Council of Elders
Jim Scarantino's opinion piece on Burque's Free Radicals of bygone fame/infamy [The Real Side, “Now Starring in the People's Republic of Albuquerque!,” Oct. 26-Nov.1] was thoughtful and fun to read, but Jim did glide over some important distinctions. There is a world of difference among the three men noted in Jim's article, and Mark Rudd, for one, has long publicly distanced himself from the more absurd stances and actions of the Weather faction. Lumping all three together as apologists for violence is misleading. But they are each quite articulate still, and can speak for themselves.
Jim's call for a sort of teach-in to address the lessons of the ’60s and subsequent decades, to include these guys and other vets in frank discussion, is a good idea. Similar forums have been held at UNM and at the Peace and Justice Center in the past year, and they have been neither dull nor calm. We can use more such talks, but let’s bring in more young folks to talk it all over with these and other elders. Let's keep the dialogue going, Jim.
Thanks for the suggestion.
Editor’s Note: Glad you think so, Bill. Check out this week’s “Talking Points” in the news section.
Jerry Ortiz y Pino does not help his argument in favor of stem cell research when he claims it is not a scientific fact that human life begins at the moment of conception [“Stem Cells: Separation of Church and State,” Nov. 9-15]. That is patently absurd and it only harms his credibility to deny this basic fact of life. Those who try to rationalize that fetuses are not really humans but “potential humans" are merely arguing semantics. Every stage of existence and development in the womb is part of the human experience, no matter how insignificant some people prefer to view it.
I strongly believe that abortion must be legal in any civilized society for many reasons, not least of which is the right of women to control their own bodies and determine when and if they want to bring a child into the world. But I'm also not deluded enough to deny that abortion is a form of murder. Without a doubt, abortion is the termination of a life in development. Some argue a fetus could not survive on its own and therefore should not be considered human. But newborn babies cannot survive on their own either and few people would advocate allowing them to be put to death. To deny that a fetus is human only keeps us further from the truth that will allow society to make reasonable, informed decisions about abortion, as it also encourages divisiveness among pro-life and pro-choice supporters.
Ortiz y Pino is also wrong when he claims the Bible is silent on this subject; the Bible actually indicates some positions favorable to legalized abortion. In Numbers 3:15,16, fetuses and infants less than one month old are not counted as persons. Also, in Exodus 21:22,23, Mosaic law claims that if a man causes a pregnant woman to lose her child, he shall be punished and “must pay as the judges determine." Mosaic law ordinarily calls for taking a “life for a life," so clearly the fetus is not considered to be of equal value to a person who has been born.
It's ironic that Christians, both pro-life and pro-choice, typically ignore or are ignorant of these passages from their "Word of God." But then, I fully expect the day will come when the vast majority of humanity will see the Bible for what it is: archaic mythology that does not deserve to be considered the ultimate moral authority. My advice to Ortiz y Pino is simply this: Please try to keep in mind that truth is more important than comfort.
Biblically Beautiful (and Visually, Too)
Devin O' Leary's review of the movie One Night With The King [“Film Capsules,” Oct. 12-Nov. 15] was pathetic. Pathetic! Because it dealt with a Biblical theme, O'Leary was consumed with bringing out the point that the son of Paul Crouch from TBN got the film created.
His review said nothing about the movie, a visually stunning and an interesting historical story. I thoroughly enjoyed it. It tells the story of a woman that God ordained to marry a Persian king so that she would eventually be paramount in saving the Persian Jews from annihilation. Again, it is visually a beautiful movie.
It's too bad that O'Leary can't conceal his contempt for the Bible and be more professional.
Hidden Costs of No Carry-on
[RE: Letters, “Don't Let Zealots Fly Planes,” Nov. 9-15] Bryan, that was terrific. And you're absolutely right! For the money we spend so that we can confiscate things like fingernail clippers, we could be sealing cockpit doors.
One thing I think you should have added to your letter was that when we won't be able to bring carry-on luggage anymore, the airlines will get to charge through the nose for simple necessities such as drinking water and diapers. It's all a scam to squeeze every last dollar out of our pockets, as if flying itself wasn't expensive enough.
Thanks for the letter, Bryan. I hope people take this to heart.
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