I think it's always fun and interesting to see the results of the annual "Best of the Best" Readers' Choice Awards. However, I must admit that I'm concerned to once again find the category for "Best Worship Center." I'm not really sure what that means. Does that indicate that a church has the largest space in which to worship? The most members? The biggest or most accomplished choir or worship band? The most modern and up-to-date lighting and sound equipment?
While barbecue joints, tattoo shops and ladies' clothing stores, etc., will compete for popular votes in this year's contest, I just don't feel that folks should be rating our churches, synagogues and other houses of worship in an effort to be named the best. Is one church really better than another? Don't people choose to attend a particular service of worship because it best suits their personal needs, and speaks to them spiritually because it incorporates certain styles of preaching, music and liturgy?
I dare say that those who gather with just a few friends, possibly in a tiny church out in the country, find that special time and space just as precious as those who attend mega-churches. They know that God is there. Their loving and supportive community, no matter how big or small, is there. That's a winning combination--and for me that's what makes each and every place of worship the best.
Humidity pod alert
I'm disappointed that no one has stepped up to continue the service previously provided by MSHPEWS (Michael Storey's Humidity Pod Early Warning System). It's sad enough that we can no longer hear from Otus, the head dead cat, about life on the other side, and I understand that not just anyone can channel dead cats, but simply reporting the sighting of the dreaded humidity pods does not require paranormal abilities.
Did all the MSHPEWS spotters in south Arkansas, Louisiana and on the Gulf Coast just up and abandon their posts? Don't they realize the highest honor that can be accorded a leader is to continue the work after the leader is gone? Channeling a dead cat is one thing, but warning the public of imminent danger of a slime attack is another matter entirely.
It's not so much the main pack of pods that people need to fear; it's the rogue ones that break away on their own to wreak their slimy havoc on individual humans or animals.
Once when my wife and I were living on a hillside north of Lake Dardanelle, I spotted what I took to be one of those rogue pods drifting across the lake headed our way. Had I not known that MSHPEWS had not reported any stray pods in the area, I would have switched to panic mode and spent much energy and time taking unnecessary precautions. To my relief the yellowish cloud turned out to be only a pollen storm. I was certainly thankful that MSHPEWS was on the job.
So far this season (the first one since Michael's departure) there have been no reported injuries or deaths caused by the gooey, gelatinous blobs, but without MSHPEWS to warn us, it's bound to be only a matter of time. RIP, Michael Storey.
Of bakeries and cakes
In the June 22 lead editorial, there were several positions taken that I wish to question. The editorial discussed the Supreme Court's failure to hand down a solid answer to the recurring question of a baker refusing to make a wedding cake for a same-sex couple.
The editorial said, "Our considered editorial opinion has always been there's typically more than one bakery in most towns. If one of them doesn't want to bake a cake for your wedding, take your business elsewhere."
My question: Would you take the same position if the baker's reason was that the couple was black? I'm sure this occurred in the past, and one explanation offered by a denying baker would be that his religious beliefs held blacks as inferior.
How are the situations different?
Also, what if there is in fact only one baker in your town? Does that change his responsibility? If there are only two bakers in your town, are they both allowed to hold the same viewpoint? Etc., etc.?
Another section of the editorial discussed the baker's unwillingness to use his "art" to participate in their celebration. Again, how does that differ from a chef who refuses to cook (his art) for an interracial couple dining at his restaurant to celebrate their wedding?
CHARLES J. PATE JR.
Cut budget elsewhere
Please do not close War Memorial Golf Course; look some other place to cut the budget.
This short course is easily found, and serves a unique group of folks and kids who cannot afford country clubs--salesmen who finish work early, out-of-town folks, fathers with kids (a miracle to get them outdoors)--to teach manners and patience. It seems most folks who are voting have never played golf or caught on to the challenge and fun.
They are away from phones and computers, and out in nature. This course is unique due to the opportunity to actually hear zoo animals.
If we have managed to pay for it all these years, it's not clever to close this.
Kids play in the park, yoga groups meet; it is just lovely and relaxing!
Editorial on 06/29/2019
Print Headline: Letters