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Christ Loves Unconditionally
I am writing as a former resident of Charlotte with my appreciation for "They're Christian. They're Gay. Get Used To It." (by Karen Shugart, June 15).

Mine is probably a typical story for someone of my generation. I grew up in a religious home, attended a Christian high school, and then attended a prominent Christian university in the South. Throughout my life, I tried to run away from the reality of my attraction to men, because of the teachings of the church on the subject. I was taught that it was something that I should seek healing from, even though the feelings I felt with a man were to me so natural and satisfying. The destruction caused by the build up of shame in my life is something I am now just taking inventory of, as I now live in Chicago, and I am openly gay. At the age of 35, I am just beginning to unravel the layers of disguise and working to re-engineer my life, as one based upon a foundation of complete honesty with myself and others.

As part of my coming out journey, I have maintained the spiritual aspects of my life, with an emphasis on God's unconditional love. This has sustained me in the face of the stigma placed on homosexuality by the religious community. The actions of the church in regards to homosexual men and women are reprehensible and completely antithetical to the teachings of Christ. If Jesus had thought it important, homosexuality would have been specifically mentioned in his teachings. Search for it, but you will not find any mention of it in the gospels.

I am happy to see that there are many churches and religious groups in the country now openly embracing LGBT members, across all faith groups. I pray for all my LGBT brothers and sisters throughout the world, that if they so desire, they would find a Christian community that will embrace them as they are, without judgment, and to love them unconditionally, just as Christ would have.

— Cory Fransway, Chicago, IL

Domestic Violence Affects us all
Thank you so much for "Can Domestic Violence be Prevented?" (by Barbara Solow, June 8). It was the most well rounded article about d.v. that I had ever read in a newspaper. I was especially impressed that the article highlighted violence against men while focusing on women as the victims in 95% of d.v. cases. It is essential that prevention programs use the feminist principles of power and gender roles if d.v. is truly going to be eradicated from our communities.

Framing d.v. as a public health issue is an excellent way to bring funding and awareness to this issue. As a women's health nurse here in Charlotte, I have encountered numerous women who were victims of domestic violence and had complications after routine surgeries that required rehospitalizations and thousands of dollars of medical care. At the hospital where I work nurses are required to screen all of our patients for d.v.

Kudos to Creative Loafing for running such an excellent article on an issue that truly affects us all. The nature of d.v. must be taught to the community along with overall changes in our society that fosters the equality for women, persons of color, and persons of lower socioeconomic status.

— Rachel Beers, RN, Charlotte

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