A great disservice

To the Editor:

I read with horror the article about the so-called Army of God ("Straight Shooters," Feb. 8) that condones violence at abortion clinics. I refuse to call them pro-life; they do not respect life outside the womb. I hope people recognize that these people are a fringe group and do not represent the vast majority of people in the pro-life movement.

The Army of God is forgetting a very important moral principle. Namely, the ends do not justify the means. No matter how noble a cause is, and I can think of no more noble a cause than the end of abortion, this does not justify any means to achieve the cause. It is the height of hypocrisy to claim all life is sacred and then kill a human life or destroy property in the name of life.

They do a great disservice to us in the pro-life movement. People will get the idea that all people in the pro-life movement are like the Army of God. Nothing is further from the truth. I hope the Independent will focus on other persons in the pro-life movement. I hope the Independent will write about people working in crisis pregnancy centers who are the unsung heroes of the pro-life movement.

Perhaps the Independent could write a story about the post-abortive women who are the most articulate speakers about the horror of abortion in their own lives.

Abortion is violence to women and to their pre-born children. Trying to stop violence with violence only begets more violence. Our response to violence must be love. We must love all victims of abortion and perpetrators of abortion. This is the only way that we will change the desire for abortion.

St. Paul tells us in Chap. 13 of Corinthians, "If I have the Faith to move mountains but have not love, I gain nothing. If I give my body over to be burned and have not love, I gain nothing whatsoever." The Army of God needs to take these words to heart; without love, they gain nothing.

-- Fr. Bill Carmody
Respect Life Director
Diocese of Colorado Springs

Crimes of the heart

To the Editor:

I have never heard such self righteous hate mongering as these people spout in the name of humanity ("Straight Shooters," Feb. 8). They are nothing but pseudoreligous garbage with hearts full of hate.

I listened to the Ashcroft hearings with fear in my heart that these people and others like them would feel some legitimacy in their unlawful actions. My personal feeling is that anyone with religion in their hearts could not spout this venom.

And just for the record, I am sick and tired of Mr. Bush talking about his associates as having "a good heart."

-- Patrick Reynolds
Over the Internet

Get off your high horse

To the Editor:

I read with amusement the Letters section in the Feb. 16 edition of the Independent. If Michael Merrifield is an example of our public school teachers, my granddaughter will go to a private school. I could not allow her to be taught by someone who is so hateful. If he and the other "Schuck bashers" don't like Steve Schuck's ideas, maybe they should come up with something better instead of insulting a man who is trying to improve our educational system. Merrifield's statement declaring, " [the] intellectual arrogance of people like Schuck who have not spent time in the classroom to be demeaning," was very telling. The intellectual elitism that is evident in that statement sure explains where Merrifield is coming from.

--Dick Schinke
Colorado Springs

Honk if you're failing

To the Editor:

To quote "Honk if You Hate CSAPs," (Feb. 15): "None of them did well, and a few of them failed the test." What were these people doing in an advanced English class? It seems like they needed testing long before this.

Many teachers and critics have said these tests were flawed. How about some concrete examples?

It does not speak well that the principal backed down. He is there to educate, follow the rules and take his lumps if his school doesn't do well.

I don't have any words for the idiot parents who are complaining that it "takes the fun out of school."

-- Colleene F. Johnson
Colorado Springs

Happy meals?

To the Editor:

After reading the Indy's interview with Eric Schlosser ("Fast Food Nation," Feb. 15) on the appalling conditions in slaughterhouses, I can only hope each individual who chooses to eat their "happy meals" at the fast food chains will reflect on this statement by Albert Schweitzer: "Think occasionally of the suffering of which you spare yourself the sight."

-- Renee Campbell
Colorado Springs

No cookies for them

To the Editor:

Thanks much to Cara DeGette for the fine article (Public Eye, Feb. 15) on the Girl Scouts of the U.S.A. (not "of America," as Focus on the Family named it, per the recent Citizens Project piece).

