Re Jessica Winter's "Mel Gibson's Jesus Christ Pose" [November 5-11]:

It is astounding to me that anti-Semites overlook the fact that Christ and all his followers were Jewish. If you hate Jews, you gotta hate Jesus, the 12 apostles, Paul, and everybody else.

What a world we live in!

Chris Hayden
St. Louis, Missouri

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I cannot understand why Mel Gibson would create a film about Christ that will insinuate blame for his crucifixion and, once again—and despite recent efforts by the Catholic Church to do the opposite—incite hostilities between Christians and Jews.

Nel Ivancich
Mountain Center, California


Re Jessica Winter's eye-opening article on Mel Gibson's cinematic martyrdoms:

For the record, the early church emphasized the victorious, not the horrific, aspects of the Gospel ending, and early iconography emphasized the Resurrection, not the Crucifixion. It's a much healthier theological emphasis, so-called traditionalists (who actually and unwittingly favor a much more recent spirituality) notwithstanding. Per Garry Wills, all sensible Christians (including all rational Roman Catholics) realize that Christ's sacrificial death was caused by universal human sin, not by either Jews or Romans. Only bigots and fools feel otherwise, and bigotry and folly are themselves sinful—according to no less a traditional Catholic thinker than Thomas Aquinas.

The Rev. Dr. C.W. McPherson
New Rochelle, New York


Nat Hentoff's "A Woman's Life Versus an Inept Press" [November 5-11] about Terri Schiavo is excellent, and focuses on the real issues. Disabled people like me are terrified of the growing enthusiasm for killing on the basis of "poor quality of life."

Michael Schiavo needs to be removed as Terri's guardian, and replaced by someone who really appreciates the value of disabled lives. It is a relief to read an article that recognizes that disabled people have an equal and inalienable right to life. More of Nat Hentoff, please!

Alison Davis
Dorset, United Kingdom


I can't believe Hentoff is joining the rabid right-to-lifers in piling on Michael Schiavo because he dares to be in a relationship with another woman and is trying to get on with a family life after 13 years of being tied to his comatose wife. That's hitting below the belt, and Hentoff should be ashamed. As Atticus Finch said, try "getting in his skin." We may not like the term "vegetative state," but how else can one describe it? Is this another situation where the Florida Supreme Court simply cannot be trusted?

Mike Salling
Honolulu, Hawaii


Re Bryonn Bain's "Three Days in NYC Jails" [September 24-30]:

The Attorneys of Color of the Legal Aid Society (ACLA), a caucus of the staff attorneys' union at the Legal Aid Society, UAW Local 2325-ALAA (Association of Legal Aid Attorneys), want to express our profound concern over Bryonn Bain's cover story. We do not condone culturally insensitive or racist actions, and certainly do not want any actions to reflect upon the many who bring the words "equal justice" to life for our clients.

We aim to provide excellent service to our clients and our communities. We do this under the most difficult of daily circumstances, both external and internal. The ACLA has a mission and a history of striving to make the Legal Aid Society more sensitive to not only our needs within the Society, but to our clients and community as well.

We have asked our union to address this matter. Furthermore, the ACLA will be requesting a meeting with the management of the Legal Aid Society so that together we can work to ensure that acts such as those alleged in The Village Voice article cease to occur. Most importantly, we want to assure the public that there are many attorneys within this organization committed not only to providing the best legal representation, but who also care deeply about the treatment of our clients and community. Lastly, we would like to point out that the Manhattan attorney who represented the author and was favorably referred to in the article is also a Legal Aid attorney.

The Attorneys of Color of the Legal Aid Society


Re Ed Roberson's "With bushes for . . . " [The New Poetry, VLS, October 15-21]

Thank you for focusing, if briefly, on poetry that isn't like an ice cream cone or an episode of Friends.

Eleni Sikelianos
Boulder, Colorado


I read Kareem Fahim's "The Gray and the Green" [October 29-November 4] on West Point and thought it was a very fair and balanced article. I applaud the author for presenting his story in an informative manner that does justice to the cadets and the institution. The army and soldiers today are two generations in age and attitude from the army and soldiers of the Vietnam era.

Frank Yu
Former U.S. Army Captain


Re Rick Perlstein's "Day of the Spoiler" [October 22-28]:

It's one of many instances when I can only hope that such clear and present awareness of danger will filter out to the mainstream—and especially to Lieberman (from our lips to Joe's ears).

I remember being at the point with George the Elder when I just could not bear to see his face, or hear him speak, every day. I am not only there in regard to George the Younger but also to Lieberman. It's not just political, not just ideological—it's visceral.

Barbara Beletsky
Portland, Oregon


Keith Harris's review of the Strokes was nothing short of brilliant ["Arty Pop Stars Bust Their Asses," October 29-November 4]. A thorough, analytical summary of why the Strokes are important, what their role is in today's music scene, and who their influences are will surely aid readers in their understanding of this band. He did omit one minor detail: What does the record sound like? Call me old-fashioned, but I think a lot of people might be interested in their sound as much as their "aloof slouch."

Jason Newman


Ed Halter's review of Cinematexas [October 8-14] credited Learning Stalls as a videotape by Torsten Burns. The tape is an equal collaboration of Darrin Martin and Burns.

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