Letters 05-04-2000

Sarah Stevens
Phoenix

Nader's Grader

I was glad to see your Flashes note (April 6) on Ralph Nader's presidential candidacy and local speech. Interestingly enough, you counted 200 in the audience and the Arizona Republicreported 100. Someone can't count. There would have been one more if I'd known about it.

In any event, Nader is one of my heroes. I'll never forget his call to action more than 25 years ago: "Let it not be said by future generations we were a people so without hope we didn't even try."

Nader's accomplishments include increased access to the files of our government under the Freedom of Information Act, the push for campaign-finance reform and continued work for environmental protection and public safety.

I suggest if you feel depressed and frustrated, don't blame Nader, blame your inaction, and do what I did -- join Nader's Public Citizen and visit its Web site at www.citizen.org. You'll feel better because then you, and Nader, are really making the world a better place.

Carl Retter
Scottsdale

Psycho Babble

We are responding to the April 13 letter about local band Victims in Ecstacy. We feel that the letter from John Candlin was very mean-spirited and without purpose. Had he simply critiqued the band, that would have been commendable, but we sense his letter is coming from something a little more personal. Perhaps a dissed girlfriend? Or maybe your band had to open up for them because you have no draw. It is more than obvious that John is a "musician" with a band that is going nowhere and he can't stand that something you deem as being uncool is actually making a scene. In his letter, he stated that VIE should not use the fact that its bass player was on MTV's Fanatic because the show had nothing to do with the "band." Regardless of why he was on the show, it gave the press an angle, thus keeping the band's name in print.

Our band, Psycho Gypsy, pulled a similar stunt a few years ago, and next thing you know, we were on our way to New York as guests on The Charles Perez Show.

While the show had nothing to do with our "band," either, local press picked up on it and within a matter of weeks, we, too, had a feature article in New Times and other local and national press. Maybe if John were a little more creative with his band, he could experience the same.

The members of Psycho Gypsy
Tempe

Abomination State

This letter is in response to T.J Gibson's comments (Letters, April 13) about the Chute, homosexuality and the Bible. He said if we didn't like what you had to say to "argue with God, not you." All of the verses he spewed are not actual "spoken words" of God but rather visions, or in some cases (depending on which verse you're referring to) beliefs/opinions of so-called "holy men." Why should we wholeheartedly believe in some self-proclaimed "holy man" from more than 1,000 years ago just because his message is nicely packaged in a book?

I find it rather interesting that the entire time Jesus Christ was on Earth, there is nothing documented in the Bible or elsewhere regarding Christ's stance on this issue of homosexuality. Now surely if this was truly an issue with God, an "abomination," Jesus would most certainly have mentioned this. He did mention plenty of things pertaining to heterosexual activity, though. Among other things considered to be an "abomination" are eating shellfish (been to Red Lobster lately?) and wearing clothing made of more than one fiber (are you wearing a cotton/polyester mix?). Of course, when it's to your advantage, you'll say, "Oh, that was the Old Testament." The Bible, if you're going to go by it, is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow. It does not change to accommodate you, either. For some reason, certain prudish Christians like yourself think that "sex sins" are worse than other sins. The Bible clearly states that all sins are equal in the sense that they will all be forgiven by asking for forgiveness. None of us is free of sin, whether it be that harmless little "white lie" you tell when so-and-so gets a horrible new haircut and wants your opinion, or the prostitutes walking the street. So next time you judge someone (which is a sin), feasibly you are in the same boat as a murderer in God's eyes, because all sin is equal.

Name withheld by request

Ticced Off

While I enjoy Dave McElfresh's salty style and assessments in his jazz column ("Upbeat," April 13), I would caution him on the overly casual use of Tourette's syndrome. Without realizing it, he's perpetuating an unfounded prejudice that hurts people who have Tourette's syndrome.

Fewer than one-third of the people with Tourette's actually have coprolalia, the compulsive swearing component of the disorder. Tourette's has thousands of symptoms, and many people with Tourette's go through their lives blinking their eyes and clearing their throats -- mild symptoms. Moreover, people with Tourette's score 15 percent higher on intelligence tests than people without Tourette's. Studies show they can perform complex tasks 40 percent faster than people without Tourette's. If Tourette's makes us appear weird to some people, it also makes us smarter and more capable than most.

If I knew McElfresh and considered him a friend, I might joke with him about it. But I would like to see him learn more about Tourette's instead of perpetuating ignorance and prejudice about it.

Vernon Frazer
via Internet

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