Letter Of The Week
Mush mouth

Re "Our Vanished Values" by Michael Feingold [November 10-16]: Hey man, let's pull it together here! It's just so revolting to see the Dems reduce themselves to having a seemingly endless pity party. No sympathy here. Instead, I will light a fire under your ass and refer to Zell Miller's "bowl of mush" quote, which is exactly what your article sounded like. Do not play into the hands of the conservatives willingly! C'mon now. Put your game face on and tell me you are ready to rally together and come up with new solutions to the problems you have outlined. You can do it, babe! I'm in Texas and I have faith.

PS: It did not sound like mush. (Wink!) It was quite good in fact.

Dana Courtney
Dallas, Texas

Michael Feingold's "Our Vanished Values" [November 10-16] elicited an unusually large number of letters. (He will address the response in an upcoming piece.) A selection follows.

Mire and brimstone

Thank you for saying what really needed to be said about Christianity's slippage into its own Satan-mimicking mire. As a constantly reforming Pentecostal (it has taken years to shed the fear and guilt induced by my upbringing), I hope that more of us will have the courage to speak out against the destruction caused by this soulless brand of Christianity.

Becky K. Becker
Kirksville, Missouri

Value judgment

Feingold's rant was hilarious—especially the part about how Republicans are "a band of violent radical reactionaries preaching medieval totalitarian bigotry." But the funniest item in the issue was the two Democratic campaign staffers striking tragic poses as they clutched each other in wimpy self-pity. Priceless!

Ted Klein
Upper West Side

Version territory

The points Feingold makes about the current U.S. version of "Christianity" in "Our Vanished Values" are right on. He articulated every opinion on the subject I have held since (and about) the election. Job well-done.

Chad Main
Dayton, Ohio

Hail to the thief

Re "Our Vanished Values": The values haven't gone anywhere; nearly 50 percent of the country opposed the current regime. But when you have an unaudited voting system where there are known flaws and systematic errors, and big money behind it, you get stolen elections.

Nancy A. Piotrowski
Berkeley, California

Caring is creepy

I wish to take exception to "Our Vanished Values." I know that New York is in the blue zone, but I did not realize how far apart we have become. We who live in the South are not a bunch of dimwitted fools who march to GOP orders. We are a caring people who think the liberal Democratic party has moved way too far to the left, and we are concerned. In reading your article one would think you are from a foreign country, without a clue about America in 2004. Perhaps you should get out and see for yourself what life is like away from New York.

Jim Oyler
Spotsylvania, Virginia

Big in Japan

I'm a Canadian, living and teaching English in Japan. I have been feeling cross-eyed, depressed, and freaked out since the outcome of the U.S. election, fearful for the future of the world, for nature, and for American women and their bodies. I appreciated Feingold's article, which addressed the issues facing America and the world at the beginning of four more years honestly, but also allowed a window of hope for the future. The thoughts on the information onslaught and its effect on the "moral" right were bang on, and calling the Christian church a "tacky political lobby" is the exact, very simple truth. The article has cheered me up and reminded me why it's only the government I hate down there, not the people.

Katja Clark
Aichi, Japan


"Our Vanished Values" says it clearly and cleanly. It is my opinion that the collapse of our educational system is the main cause for the situation in which we now find ourselves. Children are no longer taught how to think for themselves, not taught how to research and find answers for questions, not taught history, not taught English to any real degree. They are not taught much of anything important. If you don't know to think for yourself, it becomes easier to let someone else think for you—a preacher or a president. Until our national education system is repaired and truly brought up to a level that allows for children to learn how to think, our situation in this country will only become worse. Unfortunately, I don't see the problem being rectified anytime in the near future. We are in deep, deep trouble.

Terry Molloy
Jerome, Arizona

Preaching to the choir

I thoroughly enjoyed reading and thinking about "Our Vanished Values" and am looking forward to sending it along to several friends who share similar points of view. Being over 60, as are some of those friends, I am not confident that you—or we—will live long enough to repair what the current administration has broken. I'm so glad you stated, "Having degraded themselves to the level of political lobbies, most Christian churches should certainly be compelled to register as lobbyists and pay taxes." Amen, brother.

Marti Converse
Newark, Delaware

180 degrees of separation

As a Christian conservative, I find your article fascinating. While I am in 180-degree opposition to the liberal standard, I cannot comprehend why the New York liberals cannot get beyond the disastrous loss of the last two election cycles. I would think that reason would prevail in determining when it's time to think and draw real conclusions about why the liberal left consistently fails at the polling booth.

What will it take for you to realize that they are 180 degrees out of phase with America's core values and the real issues? I think it's well past time for the liberal gang to realize the issues they hold so dear are simply non-issues to the vast majority of Americans. If Gore's thinking that the Democratic Party isn't far left enough, this last election certainly put the nail in that coffin.

Rick Brancadora
Ocean City, New Jersey

Fear itself

I appreciate the passion in this piece, but do not understand discounting the fear-of-terrorism and fear-of-midwar-shift-of-command factors here, coupled with the high likelihood that most people doubt the efficacy in fact of government to do anything a candidate promises. I am not arguing that Bush was effective at protecting us from anything—I am as crushed by the election results as anyone—but if we discount the actual fears of our compatriots, we will just end up talking to ourselves in bewilderment again in another four years.

Shari Loe
Basking Ridge, New Jersey

Preaching to the choir, part II

Fantastic article. I am a 64-year-old former Baptist deacon who is now just a supplicant in the Episcopal Church. Sadly, the mixing of church and state is going to do away with any form of the democracy that we are trying to spread to the world by military force. We are moving closer to a Christian theocracy every day, and that scares me as much as any Muslim theocracy. We only have to look at history to see what evils have been done in the name of God by theocratic governments. Christians are so adamant about converting the world that they cannot see the beam in their eye nor the dangers of a nation or a world ruled by a Christian theocracy. Your article was right on target and was one of the best statements of the problem of misplaced values in this country that I have read since the election.

Keep up the good work!

Edwin E. Powell
Woodbridge, Virginia

Push comes to shove

The self-righteous blather and whining in "Our Vanished Values" were truly profound. Can't you simply understand that liberal politics have once again been totally rejected? It's not the messenger or fools who don't know what is good for them—it's your message and liberal ideology. Have the decency to examine your failings as a political party.

Thanks for pushing the party further left—into even more irrelevance.

Mike Dartley
Phoenix, Arizona

Viejo partido magnífico

I have to tell you how much I enjoyed your article. It is the exact same thing that I have been telling my Republican friends—how they prostituted "my" religion to re-elect George Bush. I get laughed at when I call W. the Antichrist, but I don't think I am far off the mark. Bush and his ilk remind me of the Spanish Inquisitors—do it our way or burn. I will be passing your article on to a few of my history professors. I know they will enjoy it. I am taking a graduate class this semester in 20th-century American history, and I have already found many terrifying parallels between W. and the closed-minded administrations of the early 20th century.

Rita Thompson RMobile, Alabama

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