice against same-gender-loving persons is viewed as normal and acceptable. One writer has called this the "last acceptable prejudice." As an African-American clergyman, I have been astounded that so many within my community who know prejudice firsthand because of race seem to have no qualms about their bigotry expressed toward homosexual persons. I am more than pleased that Benjamin Reynolds has been Spirit-led to challenge homophobia. Certainly, there are differences between anti-black racism and heterosexism/homophobia, but in both instances, they are "birthed" by ignorance, absence of contact, history, prejudice and bigotry.

I was one of the organizers of United Methodists of Color for a Fully Inclusive Church in 2000. We felt that persons of color within our denomination should challenge the negative and punitive legislation of our church directed toward clergy who are open and honest about their same-gender relationships. We as African-Americans, Asians, Hispanics and Native Americans have been hurt by the "sound of silence" of white persons who would not speak out in support of our rights. Some of us felt we could not be silent as our gay sisters and brothers of every race were victimized by prejudice and limitations on their civil rights, and sometimes brutalized by physical violence. In May 2000, at our United Methodist General Conference meeting in Cleveland, I and others were arrested twice protesting the negative legislation toward gay persons contained within our Church Book of Discipline.

The religious right sought to co-opt African-American clergy and their churches during the last election by urging them to vote against persons thought to be supporters of abortion and same-sex marriage. This was done without any serious effort by the religious or political right to address the major issues of education, jobs, health care and equal access that still are paramount in the African-American community. At some time in the future, the right will have to explain why issues crucial to survival in the black community are seen as not important. Hopefully, those of us in the black community will not allow them to avoid providing answers.

With "A House Divided," Westword once again broke new ground. Thank you!

Reverend Gil Caldwell

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