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David Izzard (Public Forum, Nov. 2) insists ``Christian ethics'' require him to ``speak out civilly in opposition and warn of the consequences'' of homosexuality.

A different view is held by those of us who have studied the six or so passages in the Bible that are often used as weapons against gay people.

These Bible verses speak about such things as rape, temple prostitution and heterosexuals engaging in same-gender sex. None of these verses condemns gay people like me. Although still in the minority, more and more Bible-believing gay and straight Christians see no conflict between Christianity and homosexuality.

- Ross McQuade-Shryock

Los Angeles

Izzard's comments regarding ``Christian bashing'' show why it occurs. Forgetting the rhetoric, it is the infuriating, self-righteous, how-could-I-be-wrong attitude taken by the Moral Majority and the Christian right.

Somehow, describing oneself as a Christian endows one with omniscient power that shall not be questioned. Disagreement is not tolerated, and there can be no debate or compromise. They take the moralistic high road by wrapping themselves in the cloak of Christian ethics.

Izzard claims that these ethics do not allow him to tolerate the moral flavor of the day and require him to speak out and warn of the consequences. Here again, the Moral Majority is passing judgment on homosexuality or abortion or anything else with which it takes exception.

The Christian right may not be the originator of the climate of hate, but it encourages mindless and sometimes hateful reactions to people or things its members view as ``un-Christian.''

- Harlan Campbell


Punishing hate crimes

This is in response to the letters of Terri Andrews, Nov. 2, and Joseph Abraham, Oct. 28, against more severe punishments for hate crimes than those for other crimes of a similar nature.

The fact is that state of mind has a long history of precedent in common law in determining the degree of penalty in a crime.

Hate crimes are worse than other premeditated crimes because they are void of any type of moral reasoning. Perpetrators need to be punished more harshly than the ordinary criminal.

- Craig Lennon Kysar

Sherman Oaks

Election commentary

The passing of Proposition A is supposed to stop new subway construction and put in place ``alternatives.''

Light rail could be one of them. There's the Exposition Boulevard line, the very same one that then-L.A. Councilman Zev Yaroslavsky supported and later opposed after bowing to NIMBY (not in my back yard) pressure. There's the Burbank-Chandler route in the San Fernando Valley, but that's as good as dead because of the Robbins Law, which prohibits any rapid transit from running at-grade. The Red Line could be brought out of the ground, but Proposition A bans that, as there has to be minor tunnel construction involved.

What's left is Supervisor Mike Antonovich's rail line along the 101 Freeway, which might carry more weight because he supported Yaroslavsky's initiative.

- Chris Ledermuller

Los Angeles

For too long the choice of high-capacity public transport has focused on subways vs. at-grade rail lines and bus routes. The South Central area is a prime example, with residents claiming that without a subway there can be no high-speed transit because of the congestion.

But there is another option. Build up, not down. Instead of burrowing underground, elevate the lines above the street. A monorail or elevated rail line would cost one-half to one-third that of a subway tunnel. And there would be no sinking roads or collapsing foundations to contend with, no leaking walls or methane gas to worry about.

You can also forget about earthquakes because anything strong enough to disrupt an elevated system will also be strong enough to collapse a subway tunnel. At least with an above-ground system, you won't be buried or have to worry about air.

- Daniel Matonak

Canoga Park

School vouchers were an underlying factor in the 1998 California elections. Every candidate on my ballot who supported vouchers - Dan Lungren, Matt Fong, Gloria Tuchman and Randy Hoffman - was soundly defeated.

The voters of California do not want their tax dollars spent on private schools. It is time the Republican Party leadership recognizes this. Schools need reform; there is no question about this. But a voucher plan, otherwise known as school choice or opportunity scholarships, is not the answer.

If voucher supporters want to work to improve public education, they should volunteer at their local schools. Interested individuals should speak to teachers, administrators and students, and work to improve an important American institution. Politicians must stop trying to tear down the system. They must work to return California schools to the greatness they once enjoyed.

- Edward Kaz

West Hills

As a Republican, I am watching House Speaker Newt Gingrich and the others to see if they got the message. Stop catering to the liberals and stand strong.

- Leo Vaughn

Santa Clarita

Goal is empowerment

This is in response to your Nov. 5 article titled ``Van Nuys area seeks new name.'' Thank you for responsibly reporting this story, instead of adding editorial comments as another paper did.

As president of the homeowners association composing one-half of the area wishing to seek a community name change, I believe affected residents deserve to be heard.

Let's start with the basics. Van Nuys is represented by five City Council members. Period. To get anything accomplished in Van Nuys requires a vote of one-third of the City Council, an accomplishment almost impossible by anyone's


The ``pocket'' of Van Nuys seeking a name change is in an interesting predicament. We are in the easternmost sector of the council's 3rd District. We are 3,000 out of more than 200,000 households. For years we have been treated like the stepchild of the district. The office is legally responsible for our welfare, but the care and concern aren't there.

Our council office has repeatedly ignored our requests for assistance. Only those few residents who bow to the council member are acknowledged. We get things done in spite of being ignored.

We are in the westernmost section of the LAPD's Van Nuys Division, with a crime rate that's almost nonexistent. Whether it's luck or just a very observant populace, crime is down because it's not tolerated. Graffiti is removed immediately. We have an agency that is committed to immediate graffiti removal and we report it immediately. Our community is in good shape because we are committed to that goal and work daily in its pursuit.

In this age of secession and breakups, is anyone surprised that communities seek local empowerment? Keeping units big may be the mind-set of those downtown, but certainly not of neighborhood residents.

We will not sit back because our council member is opposed philosophically to neighborhood identity. No other council member has denied a community the right to change its name.

There is no rational basis for denying us this request. Let me cite two reasons given, and dispel the inaccuracies. First, we've been told that changing the name of the community will reap no benefits. What benefits does the council office think we seek? We don't get our fair share of city services now, so what does the office think we'll get once our name is changed?

Second, we've been told that the post office will become confused. I contacted a postal inspector who said there will be no confusion. We are not seeking a ZIP code change, just a name change.

- Ellen Bagelman


Lake Balboa

Neighborhood Association

Van Nuys
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Publication:Daily News (Los Angeles, CA)
Article Type:Editorial
Date:Nov 8, 1998

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