ROCK or Crock?

Dynamic arrival: Thanks for doing the feature on my pastor, Dr. Carson, and the ministry of the ROCK ["Godspell," by Michael Serazio, August 21]. It will be a blessing to the Houston area once the word is out that there is a dynamic ministry in town, one with an anointed, wise and wonderful leader who will take their spiritual lives to the next level. We're here to serve! Our transition will not be in vain.

Sandra Williams
Sugar Land

Prophet of profit: I was a member of Carson's church in Houston and Austin, and everything that other fellow told you is definitely true. You hear all the supposedly good things about him -- yeah, he has a good word, but what pimp leader doesn't?

No one talks about his sometimes raunchy sermons? Give me a break; it's all about money for Carson and Carson only. Let one of those members who can't tithe or attend a $200 function go to the church to seek help to get a bill paid. If you are not what he calls a core member he is not going to even speak to you. It's about God, not you, Carson!

Name withheld by request

Mad at Montgomery

Saddam would be happy: I knew James for the last four years as my mechanic who did great work on my car. It is disturbing to know the law in Montgomery County evidently trained under Saddam's regime ["Jail Hell," by Michael Serazio, August 7]. Here we are fighting in Iraq to stop Saddam from this brutality, yet we have this go on at home? This makes me very disturbed, to say the least.

I know James had a checkered life, but the law should be above all that. Where did they get their training? Here or in Iraq, under Saddam? I just cannot get over his death. This must be stopped!

Barbara Bryson

Smoking Guns

Tobacco cops: About HPD's sting operation ["Tempting Teens," by Craig Malisow, August 14]: Why can't they spend the same time and effort with underage kids who are smoking? They do it everywhere because they know nothing is going to happen to them. Cops don't do anything about it. There is so much advertisement about it, but no one seems to want to take the initiative to put a stop to it.

I can guarantee you that once you start taking away licenses because of it, they will think twice about smoking. If the ads don't make them think about it, maybe that will. If we want to control or put an end to smoking, we need to start with the young. Also, where are the parents? Don't their kids come home smelling like cigarettes, their hands, their hair, the lighter? As parents, we need to take some responsibility as well; maybe stop looking the other way to avoid confrontation.

Leslie Medina

Nixon's Hypocrisy

A reverend speaks: You did a great job [The Insider, by Tim Fleck, August 21]! What Fred told you concerning Mr. Nixon is totally accurate -- he has been in court only twice, and one of those times was to argue for the legislative continuance. In the year prior to that, neither he nor his name appeared anywhere or on any document. He cannot argue with those facts.

I also agree that it is the height of hypocrisy to do what he has done. Both he and our governor strongly opposed the insurance companies last year -- and now both have done an about-face. I am a Republican, so it is quite difficult for me to accept that some of those I voted for care more about rich big business than they do about the individual.

The crowning blow is the proposition Mr. Nixon's committee desires our citizens to pass on September 13. What many do not realize is that corporations could come under this proposition even though they knowingly endangered lives by their actions.

As a Republican, it shames me to say that the only thing that can cause such a change in our leadership's beliefs is money. Money is what large corporations understand and what they use to do their talking. See how much they have received in campaign funds or other gifts from the insurance industry or other big business since work began on this proposition.

Anyway, thank you for your article. I have now saved a link to the Houston Press and will pay closer attention to the work you guys do.

Gordon Sudduth, Ph.D.
Pastor, Oak Ridge Baptist Church


Lessons to be learned: As a father of three, I would like to thank Joe Nixon for assistance in my effort to raise my kids to be responsible adults. I periodically sit them down and discuss both positive and negative character traits. I typically use biblical and/or historical examples to make my points.

In the past, I would use Jim and Tammy Faye Bakker as my example of hypocrisy. Since I learned that Nixon's tort reform package carved out an exception for pending punitive damage awards (and coincidentally he has a big punitive damage award), he has become my example of the consummate hypocrite.

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