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Listener Mail

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Weekend America listeners have been writing in, sharing their thoughts about last week's stories. Bill Radke and Tess Vigeland share what the listeners have to say about same-sex unions, the Anglican Church and a controversial word in a children's book.

The Letters

Subject: Zachary Taylor

"Don't be embarassed if you've never heard of Zachary Taylor"??????!!!!!!! I can't believe I heard that!

Be VERY embarassed if you're an American over the age of, oh, say, 12 who has "never heard of" even one of the US presidents. I'm not saying you even need to know when he served, or where he was from but if there's any US president you haven't at least heard of you need to unplug the TV, put down the Xbox, and feed your head.

Tim Cox
Douglas, MA (WBUR Boston)

Subject: Anglican Church

In your story regarding the directive from the Anglican church to stop blessing gay unions you presented a heartfelt and eloquent position by a minister of the church. I wish you had included the equally heartfelt position of the other side. I am a member of the Methodist church - our denomination is struggling with the same issues of ordination and blessings of unions. I can tell you that I am considered by friends and family to be an extreme liberal - and I can't find an answer to this problem. While I support th e rights of every individual to love unconditionally and supportively, I am not sure where it all fits in terms of the church. Until we all sit down in a quiet forum to sort it out, please balance your reporting. Good people are in disagreement, it happens.

Kim Nagy
Jenison, MI (WVGR Grand Rapids)

Subject: The Higher Power of Lucky

How ironic that a non-salacious reference to part of an animals body creates controversy whereas high school students are faced with references to men having sex with cows (Beloved) as a REQUIRED text. I don't think 'Lucky' is another example of the 'slippery slope' in creating damaging images for children but rather it is indicative of the 'Emporer Has No Clothes' attitude regarding what is art/literature. 'Heather Has Two Mommies' (and its recent equivalents) is far more edgy in themes yet chic and trendy for todays social agenda so it doesn't spark the controversy. The saddest part about 'Lucky' is that it uses a word that is beyond the vocabulary of its intended audience. That is simply foolish on the part of the author. Whether done for shock value or some similar purpose, it is not working to get the students to absorb the rest of the book. Other authors should take note not in fear of censureship but simply because it is not reaching the reader where they really are, and it ends up detracting from the potential of the book to reach those readers. There has been NO mention of the overall story arc or theme of the book. Just the controversy over the word scrotum. How sad.

Michael Miles
Portland, OR (KOPB Oregon Public Broadcasting)


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