Dear Pam and Charlie: Do you believe in Hell?
Pastor Kevin Hester of Coloma, Michigan, posed the question to a slew of public officials, including Tampa Mayor Pam Iorio and Gov. Charlie Crist: "I am doing a study on 'Hell' and I was wondering about some of your thoughts on this place," he wrote.
Iorio never responded, Hester said. But Crist's Office of Citizen Services sent a letter explaining that the governor is a longtime member of the First Methodist Church of St. Petersburg, and he knows personally the effectiveness of prayer.
But in classic Crist manner, he evaded the core question. Hester said a few people answered by saying hell is holding public office.
And then there's Julian Bond, chairman of the NAACP board of directors, who wrote: "As a child, it was an imagined, hot, smokey evil place, presided over by a long-tailed devil in a red suit. Today, it is a place people used to tell me about."
If you wanna read Hester's letter and Crist's response in full, click here: Download Hester.pdf
-- Janet Zink, Times staff writer