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Behind the pulpit

"Any given Sunday" (cover story, Dec. 15) was another attempt by ill-intentioned progressives to drive a wedge between religion and liberals. You begin your article by pointing out the backwardness of many religious folk in Georgia -- 79 percent favor prayer in schools, the Ten Commandments in public buildings, etc. -- then relate segments of eight sermons, equally divisive, without telling us how many sermons you actually attended and how you chose these segments.

Let me make it clear that there are thousands of Atlantans who attend spiritual services every Sunday that encourage peace on Earth and goodwill toward everyone. They teach being gentle on our planet, helping the poor, respect for diversity and many other progressive beliefs. I noticed you didn't include segments from sermons like that.

Why some progressives insist on ostracizing the spiritually minded is beyond my understanding. Indeed, Jesus himself was a radical progressive, and many present-day followers are, too, along with Buddhists, Hindus, Moslems, New Thought practitioners, Wiccans, Eckankar members, etc.

In case some liberals haven't noticed, this country is in a holy war at home. The enemy is not Republican ideology, it is the Christian right ideology. It is time the political left sought help from its natural ally, the spiritual left. Articles like yours don't help at all.

­­-- Dr. Robert Soloway, Decatur

"Any given Sunday" was indeed a great article!

In almost every church, no matter what religion it is, you can see where that pastor is leading his flock.

Not only Georgians, but people in general are seeking greater religious influence, and, if a man claims he is called to preach, he can establish that influence. Churches today have misled people, regardless of any denominations; we have some righteous preacher, jack-leg preacher and those who are in it for the financial aspect. Churches have moved into the business arena instead of bringing people to God the way it is supposed to be. Here is why so many churches fold and so many preachers find themselves in financial trouble.

-- Deacon Robert Willis Henry, Kennesaw

Diebold duping

The article on Cathy Cox trivialized the electronic voting issue: "I can't imagine Georgians are sitting around their kitchen tables talking about voting machines" ("Georgia's next governor?" Dec. 8).

Why aren't Georgians sitting around their kitchen tables talking about what happened to their votes?

Our local media should be wrought with shame for not properly exposing the ever-growing body of evidence that Diebold is easily tampered with, and that allowing a private and very partisan company to count the votes is fraudulent both in spirit and most probably in practice.

In December 2002, Cathy Cox sent Diebold a list of at least 29 problems with the new machines, one month after the notorious and questionable losses of Max Cleland and Roy Barnes. Is this what CL describes as "no widespread system meltdown"? Whether that list of problems has ever been addressed remains a question.

The most insulting part of this article is the statement that "the problems merely provided fuel for conspiracy theorists and a small network of touch-screen critics." If the media had been doing their jobs, this would not have fallen into the category of "conspiracy."

Georgians have been duped and Cathy Cox has pulled off the perfect marketing crime on Diebold's behalf. She has not been honest, and now Georgians are about to be deceived again as they applaud her finally agreeing to a "paper trail." The "paper trail" being considered is one where the paper is on a roll that remains locked in the machine. We will still rely on hidden, electronic vote counts. The paper roll will only be used in the event of a recount or audit. Given the rarity of either of those two events, it's probably worth the risk for Diebold to continue programming its machines to achieve its partisan ends.

Where has Creative Loafing been on this issue? There IS a "messy scandal for Cox," but no one is exposing it! Georgians deserve better.

It is time to turn the tide on corporate elections in Georgia, and, if necessary, on the ascension of Cathy Cox. Mark Taylor has always voiced his support for paper trails, and I trust Creative Loafing will give him time to address this issue, too.

-- Susan McWethy, Decatur

Yes, it's true that many of us who seek election reform in Georgia are angry with Cathy Cox for being so aggressive in bringing the Diebold voting machines here, and for her continued defense of that decision, often using talking points written by Diebold. But how we feel has less to do with her as a person or her skills as an administrator (and there is much to admire about her in both regards) than it has to do with our desire for accurate and verifiable elections. We would gladly sacrifice the career of any politician in order to achieve that result.

-- Joe Vecchio, Decatur

Permanent fixture

I have kept your Creative Loafing review of Porgy and Bess on my desk since I read it (Arts, "Who doesn't need nuttin'?" Nov. 17). Fortunately, I was able to attend the Atlanta Opera performance at the Civic Center. Of all of the reviews I read in Atlanta-area publications, yours was by far the best. The historical perspective that you included in your comments was extremely interesting and added a great deal to the review.

-- Maizie Hale, Atlanta

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