Welcome! For the moment, all feedback should be directed directly to me in an e-mail message. I will then post it to this page. Maybe someday my html skills will allow forms. Until then, this is the way.

The response to my recent column on the Nativity scene in Meadville's Diamond Park has been overwhelming. This massive load of missives deserves its own page, and it's got one! Hope you all enjoy.

On Our Way to Darkness
Devon Stout is young, and therefore I allow for his simplistic view of the past, present and future. Through divination we are always "on our way to darkness." Perhaps he didn't choose the title of his commentary, but poor social science is as bad as poor science. Science is older than 200 years. It doesn't only belong to the United States. Some of the greatest scientists have also been some of the greatest theologians and vice versa. The generalizations in the last three paragraphs of his commentary are suppositious. I don't see any evidence that we are driving away top minds, that the bright beacon of scientific research is dimming or that the current crop of high schol students are going to turn their backs on science. [...] In my lifetime there have been many scientific theories at some point taught in school as explaining the physical or material world, that have been proven, through additional data, better technology or new observations, to be incorrect or incomplete. . . . God is awesome and God has endowed us with attributes that keep us curious and that keep us positive. History teaches us that enlightenment comes when both faith and science are advanced humbly. There is always so much more to learn and to understand.

In response to no column in particular . . .
You want me to pay to have school children be influenced by these guys (Skinner, Stout, Coy, et al)? God bless them anyway.

What Tolerance Means . . .
Using Devon Stout's definition of tolerance, we should legalize prostitution, polygamy, public nudity and drug use. All are done by consenting adults and don't infringe on others' freedoms and rights. After all, we have no right to impose our standards of decency on other people.

Should We Defend Christians . . . ?
I guess I especially take issue with the fact you feel our government is not responding to the rights of all people. The last I knew, Iraq is not a Christian people nor is Afghanistan or any of the other nations we have tried to defend against the tirades of those who hate the Christian. This wonderful country people continue to come against, yes even from within, continues to stand because God has blessed us. . . . Chinese youth are beaten by members of their own families when they receive Christ as their Savior. It costs them something to be a believer. We must continue to pray, support and believe what the Word of God says for us to do. Go into all the world and preach the Gospel to every creature. When we are attacked in our own nation for doing that, something is amiss and those who preach another gospel will suffer also.

Some Stray Thoughts
Reading the newspaper can be hazardous to your health--especially if you are addicted to the NY Times. I greatly appreciate waking up to your sane and well spoken column in todays Meadville paper. If we can just get people to read, pay attention, vote--! Thank you for today and I look forward to your next words. Keep them coming.

Am I an America-hating . . . Liberal?
Once again, you have hit all the nails right on the head. I only hope that more and more people are persuaded that "W" is not the president for us. Thanks for stating my beliefs so well.

Am I an America-hating . . . Liberal?
Very good editorial article in the Meadville Tribune dated 9-18-03. It's all true and I would hope many in NW PA read it and can see the wisdom of your words. I have my doubts in this politically dominated Republican area, but would like to believe there are some, who can realize our country is in trouble. Thanks.

Home of the Free . . .
While I appreciate Devon Stout's "Home of the free, as long as you're straight," . . . I respectfully disagree. Supporters of traditional family values do so to protect our families, friends and "homosexuals" from abnormal, unnatural and sinful relationships. Homosexuality leads to a penalty far greater than being treated as "second-class" citizens. How is homosexuality abnormal? From Creation, marriage has been between on man and woman. Allowing the sanctity of marriage to be between one man and five women, or one man and one man would be a deviation of over 6,000 years of traditional marriage, qualifying as abnormal . . . "Times have changed since the Bible was written. The Episcopalians are tolerant of homosexuality," you might say. What their leadership misses in Colossians 2:8, "See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition, rather than on Christ," . . . The overwhelming supporters for traditional family values hold no malice toward homosexulas. They don't support or condone violence, abuse or degredation, nor do they judge homosexuals. We love our brothers and sisters and wish they'd see the error of their ways. Paul gives the bottom line in 1 Corinthians 6:9-10, which states that "homosexual offenders" will not inherit the Kingdom of God.

Editor's Note: I'd like to say for the record that this letter was also forwarded to me in an e-mail; in that version, the author solicited support for the Traditional Family Values Amendment. I couldn't find any information on that, but something similar is the Federal Marriage Amendment currently being pushed by various conservative family groups. Check out the American Family Association for some interesting reading on the subject.

