Straight to Heaven
Gay "healing" program: Your exposé on Reparative Ministries was right on ["The Reorient Express," by Craig Malisow, October 14]. I, too, was one of the desperate who felt that these types of ministries would heal something that my church said was an abomination. I put my "naive" faith in Michael Newman, leader of an "ex-gay" ministry in Houston designed to provide reparative sexual therapy. Looking back over the program's nine-month intensive therapy, all I can say is that it was 100 percent religious abuse.
Many of the things we did to "cure" ourselves seem so ridiculous now. They ranged from going back into our past (sometimes hundreds of years) to find the relative who sinned and now cursed us to praying for Downyflake waffles.
I had a hatred for the God who healed some in the group, yet left me unchanged. Now I realize that these "crazies" are not "healed" or changed. They have temporarily avoided sex with other men, except for the occasional slip -- and then they only blame it on Satan.
Open to all: As a conservative Christian, I don't believe that God designed anyone to be homosexual, but if someone feels that's how God made them, I don't believe God will condemn them for it. It angers me to hear many conservative Christians say that homosexuals can't be Christians. The Bible makes it clear that belief in Christ as Lord and Savior is the only requirement for salvation, and that nothing can separate us from the love of God.
Would those who condemn homosexual Christians also tell overweight Christians that they are going to hell unless they conquer their food addiction and lose their excess weight? I hope not.
The tobacco snitch: Although I do not drive a state car, I do occasionally smoke on the job, on state time [Hair Balls, "Citizen Watch," October 21]. As my job sometimes brings me to Houston, please provide a description of Josh Bullard so that I can be sure to avoid him. I don't want him to take more time off from his job to report me to the governor!
Name withheld by request
Waste Not, Want Not
Refuse to lose: Although your Press sales employee's husband searched the airplane's bathroom, he could have missed something a dedicated terrorist left anyway ["Up in the Air," by Margaret Downing, October 14]. After all, he would have been unable to search the waste holding tank. Someone might want to blow the sh** out of the plane.
Finding friends: Thank you for the feature on Scott Wizig ["The Specialist," by Craig Malisow, September 2]. You have confirmed my belief that there are still some good people out there. I am fortunate to have friends, co-workers and resources to help me.
Food for Thought
Right bites: I have never been to Portofino; therefore, I am not emotionally involved. However, I would like to tell Alex and Michelle [Letters, "Osso Asso," September 30] of a successful business I visited one time.
By the front door was a plaque enumerating the two rules to which the business adhered: "Rule No. 1 -- The customer is always right. Rule No. 2 -- If the customer is ever wrong, read Rule No. 1 again." I think both of them would be well served by remembering that.
Stick to the dishes: It must be with great satisfaction that your self-proclaimed "food critic" gets asked to leave restaurants. I would politely ask him to not write, good or bad, about any place I owned. His recent reviews should make my point clear.
In the Spencer's article ["Boring by Design," by Robb Walsh, September 9], only eight of the 19 paragraphs had anything to do with the food. The rest dealt with his friend who once played a piano at Carnegie Hall (relevance?), and they dealt with other Spencer's restaurants, in which he reprinted the reviews of others.
When writing about Portofino ["Osso Buco Me? Osso Buco You?" September 16], he once again subjected us to his adolescent observations, his altercation with the owner and the attack on a waiter. This took up about nine paragraphs. Instead of writing about the cuisine and service, he subjected us to what he thinks a dish should look or taste like. Just write about the osso buco; let the public decide.
I am used to reading Alison Cook and formerly Gene Bourg. While I didn't always agree with them, they are fair and deliver information accurately with malice toward none.
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Unplug the dinosaurs: I believe it is time for the city of Houston to get a great radio station that plays the greatest hits of rock -- ever [Racket, by John Nova Lomax, September 30]! Look at those jackasses from Radio One. They have taken KRTS, a great classical station, and sold it to the Mexicans! Let's face it.
The classic/AC/alternative rock hybrid worked in Atlanta, Austin and in Dallas, where they market it under men's first names -- like Dave, Jack and Bob -- and it worked successfully. Now maybe we can get those Clear Channel dinosaurs 101 and The Arrow to go under an extreme makeover.