Religious Write

We've gone too far: John Dougherty has done himself a great disfavor by trying to link the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to the Fundamentalist "Mormon" sect practicing polygamy ("It Practices What They Preach," May 25). As one of nearly 500,000 Latter-day Saints in Arizona, I strongly object to many of the correlations Dougherty has tried to make linking the true LDS church to the fanatics claiming to be LDS in the mountains. Particularly, I find his quote by the "anonymous" Mormon bishop contrived and offensive. His interpretation of our sacred doctrine concerning the eternal progression of mankind is taken lightly and out of perspective. I never read your publication anyway because of the trashy articles it contains, but this time you've gone too far. A co-worker started asking me questions about what she read in New Times, and my good conscience couldn't let you get away with this without some kind of condemnation. Printing mistruths and sensationalizing something that many people hold dear is not a way to gain long-term support.
Thomas Whitaker, Phoenix

A Mormon, by any other name: You are right in telling the close ties of the LDS and FLDS. I was LDS for 20 years and quit 25 years ago. Both LDS sects follow the teachings of Joseph Smith, who, like many of his type, decided to take advantage of his power and start taking wives and other men's wives and very young girls, and told his first wife Emma she had to go along with it or she was going to burn in hell. After Joseph was killed, she never admitted he had any other wives and did not follow Brigham Young to Utah. There is a Reorganized LDS Church that her son became head of when he grew up. It is in Independence, Missouri, but took the polygamy, and temple ceremonies, out of the picture.

Thanks for letting it be known that the Mormon Church is not guiltless in what is going on.
Sandy Nuss, Crescent City, California

Food for Thought

Not cynical enough: Color me naive, but I fell hard for your article on "Xtreme Cuisine" (May 18). After reading the well-written, convincing Stephen Lemons piece, I had nightmares and a knot in my stomach as I thought about the maniacal Chef Kaz's disdain for endangered species, not to mention humans. When I read the editor's note in the next issue explaining it was satire, I'm not sure if I felt better or worse.

I do consider myself a skeptic -- I don't think reality TV is "real," I don't watch network newscasts anymore, and I don't trust any politicians, even the seemingly good ones. So I was particularly horrified at my own reaction to the story, and my inability to see through to the joke. I suppose, until now, I just wasn't cynical enough.

That said, honestly, I am still angry, upset, and more than a little confused about the article. In particular, I'm curious what New Times hoped to accomplish by printing it. The varied readers' responses are interesting, for sure; but was that all?

The editor's response to criticism about the article is also disturbing; in short, I doubt that everyone who believed it to be an actual news story is a "moron" or "dumb ass."

New Times' outrageous, caustic, fabulous wit (particularly Robrt L. Pela's) has in the past provided needed insight into current political, cultural, and arts topics. However, shouldn't a news and culture magazine print news, not satire -- at least without labeling it clearly as such? I mean, I love The Onion, but that's because it's The Onion. And Jonathan Swift's famous satirical work "A Modest Proposal," which suggests population control by feeding Irish children to English landlords, was published as a pamphlet -- not in a respected, widely distributed news magazine.

To sum up, your publication's reputation for making acerbic, relevant commentary on contemporary issues was solid in my mind -- until now. Please leave the satire for The Onion and for pamphlets tucked under windshield wipers. I know I will never pick up New Times with the same high expectations again -- and certainly not with the same respect.
Kristen LaRue, Mesa

Lack of logic: If we were living in a more logical world, perhaps your "Xtreme Cuisine" piece would have gotten the response from all the vegetarians and animal-rights activists that would have been appropriate and consistent with their cause. That is, thanking New Times for causing the public to ask themselves the central question: What is the difference between eating the animals we're used to eating versus eating certain other animals? The lack of logic is even more serious with the non-vegetarians who were flipping out over what they read.

One of the things that keeps me awake at night is the thought of people who score this well in the logic department being registered to vote. That explains a lot.
Robert Williams, Scottsdale

Ask a Gringo

On the offensive: I recently picked up a copy of New Times while I was in Phoenix on business and was appalled that Ask a Mexican ("Everything a Gabacho Needs to Know," May 25) was in there. I realize that this may be your futile attempt at humor, but let's get real here.

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