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The saints 

As I entered a restaurant with my family I was stopped in my tracks by the cover of your latest newspaper. As a Baptist I am sure you can see my shock to see Mormons hailed as saints among us. I read the article to see if there was a further explanation for this claim. After spending the better part of a week pondering how I felt about that article, this is how I feel.

In a world where religious freedoms are stripped from citizens at a rate I find very alarming, I am proud your publication chose to print such a controversial article. Just as I don't want an atheist to tell me I can not pray at a football game I don't want you to stop printing stories about religions in which I do not believe. I can not ask for full religious freedom for myself and not believe in full religious freedom for others.

With that said I do not find it necessary to insult one religion to report on another. I find it hard to believe that you would have printed “Saints among the Muslims” on that cover, but picking on Baptists seemed somehow acceptable. I understand the Mormons have suffered some persecution for their beliefs, but you would be hard-pressed to find a religion that has not. Just as Mormons are questioned by Baptists concerning their beliefs, so are the Baptists questioned by other religions concerning theirs.

Religious persecution will only worsen as our times near the end. I appreciate your courage for printing an article about religion; I even appreciate that it isn't what I believe. I just don't appreciate you needing to lower what I believe in order to report on what someone else does.

Jamie Jordan

Conway

(The official name of the Mormon church, mentioned in the article, is The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.)

Green Europe

The piece by Ernie Dumas about the greening of Europe struck a chord. When I returned from about three years of residence in the Netherlands and had to go to the grocery store for the first time in Little Rock, I recall thinking, “Dang! I have to get in a car to run an errand.” I was so used to biking or walking or taking the bus in Groningen where I had lived in Holland. Ernie's right: when Bush nixed the Kyoto accords in 2001 he did so in an off-handed way, oblivious to the seriousness with which many Europeans had worked for years to comply with Kyoto. Also, during those years I don't believe I ever got a cup of coffee, anywhere, served in a Styrofoam or paper cup, and going without paper napkins was a trial I had to get used to. In terms of greening on a daily basis, we have plenty of room to grow.

John Coffin

Little Rock

Correction

I have never been a fan of Lindsey Millar's writing, simply because every time I read one of her [sic] reviews I get the distinct feeling that she has no idea what she's talking about. She draws comparisons from the band she's covering to bands that bear no resemblance to the artist in question whatsoever. Her review of “The Economy of Motion” by the Reds is a perfect example. After giving a brief description of her favorite songs on the album, she writes, “there are hints of Spoons here.”

Spoons? I would consider myself pretty well versed in pop music, and I have never heard of a band named Spoons. I am, however, a huge fan of the brilliant rock outfit Spoon, out of Austin, Texas. Not only did Ms. Miller misspell the band's name, but not a single track on “The Economy of Motion” sounds anything like any Spoon song I've heard on any of their six LPs or three EPs. I should know. I reviewed The Reds' CD for the Localist.

Kurt Tarpley

Little Rock

(Lindsey Millar is a he.)

Huckabee's fund-raising

Bro. Huckster had more luck shearing the sheep in his first life. Had he been no more successful shaking down his Baptist brethren than he has been with the flinty-eyed flat-taxers the deacons would have bounced him out on his broad bottom.

Tom Forgey

Magnolia

Hard to stomach

Feel free to use your press rights to bash the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette for being racist [the Times has not called the Democrat-Gazette racist, but writers here have criticized its editorials about the Little Rock School Board], but I find the hypocrisy a bit hard to stomach when you do it in the same issue that you accept advertising money from a company promoting David Allen Coe, author of songs such as “My Wife Ran Off with a Nigger.”

Andrew Bret Lachosky

Conway

The stooge

Let me get this straight — and help me out here. The Nimrod-in-chief is whining, while suggesting (predicting?) WW IIII, and “urging Turkey to use restraint,” as it plans to deal with decades-long incursions into its country by a separatist group which even we have designated as terrorists? Yet it is perfectly OK and justified that we moved a massive (yet insufficient) military force halfway around the world, to invade and occupy a sovereign (although totalitarian) country which posed NO threat to us, resulting in tens of thousands of deaths and more casualties AND that country being measurably worse off than it was before we “saved” it?

Meanwhile that country is in virtual chaos, has no economic or social/political infrastructure (never mind electricity), and has basically lost all of its “intelligentsia” as most who have the means have beat it out of there, why? Because we have destabilized it to the point of most people not even having access to drinking water. And they are way worse off today than they were under the “murderous dictator.”

Now the bordering countries, who must ultimately invest in stability for Iraq, are straining to accommodate the millions of Iraqis who are now refugees in their countries because we have elected/supported an intellectually challenged stooge who still hasn't grasped the historical failure of all previous similar follies! And keeps on keeping on. One country's terrorist leader is another's “strategeryist” and “decider.”

The only “winners” in this deal? The corrupt corporations who have stolen billions and their Iraqi counterparts who have done likewise, selling out their own country — for whom we are the enablers. We are not only ruled by idiots, we are complicit. Will we awaken, or are Britney/OJ/gay Republicans still more urgent?

Larry Williams

Morganton

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