By Amy Silverman
By Olivia LaVecchia
By Monica Alonzo and Stephen Lemons
By Chris Parker
By Michael Lacey
By Weston Phippen
Your article ("I Was Sick . . . and Ye Visited Me Not," Terry Greene Sterling, August 6) is continuing proof that the Baptist Foundation of Arizona is not a charitable foundation and should have that status revoked by the state and be forced to pay taxes to the state for all of the money it has made from its investments. Then it should be forced to liquidate all its assets and return the monies to the original contributors. Solid proof that this is just another hypocritical scam based on religion to rip off gullible people.
Just my opinion for what it's worth.
Regarding your article "I Was Sick . . . and Ye Visited Me Not," unfortunately, there is nothing here atypical about the business posture of organized institutional Christianity in America or the primacy of such posture over biblical concepts and prescriptions of righteousness and justice. I make two points as to reprehensibility:
1. If BFA's promotions include the idea of religious orientation, that is, a) "We want you to invest with us as your Christian motivation or duty" or b) "Because we are a Christian organization, you can especially rely on us to treat you with righteousness and justice, even love, and, of course, we are Southern Baptist, which is best," then BFA indeed is reprehensible, and someone, with Christian love, should discuss with its directors the sayings of Jesus.
2. More reprehensible, however, is the representation that the investors, in purchasing the note, were getting not just a "good deal," but even a typically reasonable investment. You wrote that they would get a rate of 8.25-percent interest in apparently interest-only monthly payments, and this was represented by BFA as a high-class investment "because of the higher interest rates and the specific collateral." This is not even close to a reasonable, much less high, interest rate. An investor purchasing from a broker certainly would get at least a 14-percent return on this type of note. If my assumptions are correct, BFA's activity not only was un-Christian to the extreme, but it is an even greater "screw the customer" technique than from a typical secular mortgage company or individual, in which case reading the Bible to them or praying for their souls probably would be a waste of time.
People should realize, however, that this is not, and cannot be, an indictment against true Christianity or against the value and ultimate importance of our Lord Jesus Christ for each individual and the society.
I thought former legislator and corporation commissioner Diane McCarthy was Big Red (Wonk, August 20). After Burton Barr as speaker, no replacement--"turn off the prison coolers" Jane Dee Hull included--has been "big" or superheroic.
McCarthy is of some interest again now because of "Big Red Diane McCarthy's legacy" on the chances of the Republicans gaining all three seats on the Corporation Commission in this fall's election. McCarthy, now a lobbyist for west-side sprawl and development, resigned from the Corporation Commission in 1984 after Republicans granted very large rate increases to Arizona Public Service.
I would like to thank you for the words you wrote about Abdiel ("Human Target," Barry Graham, August 13). It is funny how both of our big Phoenix newspapers slaughtered his name without finding out about Abdiel. They portrayed him as a psychotic, drugged-up maniac. But from meeting him, one could never justify those reports. I am very grateful that you looked into his life before you printed the story that they did. That is real responsible journalism.
Name withheld by request
Last year I wrote you and raked you over the coals for Barry Graham's Mother Teresa piece.
His "Grand Motel" (August 6) is a terrific piece of work. Thanks for writing it.
Porn to Nurture
If Nikki Lynn ("The Best Laid Plans of Nikki Lynn," Brian Smith, July 30) was an Oscar-winning actress, she and her family would be on the covers of Ladies Home Journal and Good Housekeeping, touting how ideal her husband and marriage are and what a great mom she is. But she's not. She's a porn star; therefore she's accused of everything from causing the downfall of civilization to not being a "real mom."
As a mom, a working woman and a feminist, I say more power to Nikki Lynn! She's found an occupation that pays well, she enjoys, allows her time to spend with her family, and she's good at it. She's also got her husband in her corner offering encouragement and support of both her and her career. Obviously, she loves her family and they love her. She's happy, her husband's happy and her kids are happy.
I've just finished reading "The Eternal Flame," the incredible story about Lori Romaneck (Paul Rubin, August 13 and 20). Just wanted you to know how impressed I was with the writing, the pictures and all the images that it provoked.
I usually skip over the "serious" stories and just read the calendar of events and the fluff. But this feature was so moving that I read it word for word and couldn't put it down.