Alibi V.26 No.33 • Aug 17-23, 2017 


Christian Science

Dear Alibi,

In his column, “More Equal than Others” (July 6-12), Joshua Lee raises a question that matters to all of us, whether we’re people of faith or no faith. How does “religious freedom” apply in a society in which different moral cultures appear to be in conflict?

Although Christian Scientists were mentioned only in passing, I thought Alibi readers might be reassured to know that we, like so many others, try to follow the Golden Rule in regard to health care as in other matters. Ethically, Christian Scientists who are business owners wouldn’t interfere with the medical decisions of their workers, but respect their right to choose the mode of treatment they feel would be most effective. This point extends to the issue of insurance. Many employees at our church headquarters in Boston are not Christian Scientists, for example, yet all are offered group health insurance.

In the same spirit, the church’s Board of Directors noted in a letter to the editor in the New York Times in 2010, “The choice between medical and Christian Science treatment has always been, and must always be, left to the individual.” Though our convictions regarding prayer and spiritual healing differ from most others, we certainly respect and share the values of physicians and those who devote their lives to the alleviation of suffering.

We also share a conviction that progress and justice are possible for individuals and communities. We recognize the role each of us plays in support of a just society that rises above differences of belief to embrace our common humanity. And we expect that from this basis of goodwill and patient understanding the diverse citizens of New Mexico—and hopefully the country as a whole—will find solutions that respect and serve all.

P. McNeill

Who is Ultimately to Blame

Dear Alibi,

You can’t blame Gorden Eden for this. Reportedly the Albuquerque Police Department doesn’t have a written policy governing its response to referrals of possible child abuse or neglect from the state Children, Youth and Families Department. The fault is to be found in the city’s governing body, Albuquerque City Council, with its deeply entrenched politicians who have long overstayed their welcome.

City Councilors Ken Sanchez, Isaac Benton, Brad Winter, Dan Lewis, Trudy Jones and Don Harris have all been at the top of overall policy responsibility—or irresponsibility, to be more accurate. These individuals have been fiddling around and neglecting children’s basic needs along with other important matters for more than two 4-year terms ...

Freshman ‘Councilor’ Klarissa Peña is at least as bad as the derelicts who have held office locally far too long. Rather than focusing on important issues, Peña’s priorities have been calling the chief of police down to the podium in the august Vincent E. Griego Chambers and telling Chief Eden about how she and her husband had been cruising and her husband waved to a cop. "And the police officer didn’t wave back," she continued to publicly state, indicating she would like to have all of Eden’s officers salute her old man whenever he should happen to wave at them.

Civilized societies protect children vigilantly; civilizations that are of higher intelligence and greater morality protect women and children, and the women and men in civilized society work hard to protect children, women and men who are vulnerable. We have unfortunately become a society that largely neglects such moral values. Extreme neglect is a form of abuse.

Political officials and their underlings in this woeful town have outrageously neglected to do their duty as far as public policy is concerned. Public safety issues are exploited more than they are effectively handled by the careless and reckless big shots in this small city.

People may be asking: Who is ultimately to blame? The answer is: citizens. The people of this wonderful city should have ousted these bereft city councilors long ago.

A. Tannenbaum
Letters should be sent with the writer’s name, address and daytime phone number via email to They can also be faxed to (505) 256-9651. Letters may be edited for length and clarity, and may be published in any medium; we regret that owing to the volume of correspondence we cannot reply to every letter. Word count limit for letters is 300 words.