Weber: Sin and Forgiveness

I had composed a two-page letter regarding my feelings toward Bill Weber and his high-dollar, country club brand of religion (“The Second Coming of Billy Weber,” July]. Upon reviewing my dissertation, I realized that what I really wanted to say in response to Weber’s “second coming” could be capsulized in an old cliche*: “Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me!”

Brenda M. Birkins


I have known Billy and Robin Weber for twenty-four years. They are good, caring people.

Prior to October 1988, most of Dallas believed Billy Weber to be a learned, pious leader. Now he is portrayed as being sinister and deceitful-did he become manipulative overnight? I think not. Only after his honesty did his supporters turn from him. Have the good Christian people of Dallas forgotten the principles and teachings of the Bible?

In 1984, my father died. My mother and I wanted Billy to preside at the funeral. He and Robin came to the unpretentious church in Alvarado. They came because they cared, not because of money or power. They were there because they were needed.

Don Roddy

Las Vegas, Nevada

Glenna Whitley’s article reminded me of the story of a man who fell in a well. The judgmental person passed by and gave him ten reasons why he should not be in the well. Then came the man who had compassion and forgiveness in his heart and threw the man a rope! This is grace. I’m a sinner saved by grace. Thank God. And grace alone. I’m also a proud member of Prestonwood Baptist. Billy Weber is the man in the well. Let’s throw him a rope.

Few, none I know, could withstand a video on the screen of their life; few could handle an article such as Whitley did on Billy. We all hate the sin, but we are taught and should love the sinner, I am positive that Billy and his family have suffered enough. We must be consecrated to Christ, not our pastors. But since we are “kicking,” let’s make it good. Maybe we could physically crucify Billy. It’s already been done emotionally.

I’m a sixty-year-old lady-not rich-and certainly not without friends. But, the Rev. Weber was always kind and gracious to me, taking the time to write a thank-you note for a Christmas gift that, by the way, was endorsed back to the church each year. He deserves credit for the thousands of good things he has done, and forgiveness for the sin, as we all do.

Mary Schmidt


Zapping “Zeitgeist”

Brad Bailey’s article “Zip Code Zeitgeist” [July] smacked of biased misinformation regarding the 75211 area.

My husband and I have lived in that area for the past twenty-seven years, and we do not consider it a slew of junk piles, warehouses, low-tech industries, and other blights. I am not too sure just where he was talking about.

Our neighborhood is quiet and peaceful (usually, and no more or less than any other neighborhood). It’s made up of a mixture of ethnic groups who live together harmoniously. This area is one of the prettiest landscaped areas in the Metroplex.

Loretta McElroy


I could not believe you wasted all that good print on a car wash (which I had no idea existed) and neglected the beautiful Stevens Park area just off Hampton and Plymouth Roads at the edge of the Stevens Park Golf Course. The Wedgewood Tower at the end of Wedglea Drive is only one of the condominium complexes on that street, and we are proud to say it is one of the best-kept secrets in Dallas-only ten minutes from downtown. And when it comes to athletic activities, forget bowling, it’s bingo!

Phyllis Blair


Now About Those

Night Games…

What a delight to read the sweet reason in Chris Tucker’s letter to George W. Bush in Tucker’s role as representative of the Abner Doubleday Anti-Change Association (“Parting Shot” July]. His sage advice to the Rangers’ new owner to do away with the Wave and the Dot Race should be taken to heart. His warning about the dire consequences of building a domed stadium should be branded on all appropriate hides.

I have only one objection, and that’s with Tucker’s request to bring back the “Talkin’ Baseball” theme song. Surely a purist of Tucker’s standing could only be happy when all recorded music of any kind is dumped- starting with the odious “We Will Rock You” theme-and replaced, full time, by the only music acceptable in a major league baseball park: organ music. Give me “The Star-Spangled Banner,” “Take Me Out To The Ball Game,” and whatever other songs are deemed appropriate accompaniments for cold beer, warm nights, and the greatest game. Call me a reactionary, but I don’t want to hear “Talkin’ Baseball” again unless it’s sung by archangels,

Glenn Mitchell


Chris Tucker’s views on ballparks-the need to avoid domes and foolish and unrelated items to the game-and his proposal to slay with the traditions and classic aspects that made some of the old parks so loved are right on target.

I have watched a game or two at Arlington Stadium, and while it isn’t a classic park, it is far better than some of the concrete bowls in Atlanta. Pittsburgh, Cincinnati, or Philadelphia. If a new park is going to be built for the D/FW area, and the economics of the situation seem to be pushing that end, then some of Tucker’s points need to be noted. If a new park is to be built, the Metroplex has a chance to do something right and proper for baseball.

Robert F. Bluthardt San Angela, Texas

The Roots of Evil

Re: “Satanic Curses” by Carlton Stowers in your June issue. The problem is not that our young people are gravitating toward cults,ofwhichSatanism,theAmericanNazi Party, and the Skinheads are only a few of the more visible. This cultism is merely the symptom, while the real disease is in our own souls and the grisly reality we have i constructed with our own hands for them to live in.