Home of the Free . . .
"I scared, Granpda!" Sometimes that's what my 3-year-old grandson says to me, and I try to assure him that everything will be all right. I know how he feels because that's how I feel about the things that are taking place in our county: The Ten Commandments can't be displayed in a public place; an abortion clinic is legally allowed to open in Erie to destroy uunborn children . . . And now we have people in this country promoting an unnatural lifestyle, even here in our own paper. I have read some of the articles trying to promote and justify homosexuality, and they almost convince you that it's right for people of the same sex to marry and have the same marital rights as others . . . However, the very foundation of this country and its laws was based on a natural order ordained by God. What the homosexual lifestyle promotes goes against this natural law, that only a man and woman can marry . . . Jesus told us to judge a tree by its fruit, and the fruit of marriage is children. What is the fruit of people of the same sex? If this lifestyle should catch on, then there would be no parents, grandparents and no children. It's wrong and immoral. No, I don't hate you, only what you promote because it threatens our society and my little grandson who says, "I scared, Grandpa." Where are all of you prists, ministers and politicians? Why aren't you crying out against all this?

Home of the Free . . .
"Kudos to Devon Stout for the astute outlook about prejudice against people who are gay . . . We support and affirm his analysis of current conditions and his conclusions that hidden, institutionalized intolerances, outright gay-bashing and laws that codify discrimination against people who are gay subvert the very foundation for the founding of this country. More than that, they fly in the face of basic human rights and dignities to which we are all entitled . . . People are still not free; humans are still discriminated against; things are not really equal. Those within the discrete, select guild of young, able-bodied, white, straight men are free and equal, but not the child or the poor, not the people of color or the elderly, and especially not the woman or the gay person. The evils of gender, age, race and sexual preference inequality are assiduous, incessant and unremitting. We continue to work towards that day when the human rights and freedom that a select few in this world enjoy will be available to all, including the fundamental ability, regardless of gender, to openly express love for and to marry the person who is one's soul-mate, companion and lover.

Home of the Free . . .
". . . I would say that the "extreme" elements, Mr. Stout, are the homosexuals and those who support that lifestyle, not Mr. Bush, his "base" or the other 98 percent of the country. Are we to say that whatever a person wants to be or do in society that we have to accept that person as "normal," with forced respect and sanctioned rights? Should people who want to have sex with animals or a corpse, or whatever ungodly thing they can do, be people we are going to be forced to respect? Should the pedophile be allowed to reduce the age of consent from 18 to 8, as many of them want to do, so that they can pervert our children? . . . Also, Mr. Stout, homosexuals are not born homosexual and there is absolutely no proof that they are. It is a choice they have made due to being seduced at some point in their life by a homosexual or through some screwed-up school's teaching that confuses friendship with "Well, maybe you're homosexual." How sick. And how do you respond to the man who has been a homosexual for 10 or 15 years and then repents of his perverted lifestyle, finds a woman, marries, has children and lives happily ever after? It is a choice and I, for one, do teach my children that they do not have to respect anyone who involves themselves in the evil, sick lifestyles of the debased of this society. Living under the bondage of sin is not being free. It is being a fool.

Home of the Free . . .
"Thank you, columnist Stout, for your opinion, but you overlooked one very important fact--this is a nation under God, and homosexuality is a sin. Period. End of discussion."

Home of the Free . . .
"Please ask Mr. Stout to take his liberal, America-hating, sacrilegious views somewhere where they are welcome--like hell."

Home of the Free . . .
"A huge thank you, dear Mr. Stout, for an intelligent view shared by most of us. Fortunately, the gods some of us worship do not teach hatred, fire and brimstone. Thank you again, sir."

Home of the Free . . .
"I have read several of your articles in the past, generally I disagree with you in what you have to say. I have laughed you off as just another young Liberal with a too narrow a view to understand things more clearly. Age and experience may help that for you . . . One of the definitions of gay is "debauched: leading a debauched or dissolute life" . . . Before gay meant homosexual it had other definitions. It will again change in the future, and the dictionary will again be revised . . . Our morality cannot be defined by people, because people are not Divine. God, through the Bible has done an excellent job of defining what is moral, and what is not. Look at any Godless society in history and tell me what their fate was . . . The Bible defines marriage as a union between one man and one woman. Did you ever notice how naturally a man and a woman's bodies fit together? Much more easily than two women, or two men. Ever wonder why that is? . . . I know of none of my gay friends who experience the sort of discrimination and harassment you speak of . . . Maybe someday a "human law" will be passed that will legalize gay marriage. But it is not God's will. Which would you prefer? To have every whim satisfied here on Earth and lose heaven, or to exercise self control, do as God wills and enjoy eternal gayety? . . . Those who indulge in (gays) , and those who promote the "gay" lifestyle (you) as normal are both sinning against God. I sincerely hope your Soul will be saved."

Sex is not the Government's Business
"A well-balanced, thoughtful discussion of the sodomy issue in today's Tribune. Not to mention gutsy. You'll likely take a lot of crap for it; but if no one spits at you, you're probably not writing anything that needs to be read anyway."