Guilt Trip
I really was impressed with Michael Lacey's editorial on Fife Symington ("Long May He Serve," September 11). He laid it out the way my friends and co-workers have been discussing it on a day-to-day basis. The saddest part is Eddie Basha and our new governor's remarks that Symington should not serve any time. Symington, as governor and a public servant, was supposed to show a good example to our children and the citizens who live in Arizona. He did not do that. He broke the law, and he deserves to be punished the same as anyone else. If these people feel he deserves to be treated differently from the rest of us, then I, as a voter, was tricked, because I voted for Basha. I thought he was a better person than that. Now, who can I put my faith in?

Donna Guida

Reporter's Notebook
I salute John Dougherty (nice hair, Dougherty) of Terry Greene Sterling's September 11 column "The Indomitable Dougherty."

In any society, middle-class values have always been sound (or there's no civilization), values such as a belief in decency and in the perfectibility of people over a lifetime according to what each soul is learning, and a belief in fair play which is more often possible than the well-positioned or cheaters would admit. Like it or not, that's civilization. The former governor of Arizona and his regime apparently forgot, yet, thanks to the free press at New Times and Dougherty, today they stand corrected. My values inform me probably the former governor is also better for that.

Philip Zurich

Mary, Mary
I enjoyed Terry Greene Sterling's article about Our Lady of Guadalupe ("Marian Theology--Phoenix Style," September 4), who is, by the way, mother of the Americas, not just Mexico. Greene Sterling should read more about the story of Guadalupe, as it is most interesting.

Many modern-day miracles are attributed to Our Lady. I have excellent reason to believe that my best friend's daughter was cured of cancer through her intercession. And, although I may have been a naysayer at one time regarding miracles and cures, I stand firmly on the side of the believers.

I would say, don't knock it; miracles may happen to you.
Rosemary Holusha

Terry Greene Sterling's column about Marian theology was interesting, but it failed to explain how Greene Sterling and others believe that the pictures, figurines, statues and visions of Mary actually depict the Biblical Mary. The gospel writers did not deem her important enough to describe. The early Christian and medieval artists, consequently, tended to model her after the Egyptian goddess Isis, both alone and with her infant son, the god Horus. Isis, also, along with several other ancient goddesses, was called the Mother of God and the Queen of Heaven.

Could it be that those individuals praying to or worshiping an image of Mary are, in fact, venerating Isis? In the Gospel of Thomas (the last verse), Jesus said, "I myself shall lead her [Mary] to make her male, so that she may become a living spirit resembling you males [the disciples]. For every woman who will make herself male will enter the Kingdom of Heaven." Therefore, had this gospel been incorporated into the Bible, the icons of Mary would be depicting a male figure.

One may also ask why Mary, an adulteress, should be revered. She was a married woman (married to Joseph) but had an extramarital affair with the Holy Ghost, leading to the birth of Jesus, in violation of the Lord's commandment: Thou shalt not commit adultery. Perhaps one may claim that she did not commit adultery because, having had no say in the matter, she was raped. The above is predicated on the assumption that the Biblical account may not be a myth.

Name withheld

Ill at Ease
I wish to thank Chris Farnsworth for his article "AHCCCS to Grind" (August 28). The article was a good example of investigative journalism. However, I have an ax to grind. Perhaps Farnsworth could investigate the other end of AHCCCS, the end where the citizen is provided with minimum health care.

Patients are randomly assigned doctors without consideration of the patient's condition. I've seen AHCCCS doctors who will not deal with certain ailments and/or only have a three-year-old Physicians' Desk Reference. Or, investigate how one "health plan" closes shop, leaving patients without. Or Farnsworth could examine the delay in receiving medications. You go from the doctor's office to the pharmacy only to hear it needs a "prior authorization form" from the doctor's office. The office sends in said form, and sometimes you still have to wait a week for the "plan" to approve the medicine. A one-week delay on receiving medicine while suffering infections is inhumane.

The Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System has taken the "cost containment" concept to a new low. AHCCCS' by-example health-care policy is: "It's cheaper to let them die!"

Name withheld

Rental Wrap
I am writing regarding the letter to the editor (August 28) in response to the article "Code Blues" (Howard Stansfield, August 14). I am a Phoenix attorney who has specialized in landlord/tenant law since 1977. I have worked for Community Legal Services representing tenants, and I have specialized in representing landlords and property-management companies.

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