Officials should minister to every flock
It is amazing to me that Beth Pittinger of the city's Citizen Police Review Board finds a peaceful protest outside Dan Onorato's church "offensive" [Picket Fences, Aug. 1]. When already restrained anti-war protesters were Tasered in full view of the public, and when young children -- including my own -- were subjected to the effects of random pepper-spraying by Pittsburgh police officers in August 2005, Ms. Pittinger dutifully attended the subsequent press conference, but I certainly don't remember her expressing any sense of such actions being "offensive."
If we are going to talk about "offending" people's spiritual beliefs, at least give some consideration to the many people who found peace and wonderment in watching the geese in North Park, who enjoyed their presence, who drew solace from observing the beauty of their flight, and for whom their slaughter was quite simply a tragedy. And how about the geese themselves -- "God's creatures," after all, whose flock was devastated in the most brutal, unthinking way? How sad and restrictive to view spirituality as something locked behind the doors of a religious institution. It is high time we widened our circle of compassion outside the confines of established religion, and indeed beyond our own species.
-- Vincent Eirene, Manchester
Under Onorato's wing?
I find it almost laughable that Beth Pittinger of Pittsburgh's Citizen Police Review Board sees nothing offensive about politicians lying to their constituents and signing off on an action that unnecessarily brutalizes and kills hundreds of intelligent, vulnerable wild animals in their natural habitat (their home!), but is "offended" by peaceful protests in front of the homes and churches of politicians.
Why is the executive director of the Citizen Police Review Board working to undermine the civil liberties of Pittsburgh's citizens anyway? Shouldn't she be overworked protecting Pittsburgh's men, women and children from the far-too-common racist and politically motivated brutality perpetuated by some police officers in our city? I certainly wouldn't be surprised if she is a good friend with a certain politician who is becoming increasingly known for his hatred of public transit and Canada geese.
-- Candice Zawoiski, Lawrenceville
Correction: In last week's main feature, "Facing the Music," the name of busker Zak Kane was inadvertently misspelled. We regret the error.