I love LEO, and you always have great feature stories. However, I am writing to convey my dismay with the Feb. 27 otherwise excellent story about time-banking by Paul Curry. It had kindled my excitement (“Time-banking? I wanna do it, too!”) — until I read the following on page 14: “It’s hard to overlook the spirit of Christian fellowship in the open-hearted enthusiasm among the participants. It’s a common observation, according to (Beth) Thorpe: ‘It’s like church without the theology.’”
The article goes on to note that “(t)hough the TimeBank doesn’t embrace any religious doctrine, founder Edgar Cahn has included the serenity prayer in his brochure on the subject.” That’s all good, until Curry comes up with Cahn’s philosophy as “echoing the teachings of Jesus quite clearly.”
It seems to me that Curry identified “open-hearted enthusiasm” as being somehow “Christian” and solicited an agreement from one of the TimeBank’s organizers (Thorpe). Curry then continues to follow this direction into an interpretation of Cahn’s philosophy as being Jesus-like. At least, I hope this was Curry’s doing and not the TimeBankers’ — because the net effect is small-town, 1950s, “we’re all white Christians here.” For someone who’s Jewish, like me — and though I can’t pretend to speak for others, such as Muslims or “non-believers” — those two short paragraphs stunned me and made me feel excluded. Um, hello? Hasn’t Louisville grown up beyond such provincial attitudes?
Merle Bachman, Crescent Hill
I really love reading your newspaper, and the writers are wonderful. The only problem I have is that the writers don’t go out of their way to actually know the neighborhood an article is written about. Last week, Peter Berkowitz wrote a very good article about Zanzabar being in Germantown. As past president of Schnitzelburg for 12 years, I do know that Zanzabar is not in Germantown. It is located in the St. Joseph neighborhood. Germantown is two neighborhoods away going north. Germantown starts at Goss Avenue and goes north. Schnitzelburg is next to the St. Joseph neighborhood.
Gary Allen, Schnitzelburg
Horsing Around With Meat
Last month, food safety officials in United Kingdom, France and Sweden found traces of horsemeat in ground beef sold across Europe. Massive recalls and lawsuits are ensuing. Can it happen here? Horse slaughter for human consumption was banned in the United States between 2007 and 2011. But now, a New Mexico slaughterhouse is getting approved by U.S. authorities to slaughter horses for human consumption, and a Philadelphia restaurant has already announced plans to serve horsemeat.
I marvel at our hypocrisy of rejecting the notion of horse or dog meat on our dinner plates, while condemning cows, pigs and chickens to the same fate. Obviously, we have established special relationships with horses and dogs as our companions, protectors and sports protagonists, rather than as food. But where is the ethical and logical distinction, given that all these animals are endowed by individuality, sentience and an ability to experience the same feelings of joy, affection, sadness and fear that we do?
Fortunately, our health food industry has spared us from having to choose which animals to pet and which ones to eat. Their delicious soy and grain-based meat alternatives are available in every supermarket.
Lance Reed, Highlands
Scalia’s Racial Slur
Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia’s “racial entitlement” remark rivals the worst slurs in our history. Scalia is a constant reminder of the “great” guy who placed him on the High Court. And the sleeper in this tragic act is Scalia’s silent flunky, Justice Clarence Thomas — a reminder of that other swell president who disgraced the Supreme Court with the Thomas appointment. That Scalia dares speak those words shows how far this country has fallen. Scalia’s grave insult to truth and history requires a focused presidential response — silence condones Scalia — in our “balanced” form of government where the Supreme Court is supposedly rational and above politics.
Michael Gregoire, St. Matthews