Week of July 21, 2004

As a gay man in a long-term relationship, I want people to be clear on this issue. A "no" vote on Constitutional Amendment 2 isn't a vote for gay marriage. We already have a law that bans gay marriage. A "no" vote simply says that Missouri's Constitution must never be a vehicle for discrimination. It is meant to provide rights, access and opportunities for people, not to isolate a group to be targeted. A "no" vote says that discrimination is wrong every time and in every form. If something like this passed, then who is next year's target group? I urge everyone to vote "no" on 2 August 3.
Scott Emanuel
Constitution Defense League

Jesus Rocks
The Lord's going mainstream: Anne and Matt Koth commented that "Jesus rock is not mainstream...if you want proof, go out to your car and scan through the stations" [Letters, July 7]. Well, if you scanned through St. Louis' FM stations anytime over the past few months, you would've heard the following "Jesus rock" artists on various mainstream outlets, ranging from Z107-7 to the Point to KSHE: Switchfoot, Stacie Orrico, P.O.D., Big Dismal, MercyMe, Skillet, Jars of Clay, 12 Stones, Wilshire, Sixpence None the Richer and Sanctus Real.

And that's not even counting bands with subtle ties to Christianity such as Lifehouse, Creed and the Calling. Many of these artists have also appeared on shows ranging from Late Night with David Letterman and the Tonight Show to Last Call with Carson Daly, and their music has been featured on shows ranging from yesteryear's Miami Vice to today's numerous WB primetime dramas. It would seem evident that "Jesus rock" is not just "popular only in its weird subculture." Listen closely and you'll discover that many "Jesus rock" artists are providing quality music that's as good as anything available in the music industry. And yes, they are receiving mainstream airplay.
Stel Pontikes, host
The Answer Radio Show
St. Louis

Credibility Gap
Defending Michael Moore: I would like to respond to Zach Lorton's letter in the July 7 RFT. Mr. Lorton was unhappy that the RFT gave a positive review to the movie Fahrenheit 9/11. Yes, the movie does point out that the Bush administration acted in a way some people thought it shouldn't have. Well Zach, I wouldn't call it "some people." I would say "most of the world" would be a more accurate phrase to describe the number of people who disagree with the Bush administration's actions. Mr. Lorton then tried to dismiss Fahrenheit's credibility by stating the number of Web sites that distort the truth in Bowling for Columbine. He listed none of the Web sites he was referring to and didn't state even one of the so-called "flat-out lies." Now back to the subject he was supposed to be discussing: Fahrenheit 9/11. As with most negative letters that are written by overly conservative "human beings," he called Michael Moore a fraud, proclaimed the movie to be an unfair attack on the Bush administration and called the movie "fictitious." However, these letters never list a single, specific lie or untruth from Fahrenheit 9/11. I truly believe it would greatly increase people's ability to judge the film if they would actually take the time to go see it. "Bring 'em on!"
Michael Szerzinski
St. Louis

Food Explorer
In with the new: I loved Rose Martelli's review of Everest Café, the new Nepalese restaurant in St. Louis [June 30]. I am a new transplant to St. Louis from Chicago. Something that I enjoyed greatly in Chicago was the constant reviewing of new restaurants that were opening every week in the metro area. I've been an avid reader of RFT since I moved here last summer, and so far only your article and a handful of others have showcased a new (six months old or less) restaurant. So I would like to say thank you, and right on! Continue the good work that you're doing. Most St. Louisans have been to Hodak's and other such places, so there's no need to write about these restaurants on a regular basis. Instead, new restaurants should be showcased -- and I know there are plenty of them in the city. Good job, and keep up the good work of being a food critic and food explorer!
Dianne M. Carty
St. Louis

Strange Realm
From Hank's mouth: As a Christian, I find the antics of the Realm a bit ridiculous [Ben Westhoff, "Jesus for Juniors," June 23]. It's one thing to have a healthy youth group take trips to water parks and quite another to build an MTV palace made for tricking kids with two-second attention spans into a relationship with Christ. I think Hank from King of the Hill put it best when Bobby was dabbling in [following a] rock 'n' roll, teenage Jesus: "I don't want God to be a phase." What happens when these kids segue into a normal church service? They will be bored and leave. Being a Christian isn't about being entertained -- it's about a life of service, love and sacrifice. We, as the church, have to find a balance between catering to the age and exploiting it.
Ryan Oakes
St. Louis

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