Ballots, not bullets: Regarding Patricia Calhoun's "Mr. Stanley, We Presume," in the October 17 issue:
Thanks, Calhoun, for the non-judgmental article about Libertarians (in spite of Rick Stanley's disrespect for the decorum of the office he is running for). Don't forget it was the Libertarian Party that almost ran Russell Means of AIM as its presidential candidate in 1988. The platform was "honor U.S. government contracts and treaties." Many other sincere Libertarians are trying to make their point about our Constitution (not only the Second Amendment); you helped make that point. I don't think anyone wants to see Mr. Stanley continue making his point by pulling out a gun in the Senate chambers -- although I may still vote for him considering the options.
Life of the party: It is about time that someone took these people to court over the under-representation of all candidates for political office! The major media in this state are nothing more than feeders for the national chains and could not give a local opinion unless they asked someone else if they could. According to the major media in this state, for U.S. Senate we have Allard, the veterinarian who hasn't had a real job since 1990, and Strickland, the corporate lawyer turned political hack turned candidate.
Let's see: According to the major media last week, Allard and Strickland have no clue as to what we are paying for gasoline and stamps. Of course not! We are comping them all the time. Allard and Strickland debate issues, and it turns into an "I'm better than you are" shoving match where there is no winner. Allard and Strickland are mired in a mudslinging match where some guy named Ciruli can't figure out why people are so turned off by the whole mess.
And mess it is, because the major media thinks that they know what people want. Let's see: Twenty minutes on the news devoted to doom and gloom, fifteen minutes for sports, ten minutes for local weather, perhaps two minutes for something nice, and the rest advertising. Tune in at 5 p.m. for more. How about the local papers? The front page has five headlines from someplace other than here, and the rest of the paper is 95 percent advertising that most could care less about.
So, we have had Libertarians in this state for thirty years and not anyone knew? Why is that? The Green Party in this state did not start with Perot? Wow! The major media never really said anything about these, so these others, they must not be real. Only the Republicans and Democrats are real, because that's what they tell us, right?
Perhaps the Libertarian Party here in Colorado needs a loud wake-up call. Get off of your butts, and instead of mending fences, start backing the ones that made you into headline material. Take Rick Stanley's lawsuit to the max. Look at what happened in Wisconsin, where the Libertarian candidate for governor sued to be in the debates, and now he is. The local newspapers there carry everything that he is doing. Where is the Colorado Libertarian Party?
My company held a "town meeting" between the two idiots from the major parties a few weeks back. I called the local Libertarian Party for help in formulating questions for the candidates; I e-mailed the chairman and the campaign director. I never got a return message. Imagine that! I have been a Libertarian voter for over fifteen years, and the Libertarians are too busy "mending" fences. Sad.
The creative Muse: Reynelda Muse -- that "bossy female voice" (Off Limits, October 17) at DIA -- accomplished exponentially more than a mere "stint anchoring on Channel 4." Not only was Muse the first woman to anchor a Denver newscast, she was also the first black anchor, period, in Denver broadcast news. Fresh out of Ohio State University, she joined Channel 4, then known as KOA-TV, in 1968 and was promoted in 1974 to the high-profile anchor spot. She jumped to CNN in 1980 but returned to anchor the evening news at Channel 4 in 1984; she did not leave again until 1997. To diminish the importance of her career at Channel 4 by characterizing it as a "stint" is terrible. Muse was a trailblazer, an agitator, a hero.
As for her excellent voice, some folks will forever use negative terms such as "bossy" to describe successful women -- and positive terms to describe the same in successful men. How would you characterize Ms. Calhoun's voice?
Throwing the book: David Holthouse's "Book, Chapter and Verse," in the October 17 issue, made me feel sorry for the three poor bastards who don't understand the fact that God gave us brains. Did I miss the footnote in the Good Book where it says everything in it must be taken literally? Is it beyond the Supreme Being's intelligence to use literary tools, such as allegory?
Poor Bill Jack lives in a world where impressionist paintings are evil because they misrepresent God's works of nature. God gave us flowers and trees so we could paint them, climb them, sing about them and interpret their beauty in our God-given creative and expressive minds. God didn't create robots! God did create the astounding miracle of science. Step outside and enjoy the finer things on God's green earth!
