Letters for November 4, 2004

He likes Mike

Re “Praise the Lord and pass the guitar picks” by Christian Kiefer (SN&R Cover, October 28):

Thank you, thank you, thank you, and thank you.

Christian Kiefer’s Mike Roe article was the best thing I have read online in years. I am so glad that a news source with no Christian agenda decided to tackle this enigmatic and captivating personality.

Kiefer was able to truly capture Roe in all of his glory and destruction. I have been reading articles on Roe for years but from Christian sources; Kiefer’s objectivity and need to tell a good story allowed Roe’s saga to come to life instead of being stifled by consumer Christian correctness.

What a shame that I, as a Christian, have to turn to secular media to be touched so deeply. Bravo on having the guts to write this story. Us Roe fans are sincerely grateful. Keep up the good work.

Scott Jeffries
Abilene, Texas

All Jackie, all the time

Re “The freewheeling Jackie Greene” by Mark Halverson (SN&R Arts&culture, October 21):

First of all, I think Jackie Greene is an outstanding musician, and most certainly a “rising star.” I realize it’s pretty unusual to write a critical letter about a music story, but if I see one more article about this guy in your paper, I’m never going to read the music section again.

For a city of its size, Sacramento is dreadfully provincial, and I blame the local media more than anybody. If a Sac resident gets 23rd place in some obscure marathon, it’s all over the news. I’m thrilled to see Jackie doing so well with his music, but there’s really no story at this point. He’s doing what hundreds, if not thousands, of up-and-coming artists are doing: working his tail off to get to the next level. You don’t need to write a column a month about that.

Tell us about something or someone new. Every single human being in this area knows who Jackie Greene is!

Geoff Goldmund

You don’t know me— let’s get married!

Re “My $5 groom” by Julie Day (SN&R Essay, October 21):

Great article on marriage. I’d like to see more articles from Julie Day.

When I first saw the item on the front page, I was thinking, “Open marriages, family abuse, divorce rate; these have been discussed over and over to the point of yawn, yawn.”

Julie Day’s article was fresh, interesting and a new idea. She made a great point: Here we live in a society where two people of different genders can get a marriage license when they’ve only known each other for a couple of minutes, yet two people of the same gender who’ve lived together in bliss for years can’t marry at all.

Julie, I have $7.41 in my pocket: Marry me!

Thanks for such a good read.

Kevin Kallvet
via e-mail

Props on the endorsement

Re “Measure by measure” (SN&R Editorial, October 14):

I am writing today to thank SN&R for endorsing Proposition 63, the California Mental Health Act. I was really glad to see your mention of the proposition this week and appreciated the comments made in your editorial.

As a healthy survivor of depression and anxiety myself, and as someone grieving a wonderful stepfather recently lost to suicide, this is of great personal importance to me. I’m guessing many other readers will be able to relate to these issues, perhaps more than we are comfortable admitting.

This is our opportunity to act and to move the issue of mental health out of the shadows and into the light of awareness and hope, where it belongs. I hope SN&R’s readers took this advice to vote for Proposition 63.

Amber Rehling
via e-mail

Clarification on Sinclair

Re “Go channel surfing!” (SN&R Letters, October 28):

Stacia George makes a good point about viewers’ right to choose what they watch. She supports Sinclair Broadcasting’s plans to air an anti-[John] Kerry documentary on the basis of free speech. But she misses another point entirely: Sinclair intended to broadcast this overtly partisan message over public airwaves.

Broadcast stations, unlike cable channels, operate for profit over airwaves that are publicly owned. That means they need to be held to a much higher standard of public responsibility. Sinclair failed this test.

Jan Kynde
via e-mail

God is into leather

Re “What would Jesus use to cover his Bible?” (SN&R Letters, October 21):

As Cal-Na Bindery replaced the hard cover of my Bible with soft leather, I’m replying to Sharie Lesniak, who feels using animals for human purposes is wrong. The Bible reveals how God views man’s use of his animal creation for products and food.

Moses said God used animal skins to clothe Adam and Eve, accepted the sacrifice of a lamb by Abel and provided a sacrificial ram for Abraham (Genesis 3:21; 4:2; 22:13). Yet, Ms. Lesniak believes killing animals is wrong.

After the flood, God told Noah, “Everything that lives and moves will be food for you.” At the same time, however, he gave the law: “Whoever sheds the blood of man, by man shall his blood be shed” (Genesis 9:3, 6). Clearly, God did not place animals on the same level as humans.

Ms. Lesniak reasoned that the commandment “Thou shalt not kill” (Exodus 20:13) constitutes an order not to kill animals. However, the Hebrew word Moses used, “ratsahh,” rendered in the King James as “kill,” according to a Hebrew lexicon really denotes manslaughter or murder and always applies to the taking of human life. With increased understanding of ancient Hebrew words, modern English translations more correctly render the verse as “You must not murder.”

The apostles report Jesus ate lamb and fish. Paul said Christians could “eat whatever you find in a meat market” and that God’s prophets wore sheep and goat skins. Of special interest should be Paul’s warning that “some would depart from the faith … commanding to abstain from meats” (Luke 24:42; 1 Corinthians 10:25; Hebrews 11:37; 1 Timothy 4:3-4).

Diane Church

Critical look at criticism of the critic

Re “Faulty comparisons” (SN&R Letters, October 14):

As a Jew favoring democracy and diversity, I must respectfully disagree with Yoni Cohen’s statement that “from its inception the state of Israel has promoted peace and racial equality with its Arab neighbors.”

Such a statement simply disregards the reality that Seth Sandronsky recognizes in his review of the late Palestinian scholar Edward Said [“Palestine’s voice,” SN&R Words, September 23]: al-Nakba, the Palestinian catastrophe of 1948, in which some 700,000 Palestinian Arabs were ethnically cleansed from what became Israeli territory by outright massacres (e.g. Deir Yassin, Safsaf, Dawayima), expulsions and psychological warfare. As Aharon Zisling, Israeli minister of agriculture, remarked after the massacre at Dawayima, “Jews have also committed Nazi acts.”

At a Cabinet meeting on June 16, 1948, Israel adopted its continuing policy of ratifying this ethnic cleansing, which Foreign Minister Moshe Sharett called a “lasting and radical solution” to the Palestinian “problem,” by illegally denying the refugees their right of return within its borders, a right soon affirmed by U.N. General Assembly Resolution 194 (December 11, 1948).

After rejecting Arab and other peace proposals of 1949 based on a return of the refugees, in 1950, Israel enacted the apartheid Absentee Property Law, confiscating the land not only of these exiles, but also of many Palestinians who managed to remain, classified as “present absentees.” Today, the 1.25 million Palestinian citizens of Israel continue to live in a state that often regards them as a “demographic problem,” with discriminatory measures such as house demolitions and denials of building permits used to target the Arab population and economy.

An Israeli constitution based on an equal partnership with full national rights for the Israeli Jewish and Palestinian Arab peoples, including those refugees of 1948 who choose to return, would better comport with the values of peace and equality highlighted by Said, Sandronsky and Cohen alike.

Just as Said courageously championed the cause of democracy in the Arab world, so I regard it as incumbent that Jews demand genuine multiethnic democracy in Israel.

Margo Schulter