Letters for December 29, 2005

Breeding more roadkill-ers

Re “Sprawl and roadkill” (SN&R Guest comment, December 15):

The writer is grossly, perhaps dangerously, unclear on the concept of sprawl and its relationship with developers.

When people are “making feet for children’s shoes” (thanks, Tom Waits), do we blame the shoemaker for the large children’s shoe market? Where is the writer’s child going to find the home that she deserves when she is grown?

It amazes me when the “breeders” of the world bemoan the loss of space. It is in making space for these very children that we are encroaching on new habitat while trampling over the wildlife, enforcing a population adjustment.

Someday, these “breeders,” backed by laws to reinforce “breeder” culture (marriage=one man + one woman, anti-abortion, anti-birth control), will lead us into a population adjustment of our own, and the human race may become the roadkill of the future.

Matt Vaughn

Tiresome, futile letters

Re “Sprawl and roadkill” (SN&R Guest comment, December 15):

The only thing more tiresome than the futile letters about illegal immigration that say “What part of illegal don’t they get?” are sanctimonious letters and commentaries like Krista Baca’s “Sprawl and roadkill” that bemoan open-space-eating sprawl.

California’s immigration-driven population is growing by one person per minute, but the developers are the evil demons who are chewing up open spaces and spitting out housing tracts, malls and all the infrastructures that each decade’s millions require.

Barbara Vickroy

Not-so-innocent celebrations

Re “Happy Pagan Feast Day, Mr. O’Reilly” by Kel Munger (SN&R Essay, December 15):

Thank you very much for such a well-researched article.

Many of us who try to live by the Bible and consider ourselves Christians are aware of the truths in this article. The impact on our children in the school system, which goes from holiday to holiday for much of their lesson planning, while negative, has built character over the years.

It is fundamentally sad that informed adults spend so much time and energy trying to put innocence back into celebrations that were never innocent to begin with—Halloween, for example.

Pamela Bankston
via e-mail

Idols, not trees

Re “Happy Pagan Feast Day, Mr. O’Reilly” by Kel Munger (SN&R Essay, December 15):

This article was very well-done, especially including the customs from other countries.

However, Jeremiah 10:2-4 does not refer to Christmas trees. The context (verses 2-9) shows that it is about craftsmen who carve trees into idols and dress them in silver, gold, blue and purple. Jeremiah says the idol is like a scarecrow that can neither speak nor walk. Such craftsmen “are all senseless and foolish; they are taught by worthless wooden idols.”

Diane Church

Watch who you’re calling a Christian!

Re “Happy Pagan Feast Day, Mr. O’Reilly” by Kel Munger (SN&R Essay, December 15):

Munger mentions that “Jehovah’s Witnesses are among the modern-day Christian religions that do not celebrate Christmas.” Indeed, Jehovah’s Witnesses do not celebrate Christmas, but not because they are a Christian religion. They are not.

As any good dictionary will tell you, “Christian” has a primary meaning of “a person professing belief in Jesus as the Christ, or in the religion based on the teachings of Jesus” (Webster’s New Universal Unabridged Dictionary). Jesus as the Christ includes his divine character, which the Jehovah’s Witnesses reject. Hence, they are not Christian.

They think of Jesus as a great man, a prophet, one to be emulated, something on the order of Mohammed. But they do not believe in his divinity. If you converse with a Jehovah’s Witness, ask the question directly: “Do you believe that Jesus is divine?” Press them for a direct yes or no answer. Christians will unhesitatingly say “yes.” Jehovah’s Witnesses will give you a long litany of patented responses designed to convince you that they do believe in Jesus’ divinity but that really mean they don’t!

Why my interest in this point? I am a lifelong—an eternal—Christian. But I do have a daughter who has been indoctrinated into the Jehovah’s Witnesses cult. I have spent a lot of time studying the cult from many perspectives: historical, sociological, political (yes, political), theological and doctrinal. It will not take you long to confirm my observation.

