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Message at the Crossroads

By · April 11th, 2007 · Letters
Once again I'm dismayed that CityBeat readers have chosen Crossroads Community Church and its pastor, Brian Tome, as the best church and religious leader the area has to offer (Best of Cincinnati, issue of March 28). In a CityBeat article from 2004, Tome states, "You cannot say the Bible supports homosexuality. It does not." ("Gays at the Crossroads," issue of March 31, 2004) He also explained that an abstinent homosexual Christian who slips up sometimes but is trying to abstain is welcome to teach at the church but that someone who believes homosexuality is not a sin would be asked to serve in some other role.

I don't know about the rest of CityBeat readers, but that is unacceptable to me. There are many churches in Cincinnati that support and affirm the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender community. Clearly, Crossroads Community Church is not one of them and is certainly not on my list of potential spiritual homes.

Wise up, Cincinnati. Slick media presentations on Sunday morning, free coffee and wireless Internet and "Culturally Current Communication" do not embody the spirit of Christ.

-- Melissa Meyer, Cincinnati

Don't Talk to the Press
I found Larry Gross' column "What's Best About Cincinnati?" amusing (issue of March 28). I don't know if people in Cincinnati are friendly or not, but I know they're not stupid.

Telling people you're with CityBeat means you're with the press, and most people don't want to talk to the press. Their words can be turned every which way. I know that from experience.

Maybe Gross is a nice guy and all, but if he'd approached me I wouldn't have stopped either.

-- Dana Pierce, Clifton

Wake Us up from Coma
Larry Gross didn't pick the wrong areas for his survey, he picked the wrong town ("What's Best About Cincinnati?", issue of March 28). People here seem to have a center-of-the-universe complex: "We have the Reds, the Bengals, Skyline Chili and lots of history, so stop being so negative!"

OK, but why are people in Chicago, Milwaukee, Portland, Ore. and almost everywhere else friendlier? The cool standoffishness isn't limited to downtown -- it's everywhere here.

I didn't go to high school here, so I'm an outsider never to be let into the inner circle of friends made in childhood. That explains a lot about Cincinnati: People here don't need to branch out and open up; all the friends they'll ever have 'til their funeral they met in sixth grade.

Gross' column made me laugh out loud. I thank him for pointing out these traits -- now I know I'm not crazy. I've traveled to many cities, and there's not a place quite like Cincinnati. People here are strange. I like to consider this area my little passive/ aggressive oasis.

Whatever Gross does, don't start playing it safe. Things need to be shaken up here, the people wound up now and then to snap them out of their comas. Otherwise he'll be like everyone else.

-- Gary Templeton, Walnut Hills

Get Outta Town Now
Larry Gross' column on what's best about Cincinnati was just wrong (issue of March 28). He is the most mean-spirted writer I have ever read. Even in the Best of Cincinnati issue, he finds something to pick apart.

Downtown is great here, and I live downtown. To promote us here as "unfriendly" just isn't fair or true.

I unfortunately also know what Gross looks like. With his long hair and cigarette hanging out of his mouth, I probably would have run from him, too. Do us all a favor and run yourself out of this town.

-- Megan Anderson, Downtown

We're Afraid of Each Other
Regarding Larry Gross' column ("What's Best About Cincinnati?", issue of March 28): When I first moved here from the New England area about 10 years ago, I found myself thinking about how nice the people were in Cincinnati. Eventually, I found myself using the word "polite" instead of "nice."

I've now decided that what I mistook for politeness is actually a need to avoid interpersonal contact as much as possible. Gross' column mentions that someone said the fact that people were avoiding communication with him might be due to being scared at the location (near the courts and courthouse). While I don't think the location at the time was relevant, I think that fear might be.

But what do people in a relatively low crime rate city have to fear? I think the answer is the lack of exposure to different cultures in the Midwest. This causes people to have a fear of anything "different" -- anything which deviates in any obvious manner from their normal lives.

-- Daniel Clark, Union Twp.



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