I picked up a copy of Westword at a Greenwood Village coffee shop near my office after seeing the punk-rock Jesus on the cover. I'm a member of Cherry Hills Community Church in Highlands Ranch and was (to be honest) ready to be offended. After reading the article, I was pleasantly surprised at how balanced and fair the story was.
Kudos to Westword and Josiah Hesse for presenting the story. I'm hopeful this kind of journalism can help make the world a better place for all of us.
As a former employee of Scum of the Earth Church, I must say that Josiah Hesse's article, while well-written, displayed a fixation on homosexuality and anarchism that does not fit the actual demographic of the congregation. Scum has more than its share of memorable misfits, to be sure, but the church is overwhelmingly not comprised of MC5-loving, pierced, tattooed punk-rockers and anarchists. Scum's approach to issues of sexual orientation is fairly typical of most American evangelical churches, but the article makes it seem as if Scum likes to make a big deal out of it all the time.
Christian sexual ethics and the intersection between Christianity and anarchism are certainly interesting topics, but if Mr. Hesse wanted to discuss them, then I don't think that pulling a lone church into the mix is the best way to go about it. Indeed, I was left with the question of why this article was even published in the first place. Scum of the Earth Church is not exactly new to town, and has been the subject of articles by other Denver publications over the past decade. Where is the front-page news?
Timothy Andrew Dunbar Denver
That was almost a high-Renaissance art cover, extremely well done. I saw three good mag covers of late, forever memorable: this cover; Obama and gun-totin' Michelle on the New Yorker (2008); and the New Yorker cover of two bedbugs in bed, the male smoking.
I might not have read the article had I not seen your cover. Divine irreverence is refreshing.
Gene W. Edwards Colorado Springs
I went to a coffee shop for lunch and picked up the December 23 Westword. I was talking with the store owner's son when we were approached by a smartly dressed gentleman holding your magazine. "Who allows these to be put in here? The cover is offensive." Before the son could reply, I opened to page 12 and read him the passage from I Corinthians. His response: "I'm sure it doesn't say 'Scum of the Earth' in the Bible. I'll check mine." My reply: "You shouldn't judge a book by its cover."
No wonder Scum members started their own church. With a good, clean Christian guy like this walking around judging people, I'm sure they would quickly be escorted out of his church.
Walt James Centennial
Your December 23 Cafe Society column had a glowing article about Casa Bonita. Nowhere did the author mention that it serves the worst Mexican food in Denver. I've been there three times, and it's consistently bad.
Yeah, it's okay for kids who love the side show and have non-discriminating palates — but if you're going to write about a cafe, tell the whole story. Unless, of course, it has a big ad budget.
Editor's note: The Casa Bonita item reported on a local holiday gathering at the Mexican restaurant, when Matt Armbruster and friends celebrate the spot as a Denver institution rather than a culinary high point. For more, lots more, on Casa Bonita, see Joel Warner's classic Survival Guide on the Cafe Society blog.