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Letters From the Issue of Thursday, October 18, 2007

DICTATOR JOE

Dont massage Arpaios fantasies: Dictators finally succumb to total paranoia — it's the natural result of a totalitarian mind and a numbed-out psyche unable to do anything useful with guilt ("Sheriff Fidel," The Bird, Stephen Lemons, October 11. Also see The Bird this week and "Keystone Coppers: The skinny on the fake plot to whack Sheriff Joe Arpaio.")

Why ought any decent person be doing anything in relation to this thug [Arpaio] other than take him to where justice can do its thing with him? That storm trooper doesn't deserve to have his grandiose fantasies massaged.
Name withheld by request

WAKE UP, MORMONS

Its about abuse, not religion: Thank you, John Dougherty, for another enlightening story about Arizona-Utah polygamist criminal organizations ("Persecution Complex," October 4).

After reading your story, I feel it is time to comment on the Mormon outrage. I will go point by point from my perspective:

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints started all this polygamy abuse.

Mainstream Mormons still believe they will live in polygamy in the afterlife.

The mainstream Mormon church is so busy trying to distance itself from organized polygamist groups that it turns away those trying to escape the abuses, telling them to return home and be good wives.

The LDS has targeted good Mormon people who have become outspoken advocates against polygamist abuses, going so far as to pull their church callings.

With all the media coverage on polygamist abuses, isn't it interesting that so many mainstream Mormons respond with outrage, disgust, horror, and accusation — not about the abuses perpetrated upon women and children within polygamy but rather polygamist organizations being referred to as Mormon.

There are many Mormons who support stopping the abusive practice of polygamy, but I must say it does not help the Mormon image when the outrage focuses on the factual link between the LDS and Mormon polygamists.

Wake up! This is not about your Mormon religion. This is about child abuse. Maybe if more Mormons stood up and defended the children rather than the LDS organization, we could begin to stop the cycle of abuse.

Consider what Catholics have been through. It is only a matter of time before LDS members can stop hiding behind church walls and face the ugly truth.
Flora Jessop, via the Internet

Reporting helped stop the enemy: Thank you, John Dougherty. It wouldn't have come this far [the conviction of polygamist Prophet Warren Jeffs] without your in-depth reporting. You faced the enemy and saw it through.
Jay Beswick, via the Internet

The distinction was clear, Cody: This careless "Persecution Complex" story failed to make the clear distinction between this obscure and appalling polygamist cult run by Warren Jeffs and the respectable 13 million-member worldwide church known as the LDS.

Jeffs is not now, and never has been a member of the Mormon church, nor does he have any connection or association. The Associated Press style guide tells reporters that the term Mormon "is not properly applied" to other churches that resulted from the split after Joseph Smith's death. It should be obvious why the AP has adopted the policy. It is widely understood that the word Mormon refers to the LDS, which sends out Mormon missionaries, sponsors the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, and builds Mormon temples.

Associating the term Mormon with polygamists is comparable to giving credence to someone claiming to be the pope by calling him a "Catholic leader," despite his having no association with the faith whatsoever. This type of reporting is inaccurate, extremely misleading, and dangerously irresponsible. Please get the facts straight and report more responsibly so I am not left answering for an atrocious cult of which I am not a member.

For the record, the LDS discontinued its practice of polygamy in 1890, and for 117 years, Mormons have followed a monogamous lifestyle.
Cody Easterbrook, via the Internet

BROKEN FAMILIES

Child Protective Services is destroying bonds: Well said, Sarah Fenske! You have done your homework on the real issues behind Child Protective Services ("Silence of the Lambs," September 27). Families should not suffer from tax-supported programs that destroy precious bonds. Wake up, America.
Rosemary VanGorder, via the Internet

No burden of proof on CPS: This was a very good article and so very true. I didn't know that there was a trial program that opened the hearings. I believe that if CPS couldn't hide behind closed doors, our grandsons wouldn't be in a foster home waiting for adoption this month.

We have not been allowed to see them since April 13 because it is to much trouble for CPS to bring them down from Safford to Sierra Vista to see us; so we aren't allowed the visits the judge ordered. We have not been allowed to disprove the lies that CPS told about us, and the judge refused to hear our motion to intervene because CPS asked her to.

The bottom line is, we are losing our grandsons because CPS lied, and it doesn't have to prove any of the things it said about us. We don't get to speak on our behalf and tell the truth. It doesn't have to present evidence or anything, and it can keep our babies captive.
Cheryl Boggs, Huachuca City, Arizona

Government devalues children: The problem is not crooked judges or greedy indifferent lawyers — although they are problematic. The problem, as mentioned on www.FamilyLawCourts.com, is indifferent neighbors and government officials who place children last on any list of importance.

The business of government is business. This is never more clear than in family court. The Web site even has a section for Arizona. No more harrowing than any other state.
Bonnie Russell, via the Internet

Pass it on: CPS lies: Once again, thanks to Sarah Fenske for speaking out. I thought courts were just. CPS argues and lies to the bench. Pass the word.
Georgia Bach, via the Internet

CPS hands are tied in some cases: Well, Sarah, I have a different perspective: I was the foster parent of three children whose mother thought they were "stolen" from her by CPS. She didn't bother to get up in the morning, she didn't send them to school, she didn't feed them, and she made them do drug runs for her because she was on crack.

CPS didn't take them away fast enough, because she didn't actually physically beat them. Now they are 25, 22 and 20, trying to recapture childhoods and educations that were lost because the hands of CPS were tied. For every case that goes one way, there's a case that goes the other.
Name withheld by request

CULTURAL STRUGGLES

Uppity reader is wrong on so many levels: In response to New Times reader Jim Raishart ("Another Paranoid Rant," Letters, October 4), if you would have never admitted your cultural heritage as a Native American, I would have assumed that you are Anglo.

I am completely amused at the sense of nationalism that many Native Americans have adopted. Have you ever heard of the Indian Citizenship Act of 1924? I have often heard many of my Anglo friends complain of the very same things that you stated in your paranoid rant, but their rants were directed toward Native Americans, not Mexicans.

You state, "My people had to learn English," or how else would the first colonists in North America have communicated with the natives? Let's not forget the fact Euro-Americans attempted to strip you of your cultural heritage, while not fully incorporating you into theirs.

As for George Lopez, lighten up. It was just a joke. The whole reclamation of Aztlan will never happen. That would be like the Navajo Nation wanting to reclaim its part of the Southwest. Besides, George Lopez isn't the official spokesman of Latinos. And speaking of spokesmen, didn't Navajo President Joe Shirley claim that English was offensive?

As for being here first, let's not forget that Mexican people were 100 percent indigenous before the arrival of the Spanish.
J. Jimenez, Mesa


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