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Doing our part

I wish to express my sincere gratitude for the responsible journalism you exhibited in John Dicker's "Guerillas for God" article (April 3-9).

At a time in our nation when the evangelical Christian community and secular media struggle to find common ground, it is gratifying to encounter this level of objectivity and integrity in the reporting of such an inflammatory and potentially divisive issue.

The hope for better understanding in this matter increases significantly when: 1) the evangelical community is willing to own up to (and learn from) its past errors; and 2) the secular media recognizes that the vast majority of evangelistic efforts are motivated by genuine love and compassion for humankind, rather than cavalier cultural imperialism.

You've done your part in presenting this issue fairly and objectively. May we do ours with equal purity of motive as we extend the hand of hope across the street and around the world.

Warmly and appreciatively,

-- Peter A. Burgo

Director for Communications

The Christian and Missionary Alliance

A defining moment

Re: Last week's Personal Space "Greased Lightning." If the oil wrestling extravaganza actually took place and reporter John Dicker didn't just pilfer a page from a John Waters script, we may have discovered a defining moment in Colorado Springs-area culture and politics.

How truly American! How truly Colorado! A room full of rednecks and our finest fighting men hooting, howling and slamming down beers while one of their buddies greases a hefty half-naked heifer to the sound of Lee Greenwood farting "God Bless The U.S.A."!

The only thing missing was a Southern Baptist preacher with an ugly suit and oily hair pounding his Bible and yelling that Guh-hod-duh smote the trilobites, dolomites and sodomites. When the hillbillies in Arkansas find out about Colorado Springs, they're going to sue the city for giving ignorance a bad name.

-- Ed Fields

Colorado Springs

Ghost of 1992

This letter is in response to the news article in last week's issue, "The Belly of the Beast" (News, April 24):

Congratulations to the City Council for their choice of the first order of business to rescinding health insurance to same-sex couples, and paying homage to the ghost of Amendment 2. There are many of us that thought the Supreme Court, having deemed it was dead, was naive about its continued haunting. Alas, one mistake by Colorado is not enough. The moral bullies win with their self-righteous rigidity parading as so-called Christians.

I hear and see very judgmental utterances from the far religious right, who have the hubris to think they are they are the official voice for all Christianity. They ignore the New Testament and prefer the dictums of Yahweh than the compassion and love preached by Christ. None of them give consideration to the possibility that homosexuals are trapped in their sexual preferences just as intensely as heterosexuals. They have a need to hate gays and deny whatever factual data that may challenge their position -- far be it to consider them as human beings!

The image that continues to come to me is Pharisees in Christian clothing.

-- Jim Sears

Colorado Springs

Irony or hypocrisy?

I wasn't going to write at all. I was not here for Amendment 2 and the "hate state" designation it created for the state and, by extension, the city. From afar, I just chuckled and wondered: What's wrong with those people?

Now, I am living here and, having seen the mayor's first act, I just chuckle and wonder, What's wrong with those people? Then, I remember where I am. And, seeing the avuncular Will Perkins address the Council last week, it made me realize that "'they" will make sure all is "right" with this town.

Then I decided that, if I were going to write, I would say that Lionel Rivera's decision was petty, vindictive, homophobic and small-minded. But if I wrote that, that would be wrong, wouldn't it? Perhaps small-minded people are able only to accomplish small-minded tasks.

So I was left to ponder: Doesn't Rivera work for a company that offers same-sex benefits? He apparently is not morally outraged that they do. I suspect if he were outraged, he would not work there. He may have missed the irony.

I was pleased to see Councilman Richard Skorman offer to pay for the cost of the first year of the program. His proposal was not accepted, and I wondered why, when state Sen. Ed Jones brought developer Steve's Schuck's money to Denver to pay for the first year of school vouchers, it was heralded as a wonderful political gambit.

I was here for Makepeace's tenure and her vision of making Springs a world-class city. Since Rivera was on Council with her, my assumption is that he was in favor of world-class status for the city as well.

I guess, now, I would welcome this town becoming a "Colorado-class city."

Then I wondered, again: What is wrong with those people?

