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December 17, 2008

Inbox — Dec. 17, 2008

Letters to the Editor

Eat Small

I read with interest Kathryn Green’s response to Robin Garr’s dining review about the closing of Seviche off of Westport Road (LEO Weekly, Dec. 3). It seemed she didn’t like his “generalization about our city’s population pockets.” I would like to remind her that the shoe fits on the other foot. I get tired of hearing how nice it is that I live in a “nice, bohemian neighborhood” — whatever that means. I also hear it’s so full of “eccentric little businesses and restaurants.”

I’m glad that some small restaurants are making it in the East End. The Highlands and Frankfort Avenue are full of them, which is what I love about living in this area. Maybe Garr bases his opinion on what he sees, as I do. Let’s face it: The East End is dominated by chain-type restaurants that are full of customers. That also makes it extremely hard for an independent business to make it. Don’t get me wrong; a lot of them are good. However, I prefer to go to local restaurants and keep the money and taxes here, and not see places like Ferd Grisanti’s go under.

Bill Page, Highlands

Chinese Air Biscuit

Attn.: J. Brian Hall,

I read many different music magazines and none have had the courage you did about trashing what could be the worst record of the year (Guns ’N’ Roses’s Chinese Democracy, LEO Weekly, Dec. 3). Thank you, thank you, thank you. I was a fan of the ol’ GNR in high school and never thought I’d hear this particular opus, and now that I have, I thank the gods I didn’t pay any money for it.

It shocks me that credible magazines and fine writers have praised this stinking turd. Is it possible they received a different cd? Or is it that these publications are being nice to Axl so he’ll release another record in under two decades?

Thank you for being the one brave soul who identified the proverbial fart in the car!

George Buehler III, Elizabethtown, Ky.

Hell Hath No Fury

Want a little more fire and brimstone in your day? According to The Church Hoppers in their review Dec. 3, while thinking our service was one of the best they’ve found, they regard the Church of the Advent as a little soft on hell. Seems the Hoppers (George Halitzka and Zach Nord) like a bit more misery in their afterlife than I presented in a recent sermon.

Well, the faithful congregants of Advent would like to assure the Hoppers that we have a solid understanding of damnation. An unscientific survey of our members includes an array of visions of the underworld — everything from the classic Dante’s Inferno to an eternity dining with your mother-in-law to being stuck in traffic on Bardstown Road.

However, we do confess to focusing on the brighter aspects of our faith. Such as forgiveness, which we believe can open one’s eyes and heart to profound spiritual gifts. An open and inclusive community, we are committed to social ministry in service to all ages and walks of life. We have worship options for a variety of tastes — quiet and contemplative, music and pageantry, and a candlelight Taizé service on Thursday evenings for meditative reflection. We’re a small, growing community where everyone makes a difference, and our beautiful jewel of a church — at the crossroads of downtown and the Highlands — is straight out of the European countryside.

As I like to remind newcomers, no matter who you are or where you are on your spiritual journey (or your thoughts on hell), you’re always welcome at Advent. Thanks for checking us out.

Rev. Tim Mitchell, Church of the Advent

Hell on Earth

Let’s talk some more about hell. George and Zach covered part of the topic, but I think another view bears mentioning. This is not hate mail; it’s bring-up-another-point mail. The point I’d like to make is biblical and Christian, but not orthodox.

In the Old Testament, when someone died, he or she went to (Hebrew word) Sheol. We have no equivalent term in English. Neither did the Greeks. The Greeks believed that after death, the soul of the departed lived on in another dimension. That’s quite different from the concept of Sheol. As stated in Ecclesiastes 9:10, there is no knowledge in Sheol. Hades, the Greek term, is different. Everyone in Hades was alive in the form of a disembodied soul. Everyone in Sheol is dead. No knowledge, no awareness — just dead.

I submit that the concept of everlasting torment in hell springs not from the God of the Bible, but from Greek mythology that crept into translations of the Bible. Preachers may mean well when they warn of hell, but what if the Bible is actually saying that death is death, not a choice between heavenly bliss or the torment of hell?

The fact that Sheol is translated into Hades in the Septuagint really muddied the waters. Throw in a commonly misunderstood parable of Jesus, mix with Dante, and — presto! — the dead are alive. A careful study of Sheol (I suggest “Strong’s Concordance”) reveals that the dead are dead. Resurrections are prophesied in the Bible, but they are still in the future. 

By the way, George and Zach, the Episcopalians would not condemn you to hell. This is the point at which any orthodox Christian pastor would add that people condemn themselves to hell by rejecting Jesus. I can see the truth in their view, i.e., accepting Jesus is the way to go. But here’s my question: Can you see the truth in my view? That is, nobody can go to a place that does not exist.

Dave Tench, South End

To the 8664 Leadership

Please listen to your own experts. Last Wednesday night you brought in Milwaukee’s recent Mayor John Norquist and Cary Moon, co-founder of Seattle’s People’s Waterfront Coalition, to address your issue. Their talks were heavily laced with words and pictures in praise of public transit, bus rapid transit, bus and train stations, light rail and streetcars. In response to a question from the audience, Moon stated that new public transit is a huge element of Seattle’s effort to satisfy transportation needs. One of the components of Seattle’s effort was a Public Transit First program. Seattle’s program calls for shifting 33 percent of their highway traffic to public transit. Go to the coalition’s website (www.peopleswaterfront.org) and read for yourself their emphasis on “ new transit systems … increasing transportation options … better bus connections … light rail … optimize transit reliability so it’s competitive with the freedom of driving alone … lure new users over to transit … trolley circulator, etc.”

Your experts are telling you that significant public transit must be part of the transportation solution. Yet, despite the statement on the 8664 website that “8664 enthusiastically supports public transit,” 8664 ignores it. Where is the public transit component of 8664? What has 8664 done in support of public transit? How is public transit improved by 8664? The current reality of 8664 is that, if realized, your plan will only postpone future investment in public transit in Louisville.

Beyond real encouragement of public transit, Norquist and Moon both repeatedly discouraged increasing automotive infrastructures. Until the leadership of 8664 heeds the public transit advice of your experts, 8664 will remain nothing more than a scheme to increase automotive infrastructure.

Please listen to your own experts. Thank you.

Jackie Green, Downtown