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Look For Our HOMETOWN DAY SPECIAL In The July 14th Issue Of The County Transcript

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Issue Home July 6, 2004 Site Home

Letters to the Editor Policy

I Must Respond

I hardly want to give the time of day to Martha Girton’s Letter to the Editor of June 23. Nevertheless, her unfriendly comments call for a response. It is surprising that Martha, a friend of the family would verbally attack one of our own, and paint a bleak picture of what most saw as a wonderful occasion – this 200th Anniversary of the Brooklyn Methodist Church. Individuals and families (of many ethnic and religious traditions) made the pilgrimage to Brooklyn, keeping alive the spirit of their common heritage – that’s what makes 200 years of that church within that community worth a celebration.

It seems that Girton was disappointed and/or angry after hearing "the actor" make his presentation. The "actor" of course, was Richard Gere. This good person, this "native son" spoke briefly from his heart about his spiritual commitment, i.e., compassion, love and nonviolence. He showed how Buddhism and Christianity share common views. Please tell us, Ms. Girton, if these ideas are not appropriate in the church, then where?

Girton suggested that the actor’s presentation was an "insult" and that he apparently did not consider the small village (Brooklyn) worthy of his time to learn about Rev. Asbury. Not true. Gere’s understanding of Bishop Asbury as a strong anti-slavery and anti-war proponent made his comments relevant. Because of his views, Asbury was considered "suspect" by both England and the Colonies, and at one point during the War he found it necessary to go into hiding.

Although Girton never mentioned "the actor" by name, the fact is, we – his aunts, uncles, cousins, extended families, friends, neighbors – are proud of Richard Gere; we are proud of his name; we are amazed at his accomplishments – both in the arts and in his humanitarian work; we fully respect his choice of spiritual community; and we are happy to know and love his wife and son, his parents and siblings – all good examples of the best our churches and traditions offer.

Richard and Cary and their son did quite obviously give the village of Brooklyn their highest priority – they came and stayed in Brooklyn for the weekend. Their unassuming presence, as a family, helped hundreds of people feel glad that they shared a beautiful day together in Brooklyn.

By wearing her dark, critical shades Girton missed much of the celebration – the stage coach and kid wagon rides, the good food, the outdoor service, the music, the perfect weather, the cemetery tours, the ice cream and all the people (workers, participants, and visitors), many in period costumes!

Such a pity that Ms. Girton couldn’t have enjoyed what was good and let go what she didn’t like. I say that the real insult has come from her pen.


Mary Gere

South Montrose


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Letters To The Editor MUST BE SIGNED. They MUST INCLUDE a phone number for "daytime" contact. Letters MUST BE CONFIRMED VERBALLY with the author, before printing. At that time you may request to withhold your name. Letters should be as concise as possible, to keep both Readers' and Editors' interest alike. Your opinions are important to us, but you must follow these guidelines to help assure their publishing.

Thank you, Susquehanna County Transcript

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