Gay leader’s departure makes church look bad
The Catholic Church’s fear and dread of exposing students to a healthy and loving gay family lifestyle has moved the leadership of Totino-Grace High School to accept the resignation of administrator Bill Hudson (“Gay president quits at Totino,” July 3). School leaders certainly would have a right to remove him from office, though he chose to resign rather than force their hand.
This must be a difficult time for Catholic priests who are asked in their sermons to expound on the radically inclusive and forgiving Jesus so clearly portrayed in the gospels. When Jesus was judgmental, it was in his criticism of a rigid and intolerant church establishment. Hudson’s gracious and peaceful demeanor in this mess seems far more Christ-like than his church’s “holier-than-thou” stance.
CURT OLIVER, Brooklyn Park
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As a former cochair of the Totino-Grace board, and as parent and supporter of the school, I am angry and deeply disappointed in losing Hudson. This is a learning opportunity for students. In this case, it is an unfortunate lesson: Being president with “an excellent record of accomplishment” and earning “the utmost respect” of the community doesn’t matter if you are also gay and in a committed relationship for 18 years. But there is another lesson I hope they don’t overlook: the courage and grace shown by Hudson in speaking the truth, despite the consequences. His action puts to shame the actions of the board members and the institutional church behind them.
LARRY VOELLER, Roseville
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It’s pretty simple: Totino’s loss is potentially another school district’s gain. I hope 50 school districts in Minnesota will open up the bidding for a worthy administrator. There is no lack of irony here: Hudson would have fared much better at Totino-Grace if he had been a misbehaving priest.
STEVE WATSON, Minneapolis
Treat customers badly, face boomerang effect
The July 1 article “5-year battle ends in homelessness” got my blood boiling — again. After 30 years of being a high-value client at Wells Fargo and other well-known financial services companies, my husband had a heart attack in 2008 and could not find work. Eventually, we lost our house. I had many conversations with financial services companies; the responses ranged from arrogant to rude — even at the highest levels. I used to work for what is now Ameriprise, and was appalled at how we were treated.
Five years later, my husband is now the department manager of a large grocery store, and my business is still going strong. We’ve gone out of our way to not do business with the companies that showed no compassion for our short-term lapse in an otherwise stellar credit history. And we’ll remain ever loyal to the ones that treated us with respect.
Client acquisition costs are very high in the financial services arena. It’s far cheaper to keep a good client than to capture a new one. Given how many of us have experienced financial misfortune during the past recession and considering the power of social media, companies that raised our interest rates and treated us badly in other ways are likely to see a decline in profits. They can’t escape the adage: “What goes around, comes around.”
LYNN INGRID NELSON,
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