February 1997

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Scondras lied

I do not condone violence, and I do not believe that there is any excuse for the kind of beating David Scondras got. My reaction to Scondras ("Scondras speaks," January One in Ten), though, is that I think he may be lying. Naturally, I have no evidence other than certain rumors that have circulated about him in the past. For instance, I seem to remember that Scondras was implicated in a NAMBLA [North American Man Boy Love Association] scandal back in the '80s. In a politically correct gay world, I suppose I would "respect" people who solicit minors as just having a different preference, just as I "respect" people in the BD/SM scene. But when the story of the beating first broke, my reaction was a sarcastic "Yeah, that's a surprise" -- not because I believed Scondras deserved it, but because there are violent, confused young men out there who get off on beating up "faggots." If you approach 16-year-old boys on the streets over a period of time, you are likely to meet up with a kid crazy or desperate enough to try to rob or hurt you.

Michael Stressenger
Lynn, MA
Via the Internet


Holy irreverence!

While I remain relatively unfamiliar with the tenets of the Seventh Day Adventist faith, the following thoughts come from a graduate seminarian, a Christian theologian steeped in the tradition of Anglo-Catholicism (High Episcopal). By presenting bold and biased opinion on sexuality and Jesus in an open forum ("Sex & Jesus," January, One in Ten), David Valdes Greenwood invited challenge and criticism.

His openness about his homosexuality is praiseworthy. The levity he brought to the issue of sexuality and the conflict with his faith tradition are admirable. However, his approach to Jesus Christ is offensive, irreverent, and highly disrespectful.

Perhaps he does not -- perhaps Adventists do not -- regard Jesus Christ as God Incarnate. Or the Savior. He may regard Him solely a prophet; perhaps (God forbid!) less than that. While I might support his issues where the application of Christianity is at issue, I will not yield to trivializing Jesus without challenge. Mine is a conservative, pre-Reformation orthodox theology. This theology drives my faith. It is the center -- the core -- of my spiritual belief.

"Sex" was a non-issue with Christ. Christ did not need sex. Were Greenwood to understand Christ in the fully spiritual context, he would realize this. Greenwood would also accept that were He alive today, He would embrace homosexuals as equally as He embraced all marginalized people. He likely would understand that homosexuality is normal behavior for homosexuals. Your comment "Jesus didn't live long enough to know that" is crass, unnecessary, and outright sacrilege.

Your anger, Mr. Greenwood, is at your church and your denomination; not Jesus Christ! Please! Do not pin the inadequacies or failure of your denomination -- as you perceive them -- upon the Body of Christ.

M. Vincent Turner
Marlborough, MA

David Valdes Greenwood responds: I would like to point out that the piece was a humorous -- not theological -- take on the created Jesus of my upbringing. My real belief is that Jesus was a charismatic teacher getting plenty of good sex with Mary Magdalene.


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