Isn't it wonderful that James Dobson's bunch have nothing to worry about in their own "family" so they pick on the best run non-profit organization in the world?

I started out as a girl member back in 1927, was an adult volunteer for about 30 years, and have been a life member since I stopped being active. First of all, in all that time, I never stitched doilies or made tea cozies -- that wasn't Juliette Gordon Low's mission back in 1912. Also, the professionals I have known have been the most outstanding possible. And the volunteer leaders are absolutely the best people in the world, and they come from all faiths.

It is fascinating to think that none of the members of the "family" have been involved in Girl Scouting, because my original troop in Chicago was sponsored by the local Episcopal Church and in those days most troops were sponsored by churches.

If Dr. Dobson and Kathryn Jean Lopez would read the Girl Scout law, they would see that the world would be a much better place if everybody followed it.

--Marilyn Blum
Colorado Springs

Access denied

To the Editor:

Putting a road through Black Forest Regional Park is a ludicrous idea to even contemplate ("Battle brewing ...," Feb. 8).

To destroy a beautiful, much used and loved park to provide access to a housing development that already has several points of ingress and egress is just beyond belief! There will be additional north/south access provided when Powers Boulevard is punched through. The state needs to do improvements and widening of Highway 83 to handle the amount of north/south traffic generated by developments north of Black Forest.

It would also seem that El Paso County is in total violation of federal code to even be discussing tearing the park up for a road extension.

Has this entire state and county been taken over by developers and real estate moguls?

Do not allow the extension of Milam Road through the Black Forest Regional Park!!!

--Ron and Kathie Davidson
Black Forest

Author's review of the book review

To the Editor:

Reading Kristen Sherwood's recent review of my novel, Snow, I was struck by a series of misapprehensions and misrepresentations of the story's elements. I am writing to address these errors, though not because the review was not to my liking; I found it vivid and engaging.

Ms. Sherwood's perceptual errors may be innocent misunderstandings: They seem to have a common source: Sherwood's desire for things to be more concrete than they are.

She characterizes, "The author's intense need for the reader to understand that, yes, he really does know LA."

The fact is that, though the book takes place in Los Angeles, most of the locations are fictional. For example, Blue City, the "certain section of (Los Angeles)" Johnny drives through and reminisces about does not exist except in Johnny's imagination. The only reality to Blue City is that it is a variation of Bay City, which is what Raymond Chandler called Santa Monica. Chandler wrote a story called "Bay City Blues," from which I wrote a short story called "Blue City Days." I kept the name Blue City as part of an oblique Chandlerian tendency. Johnny's reminiscences about Blue City are complete nonsense. No such place exists or ever did exist.

I also refer to Johnny driving into the San Fernadino Valley: a place that does not exist. Los Angeles residents, if they read the book, will most likely be bewildered by what appears to be a series of non-existent suburbs.

Relatedly, Ms. Sherwood states that, "an ex-cop sends Johnny looking for a certain dark-haired 'dame'" and complains, "We never know why the cop wants to find the girl." Again, this is because the cop does not exist. He occurs in a dream Johnny has and is entirely figmentary (though there is no mention of his being an ex-cop).

Contrary to Ms. Sherwood's impression, Snow is cohesive and does have an underlying structure. However, what is interesting to me is that it is just these qualities that strike me now as defects of the book. I would like to have written a book more as Ms. Sherwood describes it: repetitious, confusing, overly-detailed and gratuitous. This strikes me now as the true aim of literature -- not because I have a desire to confuse people abjectly, but because it seems to me the point at which storytelling begins to be art is the point at which it pulls away from the moorings of reality and works on the mind through logical impressionism, giving a sense of fantasy and space. Writing which remains attached to the usages of reality is not literature: It is at best literary photography. Regrettably, almost all the writing that has ever been written is of this kind; and only a handful of true writers exists in the history of literature -- Raymond Roussel, William S. Burroughs, Marilyn Monroe...

-- David Rappaport
Over the Internet

Kristen Sherwood responds: ... Exactly.


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