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About that law banning necrophilia [Steve Lowery's Diary of a Mad County, Sept. 17]: hopefully it won't have any effect on Alice Cooper singing "Cold Ethyl" or "I Love the Dead" at his Oct. 21 concert at the Grove of Anaheim.
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I enjoyed Timothy Titus' article on St. James Episcopal Church ["By the Book," Sept. 24]. Concern for political and religious tyranny and consistency from the voices of our times is refreshing in an age when so many wish to put muzzles on those who like truth. On the other hand, I wish Titus would do the very thing he wishes St. James would do: interpret the Bible! Surely Titus would be pissed if I took the words of his article, ripped them out of their historical and literary context, and reported that he thinks Ugandan people would be a lot better off if they were all gay and wore European suits and Rolexes. If Titus knew anything about the historical-cultural setting of the first century (the time during which the New Testament was written), he would know that head coverings were a sign of reverence to God and fidelity to one's spouse. Today, they are just bad style. He would also know that drinking poison and handling snakes were part of the Greco-Roman worship of various gods in their temples. In my opinion, St. James Church and Timothy Titus need to practice what they preach.
via e-mail Timothy Titus responds: Duane, your sword is misdirected. You and I agree. The Bible falls within a social and historical context and must be interpreted as such, which is exactly what St. James is not doing. Your example about women wearing headdresses makes the full point: in the first century, covering the head was respectful in church. Here and now, it is disrespectful, but some churches adhere to the rule as well as the one about snakes. St. James criticizes those who cut out parts of scripture but uses its own scissors freely. You made my point well. Thanks. HOUSE ARREST
Re: Nick Schou's "Homeowners Penitentiary," Sept. 17: I, too, have been terrorized by the tyranny of a homeowners' association, which basically consists of several old men with too much time on their hands. A few years ago, I read a brilliant satiric horror novel titled The Associationby Orange County writer Bentley Little that captured this perfectly.
It must be remembered that all neighborhoods have at least one house where the grass is "only a few inches too high," the '84 Chevy will be up on blocks "only until I find an engine," and "my drinking buddies only peed in the front flower beds a couple of times." We reluctantly moved to a gated community 10 years ago and now appreciate the ability to rein in the Beverly Hillbillies from controlling the community. No more houses painted circus colors, pit bulls and rottweilers raging untethered, or good neighbor Joe emptying the motor home's oil into the sewer.
Schou neglected to report that Chris and Terri, as with all prospective homeowners, were told whether or not there was a homeowners association governing the home they were interested in. They were given a copy of the association rules, regulations and guidelines prior to their purchase in order for them to make an adult decision whether or not they could accept those rules. Like so many others, Chris and Terri may not have even read the information they were provided. They probably were more enamored with the fact that the home had his and hers bidets or the correct feng shui rather than whether or not the association rules were too stringent for them to abide.
via e-mail Nick Schou responds: Steve, I did report that homeowners are obliged to obey the rules set up by the HOA in the neighborhood they buy into. I quoted Gary Frye of Action Property Management Inc., which represents the Alipaz Community Association, saying, "The board has to enforce whatever restrictions are in place when the community is formed." That said, the point of my article wasn't the HOAs are unnecessary or evil, but rather that because many operate without the normal checks and balances that limit government agencies, there is the too-often possibility for abuse of that unchecked power, say, threatening to slap a lien on a neighbor for putting a screen door on their house. Put it this way: even the most die-hard Fidelista in Cuba is grateful their neighborhood Communist Party block captain isn't such an asshole. WRECKTORY
Re: Gustavo Arellano's "Lifestyles of the Rich and Pious," Sept. 17: Bishop Tod D. Brown's house—what a monument to NARCISSISM ! Dear Lazarus, pray for this poor excuse of a descendant of the apostles of Jesus Christ.
The property listings were sobering and put into perspective that the building of palatial cathedrals at this time in the American Catholic Church is nothing short of a travesty designed to divert.
University at Albany, New York
I am a lifelong Roman Catholic and former Latin-trained altar boy, born in 1950. Further, I am an arch-Reagan conservative. I recognize this publication is as far to the left of me as possible. I know about the "agenda" of the ownership and its affiliations coming out of New York. However, I am very thankful for Gustavo Arellano's consistent reporting on the corruption and arrogance of certain hierarchy in the Catholic Church. It mirrors what Jesus said about the hierarchy of the Judaic faith 2,000 years ago. Everything that goes around eventually comes around, doesn't it? Keep up the good journalistic work. Your reports are long overdue for Catholics and hierarchy that need a swift kick in the ---. I anxiously await the next OC Weekly to see what you have dug up next. Here is where a free press and the penetrating reports such as yours offer hope. For the truth shall make us free.
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