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In the Name of Love

To the Editor:

The last paragraph of Jo Page’s column “Absent Courage” [Reckonings, Feb. 15] is all one needs to read to understand what she is trying to rationalize through the previous emotional circling. Homosexuality has been justified by decree of secular collaborators (not by any truly cogent argument), and Page chooses to opine on the pretense that nothing disingenuous has occurred, the church is wrong, and love is the excuse.

I am not so hard-headed as to not understand the secular interest in having all their urges their way—why shouldn’t they? After all, if there is no moral constitution from a creator, then no one has the right to say people cannot pursue who and what they are, regardless of what that may be.

But churchly issues are different. Rev. Schmeling’s defiance—and his congregation’s support—does not warrant defense; he deliberately mocks God and the church by breaking the law. Page’s last paragraph euphemism, “sexual minorities” and suggestion that there is courage in rebellious ratiocinating, mislead those who seek a spiritual relationship which can not be formed in the deliberate denial of sin.

The final sentence invokes love, one of the handy substitutes for argument. Love is poorly defined in our language, and as a result carries many connotations and uses that probably don’t line up with the love Jesus tries to teach. The Bible says love does many good things and I believe it is right; but I have lived long enough to know that love is often a frail excuse for a many things.

There are some calling themselves churches these days but are more like social clubs, where you can be and do pretty much what you want, and God is a nice creation serving the pleasure of the congregation; it keeps the pews and treasury filled. Perhaps Jo Page should consider one of them. As a person who was born into the Lutheran Church—possibly before Rev. Page was formed, I think—it will be very sad to have to leave it at this late day, should Jo Page and others succeed in their crusade to conform the church to the whims of the world.

John M. Smith, Schenectady

Watts the Point?

To the Editor:

The standard rejoinder when someone points out the failure of your Grand Idea is to blame poor execution (e.g. “the Soviet Union wasn’t really Communism!”). It is surprising that Shawn Stone, in his article “False Promises” [Feb. 15], did not anticipate this objection and actually provide some content and context about electricity deregulation. As a result, his article reads more like a puff piece for regulated utilities. One could just as easily replace the word “deregulation” with “moonboggle” without reducing the article’s clarity, since he never explains exactly what deregulation is supposed to be, or what it actually turned out to be in California and elsewhere. It’s well known, for instance, that electricity “deregulation” in California was actually a complex, byzantine re-regulation. It’s also well known that deregulation doesn’t necessarily reduce consumer prices, nor is it supposed to in markets where the price of something is artificially depressed. When price controls were lifted on gasoline in the ’70s, the price went up, of course, but people were happier because they could actually buy gas when it was convenient for them.

Electricity deregulation may in fact be a bad idea, but Shawn Stone missed an opportunity to actually report on the issue, and instead gave us a polemic that will be all too easily dismissed.

Phil Spoor, Waterford

Glass Houses

To the Editor:

Perhaps Dana Swalla [“Blacklisted,” Newsfront, Feb. 22] might consider cleaning the Schenectady streets of youth gangs that ruin businesses with tags . . . and throw bricks through windows, which happened to our former downstairs neighbor (who was scared enough to move out of the Bellevue area). Not your run-of-the-mill, red brick . . . but one of those large octagonal garden bricks.

But oh yes, a sex club is a far greater threat to Schenectady, and is ruining the moral infrastructure.

I’m reminded of a quote: “Those who tend the gardens of others, neglect their own.”

Ms. Swalla is shameful.

Rich Walker, Schenectady

 To the Editor:

Perhaps Dana should learn to Swalla it? (pun intended)

In the wise words of Mr. King (not that one), “Can’t we all just get along?” I mean, really, what is the big deal? Why can’t people just mind their business and let others live their lives? Who cares what goes on behind closed doors? Those people aren’t hurting anyone that doesn’t want to be hurt (pun intended again).

Sorry, I couldn’t resist!

Wanda Lubinski, Albany

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