The cause of this widespread disenfran chisement of our youth is, quite simply, this: we have treated our youth with the same ! casual, selfish (and self-serving) disregard that we show toward all the rest of the earth’s precious resources. What we offer our children is a legacy of hypocrisy, deceit, and confusion. We constantly give them conflicting messages. If we are truly created in ,! God’s image, then killing our own kind in wars and in jailhouses must be considered an act of desecration. Often we justify these actions by saying that we do them in God’s name. We tell our children that God is love, yet people revered by entire communities as being fine, upstanding, church-going role models engender a whole host of prejudices. We have carefully arranged the pronouns of | our various languages to include only the male of our species, thereby removing the burden of ultimate personal responsibility from half of our population. Thus, stripped of responsibility, and therefore power, these people have traditionally been the ones who taught children the society’s values, if only by virtue of their constant proximity to the children. It stands to reason that the children might eventually come to view the values of godliness and magnanimity with some mistrust. All that stuff about honesty, cleanliness, and bravery might look good on paper, but even a not-very-clever child must eventually begin to suspect that the “good” values are not necessarily survivor values.

Every morning we urge our children to pledge fervently, with hands over hearts, to uphold “liberty and justice for all,” yet we tolerate a good deal less than the ideal. In practice, the lion’s share of all this liberty and justice goes to the middle- and upper-class white males, with the rest of us forced to scavenge for the scraps. In the midst of all this liberty and justice live the poor, whose constant companions are filth, sickness, despair, and anger. They don’t seem able to get enough of the scraps.

My teenage son, who is smart and charming, sensitive and exquisite with the glow of newness upon him, gets very, very depressed. He finds it difficult to formulate long-term aspirations in what he perceives as a short-term world. When I was a kid, regardless of the problems, I never for a minute doubted the future. It simply never occurred to me that the earth might not endure. Now, not even I feel certain of that outcome.

Why is it such a big surprise that our children are felling into the yawning maw of apathy, malaise, blind rage, and self-annihilation that we have brought on a leash to their very feet?

With denial being the rampant illness that it is, it is far easier to point our fingers at our children and blame them for being perverse and beyond our control than to offer our lifetimes toward the correction of such overwhelming and seemingly insurmountable problems. But, as one of my grade school teachers used to say, “Remember, when you point your finger at someone, the other three are pointing back at you.”

Jill Parr-Meyler


Buzzword Brouhaha

Kudos to D Magazine for its apparent newly accepted role as a dictionary for the buzzwords of modern society [“Inside Dallas,” July]. You may provide a real service to the citizenry with capsule explanations of oft-used but misunderstood terms of the day. However, your attempt to define “institutional racism” was disastrous. Rather than attempting to define institutional racism in objective terms, you instead tried to deny its existence, dispute its impact, and denigrate those who allege its operation.

Institutional racism manifests itself when banks designate certain areas where they will and will not lend money for development, regardless of the credit-worthiness of the borrowers or the merit of the project for which the loan is intended.

Institutional racism exists when a firm or company institutes a policy of hiring standards that acts to exclude virtually entire classes of people, when such standards are not related to the tasks to be performed, and indeed could not even be met by most of the people already hired (who happen to be Anglo).

Institutional racism operates when a political system that is unanimously decried as unrepresentative to people of color is the basis for a committee that ostensibly will recommend changes in that system.

In short, what the author refuses to acknowledge is that the number of times that institutional racism is alleged is but a small fraction of the actual instances of institutional racism.

No doubt, this gives great comfort to those who would rather believe that the only problems linked to race would “go away” if people stopped talking about it, or even worse, favoring those minorities who want everything.

Justice Brennan observed not long ago that we are fast approaching a lime when the society refuses to acknowledge the overt racism of the not-so-distant past or the present effects of same. The failure to seriously deal with an issue such as the mere existence of institutional racism is an excellent and disturbing case in point.

Eric V Moyé



The Complete Story

Your piece on Keith Babb [“The Comeback of Keith Babb,” August] was uplifting, but writer Gary McDonald passed up a solid opportunity to explain the cruel irony of spinal cord injury: sometimes the severest injuries, such as Keith’s, with bone driven into the cord itself and spinal fluid leaking, can result in an “incomplete” injury-allowing the victim to regain some of his or her function; others may suffer no broken vertebrae-with but the slightest bruise to the spinal cord-and be paralyzed, never to regain even the slightest function. These unlucky ones are called “completes.”

The upshot is that, without taking anything away from Keith Babb, who I know to be everything the profile says about him, those with “incomplete” injuries such as his will regain function no matter what they do, and those whose paralysis is “complete” will remain paralyzed no matter how determined they are.

If all it took were courage, or heart, our son, and thousands of others like him. would also be back on his feet again,

Tom Dodge