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Ethics, Morals and Sex Ads, Oh My!

Bored of Supervisors

Aloha, Mr. Stapley: The article "Crack Addicts, Political Shenanigans and Indian Relics" (John Dougherty, May 9) goes a long way to explain why Arizona, my old residence, and Hawaii, my new residence, have both dropped near the bottom of the 2002 "Best States." Louisiana is ranked last.

Maybe Marianne Jennings needs to have Don Stapley, et al., in her ethics class at ASU for about four years!

Kathy Howe
Honolulu

Catholic Complacency

Sin should carry a high price: So now we know, we can't send our children to church for moral training.

After reading Robert Nelson's "Sins of a Father" (May 9), I want to say thank you to Doris Kennedy and Sharon Roy for their bravery! Although they have endured intense intimidation by the Catholic Diocese, they continue to fight for what is right for themselves, their children and all the other victims whose names are piled under the holy rug of the Catholic Church.

I am enraged that the church quietly collected all the reports of rape and molestation through the years while continuing to pay the sexual predators to teach and lead their victims and prey. Apparently the leaders of the Catholic Church are more concerned about their image and making money than they are the people who trust them and pay their salaries through tithing.

I'm sorry to Mrs. Kennedy's son, who has to relive the horrific experiences and let his humiliating story be told. Please know we all feel great compassion for you and hope the diocese is financially devastated after paying your settlement.

Did anyone else find it interesting that the Catholic Church has a psychotherapy hospital that treats priests for pedophilia and lack of sexual control? The church also has a sexual abuse policy in place (although it appears it hasn't been referred to in a few decades). Why? Do our school districts have special hospitals for their pedophiliac employees? No. They would have to go to the local penitentiary for "treatment."

Maybe the Catholic Church should take a cue from Reverend Billy Graham, who never allows himself to be alone with a woman other than his wife: Never allow a leader to be alone with a child, in turn protecting all innocent parties. Another suggestion comes from the Bible: I Corinthians 7:8-9 states "Now to the unmarried and the widows I say: It is good for them to stay unmarried, as I am. But if they cannot control themselves, they should marry, for it is better to marry than to burn with passion."

Since the church will be paying many millions in settlements for the victims, here's a cost-cutting tip: Take all the sex offenders off the payroll. Put them up in the prison system like all the other rapists and child molesters in our country. I, along with the rest of the taxpayers in the U.S., will be happy to pay their housing costs. I'm sure the inmates will treat them as they deserve. And try to find a better way to use your parishioners' money than having them pay for their kids to be molested. However, the parishioners may not want you to spend their money anymore.

So before you lose all your funding, compensate each and every victim whose lives were brutally stolen from them because of your blatant disregard for innocent and hurting people.

And when all the victims have come forward, and the church has financially compensated each one greatly, maybe it will have some sense of what it feels like to have everything taken from you.

Valerie Lancaster
Gilbert

The Father, the daughter and the holy ghost: Father Pat Colleary is proven the father of the child of a young parishioner who came to him for grief counseling. He gives her more grief than she could ever imagine -- pregnancy! Worse, he currently precipitates a separation between his adult daughter and her mother. Aren't priests in the business of reconciliation?

Colleary and the diocese claim he kept silent about the birth of his daughter for 15 years and only admitted it after paternity was proven in court. Isn't that called lying? Fifteen years of deadbeat fatherism. Does that mean that Colleary gave 15 years of absolution during confession to thousands of Catholics who thought they were forgiven? None of those people were forgiven; Colleary was never in the state of grace. (Sorry, non-Catholics, you will never understand this.) Colleary was in the state of "cut and run-ism."

Next he tells another lie, without an ounce of proof, that 20-some years ago he took a (now lost, of course) lie-detector test that proves he didn't molest a little boy. Well, Colleary, go take another one! I bet you don't, at least not one anyone except the diocese can see.  

Dianne Hanagan
Prescott Valley

Heal thyself: New Times shows great interest in scrutinizing the Episcopal reaction to priestly sexual misconduct, particularly pedophilia. Thoughtful people may be inclined to wonder why a newspaper that is so corrupted as to have indecent advertisements and personal ads freely available to minors (not that adults should be indulging in such "adult" entertainment either) should be so indignant at sexual immorality, much less inadvisable responses to it by Bishop Thomas O'Brien, whose own personal life is exempt from both the behavior of those subordinate priests and the shameless sexual chaos that your newspaper serves so well to encourage. Perhaps in your high spiritual state, you can discern some fine moral line between the fornication, homosexuality, female-degrading pornography and abortion, which your newspaper espouses, and pedophilia. But we claim that such a line will stand up to honest intellectual analysis, like the Maignot Line held up against the blitzkrieg.

