The Bishop & Me
Throw the good book at him: After reading the article on Bishop O'Brien, it did nothing but confirm my conclusion about this man ("What Was He Thinking?!" Michael Lacey, February 12). Bishop O'Brien is a disgrace to the human race. How dare this man declare his conscience is clear after condoning child molestation for more than 20 years? Now he has the gall to state he thought he hit a dog or someone threw a rock at his car. Old Bishop O'Brien deserves to be behind bars for the rest of his life with a roommate named Big Bubba.

Philip Watson

Not a fan: Let me get this out of the way first: I am not a Catholic, nor am I a big fan of Bishop O'Brien. After reading Michael Lacey's article, I can also say that I am not a big fan of Michael Lacey.

C'mon, Mike! The bishop exhibited the "warmth of a dead cod"? So how much warmth do you think you'd display in such a situation?

Bishop O'Brien is a "monster"? You are mistaken. He is a man, a man in a terrible predicament who may have committed a terrible crime. That is yet to be determined. That is what this trial will determine.

Comparing the "sartorial splendor" of the bishop's defense team with the "honest wool suits" of the prosecutors is, at best, cheap journalism, much like the rest of the article.

It's obvious that you detest the bishop, Mike. You could have just cut to the chase and said so, rather than take up space with your bile.

James P. Mertz

Faith no more: Michael Lacey's article reads as the profile of the hypocritical Pharisee with a seared conscience. While Jim Reed probably was no Jesus, he probably saved many a man's faith from being pinned underneath the religious vehicle of Catholicism manned by Bishop O'Brien.

Men have been abusing religious power since it's been around. This is why we can't have religious government behind the wheel. Man is no close substitute for God. No matter what anyone may say, no one does God's work better than God. What we do worship in man is what we can see manifested from God. Probable cause that God could be found to be real. If man were capable of being anything else than infinitely flawed, then Jesus, the avatar of Catholicism, would never have had to be sacrificed for the "sins of the world."

How many times do we have to prove that man can fail at religion, even the paid professionals of religion, before we are convinced there will never be any way that we'll ever "get it right"? If the truth can be had, we never will get it right. You can't live a godly life without God in it.

In O'Brien's case, he may have fallen for the oldest lie of all. That it isn't necessary to answer to God in order to run God's show. The Catholic's Lucifer bought into that and he lost everything God intended.

If anyone cares, I think God's best hope in man is that we have a lifetime to declare who we really choose to answer to, God or self. A lifetime is all we really get anyway, no guarantees. Each lifestyle is dramatically different from the next based on the choices of who we choose to answer to. My personal slant is that God runs the show anyway. Those disrespectful to his property and to God personally run themselves right off the page. Proof of God's love is when he tries to stop us. Proof that we love God is when we go along with it.

Sheila Dean
Via e-mail

Covered up: The cover of the February 12 issue is easily the most offensive, thoughtless and insensitive thing I have seen in years. How callous we have become, to make a mockery of one life lost and one destroyed.

Joshua T. Nite

Free speechifying: Over the years, I have found myself defending free expression and fighting off those who would work to eliminate arts funding. Piss Christ and Robert Mapplethorpe are examples of free expression I've been compelled to stand up for. I believe strongly in free speech and equal dollars for all types of expression. That being said, I am frustrated and bothered by your current cover.

How dare you use the envelope-pushing nature of your cover art's reputation to put such a crude image? I'm sure the cartoony image of Jim Reed will make his family all warm and fuzzy while they await the jury verdict regarding his death. In the vein of Janet Jackson's "Boobgate," I think Mike Lacey must revel in the thought that his paper might actually be talked about. By anyone. Its embarrassing, really. A great Valley institution in Nita's Hideaway closed down recently; I can think of another that should consider it.

KEEP PHOENIX NEW TIMES FREE... Since we started Phoenix New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Phoenix, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.