Endangered species: As I read the article about B.C. Tours, I was by turns irritated ("radiometric- and carbon-dating methods are a fraud"), outraged (Bill Jack blaming the Columbine tragedy on the teaching of evolution), horrified ("...genocide was obviously the right thing to do, because God commanded it") and disgusted (impressionist art is evil). Thorne and his cohorts really cross the line by ruining other people's enjoyment of our museums and zoos. If they don't approve of what they see in these venues, then they should just stay home.
But in the end, I actually found the article to be comforting. The children in the article are not being raised to be critical thinkers or leaders; they are just being taught to regurgitate bizarre and irrational doctrines. These children with their deficient educations will never pose a serious threat to anyone. Every day, our society becomes more and more immersed in science and technology. Thorne and his intellectually crippled followers are not fit to survive in our modern environment; how ironic that soon evolution will overtake them and they, too, will go the way of the dinosaurs.
The spite stuff: Having grown up in Littleton among fundamentalist Christians, much of David Holthouse's article was very familiar. The problem I encountered as I tried to expand my worldview was that these beliefs can only be sustained in a small, homogenized environment and cannot be expressed universally as Christ himself mandates. The absurdity of B.C. Tours and like-minded creationists who refuse to harmonize religion with science only isolates them from the rest of the world, the rest of humanity and the rest of Christianity. True faith in a God who claims to have created the world includes the belief in creation of humanity and the reason within.
Genesis:1:27 says that God made man in his own image; humanity's propensity toward science is a result of our nature and shouldn't be spited with fundamentalist interpretations of the workings of creation. To do so is to slap the face of the creator and strip humankind of its dignity.
New Orleans, Louisiana
Time's up: David Holthouse's "Book, Chapter and Verse" was extremely well-written and informative. My only regret after reading this story was that Tyson Thorne, Bill Jack and Rusty Carter were even given any stage at Westword to parade their pathetic excuse of a life in front of the rest of Denver. Like many ignorant religious zealots, Thorne and his Bible buddies seem to exhibit that characteristic trait of desperately needing attention from their fellow humans, regardless of what they have to do to get it, which likely originates from suffering a lack of attention in their own childhoods. It's sadly pathetic (in the way that a neglected child might break something in order to at least get punished, as that is better than no attention at all). I can imagine any of them reading your story with a pious smirk, while hoping for the maximum shock-value response from all those "non-believers" out there in Denver who might actually give a crap about their asinine antics.
The best cure for this type of dolt is simply to ignore them. Would you stop to argue with someone flapping their arms and shouting that the Earth is flat? Then why waste time on someone with even less to say about the human condition than that?
B.C. Tours obviously want to create a stir everywhere they go, in the name of their own pathological need for a Christ, and think of themselves as the great martyrs who suffered to save some souls as well. Ironically, based upon their statements about art and culture, the closest thing to a depiction of true Hell (in the Christian sense) on Earth would be their idea of utopia -- namely, a world completely devoid of all personal freedom and expression (save for the glory of God, hallelujah!). The only true attention they really deserve is to be convicted of child (mental and emotional) abuse for the shameful way in which they are trying to brainwash children with Christian propaganda on their laughable "tours."
This article was their fifteen minutes of lifetime fame. And I will make sure and line the birdcage floor with it, which is still more attention for Thorne and friends than they should be getting.
When verse comes to worse: I appreciate your right to print your articles and the right of B.C. Tours to espouse their beliefs to their selective tour groups. However, I don't appreciate how the "Book, Chapter and Verse" article reflects on all Christians.
I am a "moderate" Christian according to your definition, who believes God is behind all life and evolution. In fact, I am very strongly a believer that all life on this planet is related and that humans -- as the dominant species -- are called on to care for and protect all life on this planet, not destroy it. For me, two recent, several-hour-long visits to the Denver Museum of Nature & Science were awesome and very close to being spiritual journeys.
