I thought your article about Vintage church was great ("Fundamentalism in cool clothes," Feb. 5). I had an experience with the church, which goes along with what the article said.
I used to attend Vintage regularly with my girlfriend. When we got engaged, we wanted to get married in the church building where we had been attending together since we met three years prior.
When we met with the lady to go through that process, we mentioned that we lived in the same house. We were then told that since we lived together, we could not use the building to get married. We could not become actual members of the church. We weren't even allowed to take their marriage counseling classes. They offered to pay us to have one of us move out and live elsewhere.
The whole experience was eye-opening in how legalistic their views are. We thought it was so weird to spend money on us instead of using it to help others that may be in a much worse situation. They talk about drinking beer openly and hanging out around downtown, which makes them look like a pretty cool, forward-thinking church, but when anyone takes time to see what their ideals actually are there is a much different story.
It does seem like Vintage is trying to wear the right things, listen to the right music, and try to convince people they are the "cool church" that is way different from everyone else. They fooled us for the time we attended there. Some good news is that even though we were told it would be "against God's will" to have the church involved in our marriage ceremony, we are still happily married and loving life now.
Sean Pratt, Raleigh
Congratulations on this week's article on the Vintage church. Looks like you got people talking.
I am not a congregant at Vintage and never will be, but the article falls short of excellence because of several unexamined assumptions:
Assumption One: It is somehow deceitful to be "fundamentalist in hipster clothing."
Assumption Two: Theological views should be flexible rather than "rigid."
Assumption Three: Church tenets all come with expiration dates (which is why some of them can be dismissed as "outdated").
Assumption Four: What a church is against should be as prominent on its web site or in its creed as what a church is for.
Each of those four assumptions is questionable, yet whatever power INDY's indictment of Vintage church has depends on them, which is why it was disappointing to read an article that would have been good if it weren't so demonstrably deaf to its own biases.
Might we look down the road for a thoughtful essay that defends those assumptions? I do not envy any writer given such an assignment, because he or she would end up jousting with many of the giants of Christian history and theology.
Patrick O'Hannigan, Morrisville
We at D3 Community organization would like to tip our hat to photographer/journalist Justin Cook for his continued coverage of Jaeden Sharpe's story ("Good night, prince," Feb. 5). We wanted to share some information about a community event where D3, along with Jaeden's family, will raise funds to support inner-city Durham youth.
D3 Community Outreach will hold its annual celebrity basketball game to raise awareness and funding for the free programing it offers to urban Durham youth. D3 provides literacy and GED training, college tours, an annual summer basketball league and much more.
D3 and the friends and family of Jaeden Sharpe will use proceeds from the game to launch the JJ Sharpe Impact Foundation for Youth Against Violence. The foundation has been organized to honor Jaeden who was tragically murdered in January at age 9.
The charity basketball game will be held at the Emily Krzyzewski Family Life Center, located at 904 W. Chapel Hill St., in Durham on Saturday, Feb. 15, 2014 ,at 4 p.m. The event is free and will include games, prizes, concessions, and live music.
William Jackson, Durham
Having been at the Moral March and having been arrested during the Monday protests I had a special interest in Jane Porter"s piece on it ("Keeping the faith," Feb. 12). While I appreciated her comments on the important role religious groups are playing in the movement I was disappointed she totally disregarded or overlooked the significant role the non-religious are also playing in it.
Non-religious people are an estimated one-fifth of the population, one-third of young people and are well represented in the Triangle and N.C. I personally know of people from the N.C. Secular Coalition, the Free Thought Society the Ethical Humanist Society and the Triangle Atheists who were at the March.
We are moral people who have the same moral outrage at what the N.C. legislators are doing as faith based folks do. We are too often forgotten as active participants in this democracy. Rev. Barber Saturday recognized that fact by including "people of non-faith" in his speech. It's time Jane Porter and others in the media do the same thing in their work.
Hugh Giblin, Durham