Week of November 11, 2004

Ezekiel had a vision of angels with six wings and multiple faces. I would tell this mother: Find your son an angel out there with a face of love and of acceptance. Find your son an angel with a face of patience and of compassion. Find an angel with knowledge and understanding. These angels are out there, but you will have to work to find them. You will bleed emotion from the very core of your being during this search. Place yourself between your child and people that act within the limits of their own ignorance and seek to make your son less than you know that he is. Find your son an angel with multiple faces and six wings. Let each face offer your son a smile and a place of comfort, and let each wing be large enough to shield him from prejudicial attitudes and beliefs.
Victoria Santiago
Fargo, North Dakota

A harsh lesson: How unbelievably snobbish for these two Scout leaders to prevent this little boy from being a Cub Scout because of his disability. These parents are teaching their children and the other children in the pack to be snobs and to be afraid of people who are mentally disabled.

I can understand the Boy Scouts not allowing a child who refuses to pledge allegiance to God, because faith is part of what the Boy Scouts are. But to refuse a child because he is mentally disabled, something he has no control over, is absolutely disgusting. How the Boy Scouts' management stands up and supports these types of actions is appalling. Kicking out a disabled child seems to go against everything the Boy Scouts supposedly represent.
Robert Moon
Fort Worth, Texas

Down with prejudice: I am deeply disheartened by the narrow-minded, ignorant behavior of the individuals who represent the Scouts. To write such a letter to members of the community that have stepped forward selflessly in adopting these children. This family enrolled this child with faith in the values the Scouts provide in their teachings. I seriously doubt these were the values they would encounter: ignorance, prejudice and a lack of compassion.

My niece and nephews live in Virginia and all are involved with the Scouts and have not encountered troop leaders so blind, and I thank God for this blessing. What are these people teaching the other children in this troop? What do they say to the kids when one asks where their friend went? It is my hope that these leaders who wrote this letter to this amazing, selfless woman are dismissed from their mentoring positions. This is the only way to ensure such prejudice isn't spread to our future.
Colleen April Moan
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Bare Necessity
Yep, it's her all right! My wife says one of the women in the peace-sign cover photo is her [October 13]. I know she is active in [the] antiwar movement, and the picture does look a little like her, but I don't believe it. Is that local St. Louis women? I think she is trying to pull one over on me.
Name withheld by request
Town & Country

More, please! I work in a convenience store. Our delivery drivers stocked our Riverfront Times and I went to turn them right-side-up. Then I was told that I had to see the cover and make the decision. Hello!

Well, the RFTs stayed the way they were. We had no problems with people complaining. I need more copies if possible.
Tom Stelling

A word from the censor -- er, the pastor: It is with great disappointment that I find myself having to write this letter. The fact that a publication such as yours, that caters to much of the same clientele as we do but offers a more liberal view, should find itself in need of talking a step beyond the edge and right up to the doorstep of innocence in our communities. By displaying full-frontal nudity (I am sure that many would call this anything from art to pornography) on the cover, you have more than challenged the moral fiber of our communities, you have attacked it, and I must say, it is in very poor form. Not only have you violated many obscenity codes, but you have put the innocence of our children at risk by placing your free, easy-to-secure, widely distributed publication within grasp of minors and within visual contact of many in our society who do not wish to view such things.

I use your publication for a source of reference from time to time in the area of the arts. I don't think I'll be doing this in the future. You can't imagine the surprise and shock of the police chiefs, mayors and other elected officials who I have called and shown your publication to, some of which went out and removed the publication from easy access. Some store owners pulled the magazine altogether and others took the cover page completely off.

I think this about sums it up. I hope to expect a greater accountability on your part in the future.
Pastor Mike Smith
Swansea, Illinois

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