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Fundamentally foolish

I read, with great interest, your article on the brothers Kevin and Karl and their respective ministries (Metro Times, Jan. 19). I certainly wasn’t surprised that Pastor Kevin would use Leviticus 18:22 as his reasoning for not maintaining a closer relationship with his brother.

Fundamentalist Christians always fall back on Leviticus 18:22: “Thou shalt not lie with mankind as with womankind: it is abomination.” That’s pretty straightforward, right?

If I may, I would like to point out a few other things Leviticus teaches us.

11:7 “And the swine, though he divide the hoof, and be cloven footed, yet he cheweth not the cud; he is unclean to you.”

11:10 “And all that have not fins and scales in the seas, and in the rivers, of all that move in the waters, and of any living thing which is in the waters, they shall be an abomination to you.” Oops, no BLT or shrimp scampi tonight. I wonder if Pastor Kevin caught that last part: “they shall be an abomination to you.” Notice the word abomination is in both places. It must be pretty important, huh? How many of his family members has he cut off communication with over seafood gumbo?

Moving on to Leviticus 12:3 regarding male children: “And in the eighth day the flesh of his foreskin shall be circumcised.” It may be time for a pants check. I’m sure we’ve got some fundamentalists out there sporting turtlenecks.

In the verse following this one we learn that a woman is unclean and therefore unable to enter the temple for sixty-six days after giving birth to a female child (half as long for a male). So when you see the young family at church with their newborn, be sure and remind them she’s going to hell.

Leviticus 15:19-22 covers the things that must be done when a woman is in her cycle. I’m not going to touch that one. Hmmm, wait a minute, that’s just what God said. Don’t touch that, don’t touch anything that has touched that, be sure to wash anything that might have touched that.

Now in Leviticus 19:4 it says, “Turn ye not unto idols, nor make to yourselves molten gods: I am the LORD your God.” There is no exemption to be found in Leviticus for statues of Jesus, virgins or saints. Sorry, Catholics, you’re going to hell.

Leviticus 19:27 advises, “Ye shall not round the corners of your heads, neither shalt thou mar the corners of they beard.” There is similar advice in verse 28 regarding tattoos. Pastor Kevin was looking very clean-cut. Hello, hell! This isn’t up for debate. Verse 30 clearly states “Therefore shall ye observe all my statutes, and all my judgments, and do them: I am the LORD.”

My personal favorite can be found in Leviticus 25:43-46 regarding the ownership of slaves. I am especially partial to 25:45: “Moreover of the children of the strangers that do sojourn among you, of them shall ye buy, and of their families that are with you, which they begat in your land: and they shall be your possession.” Woo-hoo, those heathen Canadians better look out!

When I point out these and the myriad other scriptures of Leviticus to a fundamentalist Christian, they undoubtedly tell me we now live under New Testament law. That is exactly the point of this exercise. You cannot pick and choose what parts of Leviticus you wish to honor. The Bible is not a buffet. Pastor Kevin needs to accept that New Testament law is the church standard of the day. He needs to learn a few new verses and understand that Leviticus has nothing to offer us.—Roger Jones, Reno, Texas

 

Lifestyle is not orientation

Thank you for an enlightening and interesting conversation between the two brother pastors “A tale of two brothers.”

I picked up the issue just for the cover article and was not disappointed.

I must, however, make one important point: Being gay is not a lifestyle. It is who you are and who you love. That’s not a lifestyle.

Gay folks’ lives are like everybody else’s — which involves a variety of lifestyle expressions — from being involved in athletics to supporting the arts to caring for our families and our homes to our jobs and so much more. What we do in bed does not constitute a lifestyle. Frankly, what most of us do in bed is not different than many heterosexual couples. We just happen to be of the same sex.

Please watch the content of your paper for this inaccurate description of the homosexual community. The terms “lifestyle” and “alternative lifestyle” separate us in a way that is harmful and unnecessary. The language is very important. —Jan Young, Madison Heights

 

Still believin’

I just wanted to tell you that I enjoyed your piece about your secret fondness for Journey (“Don’t stop belieeeeeevin’,” Metro Times, Jan. 19). I, too, am a Journey nut, and though my close friends are aware of this fact, it’s a hush-hush secret outside of the inner circle. I’m a complete metal guy, personally. Even though I enjoy the sweet screaming of Slipknot, Slayer, Danzig, Mudvayne and the like, only the pipes of Mr. Perry can reach my inner soul.

The truth is that Journey really was a great band. Tragically, the thing that made them huge at the time is the same reason some of us are afraid to publicly admit our soft spot for them and the reason they garner so little respect today: power ballads. So many people only know them for “Open Arms,” “Faithfully” and “Don’t Stop Believin’,” but don’t realize that Journey was a very talented hard rock band when they weren’t trying so hard to load up on sure-hit ballads that their female fans were sure to eat up. If they hadn’t overdone it with all the ballads, they might be on the cusp of a Rock and Roll Hall of Fame nod, but, unfortunately, the respect just isn’t there.

Personally, of the many bands whose entire catalog I own, Journey is one of the few bands where almost every song they ever recorded was good — at least with Steve Perry fronting the operation.

I would imagine there indeed are many Journey “faithful” who proceed through life incognito and are not part of the pool of people who just can’t let go of the ’80s. They do indeed exist and your article shows that there are folks out there just like me who aren’t the stereotypical Journey fan and yet love the band nonetheless. —Tom Lowe, Havertown, Pa., kissman@gmail.com.

 

The Journey continues

I was pleasantly surprised to read your confession about Journey. I’m a fairly serious guy and my taste in music includes bands like Motörhead, the Casualties and GG Allin and the Murder Junkies. My favorite venues are Harpo’s and the Old Miami. But what’s the ringtone on my cellphone set to? Thats right: “Don’t Stop Believin’.” And no one gives me any crap about it. Maybe it’s because I’m from Downriver (“South Detroit”?), but for whatever reason, Journey totally gets a pass from the crowd I hang out with. Anytime we see a picture of Steve Perry it makes us laugh, and the videos are hilarious. I’m still a little reluctant to admit that Journey’s Greatest Hits disc has been firmly entrenched in my CD changer longer than anything else. —Ronald W. Monk, Brownstown

 

Not worried about coverage

I read, with interest, your commentary on arts coverage and commentary in the metropolitan, regional and national press (“Detroit deserves better,” Metro Times, Jan. 26). Having been dismissed, slighted, covered poorly or covered with glaring errors and misstatements, the Detroit creative community has indeed become defensive, tough and disgusted with the quality and quantity of coverage and the media talent who supposedly should know better. Mistreated by our local press and ignored by the national press, how else should we react?

And you think your revelation will somehow make it all OK? Because you come from outside of metro Detroit? Or because you can drop the names of national critics and Ivy League and East Coast arts criticism programs?

What irritates those of us in the architectural arts is the fact that good and great local architecture both new and historical (I mean commercial, educational and institutional architecture, not Bloomfield Hills interior and residential design) is ignored by the local press, that articles on new construction of good and great buildings neglect to mention the architecture firm or the firm’s team that created it or both, that architecture is ignored by those who cover the arts community at all, etc.

Ignored, we’ve learned to revel in our obscurity, we’re too busy doing good things to spend much time worrying about the coverage. —Marie R. Haener-Patti, Pleasant Ridge

 

Erratum: In our review of Art of Modern Rock: The Poster Explosion (Metro Times, Jan. 26) our reviewer asked, “Where are Michael Segal and Mark Dancey.” Michael Segal does have a poster in the book, on Page 305.

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