-- T.J. Conway

Colorado Springs

Looking inward

Since Sen. Rick "I've-Just-Put-the-Icing-on-the-Republicans-as-the-Racist-Homophobic-Fatcat-Party-Cake" Santorum (R-Pennsylvania) opened the books on how Republicans view homosexuals, it should be obvious to those of us who value tolerance how we should vote next year (Quote of the Week. April 24).

If it were just Santorum acting like a rogue hate-monger maybe the rest of the Republican Party could be excused. However, our Commander-and-Thief Bush hasn't made a comment, much less condemned Santorum's stupidity. Just like the Trent Lott situation, Republican silence says so much.

Not that we need to look as far as the Beltway (or Pennsylvania) to see hate in action. Our own cowardly City Council rescinded benefits for same-sex partners, not to save money (Richard Skorman, the only Council member with stones enough to vote for keeping the benefits, offered up his own salary to cover the measly $6,000 cost) but to bow down to the self-righteous whiners in this town who make a lot of noise about their values and spit on the rest of us.

They call themselves "Christians" but there's nothing Christlike about them. So here's my proposal: In order to keep further dialogue honest and straightforward, let's refer to these so-called "family values" types as something other than "Christian." Since Christ did not preach hate and did preach social justice -- values in conflict with the philosophies of these whiners and their mayor -- they are not Christians.

So we need to be honest about who and what they are. "Bigot" and "anti-American" come to mind ... any other suggestions?

-- Jim McQuiggin

Colorado Springs

A truly good person

This letter is in response to one submitted by reader Ron Miller in last week's edition ("God is talking," April 24).

Let me start by saying it is unfortunate that this man's opinion on the war in Iraq is a popular one. A country is free of an evil dictator, sure. Let's not forget that your God-fearing president OK'd an assassination attempt (an act which violates the Geneva Convention) on the leader of another country. But of course, we don't know if he's alive or dead or even where he is. That's OK, because I'm sure Bush will make it a top priority. Just as he has made creating jobs, protecting the environment, and going after corporate fraud top priorities.

Ron Miller, sir, you are right. Good always does win in the end. But how can you be so sure you're on the right side? By the way, it isn't moral America that you hear speaking to you in recent elections. The fraud that occurred in 2000's election only demonstrates the unstoppable power of the dynamic duo-laundered money and misinterpreted scripture.

It is those who speak for this vicious cyborg that you hear. What they're telling you is to question nothing, because God is on your side. I spoke to God this morning, and she said to tell you: 1) She loves you! and 2) Republicans give conservatives a bad name.

A truly good person is neither left nor right, and is not threatened by the ideology of either.

-- Jessica Lindberg

Colorado Springs

Ode to Ron Miller

I read your paper every week for the enlightenment of it.

The fact-filled essay by Robert B. Reich ("Karl knows best," April 24) and the wisdom of This Modern World in the April 24 issue reassure me that thinking people, who clearly understand propaganda from truth, are the majority in the USA and the world. This has been proven by the majority popular vote for Al Gore in the last election and the broad coalition of foreign nations that were against the war in Iraq.

I would like for some of your critics to learn what the attribute of humility really means. Apparently, from the inane writings of some, humility means needing to always be right, even when wrong -- simply change the rules, spin the doctrine, ignore the realities and there you have it: Humility.

Which prompts me to ask of your critics: When will the right finally admit that they are wrong about world domination? A country is in anarchy. Its economy is in the gutter. Its people are at risk of being thrown into civil/religious upheavals.

Huh-oh, I mentioned problems. That surely made some of your critics turn away in horror.

Promoting the war has led our fine country down a very dangerous path, and expecting history to not repeat, or rhyme -- as Mark Twain said -- this time around is folly. Overly aggressive authority still has the upper hand, as witnessed by the gassing of Colorado citizens on Feb. 15 of this year.

Here is a bold prediction for 2004: Our president, George W. Bush, will be soundly defeated. Hopefully, the Democrats will continue to push for boosting the economy, getting people back to work, abandoning the neo-conservative world domination agenda, and bring us back to concentrating on solving problems rather than creating them.

Huh-oh, there's that "problem" word again.

-- Ray Kampa

Woodland Park

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