The variety and beauty of plants and animals and environments in which they all live amazes me. I feel privileged to be able to see these examples of "God's hand" on display in room after room. "Colorado Through the Ages" art re-creations of what the Denver area probably looked like through the past millions of years was fascinating! Even exploring past belief systems in the Egyptian Hall and current thoughts and education on health in the Hall of Life were memorable -- and certainly not at all in conflict with my belief in God as Creator and Jesus as my Savior.
It bothers me that an article like this blankets over all Christians a presumption that we are "Creationists" -- versus the fact that very many Christians believe as I do (and actually, if you check it out, as Darwin believed most of his life) that God created not just all life and this planet, but also evolution.
Have faith: I appreciated your fair story on B.C. Tours. A lot of writers could easily take jabs at the Christian faith or make these men out to be wackos. I appreciated the insight David Holthouse provided. Great article.
It's an ad, ad, ad, ad world: Nice advertisement! Gee, too bad your paper didn't approach an actual scientist to get a viewpoint from the other side. But then, that's why average U.S. citizens rank so poorly in their grasp of basic scientific principles...because the media paints nonsense as fun, exciting, even rebellious. In reality, I suppose B.C. Tours is a good name, because if they were running society, we'd all still be living in caves!
Wesley Chapel, Florida
True or false: Is it okay to be chained to a false belief? No! I am all for parents being able to educate their children as they see fit. Unfortunately, even if their children eventually wander from their fundamentalist beliefs, the dogmatic rejection of science in their education leaves them with a stunted worldview and a misguided distrust of science. If the creationists are going to debunk evolutionary theory, they should at least understand what they are attacking. I don't know any evolutionary biologist who believes that frogs evolved from dinosaurs, or even the reverse.
Finally, what's with the white lab coat? I am secure enough in the scientific basis for my beliefs that I don't feel the need to hide in clerical robes when I am at work.
via the Internet
Shooting stars: When we see stars at night, we are looking millions of years into the past. How does Tyson Thorne square that fact with his interpretation of the Bible?
Gary and Pat Betterton
via the Internet
Faith moves mountains: Thank you for the excellent story on B.C. Tours. As the program director for a similar organization, Creation Tour Ministries, I thought the article gave the featured group a fair opportunity to express its controversial beliefs and approach to science.
All too often, the same "experts" in evolution who claim to advocate free speech can't seem to tolerate the idea that many other, educated individuals embrace Genesis as literal fact. In a fair debate, both sides of the argument should be heard, and your feature gave voice to a belief that seldom gets fair representation.
via the Internet
Myth America: I don't know if I should laugh or be scared. I do wish an "Exhibit on the Inquisition" could be interpreted by these "believers" -- but I'm sure that would be "Christianized," also. Did this "myth monger" tell these children not to go to the doctor when they are ill, but to pray (real hard)?
May their "God" show them the fallacy.
The accidental tourists: I used to be a strict young-Earth creationist, but after exposure to scientific skepticism from such giants as Carl Sagan, whose quote from the demon haunted world in David Holthouse's story was very appropriate, I began to let go of my former mythology. You may have heard of the Intelligent Design movement, and it seems more rational than what B.C. Tours attempts to prove. It seems that one of the truisms of the universe is that something cannot come from nothing, and I like the idea of the unmoved mover. Poet e.e. cummings said, "God is just a little bit bigger than everything," and we represent a very small portion of that everything.
So many chords were struck by the article. One more source of contention: the issue of faith. Faith is supposed to be enough, yet as often as they can, Christians offer proof for their way of thinking and ignore any evidence to the contrary. It was difficult for me to guess David Holthouse's position, but judging from some of the sarcasm and the basic philosophy that Westword exudes, these B.C. tourists give reason and rationality a bad name.
Was it hard to interview these gentlemen with a straight face, or did he find their words compelling? Thanks for a great article.
via the Internet
In the beginning: Yow! "Book, Chapter and Verse" was a scary article, and very appropriate coming right after Columbus Day. These guys are of the same lineage as the ones who came here and caused so much horror in the name of "God"; it's always amazing to hear someone justify genocide or racism by saying God authorized it. These folks, it seems, are spiritual brothers to Bin Laden and crew. And who knows if someday soon they will take action based on their beliefs?
