Letters 08-10-2000

Altar Ego, Power of Babel...

Altar Ego

Church chat: The July 26 article on alleged problems at the two Catholic parishes in Phoenix ("Immaculate Heartbreak," Gilbert Garcia and Laura Laughlin) really gave this devout, lifelong member of the faith (43 years) reason to wonder how the situation could have been allowed to go so far so long, especially after the New Timesarticle on the pastor of St. Jerome's parish, who had been reassigned after alleged problems in other parishes ("St. Peter Principle," August 21, 1997). My Catholic friends will get copies of "Immaculate Heartbreak." I regret the increase of news reports about problems around the U.S. in recent years. However, this must be examined to everyone's benefit.

Name withheld by request

Father knows best: I have been a parishioner at St. Anthony Catholic Church for three years, and I have never been so upset about an article in my life. I know Father Saúl Madrid very well and he has been a great comfort to my family during an extremely rough few years. The article seemed to be nothing but mudslinging. It was full of "facts" that seemed to be unsupported and not at all well-researched. What happened to the Catholics who support their churches without question and rumors? I hope the truth comes to light and Madrid can have a parish that will not question or judge. I would love to have him back at St. Anthony. Our gain would be Immaculate Heart's loss.

Name withheld by request

Restore sanctuary: Being a Phoenix parishioner and having been to Immaculate Heart church only once about two months ago on a pilgrimage, I had a chance to see the beautiful interior of the church and its eight to 10 statues of saints on the sides. I can see it was a great loss to the people. It at least should be restored to the way it was and continue to be the beautiful historical church that its parishioners made it!

As long as it is restored to its former beauty, I'm sure the parishioners would be happy.

I'm sure they can find good Mexican artists to restore the statue at reasonable costs, and they should be allowed to do so rather than have Father Saúl Madrid restore it only as an antiseptic-style building with no meaning in its art.

Name withheld by request

Power of Babel

So much for machismo: So let me get this straight. A city official made the egregious mistake of requesting that two men speaking Spanish in a meeting speak English, since this obviously uneducated and culturally insensitive official did not have the decency to learn or understand Spanish ("Lost in the Translation," Caleb Correa, July 6). At this request, the Spanish-speakers felt embarrassed, belittled and slighted. To speak Spanish is "sensitive to the Hispanic issue."

I am now under the impression that Hispanics, well, namely these two, are the most sensitive and fragile little flowers on Earth, and cannot tolerate anything that might be remotely perceived, or even twisted (depending on your agenda), as an affront to the Spanish language, or culture, no matter how innocent or unintentional. Not even an apology for an unintentional tone of voice can heal their wounded hearts and spirits. So much for the myth of Mexican "machismo."

I wonder, if I was in another country and attended the equivalent of a city meeting without a Spanish interpreter, how tolerant and accommodating would they be to me? Or is being offended at being asked to speak the primary language of the country in which you reside exclusive to "Hispanics"?

I couldn't figure out why this was even worthy of a story until I saw that Stephen Montoya was involved. I knew then that this kind of non-issue would fit perfectly into his agenda and could be hyped for all it was worth.

Karla Brightman
Chandler

Fetal Position

Doctor, no: I abhor abortion, and were I among the dolts in Congress, I would probably vote to have it banned during the third trimester. I'm glad Dr. Brian Finkel ("The Doctor Is Out," Amy Silverman, July 27) was finally booted out of his office space, but I wish he was an old skeleton, buried in his Vaginal Vault, rather than moving into Fortress Finkel. I hope his fortress soon meets the fate of the Berlin Wall.

Floyd Ragan
Scottsdale

Flooring It

In defense of hot rods: Concerning Skip Readio's letter of July 6, about Brian Smith's June 22 story "Rod Fellows": Aw, poor Mr. Wholesome got jealous because someone passed his red, tweed-interiored, 50 grand street rod, to look at a real car!

First thing, "Skippy," I am not a lawbreaker. Smith's description of a 110 mph ride was an understandable, though grossly exaggerated, view of someone taking his first ride in a real hot rod.

Secondly, although the term "jalopy" doesn't offend me (it's better than street rod), the implication that my car is unsafe does. The car has insurance, which required an engineer's safety report. It has big dual circuit brakes to match its big engine, and is a totally reliable daily driver, which by many standards is very civilized for the type of car that it is.

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