We applaud the courage of the Reverend Marilyn Meeker-Williams and the Reverend Bruce Felker ["Left Standing at the Church Door," by Margaret Downing, April 29] in taking a strong stand against their denomination's ban on the blessing of same-gender unions. We also congratulate the members of Bering Memorial United Methodist Church for supporting their pastors in this difficult decision.
Our denomination, Universal Fellowship of Metropolitan Community Churches, is one of the only Christian denominations which blesses both same-gender unions and heterosexual marriages. It is also one of the few which does not make sexual orientation and/or celibacy a criterion for ordination. We rejoice at the stand for Christian justice and inclusivity taken by the Reverend Meeker-Williams and the Reverend Felker and pray that many other pastors will follow their example.
The Reverend Ralph LasherMetropolitan Community
Church of the Resurrection
Old Time Religion
It's not God's law that says gay (or biracial, interreligious, hearing-impaired, redheaded or whatever) couples can't be married.
It's an idiotic church law, and it should be ignored, even defied. Bering Church, with its long history of recognition and support of the gay community, is just the place for this to start. But if Pastor Meeker-Williams continues to not perform gay weddings, her silence is simply perpetuating the double standard she claims to find unacceptable.
You can't pick and choose and bend the rules to suit your whims. If Methodist rules say you can't be gay and be married, and you still want to be married, then you ain't a Methodist.
Meeker-Williams needs to decide: Is she a Methodist, or is she ready to break away and form a new, kinder, gentler sect?
I'm one of those "rare" nongay people who's actively sick and tired of the Religious Right stomping all over the rights of gays, women, racial minorities, public school children and anyone else who's different from them. I don't want their Jesus dictating law, and I don't want him decreeing who is fit to be married to whom.
I would like to see Pastor Meeker-Williams use her position of prominence at Bering to promote the rights of all people, not deny rights to everyone.
Julie A. Young
A Real Lady
Thank you for the great article on my son, his play and me ["Daddy Kathryn," by Brad Tyer, April 15]. It's always an honor to be in your paper.
Cliffside Park, New Jersey
And Horse Manure to Boot
While I may agree with you about the Houston sports franchises' ability to not only fill but feed from the public trough, you shouldn't lump the Houston Rodeo in with that bunch ["The Killer-est B," by Bob Burtman, May 6]. Ask these questions:
Which of the organizations you mentioned sponsor thousands of kids' college educations through millions of dollars in scholarships? Which one draws thousands of foreign visitors spending millions of dollars in Houston? Which one financed new facilities and donated them to the city and county?
Which organization's attendance more than doubled in the last ten years? Which organization never sought bond issue after bond issue?
It's not the Rockets, not the Astros, Comets, Aeros or the nonlamented Oilers, but the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo.
The rodeo provided the perfect reason for not funding McLane, et al., which is why a near majority voted to deny the HSA its current status. We should require from these sports franchises the kind of involvement and commitment that the Rodeo has shown to Houston. The economic hand that the Rodeo provides is truly a multiplier and not the smoke and mirrors provided by the NFL, NBA and National League.
Russell Contreras ["Roping In Ratings," April 29] misses some serious points about Spanish television in Houston.
Channel 45 seems to think Latin America ends somewhere in Panama or Colombia. Telemundo does a mediocre job by trying to cover so much in 30 minutes. Channel 45's ratings are so high because it is the only choice in Houston and because of the Hispanic tradition of staying glued to the TV set.
And in an industry where ratings are everything and equal money, Camacho's editorial is about ratings. I find it insulting. Does Camacho believe that the Hispanic people in Houston cannot move forward if we do not have scholarships specifically targeted to our community? Telemundo tries to do some form of bashing on Univision all the time.
I hope that I am not the only one who notices the terrible Spanish that is spoken in the local television news. By the time the news shows are over, I just want to put my fist through the TV set.
Radio Unica-AM 1320 is the only in-depth news source from Latin America that is worth mentioning.
Oh No Tsu!
I was a trombonist for The Democratic Art, a free-improv group that played No tsu oH twice in the early days ["Unreal Estate," by Lauren Kern, May 6]. This "hip, bohemian" crowd was extremely insulting to a type of art they didn't understand. Mr. Pirtle himself (at least I assume it was Jim; he was acting like the boss) told us they liked to have music there that just added to the atmosphere, background-type music.
I have no interest in making "background" music -- leave that to the cover bands on Richmond. Here we were trying to bring our art to a community of art types who we thought might appreciate it, and all we got was heckling.
One yahoo in the back yelled, "Play a song!" That's the equivalent of yelling "Neil Simon!" in the middle of an Ionesco play or telling Rothko to paint a landscape.
If people had told Ionesco to write more like Neil Simon or Rothko to paint something I'd wanna hang over my couch, they may have never reached a little farther and tried something new. It seems to me all these open-minded types are pretty close-minded about what they're open-minded about. Not all hipsters are bitter, but the ones at No tsu oH sure left a bitter taste in my mouth.
Hawthorne Improv Collective
Don't Be Late
In response to Mr. Gilbert's letter ["Manual Labor Waste," May 6], I want to let him know HISD's board meetings are the third Thursday of every month, (May 20 this month), at 2 p.m., and are open to the public.
By calling at least one day ahead to HISD Board Services (713)892-6121], any citizen can address the board. As board president, I am happy to meet with Mr Gilbert or anyone at anytime.
HISD Board President
If You Can't Stand the Heat...
I very much enjoyed Lisa Gray's kind profile of me ["Sadler's Crowd," May 6]. I think she understands me better than I do myself.
I would like to make one point: One could infer that I was unhappy with Valerie Rovira as chef at the Moose Cafe. Not so! Valerie came in and solidified a kitchen in such disarray. I have the highest regard for her as both a chef and a person. In fact, Valerie and I have discussed possible future projects.
Anyway, Lisa Gray is an eerily good writer -- you go, girl!
A Real Scoop
Brad Tyer claims several times that Dolce and Freddo was the first coffee-ice cream-dessert place in Houston ["La Dolce Vita," May 6]. He should have asked some of us who are longer in memory (and in tooth). We fondly recall such predecessors as Cookies, Goodies 'n Moore (Westheimer in Montrose and Richmond outside the Loop) and Hilliards (Rice Boulevard).
I was quite distressed that Gregory's had closed [Dish, by Margaret L. Briggs, April 1]. I just found the place last month and thought it was exquisite. I spent Valentine's brunch on its patio, and it was probably the best dining experience I've ever had. The food and wine were fantastic; however, the wait for the food was a little excessive.
But all was forgotten when Webb himself came outside with dessert and champagne for the entire patio. It was a great day for Houston weather and a perfect day for Gregory's.
I'm sad to see it go. Good luck, Greg.
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Closed Webb Site
As Greg Webb's daughter, I saw the toll the mismanagement of Gregory's restaurant was taking on my father. It's disappointing to see his creativity dampened by red tape. Thanks.
I'm sure I won't be the first Wilco fan to tell you this. In the picture of Uncle Tupelo in "Sympathy for the Angel" [by Robert Wilonsky, March 25], you say Jeff Tweedy is the one on the far right. He's not. Tweedy is on the left. On the right is Jay Farrar.
Pete Vonder Haar