Featured Letter: From Steve Hollaway
To the Editor:
Your rhetorical question in last week’s editorial may have given readers the impression that the churches turned down Gary Pollard’s request to show movies because we object to R-rated films. This was not the case with Harbor Church. Gary and I are on the same page about the need for more social and cultural options on the island during the winter, and we engaged in friendly conversation about whether using Harbor Church as a venue was workable. We both came to the same negative conclusion.
The church’s Executive Board wrote Gary a cordial response — the only one he received — indicating that we simply have too many schedule conflicts to permit him five nights a week for movies. The sanctuary is often used four nights of the week. We offered to explore other possibilities of just a few nights a week or matinees.
But there were other factors that came into play. Gary could not imagine a way to install a retracting screen that would be not be an eyesore. It would be difficult to darken the church windows for matinees. Serving popcorn and sodas on Saturday night would create significant problems with getting the carpet cleaned for Sunday morning. And, yes, even Gary thought that he would feel strange about showing certain R-rated scenes of sex and violence with Jesus hovering in the background in his big central window. I told him that we showed R-rated films at Common Ground Coffeehouse, but a certain Seth Rogen movie with a hundred f-bombs left me a little red-faced.
What Gary Pollard, Harbor Church, the Mental Health Task Force, and the Prevention Task Force all agree on is that we need more activities available during the winter, especially for young adults. We agree with The Block Island Times that it is unfortunate that at least one of the public entities could not have stepped forward and worked to create a program that is beyond the strictly defined boundaries of its mission. The Library and Harbor Church offer programs all winter, but they are not enough, and they do not attract many young adults.
I understand that The Times sees this same need. Keep preaching it. We just don’t want people to see the church as part of the problem when we are trying our darndest to be part of the solution.