So is it really sexual immorality, or perceived hypocrisy of Bishop O'Brien's response, or the fact that, however imperfectly in word or action, Bishop O'Brien espouses, as his apostolically appointed position demands, opposition to these things which (you believe) you benefit from and foist upon the Phoenix community in the name of free speech? In any case, it would be advisable for New Times to reconsider its policy of pandering to the sexual irresponsibility of any child or adult who might happen upon the periodical. Who knows -- the victims you save may be children, Catholic clergymen, or even your own souls.

Don and Alicia Hawker
Tempe

Out and About

God bless gay America: I wanted to thank you for your article about our new gay entertainment guide called IONAZ ("Hurtt So Good," Spiked, May 9). It was very factual and well-written. However, there are a couple of things I'd like to clear up. First, as for not being able to find a single copy at several locations, we are a monthly magazine that comes out at the beginning of every month and, because we are already hugely popular, the magazines tend to fly off the shelves. Almost all of the 10,000 copies are getting picked up at more than 60 locations throughout the city. In regard to the controversial ad content, we do not dictate to our advertisers what they put in their ads as long as it is not pornographic and is tasteful. Obviously, people's idea of what is tasteful is very subjective.

I couldn't be prouder of the two officers featured in the article "Out With the Phoenix PD," or of our police department for its willingness to allow us to interview and publish such a piece. Coming from a close-minded Midwestern state that would never allow such an article, it is symbolic of the forward thinking this city and state exhibit.

I am also proud of what our magazine has accomplished in such a short time. But most important, I am proud to be a gay citizen in the greatest city in the greatest country in the world!

Jack M. Tesorero
Owner/Editor
IONAZ Magazine

Play Time

The color of acting: As the author of the much-beleaguered Ramona, I thought I should answer some recent remarks made by a current student in your paper (Letters, May 9). I normally don't answer critics, certainly not the ones who review plays, since I've been around long enough to know that opinions about plays are like presidential preferences for or against broccoli. How do you rebut those? But Tim Cox's opinion that we in the Arizona State University theater department are doing too many "ethnic plays" in what he calls "a predominantly white theater department" merits a response. It's his right to disdain the play all he wants, but the student also finds these ethnic plays "not relevant to anything," and he thanks Robrt L. Pela for bringing those ethnic people down a notch or two.

Naive U.S. Latino writer that I am, I thought I'd find a story that would speak to the many issues of our region. Helen Hunt Jackson's novel Ramona revealed a cruel history of abuse and genocide against native people in the context of a love story, romantic and a bit old-fashioned, not the type of thing I normally care about, but I risked my reputation as a modern sexually ambivalent provocateur to do it, what the heck!

As a descendant (for the most part) of Spaniards myself, I don't claim to be superior to anybody, let alone do I assume a "victim" attitude when my ancestors were just as likely to be anti-Semitic, racist, slave-owning, imperialist, sexist, homophobic, etc., as they were hardworking, God-fearing Catholics.  

I didn't write Ramona to attack "white" people, in other words, but to give voice to our very own, very local history which determined some people should live separate from us in reservations, as they still do only a few minutes from our homes right here in Phoenix. I figured students like Mr. Cox would stop and think a bit about why we still live the way we do, but I find it sad that the issues in the play are irrelevant to him, and that furthermore he thinks the theater department should stick to doing "white" people's plays, which last I heard we do as well, just not exclusively.

Even there we've encountered confusion. Recently, we announced we'd be doing Don Juan by Tirso de Molina. This is very much a European classical play, but now we have white students asking whether they should audition or whether there are any roles in it for white people. We have to start with the basics: Spaniards are Europeans, too, and the modern U.S.-Latino consciousness (and our blood) is made up of this eternal friction among Spanish, Anglo and Indian.

At least Ramona has started some sort of dialogue, through Mr. Pela's review (thanks a lot, Robrt), and now we need to move on to do better in communicating why we're doing the plays we're doing. I hope Mr. Cox will be open to such communication and not hide behind advocating a "white only" theater department, which I hope he isn't because, for better or for worse, we're stuck with each other.

Guillermo Reyes
Arizona State University

Drawing Praise

Cartoon compliment: I've been enjoying your featured articles for years now -- thanks -- but need to let you know that Max Cannon's "Red Meat" always gets my first look on Thursday morning. You've got to know I'm not alone.

Thomas G. Schroer
Phoenix


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