Concerning Geno Auriemma Worship
October 27, 2002

Another church hangs its hypocrisy out to dry, where hopefully all the world will see it and realize that religion, like democracy, is a great concept administered by all the wrong people.

Levelheaded and tolerant thousands have seen the "Geno Is God" sign in the window of East Hartford's Stereo Surgeons [Connecticut, Oct. 24, "`Geno' Worship Rankles Church"]. They smile or remember and continue on their way.

But not St. John's Episcopal Church. The tolerance, understanding and love of fellow man it preaches ends with views different from its own.

Not content to simply pass along the word of God, the church feels it must control the use of the word "God."

And when someone tells the church to mind its own business, it forgets about the separation of church and state, and demands that city officials - people paid with taxes from which the church is exempt - step in and do the church's bidding. And the democratically elected officials fall right in line, only too willing to trample the rights of the little guy.

Is there an ordinance prohibiting the display of affection for sports teams? Those people with Red Sox bumper stickers need to be stopped.

James P. Bates Jr., Windsor Locks

Geno Auriemma is God. There - I said it. Did it really hurt? Has anyone out there really left his or her flock to convert to Genoism?

If the high and mighty church would like to come down to Earth for a moment and really do something good, it might start by joining forces with town officials, and campaign to rid the town of signs that are truly offensive - those that advertise "erotic" this and "topless" that.

Ken Bernacky is a University of Connecticut Lady Huskies fan. He's happy and proud of the team. People who know what Geno, UConn and the women there who play basketball have done for the sport feel the same way. For some people, Geno is God.

The church should fear not. I don't believe people will be worshiping at Geno's house come Sunday morning. However, the church should think about portraying a holier-than-thou narrow-mindedness that infringes on our civil rights.

Maybe the sign should read: "Back off, God."

Christine Schepat, Farmington

A long time ago, I had a message printed on the back of one of my many UConn T-shirts. It reads:

"Women's basketball is my religion. Gampel is my temple. Geno is my god."

I think the people of St. John's Episcopal Church ought to get a sense of humor. They just wish they had 10,027 screaming fans every week, with more wishing they could get in.

Gary M.T. Gendron, Bristol

I was hoping that our community would have more important things to worry about than Ken Bernacky's window sign. Yet, in an increasingly intolerant society, and one with no sense of humor at that, it makes sense that all "incorrect" forms of expression should be banned and even punished.

It's too bad, because I am also a follower of Geno. There are many thousands of us, and it is high time that we come out of hiding. Early Christians were persecuted, and if that is also our fate, so be it. We will keep our rituals and practices no matter what, such us naming our children Sue or Diana, the high priestesses of the order.

We also attach meaning to the ancient science of numerology, and in our religion the number 39 is of particular significance.

Added bonuses over traditional religions: You don't have to get up early on Sunday, and worship is seasonal.

Enrique E. Juncadella, Guilford

The Oct. 25 editorial "Geno Sign Is Good" sadly shows how removed the editorial board is from the basic faith understanding of the three great monotheistic religions that make up the very fabric of the communities that The Courant serves.

As an Episcopal priest, obviously I am dismayed at the insensitivity of Ken Bernacky's storefront sign. One of the most important functions any religion can accomplish is to distinguish who is and who is not God. This is not a tongue-in-cheek matter. Witness the leaving of a tarot card by the psychotic Washington-area sniper with the words, "I am God."

Beyond my displeasure on a theological level, I am equally disturbed by the store owner's thumbing his nose at a community of his neighbors who have tactfully been encouraging him to remove a sign that is obviously dated.

The Courant must recognize that the community has rights, too. The Constitution begins with "We the people," not "Every man is an island."

We are all better as individuals when we are considerate of the feelings of others.

The Rev. William Veinot
The Church of St. Andrew the Apostle, Rocky Hill

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