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October 24, 2001

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Dear Editor:

I apologize if Rev. Crawford took my response as a direct attack on him, or as any kind of a "smear." I definitely had no such intention, and believe such an approach to be disrespectful and counterproductive. In fact, I took great care to avoid going beyond the single scientific point of my letter (I will respond to Dr. Rosik's comment about the empirical method in another letter). Note that, in this context, I did CORRECTLY indicate that Rev. Crawford made a "dangerous misstatement" that has been repeated by various people in different forms, both here and elsewhere. He is not alone. As he indicated, GLBT persons have also made the same mistake. I was not disrespecting him when I indicated that I thought that he believed what he had said, nor that the ongoing controversy surrounding Spitzer's report is political, rather than scientific.

I am, however, distressed that Rev. Crawford interpreted my introductory sentences as a personal attack. My intention was to express disappointment that these debates had resumed so quickly, not to attribute blame. I would not have responded at all, if not for the fact that the words and work of a colleague here at NYS Psychiatric Institute (Columbia-Presbyterian Medical Center) were being misused.

Quite unlike what is evident from a review of recent letters on Presbyweb, a much broader form of "cease fire" after September 11 was QUITE real to many of us who work and/or live in NYC. I had supposed that the nation, indeed the whole world, had shared a direct, personal, mind-numbing experience with evil on that day. Likewise, I had supposed, in its aftermath, that we'd all experienced an equally overwhelming wave of grief and compassion, followed by dedication, faith and even thankfulness; that we now share an emotional, cultural and spiritual bond, both as a diverse nation and as children of God; further, that we've in fact shared a remarkably clear and immediate experience of Him. I regret my overgeneralization, but I don't recant my own experiences.

As important as the topic of these debates have been, in the context of September 11 they seem to be just idolatrous distractions from God. Doesn't anyone else feel this way?

Yours in Christ,

Craig E. Tenke, Ph.D.
elder, neuroscientist
Center Moriches, NY

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