Major moment
The historic decision made by the United States Olympic Committee to commit its future to Colorado Springs is gratifying for virtually every segment of our city's residents, and a rich gift for the quality of life in our community.

It is a watershed for our city and the Pikes Peak region, because the mission, ideals and dreams of the USOC mesh perfectly with so many of those shared by our vibrant, positive and value-driven community and state.

Kudos to Mayor Lionel Rivera, the City Council and the city's professional staff for their leadership and support. Their proactive efforts will benefit the city in terms of national and international image, as well as hundreds of millions in vital economic impact on an annual basis.

We have embraced the USOC and have been enriched by its presence in our city for three decades of inspiration and achievement.

The 20 young men who produced the Miracle on Ice at Lake Placid in 1980 were chosen and trained here. The great Bob Mathias was the first Olympic Training Center director here. Jesse Owens and Wilma Rudolph visited the complex and were inspired by the view of Pikes Peak and the athletes who struggled for their goals. Olympic champions like Amy Van Dyken, Bonnie Blair, Edwin Moses, Mary Lou Retton, Rulon Gardner, Mike Eruzione, Jim Craig, Greg Louganis and scores of others awakened on some early mornings in Colorado Springs to begin their day at the OTC before they began their training regimen.

Our Olympic and Paralympic teams are a tapestry of our nation, its citizens, history and its heritage. Colorado Springs can take justifiable pride and a sense of partnership and involvement in the lives of the thousands who will go forth in search of their dreams in Games and events across the globe for decades.

Dave Palenchar, Chairman
Tom Osborne, President & CEO, and the Board of Directors
Colorado Springs Sports Corporation

Kook alert
Surely your article ("Primary color?" News, March 27) was an April Fool's joke! Republicans have put up some bad candidates in the past, but even they wouldn't run anyone as kooky as Katherine Szot for the state House.

Believing that gays teaching "gender neutrality" will be forced on homeschooling parents, putting faith in an online story claiming Columbine instructors had taught "death classes," and conducting her own investigation about high school boys having sex with cops, creates questions about her gullibility. Stating that people with families should not have to pay taxes raises doubts about her ability to manage government. For the Republicans to actually run her against Michael Merrifield is like challenging him with Daffy Duck!

Your feature piece on Summit Ministries ("Stairway to heaven," cover story, March 27) was very informative. I would like to add that they also teach picketing, with weekly jaunts to the local Planned Parenthood clinic during the summer. Not only are students taught 13th-century science, they are imbued with archaic attitudes toward women and their right to self-determination. I wish this were an April Fool's joke!

Janet Brazill
Colorado Springs

Double standards
Am I curious here? Or just ticked that nonprofits are tax-exempt? And what really is the connection between Focus on the Family and Summit Ministries?

The article ("Stairway to heaven," cover story, March 27) stated that James Dobson's son attended Summit and Dobson "endorsed" it, then "it just exploded after that," according to David Noebel. I wonder how much property is co-owned with megabucks Focus? Not that I care, particularly, it's just the scam of religious nonprofits being exempt at all, while their executives live in opulence (inferred).

Gordon Morehead
Colorado Springs

Accountability, please
The American public cannot claim the moral authority to elect yet another federal administration bent on recklessly sabotaging the security, civic infrastructure and political and social progress within the next emerging society refusing to turn over its national resources to foreign capital.

Several million people are desperately displaced inside and outside Iraq. The litany of destruction caused by the U.S. invasion and occupation of Iraq is too long to enumerate here. Most incredible is the lack of consensus in this country that this must not happen again.

The GOP is unrepentant. Its presumptive nominee embraces and advances the documented campaign of lies orchestrated by the Bush administration. As was demonstrated by John McCain's recent, strangely deliberate public-speaking "blunders" in Iraq misstating the most basic relationships between Iran and sectarian groups in the region the GOP is prepared to install yet another president whose popular strengths are hubris and disdain for intellect.

If the American electorate believes truth is determined by elections, then the American experiment in democracy has failed. Broad and deep discovery and recognition of the criminality of the Bush administration is not only appropriate, it is necessary. Impeachment is not a constitutional crisis. It is the solution to one.

Five percent of the world's population cannot be allowed to proceed with the election of the next American federal administration until full accountability of the current administration has been attempted and achieved.

