Letters

Almighty Dollar
I am a graduate of Grand Canyon University. I read Terry Greene Sterling's excellent investigative piece, "The Moneychangers" (April 16), on the Baptist Foundation of Arizona, and I consider it one of the best things that has happened to Southern Baptists and for those faithful who know, truly, that "religion" is the visiting of widows and orphans in distress--as well as moral chasteness--and not the institutional Babel-izing that has so shamed and mocked the wonderful truth of Jesus Christ.

I thank you for all the very even-handed reasonableness of your writing and the courage you and your co-workers have shown in pursuing this obvious outrage. One does not have to be a lawyer or an accountant to understand the convoluted wheeling-dealing that has enriched the BFA regimental commanders (though, obviously, only the inside oligopoly) while cynically depriving the real establishment of charity.

I have never been a fan of New Times, not because the writing is of poor quality--the writing is well-done--but because of the libertine nature of its advertising and promotions. I believe that this is inconsistent with my Christian beliefs. While I was a student at Canyon, I opposed the dispensing of New Times on campus. I felt, then, that the values held by the two agencies were antithetical, and that to be true to the ethical and spiritual principles Canyon professed precluded the presence of the paper. I later changed my mind--not because I accepted the paper, but because I saw that Grand Canyon University was (is) not what it pretends to be. Ironically, those administering Canyon saw, apparently, no reason to oppose the dissemination of New Times on campus because NT had long been available. Now, however, I imagine you will be persona non grata and a collective condemnation will rise from the "choir." Typical hypocrisy!

The reason I cite my position vis-à-vis New Times is this: Your paper will be dismissed as offal by those whom you have exposed. The amoral quality will be decried. You will be depicted as some cohort of the antichrist whose purpose is to interfere with the work of God. You will get the standard rhetorical treatment leveled by those who have a lot at stake and a lot to hide. I'm well aware of how it works, and I've seen the manipulators practicing their craft, artistically. Be importunate! Never is the value of investigative journalism so necessary as it is when it unmasks the religious fraud. I hope that you plan to continue your investigation, and to include the curiously imaginative administering of other Southern Baptist sanctuaries. I can tell you this: The light of public scrutiny is their greatest anxiety.

Name withheld by request

Wow! The expose "The Moneychangers" blows me away. I have always been one to favor privacy and minimal government interference, but what is going on? I'm seriously considering making a fool out of myself and drawing some attention to this subject by picketing in front of the Baptist Foundation of Arizona's office, or starting an initiative to repeal the Corporation Commission disclosure legislation.

Michael Cadien
via Internet

Art Attack
I just read Amy Silverman's story on Marilyn Zeitlin ("Framing Marilyn Zeitlin," April 30) online this evening. When I first saw the headlines in the Arizona Republic, I was so depressed (as an ASU art grad) that I couldn't even read the story.

I did read your entire story and really enjoyed it. Thank you for outlining the sides to the story.

I, too, am a creative person who has been "bested" by the bean counters at times in my life. To tell you the truth, it is much easier to give up when you are constantly thwarted and constantly demeaned by the "by the book" types who don't have a creative bone in their body.

It is even tougher when you are a woman. I hate to beat a dead horse here and say: If Marilyn had been a man . . . but I have run up against so many Tim Feavels in my life.

To the bean counters it doesn't matter that she has brought almost a million dollars of great art to ASU; it's that 10-dollar traffic ticket they will obsess upon. And another person doing their job the way that their job must be done gets trampled.

Bridget Carroll
Phoenix

Trial and Errors
Two years ago, I was one of the volunteer attorney coaches for Xavier College Preparatory's mock trial team. I take strong issue with Steve Running's comments that the attorney coaches teach the students to lie ("I Totally Object," Tony Ortega, April 16). I also doubt that Xavier's principal told him that's what happens in real courtrooms.

The fact is that all attorney coaches that I know, who each spend at least 200 hours per year with their teams, teach them the folly and the danger of lying in court. While it may happen on occasion, in 30 years of litigation in New York and Arizona, it has not been my experience that attorneys lie in court or encourage their clients or witnesses to lie in court. Not only would that lead to disbarment proceedings, it is a felony.

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