Friday
April 28, 2006
SGN.org
Volume 34
Issue 17
 
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Letters
DISCHARGE OF LOCAL LESBIAN A 'HORROR'

Dear SGN,

I read with both anger and horror in the April 14th edition [of the Seattle Gay News] about decorated United States Major Margaret Watt being discharged for a same sex relationship. The timing could not be worse; when there is a shortage of flight nurses.

A discharge would further weaken her units morale and at a time when our country's ready to look the other way toward private affairs, which have occurred during an otherwise long career of honorable service.

Being a former dedicated and long standing public servant myself, I was also saddened to hear about the bureaucratic chain of command maze her case must have gone through during the period between 2004 and 2006, during which an unnecessary investigation of her private affairs probably occurred.

I know all to well about the realities of a military operation and I must ask myself: When will our country adopt progressive business policies like many leading employers already have?

Chris Dunavant

Seattle, WA

LAMBERT HOUSE MISHANDLES IN-KIND DONATIONS

Dear SGN,

In response to criticisms of mis-management of Lambert House (The Stranger, "A House Divided," April 13), some or all of the Lambert Board members wrote an article that the SGN published ("Lambert House: The anatomy of a recovery," April 14). Among points made in this article was the importance of in-kind giving. This point is repeated on the Lambert House web site: "Lambert House receives many good (sic) and services. This helps us put more of our dollars toward programming."

If Lambert House values in-kind giving so highly and if the House is being appropriately managed, why does Lambert not request the names of people who make in-kind donations? Perhaps only in-kind donations from major corporations are of importance. By not requesting the names and addresses of people who deliver in-kind donations, Lambert has lost the opportunity to add to their base of support.

My partner and I have delivered books, games, treats, and other items over the years and the only times Lambert staff or volunteers recorded our names was when we pushed the issue. It's been our experience that Lambert House is the only agency to which we donate that does not keep, as a matter of policy and procedure, a copy of the in-kind donation form. With all the staff members and volunteers of which the Board is proud, it appears that not one person has noticed or attempted to do something about this serious lack of this standard non-profit agency protocol.

I believe the IRS requires that non-profit agencies keep an auditable trail of donations and that both cash and in-kind donations are supposed to be reported to the IRS. Failure to do this can only be consider[ed] sloppy at best. This cannot be considered good management, good constituency development, [or] good anything.

Sincerely,

Betty Johanna

Seattle, WA

CRITICISM OF LAMBERT HOUSE EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR UNDESERVED

[Editor's Note: The following letter was sent to The Stranger and copied to the SGN for publication.]

To the Editor, the Stranger:

I have known and respected Lambert House Executive Director Ken Shulman for 25 years, so I was surprised and distressed by your article of April 13th.

Your reporter Eli Sanders seems intent on finding sleaze where there is none. He relies almost exclusively on rumours from disgruntled former staff or board members, and from one unhappy youth who used Lambert House services. He implies something unethical about Ken's having talked all night with 21-year-old board member Aaron Chandler, but he didn't bother to ask Mr[.] Chandler's opinion of the conversation. He also quotes former board member Walt Blake's assertion that the current board is stacked with "Shulman loyalists." Perhaps it didn't occur to him that the board is loyal because the members actually like Ken's work. Oh, but how would it occur to him - he didn't actually bother to interview anyone on the current board, did he? If he had, he might have found there was no story, or he might have found the story of an agency that is far healthier than it was before Ken's arrival.

This is the kind of article that gives the alternative press a bad name. It fails even minimal standards of journalism. In fact, it's not journalism at all; it's gossip.

Bruce MacDonald

Vancouver, BC

Canada

POPE WRONG TO CONDEMN GAY FAMILIES

Dear SGN,

In his Good Friday meditations on the way of the Cross, Pope Benedict XVI once again set his sights on modernity. He warned of the dangers of playing God, the spread of evil and a "decadent narcissism" that threaten society. It really is an odd set of meditations. Some are really quite radical and socially progressive one might say, whereas (others) are a return to a conservative Catholicism. But what is most startling is his attack on the development of the family in modern society, and science.

In attacking the development of the family he was clearly referring to Gay Families. This is an anti-gospel message, and prime example of the Pope trying to play God. We would remind the Pope of his own words "to take God's place, without being God, is an insane arrogance, a risky and dangerous venture."

Modern science is now the villain according to the pope. This is precisely the time for the Holy Father to be pointing to those things we need to look at squarely and that we need to act to remedy. We need more scientific research to find a cure for HIV/AIDS a pandemic that is now threatening the lives of many in first and third world nations. He should be promoting light not darkness in the acquisition of knowledge. Additionally, we need more scientific development in protecting our environment, and we need to be promoting peace and not war.

Missing from the mediations of the cross were any mention of sexual abuse of children in families, and churches. While many Catholic analysis are saying this Pope is looking for consensus before he makes any drastic moves, we see a Pope unable to balance the various divisions within the Church, unable to move beyond the ghetto mentality of the Vatican to seek new ideas and perspective. He appears to be embracing the pre Vatican II conservative mentality of anti science and anti-knowledge, this is clearly draw back to the mentality that once governed the dark ages.

The Rainbow Sash Movement does not look to Rome for the salvation of the Church, rather we look to the courageous men and women both Gay and straight who speak out from our Church's pews both nationally and internationally. The leadership of the Church is now up in the air, and only the Holy Spirit will be able to sort it out. There are now many tribes in the Catholic Church the key is finding a way, for them, to communicate with each other. Let us pray for a new Pentecost.

Sincerely,

Joe Murray

U.S. Convener

Rainbow Sash Movement
   

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