Devils and Mormonism

Letters from the week of March 27, 2003

 Jumping Through Hoops

The Devil and Mr. Ruiz: What a story on the ASU basketball program and its excellent coach, Rob Evans ("Devils' Advocate," Paul Rubin, March 20). I am not a big fan of the team, but reading about the ups and downs of this year grabbed me and my son (who is going to ASU next year).

Also, the story about the coach was amazing and should be made into a TV movie.

One more point is that my son never reads anything longer than a menu, but he read the whole story on the season (and most of the story on the coach himself). You should be proud.

Bob Ruiz
Glendale

Devil worshiper: I'm not a big New Times reader, but your articles on ASU and Rob Evans suggest that maybe I should read more. Great stories keep up the good work.

Michael Strasser
Via e-mail

Church Chat

Case in point: Your "Bound by Fear" article was fantastic (John Dougherty, March 13). It was both informative and chilling. Both my wife and I found ourselves reading and exclaiming "WOW!" throughout one of the finest pieces of journalism I have ever read clear, factual and unbiased. The latter fact is likely not to be appreciated by the Mormon Church.

Which brings me to my second point. What is your take on the Elizabeth Smart case? As I hear the "facts" of the case and evaluate them under the shining light of truth found in your article, they come out as a series of contradictions and outright lies.

Arnold Hampel
Fountain Hills

They're the other polygamists: You know, I really appreciate most articles I read in your newspaper. It's nice to have another point of view in this Valley. I am glad to see you and others writing about polygamy in Arizona and Utah. I am glad you are exposing it and bringing to light what goes on in these closed communities. It's wrong. It's illegal.

However, I would really appreciate it if you would not refer to the people who practice it as "Fundamentalist Mormons" or "Fundamentalist LDS." That is completely wrong and misleading. Those people have been excommunicated from the LDS church and are not Mormons anymore. I know that some of the polygamist groups call themselves Mormon, but they are not.

Please don't confuse them with the Mormon Church. And please don't confuse others in this Valley that do not know much about the Mormon Church except for the "bad" or "weird" things they hear from people or news articles that do not know who the Mormons really are or what they believe. Believe it or not, most LDS folks are pretty nice.

Peggy Stockton
Phoenix

Stormin' Mormon: I take exception to two statements in your article ("Fornicating for God," John Dougherty, March 20). The FLDS Church is not a branch of the "Mormon" Church (respectfully known as the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints), renegade or otherwise. The LDS Church has not practiced plural marriage since God commanded that the practice be stopped.

Also, the statement that obedience to men is stressed in Mormon culture is not only wrong, but laughable. Ask any husband in the LDS Church if he is "the boss," and both he and his wife will get a good laugh. Equal partnership in marriage is always stressed in the LDS Church. Any "unrighteous dominion" practiced by either partner is strongly discouraged. In fact, no member is "ordered" to do anything.

Steve McVey
Phoenix

Tithing ring: I had never even heard of Mormons until moving here from the East Coast in the late '80s. It wasn't until my sister became involved in (and was baptized into) the Church that I did my own research. She was not involved in the FLDS. However, years after separating from the church (and marrying a non-Mormon), they continue to seek her out and continually come to her house and send letters despite her and my brother-in-law kindly asking them to cease and desist. I cannot imagine how horrible and oppressive it must be for the women and girls in Colorado City. What I find to be the icing on the cake is that my tax dollars are going toward supporting this illegal and (many would say) immoral lifestyle. As I've heard some say, "Only in Arizona (or Utah, I guess)."

Name withheld by request

Cult of personality: You are to be commended for writing such an in-depth but depressing story! This is terrible that our taxes support the perpetuation of such a "cult"! An easy solution would be to cut off their welfare benefits and, if they then cannot take care of the children, let them be adopted! Some will say this is so un-American, but what do you call the atrocities these people are doing and that we have to support?

Name withheld by request

Missionary position: Thank you for the unvarnished look at pure, unsanitized Mormonism. Modern Mormons cringe because the FLDS shows the true roots of Joseph Smith's mind. I am a former Mormon, having resigned my membership. Anecdotal evidence indicates an exodus that the Church would rather not discuss. If you are interested, I have posted research exposing the fraudulent origins of the Book of Mormon. It is at www.post-mormons.com/tories.htm.

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