Week of October 3, 2001

Artificial Reality
A community isn't Disney World: When I first read the article, "The Gospel According to Paul," I was taken aback [Peter Downs, Aug. 22]. At first, WingHaven may sound like a quaint residential community in which people of all different ages, cultures, ethnicities and economic backgrounds can live and thrive together, but that idea quickly changes once an individual looks further into the issue. Developments such as WingHaven create a false sense of reality and are inevitably dangerous for the future of community life.

This community is certainly not for lower, working-class families. Developer Paul McKee Jr. claims that WingHaven is being built to blend the classes, but when houses in this community start at $95,000, working- and middle-class families certainly are not going to be living there. I know that my family wouldn't be.

WingHaven also will create a false sense of security among residents, especially children. When or if these individuals ever leave their dwelling places where the mailboxes are the same, their front doors are painted the same color, and they all have nice little electric cars, how will they be able to handle the world where none of this false comfort exists? They won't be able to. The world is not full of cookie-cutter images and the shock of reality may be in fact quite devastating for these offspring.

Economically, I take offense to WingHaven because of the class issue. Politically, I think WingHaven is a detriment to society. In the false sense of reality that this community offers, people will separate themselves more from each other depending on what their personal environment is, even more than they are now. Morally, I think WingHaven is a disgrace because it creates a superiority complex for the inhabitants of the community.

Most important, I am disturbed by the idea of this community, which is truly not a community at all. A community is comfortable, without being forced to be comfortable. It is where a smile and a glare can be found, where people will argue and fight and throw tree limbs back and forth into each other's yards, where problems happen, and where people get over it. Community is real life, not Disney World.
Heather M. Taylor
St. Louis

Why Not Buddha?
Why just Jesus? I find it odd that you are not afraid to poke fun at the Christians as you are at the Muslims, Jews and [those belonging to] other religions. Why not a "Buddha of the Week" or a "Jew of the Week" [on your Web site]? Please be truly objective here and bash all faiths equally!
Mark Jefferies
St. Louis

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