Phil Weinstein

Three, not two
I would like to correct Jeremy Van Hoy ("Take your pick," Letters, March 27) who inadvertently forgot to mention Hillary Clinton as a viable candidate against John McCain in the November presidential election. I would like to remind him that this is currently a three-way contested election. I am sure that he regrets this oversight.

Toni Stanton
Colorado Springs

"Cancer in disguise'
I hate to break it to Chris Hale ("Hidden contradiction," Letters, March 27) but as a progressive, I"m under no obligation to respect any beliefs that impugn me, or threaten me, even in an alleged "afterlife" and irrespective of whether I believe in such!

As Michel Onfray writes, "Religion proceeds from the death wish. That strange, dark force in the depths of our being working toward the destruction of what is ... crushing wherever life begins to expand, thrive, and move ..."

In this way, religion infects everything with its neuroses. At the heart of all religions are metastasizing mind viruses, wherein ideas or beliefs are seized upon then transmogrified into mental malignancy.

Why the hell should I respect these? Why should I tolerate belief systems that, if they ascended to governmental power, would obliterate tolerance for me and attempt to legislate their morality over mine?

Today, while Christians no longer boil heretics and atheists in oil, or sew them into the rotting carcasses of cows, they do "witness" or commit repeated stalking and psychological assaults using salvation bunkum. Asking their hapless targets if they're "ready to die," then painting all manner of horrific afterlife phantasmagorias.

Trying to inform these numbskulls there is no such thing as a "soul" (no one has empirically identified it as independent from consciousness) is a useless gambit. Because of this lack of respect, I'm under no obligation to respect their beliefs, which are merely a cancer in disguise.

Hale makes a big deal out of the Darwin fish, but in fact it is merely a neat, humorous takedown of the whole Christian paradigm in one symbol. It concisely embodies via metaphor the essence of evolution, while having a jolly at an absurd religion.

Phil Stahl
Colorado Springs

Fish feud
Chris Hale, in his March 27 letter, criticized The Liberal Store for selling "Darwin" fish. The writer, who self-identified as a "liberal Christian," stated it is contradictory to profess tolerance "while taking a jab at others' personal beliefs."

There is nothing contradictory or intolerant about expressing a different point of view; in fact, it's precisely that sort of discussion that keeps a society free and democratic. The Darwin fish is merely such an expression, and I feel lucky to find one in such a conservative city as ours.

I appreciate The Liberal Store because, quite frankly, I'm very concerned about the direction our country seems to be headed. Some ultra-conservative organizations, very influential and well-funded, are hard at work tearing down the barriers between church and state: trying to replace our laws with biblical law, trying to remove science from our classrooms and replace it with scripture, trying to take control of civil institutions like marriage, so they can force them to conform to biblical standards. In essence, trying to turn our country into a theocracy. During the seven years George W. Bush has been in office, they've made considerable progress.

I don't want to live in a theocracy and, I believe, neither do the vast majority of Americans, and our Founding Fathers most certainly didn't want that for us! We owe The Liberal Store a big "thank you" for stimulating this sort of debate. I hope that "liberal" Christians like Chris Hale will help rein in the ultra-conservatives who pose such a danger to our way of life.

Fred Kormos
Colorado Springs

Shame on you; thousands of years ago, a person lost to time captured fire so you could have light to see, warmth from the cold and food to eat, and over 100 years ago one of the greatest humans of all time, Thomas Edison, brilliantly and persistently uncovered the secret to providing clean, reliable light at the flip of a switch.

And you, you self-righteous prigs, not only want to symbolically refuse these gifts that make your lives incomparably grander than they otherwise would have been, but you do so proudly without the slightest understanding of the effort that went into their discovery or of just how much your own life depends on them.

If you are so eager to revert back to the life of a savage, why turn out your lights for only an hour? Why not turn them off permanently along with every other device you use that is powered by the fire you so proudly wish to discard? You will find out very quickly the inevitable consequences of the path you are choosing. It will not be pleasant, nor should it be.

See, the hard part in this life is not turning everything off, curling up in a ball and dying. The hard part is living and thriving and doing everything in your power to make sure it stays that way.

Russell W. Shurts

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