Letters from the week of October 23, 2003

Caroline Collins
Point Roberts, Washington

The Press and Polygamy

Bible school: It doesn't work that way. For Rick Barrs ("Politics Over Principle," October 9) to expect Latter-day Saints to renounce Joseph Smith and Brigham Young over their position on polygamy is to expect:

Christians to repudiate their apostle John because he spoke against sex without marriage (Rev. 22:15). Or Paul the Apostle because he said women were not to speak in church (1 Corin. 14:34), and husbands were to be supreme over wives (1 Corin. 11:3). Or Jude who opposed homosexuality (Jude 1:7). Or Jesus who condemned the pleasures of porn (Matt 5:28). Or to expect Jews to toss out Abraham (Gen. 16:3), as well as Jacob (Gen 30:4) because they were polygamists. Or to disavow Moses because he condemned homosexuals (Lev. 20:13). Or for that matter, Muslims to distance themselves from Muhammad because he too denounced homosexuality (Koran -- Surah 4:15-16).

Prophets and the Gods they represent have always been the nemesis of change agents.

Even suggesting that the faithful pick and chose among their teachings means turning them into nothing more than philosophers inspired by well developed imaginations.

It doesn't work that way.

John Keeler

Kids on the Skids

Guarding the guardians: Excellent report on the Arizona Department of Juvenile Corrections ("Worse Than Ever," Amy Silverman, October 2) I would personally not trust a division of the Department of Justice to investigate anything concerning Justice issues. It is like the fox guarding the hen house. Oversight is sorely lacking in the prison system -- both federal and state. DOJ is a self-serving and powerful bureaucracy. The investigative arm should not be in the same agency. Congress needs to act on this issue, and be held accountable for allowing DOJ to grow and function with such self-empowerment.

Roma Thomas
Sun City West

Deeper problems: It is great to have a newspaper in our city that is not afraid to name names and to follow-up on past columns.

Amy Silverman's "Worse Than Ever" is a good example of how New Times reporters keep telling the story of child abuse in Arizona.

Thank you for Silverman's articles and John Dougherty's excellent reports on polygamy/child abuse.

Dougherty's articles have surely spurred Attorney General Terry Goddard to insist he will act on the child abuse existing for years in that outlying area.

The question we're left with, is when will Arizona's Attorney General and the Governor get together to fix the things happening right under their noses, here in the Valley and around the state?

When will the heads of state get the idea that they need to stop padding the cells and give disadvantaged kids constructive activities? Children languishing, even dying, right under the noses of government officials is appalling. So is the litigation against the state. Taxpayers keep paying for "civil rights" violations and litigation at every level of government. And children keep being abused and dying.

Virginia Chaffin

Music Man

Waxing nostalgic: Although I would call myself a Bandersnatch (semi-) regular, it was not until the first week of October that I found out that the old Bandersnatch closed its doors as such on September 21. I almost missed Christopher O'Connor's article, "Snatching Tempe," (September 25) completely except for an e-mail from a buddy. Although I would agree with Mr. O'Connor that a lot of folks overreacted to the news, I think that it is important to understand why Bandersnatch as it was is so important to so many people.

I still remember my first plate of nachos and tipping back a milk stout at Bandersnatch over 10 years ago -- from that time I was hooked. Bandersnatch was a rarity at the time. No one else around brewed beer on site and the beers crafted by the brewmeister are truly a thing of beauty. Milk Stout, Irish Amber, Barley Wine, Cardinal Red, German Rye. For me, the heart and soul of Bandersnatch was the beer brewed on site. Add to that a lot of good people, countless debates on beer, politics, and whatnot, and many fond memories of hanging out with friends for a good bull session at the end of a long week over the best beer in Arizona. And the food was not bad either.

Bandersnatch was one of my favorite places to hang my hat and toss down a brew with good friends. I say, "was" because Bandersnatch was the whole package -- take away part of the inner soul and the place is never the same. As Mr. O'Connor pointed out, not all change is bad or nearly as traumatic as is first believed. However, in a region where the past is usually ignored, especially when it comes to development and re-development, saving a little piece intact becomes a contentious issue. Whether you went there for the beer, music, people, or whatever, Bandersnatch was a little enclave away from all the pretense of the "new" Mill Avenue. A little something real in a sea of glitter.

No, the sky won't fall as the new Bandersnatch replaces the old, but the soul of the old Bandersnatch will not be there. Yes, things often change but we don't have to like it.

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