The Passion for Christ
An order of piety, hold the blasphemy: I don't usually read your newspaper because I am a Christian and generally the content is not in line with my values. However, a friend of mine mentioned the article on Christian rap ("Jesus Christ Rap Superstar," Darren Keast, March 25). I really enjoyed reading the article, and I felt that it was well-written. Thank you for getting the word out about Christian rappers in Phoenix. I plan on using the article to encourage a young man that I know who is in juvenile detention and wants to be a Christian rapper.
However, I was offended by the pictures of Jesus. I think that it is disrespectful to the people you are writing about and to Christians at large to use the image of Jesus in the way that you did. I almost didn't read the article when I saw the pictures because it looked like the article was going to be disrespectful toward Christians. I am glad that I read it and I thank you for writing it, but please consider leaving out the blasphemous artwork.
The right "One": I have occasionally read your paper. Your writing staff appears to me to always research and attempt to print truth as your research points to. Your recent cover story about the River of Life's hip-hop opera, "The One," was exemplary and very impressive. To be honest with you, I was really surprised that your paper wrote favorably about Christianity. I would like to thank you very much for your positive story of "The One." In my experience, I have found that the River's productions are excellent and seek to promote Jesus and not their church or individuals. Once again, thank you very much for your fine article, and I venture to say you may have picked up more readership.
Reverend Bob Thomas
Remembering the non-Jews: Regarding the letter (April 1) from Jon Krieger re: "Pink Persecution" (Robrt L. Pela, March 18): After reading Mr. Krieger's letter, I feel compelled to reply. Between the early 1930s and the end of World War II, the Nazis systematically murdered millions of people, and to remember and give notice to the persecution and murder of non-Jews does nothing to trivialize or minimize the death and suffering of millions of Jews under Hitler's program of extermination (and please, let's not get into a discussion of whether it was 6 million or 4.5 million or 8 million: Give or take a few million, it is atrocity beyond imagination).
I would argue that Mr. Pela is not the one with an "agenda," nor was he trying to "ram" same-sex marriage or anything else down Mr. Krieger's throat. Rather, Mr. Krieger seems to view historical fact through the selective lens of his own hatred and intolerance. Although I am happy to hear that Mr. Krieger does not "condone what the Nazis did," the truth of the matter is that Jews, homosexuals, the mentally and physically handicapped, Gypsies, political dissidents, Soviet prisoners of war, Catholics, ethnic Serbs, Jehovah's Witnesses and others were violently persecuted, tortured and murdered by the Nazis. To honor the memory of what happened to one of these groups is not to dishonor the memory of the others.
As a Jew and former Washington, D.C., resident, I visited the Holocaust Museum many times. I was always deeply moved, grateful and proud that the museum memorializes the horror inflicted on all of the victims of the Nazis.
Rebecca A. Siegel
Missing the mark: I was in Phoenix last weekend checking out your nightlife and ran across the interview of Ted Phillips in your publication. The subject of Nazi persecution of homosexuals has gotten a lot of press lately, especially with the release of a new documentary titled Paragraph 175. Yet your interview missed several important points. How many homosexuals were killed in the camps? Why didn't the Allies free them in 1945? How is it possible that with the Reich's excellent documentation, not one of the 100,000 persecuted homosexuals can be tracked down and interviewed, in light of Phillips' claim that he couldn't interview any survivors?
Some of these answers were not probed enough. For instance, there is extensive research of other Holocaust survivors. Why has no attempt been made to find the remaining aged German homosexuals, who may not be with us much longer? The verbal testimony of the horrors of Nazism are essential so that it is not repeated, and yet it seems Phillips and his museum aren't doing enough to record the truth. These missing facts and your frequent quips seemed to denigrate the important issue of heretofore ignored persecutions of other minority groups by the Nazis.
Seth J. Frantzman
Critic and Savior
Phoenix's cup runneth over: My dear Mr. Lemons: After following your exploits in the recent weeks, I just had to comment.
Before your explosion onto the Phoenix scene, I had thought our fair city had been well-known for its diverse eateries, and for the quality thereof.
How could I have been so mistaken? Our nightlife? Omigosh, it sucks! But the final straw was your exposé of the food at the Renn Faire ("RenFest Retch," March 11). Hey Steve! We're talking about a Renn Faire! You know, the freaking Renaissance! That rollicking time of haute cuisine. Escoffier won't be born for 500 years! No offense to the Renn Faire, but anyone who is going out there for the eats, well . . .
Now I find out you're an art critic, too ("Dubious Degas," March 18). How could we have possibly lived life before this? I guess us poor hicks woulda gotten screwed 'cause ya know we don't have much culture here.
I think that a man with your obvious talents could be buffing the floors or washing dishes at any Denny's on the planet. I hear they're hiring.
Neither Christian, nor a scientist: In your March 11 article "Devil in the Details," by Adam Bregman, I was sorry to see a reference to a Christian Science family as being "screwy," and "refusing medical care" for cancer. Any loss of life is always a tragedy, regardless of what kind of treatment they receive. I was sad to hear of James Hetfield's loss, and the hard times that followed for James after his mother's death. The many thoughtful Christian Scientists I've known realize they have a choice of whatever health care they feel is best and have made responsible decisions.
It might be of interest to note that people are being healed of cancer through spiritual treatment by prayer. My uncle was one. He was healed of cancer through the effective prayer of my grandmother. She prayed with a spiritual law found in Mary Baker Eddy's book Science and Health With Key to the Scriptures. When my uncle arrived for cancer treatment in Houston, the doctor examined him, and could find nothing wrong with him. This was more than 30 years ago and he is still kicking happily along.
Christian Science Committee on Publication for AZ
There's a point?: The recent addition, "Inferno" (Stephen Lemons and Elaine Bell), is an interesting yet awkwardly introduced piece. It took me a couple weeks to understand what the point of it was, but I kept reading it because the verbiage was interesting.
The comic underneath never really made a whole lot of sense to me (maybe it's just not my scene), but I found a lot of interesting ironies in "Inferno." I didn't really understand how they flowed together.
Altogether, a nice addition, just wish the column was introduced a bit better so it was easier to pick up where the author expects the audience to be. Just a thought.
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Clearing the Air
Smoke one for the kids: Doesn't Mark Brnovich of the Goldwater Institute realize that "individual responsibility, limited government and economic freedom" are all outdated concepts ("Blowing Smoke," Robrt L. Pela, March 11)? Lucky for us, Representative Linda Lopez is there to make sure our decisions are made for us!
The funniest part of the interview is that someone accused Mr. Brnovich of wanting to destroy the health of children. I wasn't aware of many children hanging around in bars. Of course, you can get away with anything as long as it's "for the children."