Colonial daze: Regarding Stuart Steers's "Columbus Day Forecast: Stormy," in the October 10 issue, I don't understand the battle between Italians and Native Americans.
First of all, I don't understand how we judge fifteenth-century colonial mentality by 21st-century standards. Columbus did what everyone else at the time was doing -- no more and, in fact, less. That said, I wonder why Native Americans aren't down on Thanksgiving, which is a much more visible symbol of colonialism and led to many more devastating effects for native populations. The historical facts prove that English colonialism in the New World devastated the native population in ways not done by either the Spanish or the Portuguese. One has only to look at the native population of the East Coast as opposed to the Southwest to see that, although changed forever by colonialism, it was not killed in its entirety, as in New England. The Spanish get a bum rap every time when talking about colonialism.
Second, there is, so far as I know, no conclusive proof that Columbus was Italian. Many respected historians believe that Cristobal Colón was a Spanish Jew who left Spain on the final day of the edict expelling the Jews. Some historians believe that this Jewish sailor was looking for a homeland for the displaced Jews of Spain. The Italians of Denver are defending a Jewish Spaniard. The Native Americans should be angrier about the devastation caused by American colonialism in general -- some of it by Spain and Columbus, most of it by England and the United States government.
Still more confusing to me is why Hispanics get in the fight at all. It is not true that most Hispanics have native blood, and even if it were, we are the product of the merging of these two magnificent cultures. Nita Gonzales, whose heritage is at least part Spanish New Mexican, probably has Cristobal Colón as an ancestor. Those who have both Native American and colonial lines (whether Spanish or not) should celebrate our heritage, not judge our ancestors. Most of us can find unseemly characters in our pedigree; somewhere between denial and self-depracation there must be honesty.
Mexico celebrates October 12 as the Day of the Race, a day that celebrates the culture that was created when two cultures collided and created a new and beautiful culture. We cannot turn back the clock or rewrite history. The least we can do is celebrate what came of it -- with all its faults and promises.
Richard de Olivas y Cordova
Parade rest: If Columbus is the only person that the Italian community in Denver and the United States can look up to, then there should be no parade at all. Personally, I think someone more fitting could be found to honor without a lot of difficulty.
Rochester, New York
Some bilingual education: Stuart Steers brought up some interesting points about Italian-Americans. How quickly we forget our immigrant history. When our non-English-speaking ancestors arrived in this country, were they segregated into special "sheltered English" classrooms for a year? No. Schools dealt with non-English speakers in whatever ways they could. Amendment 31 would outlaw the English-learning programs of our ancestors and any adaptations, instead demanding "sheltered English" for all. This is not only bad planning, but also very costly. Even our immigrant ancestors would agree that Amendment 31 is a bad idea.
The customer is never right: Thanks for Alan Prendergast's accurate, behind-the-scenes look at Dorian Homes ("Viva Las Villa!" October 3).
When my wife and I contracted a home to be built on Dacre Place by Dorian, we wondered why the agents working in the sales office worked so diligently to keep us far away from Lambert. We should be able to meet the man with whom we were entering into a huge contract, right? What we learned the hard way one day is that the tactic is Lambert's special form of "customer service."
Customer service Lambert style manifested itself in him screaming at my wife over the phone one day and calling her crazy and insulting her intelligence. (She's a physician.) This was the only personal interaction we ever had with him. It's amazing how all the "crazy" customers in the neighborhood bought his homes, while US Homes got all the normal customers a street below.
If you ever consider contracting with Dorian, read the contract carefully. If you are forced to back out, as we were, you could lose as much money as we did.
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Screw driver: Thank you for publishing "Viva Las Villa!" although it was much too kind. I worked on the Dorian Parade home; when his check bounced, I walked. Then I came to find out that he had bounced checks to almost everyone on the project. Because of Paul Lambert, my company and several other small subcontractors I know are being put out of business. Paul is not to be trusted. Out of his mouth came a constant barrage of slander about anyone and everyone who had "screwed him" on the project.
But he never mentioned that he had screwed all of them first.
Name withheld on request