Shuck and Jive

Friday, October 05, 2007

Letters to Editor Critical of JC Press

Three well written letters in today's Johnson City Press criticized the newspaper for publishing the names, addresses, and photos of the men who were scapegoated in Johnson City's morality play. It appears that a great number of people are disturbed by this event. This article (also in today's Press) tells of more humiliation and loss of employment. Apparently, more is to come. The paper said:
The undercover investigation, conducted primarily at Buffalo Mountain and Winged Deer, is just the beginning for authorities, who say homosexual activities there have become a “serious problem.” (italics mine)
Apparently the police are going to be slicing more tomatoes with chain saws. The police only do what they think the public wants. Apparently, the police think that the public is in the mood for a good old fashioned lynching. In the Old Testament. a goat was used as the ritualistic bearer of the tribe's sins. Scapegoating homosexuals by cleaning up the parks of all the queers must make us feel pretty righteous about ourselves.

I am curious. How far will the police take this? Would two men or two women holding hands in the park be considered "homosexual activities" that are a "serious problem?" What about what appears to be a family (a woman and a man and kids), and the parents give each other a kiss or cuddle on the blanket while the kids play. Is that heterosexual activity that may be a serious problem? What if the two parents are two men or two women? Is that a difference?

The Kingsport Times-News on-line paper allows readers to respond to the articles. This article will lead you to others. Sex sting results in suspensions of Bluff City teacher, Johnson City school employee; Rogersville pastor resigns.

You may find the comments both depressing and hopeful on occasion.

We have a lot to talk about in Johnson City.


  1. I posted this last night in response to an earlier blog. I'd like to share the same comments to this post. Thanks.
    Thanks for the Kingsport Times link. I have to stay that this whole issue is still quite disturbing to me. I have read and re-read the original articles published by the Johnson City Press, and the more I read into it, the more "profiling" and "baiting" becomes visible.

    First, to quote the following:
    "The undercover investigation, conducted primarily in Winged Deer and Buffalo Mountain parks, is just the beginning for authorities, who say homosexual activities there have become a “serious problem.”

    OK, why is it HOMOSEXUAL activities and not SEXUAL Activities? Are you telling me that no heterosexual people have engaged in these acts?

    Also, why were men "baited"? Was there a female officer enticing these men with the same offers for sex? And if so, if the men accepted these offers, would they be shamed as much as they are for their apparent homosexual activities?

    Wouldn't and couldn't have society and the "authorities" helped rid these parks of promiscuous sex by making changes BEFORE destroying peoples lives? They talk about now ridding the parks of these "Man Caves" with controlled burning. Well, why did they not do this a long time ago? If they knew this was a problem, what would not cause them to take action to rid the enticement a long time ago. They are worried about kids and families, but where was the worry when they were allowing these conditions to exist until after their stings???

    And, on a different note, unfortunately homosexual profiling is quite prevalent and so wrong. I can walk through a public park and see a man/woman snuggling up in a blanket on a cold day, just enjoying the fresh air and sunset. Now, take the same scenario (non-sexual) but with two men. I guarantee you that it is now "indescent" exposure in public.

    OK, I need to be at peace with this and move on. I pray that through education and positive modeling we, as mankind, can not just "tolerate", but accept. Laws are important, but profiling is terrible. And even the best trained dogs will break their stay command if enough cats, bones, or medium rare t-bones run in front of them.

    Peace all.


  2. Thanks Scott!

    Very well put. Thanks for reposting. It was a baiting for sure.

    There are so many other things that could be done to curb that kind of activity in parks, if that were the real issue.

  3. scott

    I always thought for a man to commit indecent exposure he had to waggle his weenie!

    Holding hands doesn't qualify.

    Except maybe in Johnson City

  4. What're you guys waiting for? Jesus would be out front of the Johnson City Press protesting 24/7 by now.

    It seems you are jumping for Justice when a letter of encouragement and Christian love to these local men [you have their addresses] would do wonders to show them that God still loves them very much and wants to help them. A little outrage is OK, but what about love?

  5. I love Jim's idea. Let me know if you want help addressing evelopes.

  6. I have been thinking about Jim's idea as well. I think it may very well be a good one. I am imagine that they may be getting their share of hate mail. Something positive might be in order.

    Certainly any of us could write one. What do you think should go into a letter like that?

    If I do that, I am not going to say that I did it. But I do take Jim's invitation seriously as an opportunity to do something constructive.

  7. Thanks, guys
    I worked on a letter that can be sent to the 39 men. I don't have any resources to help in other ways but if you like, John, I can address and send the letters.

    Dear Neighbor,

    I have seen the trial you are going through. I am writing to tell you that I love you and that God loves you even more. Your humiliation and scorn from the community does not come from true Christian folks. Real Christians know that all of us are tempted and all of us give in to temptation because all of us are weak. But God is strong and wants to carry you through this ordeal. Will you let Him?

    We know that right now you need help with so many things; maybe finding a new job or getting counseling. We want to help. There is a wonderful community in First Presbyterian in Elizabethton [have address and info, will include] that will not condemn you and they can lead you to further assistance.

    You are not alone. Don’t forget the worst thing that ever happened was that God came to earth in the flesh and we crucified him. But it was also the best thing that ever happened, because he showed us we don’t have to die. You don’t have to die, you don't have to feel worthless, so come visit us and let us help you.

    Your neighbor

    These men are hurting badly [already lost one!]. This would be great to offer them, if anything, some encouragement. Let me know what you'd like to add or edit.

    Thanks again!