LEO welcomes letters that are brief (250 words max) and thoughtful. Ad hominem attacks will be ignored, and we need your name and a daytime phone number. Send snail mail to EROSIA, 640 S. Fourth St., Louisville, Ky. 40202. Fax to 895-9779 or e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. We may edit for length, grammar and clarity.
Violence As Patriotism?
I love Thunder Over Louisville. It is my favorite day of the year in Louisville and it has been for many years. I actually like it more than Derby itself. The fireworks are always breathtaking and worth every ounce of the journey through the crowds to Waterfront Park each year. But really, what is the deal with the air show?
Since when are warplanes and killing machines entertaining? In almost every part of the world, the roar of a fighter jet is a horrifying experience. Yet here we use them for amusement?
Have we no shame? Have we no concept of what these machines are and what they are used for? And how can this terrifying image be in any way tied to the idea of patriotism? Can’t we celebrate at a festival without incorporating a disgusting display of death and power?
President Kennedy said that civility is not a form of weakness, but I feel like that has long since been forgotten, and we are stuck in a cycle of violence so intense that we even need to reference it in our patriotism and celebrations.
As long as the public accepts all the testosterone-infused military hardware and its pro-violence soundtrack provided by cartoon patriots like Toby Keith as entertainment, it will be no wonder that we will be so doomed to repeat every foolish call for blood in the name of country.
And if our victory in said current war is so subject to debate, how is it that we have extra equipment available to show off?
For all the heat that musicians and hip hop artists take for promoting violence, their best defense should now be that the government — and our own city — are publicists of fighting on a much larger scale.
Louisvillians may not be able to stop the war, but we can certainly do our part in refusing to perpetuate the glorification of bloodshed by demanding that our city’s celebrations consist only of elements that are truly cause for celebration. How can we expect the shooting to end in the world or here in Louisville as long as we are being fed this abhorrent message?
Enough already. Let’s have a party and leave the guns at home.
No More Guns
This country has suffered a huge loss — 32 people lost their lives, and it is sad. What may be even more sad is that it will happen again. We live in a culture of guns, we swim in bullets and we are angry. We can’t pinpoint why, but we are, especially our children. Their lives are incredibly difficult, filled with unfair benchmarks of beauty, scholastics and social skills. More and more parents have retreated from parenting and left their televisions to do the dirty work. Computers have provided yet another avenue for bullying and hatred, and as the world becomes more wired, it becomes increasingly harder to escape.
Gun advocates will continue to espouse more open gun rights. Many have cried that it is time to arm the teachers in our schools. If our teachers are armed, they say, this would never happen again. Yes, it would. Ideas like that make guns more readily available. Ideas like that put a gun in front of our angry and violent children. Ideas like that will force a social studies teacher to shoot a 12-year-old who he decides to take out his rage on.
More guns is not the answer — that will simply lead to us all being dead. No guns is a better idea, but that doesn’t seem likely. No, parenting and education are the answers. Ignorance leads to violence, and bad education and bad parenting lead to ignorance. Our children need to know their teachers won’t shoot to kill and that their parents love them very much.
Lucas W. Adams
A Loud Thanks
Although I do not agree with Lucinda Marshall’s comments (LEO, April 18), I wanted to thank LEO for publishing her article “Thunder air show sends the wrong signal.”
I am very grateful that our young men and women flying in the air show and serving in our armed forces sacrifice to allow Marshall to say such comments in public. Referencing Marshall, it reminded me that I owe a special thank you to the military “toys” and the “loud, in-your face reality show …” Thank you for the reminder, Marshall, and “thank you” to every man and woman serving our armed forces. God Bless you all.
Pick and Chew
I can already see the fundamentalist retorts to the recent letters from Bryan Hurst and Richard Hodge. In defending Rieck and Mohler, we’ll get the standard party line: “Oh, that’s the Old Testament, but we now live under the ‘new covenant’!” Or, they’ll turn to their misogynist hero Paul and say, “The NT condemns homosexuality too, it’s right there in 1Corinthians6:9 and 1Timothy1:10!”
They’ll forget, of course, that those verses don’t say anything about lesbians. They’ll ignore, in a stunning feat of cognitive insouciance, that the Old Testament makes up nearly 80 percent of their Holy Bible, and contains a couple versions of their beloved “10 Commandments” and that neat fairy tale about Noah living within walking distance of all the animals on the planet. While rushing to force their particular literal interpretation on everybody, they will continue to hypocritically ignore the parts that they don’t really like as much. Oppressing gay people is easy, but it’s hard to run a communist church (Acts 2:44-46, 4:32-37). Biblical homophobia fits right in with their modern fundamentalism, but most happily ignore the commands for women to be absolutely silent in church and only submissively ask questions of their husbands at home (1Corinthians 14:33b-35). It is instinct to defend Mohler or to argue for outright discrimination against homosexuals everywhere, but it’s easy to forget The Rules when it comes to men never having long hair and women always having both long hair and prayer hats (1Corinthians 11:2-16).
Which is more astonishing? That such people want to force others to live by 2,000-year-old bigoted social taboos, or that they so obviously pick and choose which parts to pontificate about, conveniently ignoring the parts that don’t serve their hatred?