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Taste (but don't experience) the World

Regarding "Diversity is Delicious" (April 19): It's hard to discern the meaning behind "Taste of the World" organizer Louise Barton's comment that buses would shuttle guests to participating east Charlotte restaurants "so people don't have to worry about driving in areas they normally wouldn't feel comfortable driving in."

While the intent to showcase the most diverse, urban slice of Charlotte is laudable, we residents of 28205 are trying not be insulted at the implication that visitors from more affluent zip codes are apprehensive at the prospect of driving through our neighborhoods. Did the very multicultural atmosphere inspiring the event arouse trepidation among organizers and attendees?

We applaud the use of mass transit, and if fuel conservation and reduction of greenhouse gases had been given as reasons to bus participants up and down Independence and Central, we'd have no quibble with the event.

We welcome guests from all over Charlotte and beyond, whether they visit in motor coaches or on tricycles. To truly experience our neighborhoods, however, we suggest dining in, not ordering to go.

-- Keith Kirkpatrick and Peggie Porter, Charlotte

Prehistoric Christianity

Last week's letter titled "How Would Jesus Dress?" by Clarence Puckett, regarding the cover story "Postmodern Christianity" (April 5), stated, "I really feel sorry for these people. God does not call us to copy the world and adapt their music, ways, ideas. ... a true man of God will tell you that we are all born in sin and must be born again from Heaven ..."

Clarence -- You sound like a dinosaur, an ancient man in an ancient religion. I feel sorry for you. Jesus was simply a prophet like all the others, nothing more and nothing less. God is a personal matter and not for you to shove down anyone's throat. A true man of God is someone who is true to himself. We are not born in sin and we certainly don't need to be born again.

-- Bill Reading, Charlotte

Peacemaker?

John Sugg's story about election night 1976, which recounted how his newspaper became one of the first to report Carter's victory, was an entertaining bit of nostalgia. I was a freshman at the University of Georgia that year and voted for favorite son Carter.

Since then, however, I've grown up, seen a few things and developed a sense of history. Jimmy Carter may be a compassionate man. As a human being and as a man who has lived in the public eye for more than a half-century with nary a whiff of scandal about him, he perhaps should be celebrated.

But he was an ineffectual president. Worse, he was a president who made this country and its government weaker and more likely to be tested by rogue nations and international thugs. Sugg says that Carter now brags that among his achievements are that he never went to war as president and that he never ordered an execution as president or governor. Some of us cite these exact "achievements" as evidence of his inability to engage the tough but necessary duties of executive leadership. True peacemaking is not pacifism. Sometimes the true peacemaker is the one who stands up to, and fights, the true destroyers of peace.

Carter may never have taken this country to war, but most of the military operations we've undertaken since his presidency -- including those led by fellow Democrat Bill Clinton -- can be traced back to Carter's weakness. And because of the strength of the man who beat Carter -- Ronald Reagan -- the one war that many in Carter's day thought was inevitable, a war with the Soviet Union, never (thank God) came to be.

-- Warren Smith, Charlotte

Department of corrections

A photo caption accompanying last week's article "What's a Mecklenburger?" incorrectly identified Jerri Norman as Kim O'Doyle. Robert D. Raiford also was incorrectly identified. We regret the error.

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