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A Difficult Characterization

July 24, 1994

While reading Paul Monette's "A Difficult Celebration" (June 19), I found myself deeply offended by his insults to Christians, with such phrases as "the Christian Reich" and "just another hypocrite Baptist yahoo." Those statements hurt his credibility, as they obviously refer to extremists, people too radical to be embraced by the Christian mainstream. He is correct in his statement that "every American is equal," but by making that statement, he assumes the responsibility of treating every American as equal, and his statements hardly denote that.

SHANNON L. BOWEN

Woodland Hills

Monette is a sensitive and eloquent artist who manifests great wisdom and understanding not only of AIDS and gay and lesbian issues but also forces us to face the fact that the nation has a long way to go toward treating gays and lesbians equally as human beings.

DON ZABINSKI

West Hollywood

I found myself intrigued yet perplexed by Monette's conclusions. It seems that he considers heterosexual conservatives the "enemy," and for that matter, finds enemies in homosexual conservatives--any and all who don't publicly embrace his manner of expressing his freedom of choice to be outwardly whatever he is inwardly.

He certainly doesn't mince words when referring to any of his ilk who disagree with him. But when he employs his own brand of "if you're not for us, you're against us" mentality, it becomes sadly apparent that he is intolerant, despite the fact that he expects unquestioned tolerance. He's even a bit mean as he rails against those of similar sexual orinetation who choose to remain silent as they fight equally harrowing battles on their own terms.

CARL JOHNSON

San Diego

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