Re: Gun control

I would just like to express my sincerest thanks to you for staying on this issue “One mother’s attempt to stop gun violence,” Citizen Awards, Jan. 29). It is not a sexy topic and is too often overlooked. As a result, nothing changes and lives are lost each and every day adversely affecting countless families.

Karen Boekschoten, Asheville

Re: Vintage church

Thank you for featuring part of the faith community in “Fundamentalism in cool clothes” (Feb. 5). I appreciate the INDY‘s interest in a large section of our community. However, there were several problems with the piece that I would like to draw to your attention.

It is unfortunate that the editor of this publication allowed the use of the word “fundamentalist” to pejoratively describe the historic set of beliefs belonging to the majority of the world’s Christians, including the Catholic Church (as described in the article), the majority of Protestants, along with Greek and Russian Orthodox Churches.

Christians have held firm beliefs, based on the Bible (not on ever-changing modern or post-modern feelings), about many things including the roles of men and women, for more than 2,000 years.

In this piece, the writer neglected to give readers the necessary information to form an informed perspective both about Vintage church and “fundamentalist” Christians. In journalistic terms, Ms. Porter did not describe why Vintage church and other Christians believe what they believe. Instead, they were implicitly ridiculed for their biblical beliefs. While this article focused on Vintage church, there was only one quote from a current member of that church, but six quotes from angry former members whose feelings and memory were cited as fact.

The writer did a disservice to readers by refusing to give an opposing viewpoint a chance.

As a female graduate of Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, (and as someone with absolutely no association with Vintage church) it seems that Ms. Porter and the editor of this publication used this article to relay their personal skepticism about evangelical churches and to perpetuate negative stereotypes of Christians who believe in the Bible. But what do I know? I’m only a woman.

Heather Darnell, Durham

Editor’s note: As we noted in the story, Vintage pastor Tyler Jones declined multiple requests to be interviewed for the article.

Re: Fracking

Drinking water in North Carolina is in trouble. After a chemical spill from a coal power plant in West Virginia left over 300,000 people without water, I must say that I’m surprised by the lack of outrage toward this situation. Can you imagine not being able to drink from or wash your hands with the water from your tap? Although the spill in West Virginia wasn’t fracking waste, it is a very scary, and very real example of what could happen if we allow fracking in Chatham, Moore and Lee counties.

Gov. McCrory has indicated that one of his main goals for 2014 is “energy exploration,” which includes seismic testing and natural gas drilling. Don’t be fooled by those who say that fracking can be done safely, because it can’t. Time and time again, across the U.S., we’ve seen fracking devastate communities, pollute groundwater and make people very, very sick.

I urge my fellow North Carolinians to make their voices heard by calling or sending letters to the Governor to tell him that you oppose fracking. With enough public support, we can protect our waters from pollution and keep our state frack-free.

Michelle Graziosi, Chapel Hill

Re: Solar power

There have been many regressive movements recently in North Carolina that have caused me to be ashamed to be a North Carolina native. But during 2013, our state went from No. 4 to No. 2 in the nation for number of solar panel installations, only to be defeated by California, which is considered one of the more environmentally friendly states.

This is one thing that has made me truly proud to be a North Carolina native and I am even prouder to live in an area that is working toward making solar more affordable (“Solar power is becoming affordable in the Triangleand it scares Duke Energy to death,” Jan. 29). All of this is fantastic, but considering that less than 1 percent of our energy sources are solar, we still have a lot of room for improvement.

I truly hope that enough public support can be built to keep solar power innovations progressing in Raleigh. We can do this by having our city council support getting more of our energy from solar and trying to overcome the attempts of Duke Energy to squash this effort by reducing our state’s net metering law. If so, I will definitely be more than happy to call myself a North Carolina native.

Michelle Gardner, Raleigh