Idiot Pastor
I’m calling in response to the “Sheep and Goats” article (July 28). I’m calling because I was curious if the piece was meant to bash the Mormon religion or to show that Pastor Gabriel Carlin is an idiot and has no clue what he’s talking about and he’s a racist, hateful bastard. I’m not a Mormon, but I was offended, or not offended — I’m not sure yet. Just wondering what the purpose of the article was.
Name Withheld

Discord Energy
I recently visited beautiful San Diego on a business trip and picked up a copy of the Reader to find some interesting places to visit and things to do. A completely out-of-place article struck my attention. A very slandering article written about Mormons (“Sheep and Goats,” July 28). I firmly believe that people can worship any way they would like to. And if this Pastor Carlin is truly Christian, he wouldn’t be focusing his energy on discrediting anyone’s religion. So my suggestion is to stick to things that make San Diego great instead of publishing articles that promote discord in a world that is full of it already.
Troy Brown
via e-mail

Absolute Low
I read the “Sheep and Goats” article in the latest issue (July 28). I thought the purpose of the column was for a particular church to tell about who they are, their philosophical focus, any events they may be having, and that sort of information. I was appalled at the current issue, where you allowed someone to use that forum to criticize another church. That is an absolute low blow. The writer said nothing about his church and what they are about, just used the space to put down someone else’s beliefs (and just for your information, I am not a member of the Mormon church either). If I had a subscription to the Reader I would cancel it. I question who your target audience is, but it certainly isn’t anyone with high values if this is the kind of comments you are allowing.
Ruth Davis
via e-mail

Hellish Semantics
I was a Mormon for 26 years, and I graduated from Brigham Young University, which requires all undergraduates to complete 20 hours of religious coursework. While I am no longer an active member of the Mormon church, I feel compelled to point out that Gabriel Carlin’s remarks about Mormons, and the Reader’s method of presenting them, are misleading (“Sheep and Goats,” July 28).

In the table of contents, under “Sheep and Goats,” the tag line reads, “Mormons say Hitler won’t go to hell.” Nowhere in the article did a Mormon theologian or individual say Hitler won’t go to hell. Drew Goodmanson, the reviewer, says, “Carlin said Mormons believe in three levels of heaven” and quotes him as saying, “Even Hitler isn’t going to hell in the Mormon view.” This is clearly Carlin’s argument, and he provides no citations that would permit the Reader to make this leap.

The argument itself is confused by semantics. The geography of the afterlife in Mormon theology doesn’t correspond precisely to the terms “heaven” and “hell.” In my recollection, those who know God and reject Him are cast into “outer darkness.” The church certainly teaches that this betrayal is a unique sort of sin, and only those who are, in effect, God’s witnesses on earth can commit it. But I was also taught that murder of even one person was an unforgivable sin, one for which you could never atone, and that you could therefore not expect anything but eternal suffering. This suffering, as I understood it, would be done in a place called the telestial kingdom, a hellish, not heavenly, place.

Lastly, Goodmanson says in his review that “Carlin… often travels to educate groups about Mormonism.” To call Carlin an educator about Mormonism is like calling Rush Limbaugh an educator about Democrats or bin Laden an educator about American culture. Carlin promotes his own beliefs by demonizing those of a group he views as damned and misinformed. The nicest possible term for that is “preaching.”
Laura McNeal
Fallbrook

Catholic Inventions
Regarding your “Sheep and Goats” column of July 28, I think that Mr. Gabriel Carlin should have his head examined.

The Mormons are right about one thing: Adolph Hitler did go to heaven. Why? Because there is no other place to go. We all go there when we die. Hell and Satan are inventions of the Catholic Church. They do not exist. Do you think that a loving God would create such a place or such an entity so that we could be tortured for eternity? Nonsense! Do you think that a loving God would even allow some evil entity to exist or allow such a place to be created?

No way! The Bible is so full of b******t, I don’t know how anyone in their right mind can believe any of it.
Name Withheld
via e-mail