By the way: Maybe some pagans did place evergreens in their homes for whatever reason. I do because it reminds me and my family of the beauty of God’s creation and the many, many blessings he has showered on us. So, I wish you and yours a very merry Christmas and a joyous new year!

Henry A. DePhillips Jr.
Hartford, Conn.

What’s the big deal?

Re “Happy Pagan Feast Day, Mr. O’Reilly” by Kel Munger (SN&R Essay, December 15):

Munger’s stance is that Fox News’ Bill O’Reilly is off-base in his complaint that restrictions on public expressions of Christmas are anti-Christian. Munger tells us that Christmas is “a holiday that’s never had a doggone thing to do with Christianity.”

Fine! Then why did anybody ever see fit to pooh-pooh “merry Christmas” as an offensive endorsement of one religion over others? I always felt that Christmas in America was, for better or worse, mostly about Santa Claus, decorated evergreen trees, red-nosed reindeer, etc. So, I have thought that any efforts to curtail “Merry Christmas” and the like were a lot of nonsense. Why make a big deal about it?

People, the press or somebody has been making a big deal out of it lately. And I guess that O’Reilly’s upset that this big-deal-making is going on. Maybe O’Reilly and company have now made too big a deal about the fact that others have made too big a deal about “Merry Christmas.”

Now, Munger and others are making too big a deal about the fact that O’Reilly has made too big a deal about the fact that some were making too big a deal about the fact that “Merry Christmas” might be offending someone.

Where does it stop? Or have I already made too big a deal about the fact that Munger and others have made too big a deal about the fact that O’Reilly has made too big a deal about the fact that … ?

Richard J. Lavelle

Abusing Narnia

Re “The abuses of enchantment” by Bob Grimm (SN&R Film, December 15):

I am writing to express my dissatisfaction with SN&R’s review of the film The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. I disagree with several claims that you made about this movie.

First of all, I found the performances of the children to be very convincing. Their accents and innocent expressions transformed me to England in earlier years. I found [Tilda] Swinton to be the ultimate representation of evil in her role as the White Witch. She was kind to Edmund in the first scene that she appeared in, but that was only so she could earn Edmund’s trust, which she betrayed later. This represents the premeditated planning of a truly evil person.

In addition to the performances, you were very critical of the locations used for this film; you said the scenery “lack[ed] enchantment.” I personally found the scenery in this film not only absolutely breathtaking, but it appeared just as it was described in the book.

I feel that Bob Grimm was not a good candidate to review this film or others of its type because he identifies his bias toward it. In the fourth paragraph of his review, he wrote, “Because I read the books and didn’t like them all that much when I was a kid, my chances of truly enjoying this movie are somewhat diminished.”

The readers of SN&R really deserve an unbiased writer who isn’t already going to have a negative judgment of a storyline even before he actually views the film. I find it a shame that he can’t find his way past a bias that he developed as a child and approach every aspect of his job with an open mind and a positive attitude.

Bill Sammons
via e-mail

Yahdatatata! So there!

Re “Homegrown hip-hop” by Jonathan Kiefer (SN&R Music, December 15):

KNOZ-LP 96.5 FM has been playing nothing but Northern California hip-hop, rap and R&B since the first day it aired. The 916 Leak on The Bomb is just a sample of what KNOZ plays all day long.

I feel that 103.5 The Bomb should dedicate more than one hour a week to local up-and-coming artists. 96.5 does not “leak”; it floods the place!

Some of the songs played on The 916 Leak have already been played on 96.5, where they constantly play the “real deal.” The listeners get tired of hearing the same S#&! over and over again, so let 103.5 know that they are not the first ones playing Northern California local hip-hop, rap and R&B music.

I represent 96.5 KNOZ all day everyday! Yahdatatata!

Watonya Beasley
via e-mail


Re “Sprawl and roadkill” (SN&R Guest comment, December 15):

The name of the author of this Guest comment, “Sprawl and roadkill,” was misspelled. The author’s name is Krista Baca. This has been corrected on the Web site.