I picked up this week’s Reader on Thursday, September 9 (“They Should Not Display Their Beauty,” Cover Story, September 9). Two days before 9/11. I looked at the front cover. You guys couldn’t wait a week or two before doing this story and running this cover? What’s wrong with you?!
Free, Like An Old Person
Thank you for the article about Muslim dress (“They Should Not Display Their Beauty,” Cover Story, September 9). It answers some questions I had. It is kind of like being an old person, where people don’t notice your appearance, they notice your demeanor and what’s in your head. It’s freeing.
Dale Anne Thompson
It is unfortunate that you did not research the dress styles in the article carefully enough (“They Should Not Display Their Beauty,” Cover Story, September 9). The one you called a burqa is not a burqa but appears to be a version of the niqab. A burqa has a grill covering the face and nothing shows through it. Should you wish to see what it looks like, there are many samples on the internet, and I also had one shipped to me from the market in Kabul, Afghanistan. They are blue and not the black as shown. The one I have is very light, almost silklike but most likely artificial fabric.
Hello. Why are you guys trying to portray Islam as a peaceful religion (“They Should Not Display Their Beauty,” Cover Story, September 9)? It is not. Why don’t you or any of the media (except Fox News) have the balls to call it what it is or what it teaches? Just so you know, 49 percent of Americans view Islam as “unfavorable.” The churches, synagogues, and Americans are waking up, educating themselves on Islam, and no longer turning a blind eye. Qur’an (9:3) “Announce painful punishment on those who disbelieve.” And the Qur’an is full of this hatred. The Qur’an has poisoned the minds of every Muslim in the Middle East, and if you think it isn’t happening here in America and all around the world, think again!
Ridicule’s Part Of The Game
This is in response to “They Should Not Display Their Beauty” (Cover Story, September 9). I think anybody who lives anywhere in the United States and dresses in a nontraditional manner is going to run into ignorant people or people full of hatred, no matter where you are, and they just have to accept that. They either have to dress like everybody else or prepare themselves to be ridiculed at one time or another. There’s no mystery in it. It’s not a mystery.
In response to the story written by Elizabeth Salaam (“They Should Not Display Their Beauty,” Cover Story, September 9), are you guys hard up for material? I browsed the article because I couldn’t really stomach it. Elizabeth, you are a legend in your own mind.
Pathetic. I’ll bet you were a women’s libber in the ’80s.
I can tell you’re a person with a cause. Always looking for a spotlight. I’m glad American women are too smart to walk around with a bag over their head.
Display their beauty, eh? It’s my observation that I wish all the Arab women should wear a bag over their head.
Poor Liz. How’s the book coming and perhaps there’s some colleges you can speak at.
I think any thinking woman should be offended by you. Our sophisticated culture trying to bring the people (women) into the 20th Century. And you are trying to drag women back to the 15th Century. How dumb can you get?
Life And Death At The Park
Loved Neal Obermeyer’s cartoon on Balboa Park (September 9). Saw in the U-T the proposed changes to the park. My simple question is: how in the hell can emergency vehicles get in to aid someone in distress? Minutes can make a large difference between life and death. Please answer that for me.
We Don’t Look Good
So, I guess the Reader deserves to be complimented on trying to improve the appearance of black faces in your paper. But the funny thing is, in your September 2 copy of the Reader, two of the black faces appear with a big smiling face right underneath a marijuana leaf. Okay, we move farther through the Reader. The next black face appears behind prison bars. It’s about a black person being in jail. And then you really are nice to us. On the back of the paper, you show some big bald-headed muscle-bound man. So, yeah, you guys are making a slight improvement. But I still think you’re a bunch of racist, stereotyping people, you know? Us appearing under big smiling Bojangles faces under a marijuana leaf and a black man getting out of jail.
What about positive reinforcement. Is there nothing positive you guys see going on in the black community?
via voice mail
In response to Jim Crooks’s letter of September 9. For the record, I am not a Calvinist. I recognize John Calvin’s considerable contributions to theology, his diligence in the study of the Word of God, and his example of expository, exegetical teaching of the Scriptures. Nevertheless, I disagree with several of Calvin’s conclusions, and I believe that certain tenets of the reformed churches are in opposition to the spread of the gospel.
Concerning Calvin’s complicity in the legal executions of several of his enemies, it is obvious today that he was completely in the wrong. Nevertheless, the historical record shows that the executions were not the result of any alleged personal vendetta on the part of John Calvin, and they were performed in total compliance with the laws of Geneva at that time in accordance with Leviticus 24:16.
It is indeed paradoxical that one of the great champions of religious freedom was also one of the notable advocates of religious intolerance. It is equally paradoxical that in America the Salem witch trials and the First Amendment of the Constitution are equally the result of Calvinistic thinking.
Whatever Calvin’s theological errors and personal failures, he was very often correct in his interpretation of Scripture. That’s because his theological system was based on diligent study of the Word of God in the original languages. No theologian is perfect. Every theologian has an area of blindness, an area of ignorance, an area of bias, of prejudice, of weakness.
In light of Jim Crooks’s wholesale rejection of “anything John Calvin wrote,” I will extend the principle of imperfection to the human authors of Scripture. Should I entirely reject the Torah, which contains the commandment “You shall not commit murder” because its human author was guilty of first-degree murder? Should I reject the psalms of David because David was a liar, a coward, an adulterer, a murderer, and a polygamist? Should I reject Peter’s command to practice unhypocritical love because Peter practiced hypocrisy at Antioch? Should I reject Paul’s polemic against legalism because Paul practiced legalism in Acts 21 after he had already written his polemic against legalism? Certainly not, on all accounts. All Scripture is God-breathed. The fact that the Bible openly records the sins and failures of its human authors is a testimonial to its veracity.
I am in complete agreement with Mr. Crooks when he writes, “There are several passages of Scripture that bear on any given topic and we should strive to understand each verse as it conforms to every other verse.” The comparison of Scripture with Scripture is a sound principle of biblical interpretation. Anyone who continues on this course will continue to increase in the understanding of the Word of God.
I am also in complete agreement with Mr. Crooks that “to blindly claim that a biblical passage does not really mean what it plainly says is a bit dishonest.” Regrettably, the dishonesty of blind claims is often the result of ignorance of what a passage plainly says. What is often explicit and dogmatic in the Greek and Hebrew often becomes obscure or diluted in English translations. I believe that everyone who is called by God to teach His Word must become thoroughly acquainted with the original languages of Scripture in order to teach the Bible with accuracy.
The truth of the Word of God must not be forced to conform to any particular system of theology. Any true system of theology must continually conform itself to the Word of God. The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with all of you.
Don’t Sneer At Us
The Reader’s recent commentary entitled “Anatomy of a Hollywood Press Junket” (Feature Story, August 12) upholds the idea that disgruntled employees make poor journalists. In violation of confidentiality agreements, with obvious contempt for those he worked with, and shortly after being terminated for reasons unrelated to these issues, the author chose to pointlessly skewer a recent press event. As the owner and operator of Midnight Express — the company hired to handle transportation for the event — I am disappointed that our clients and partners were portrayed in such a snide fashion. Moreover, I am disappointed that an unverified commentary on a private hospitality event qualified as journalism in this publication.
For more than 15 years, I have owned and operated Midnight Express in Southern California. As a transportation provider for the Academy Awards, Emmy Awards, Super Bowl, U.S. Open, and many other high-profile local events over the years, we would neither offer public commentary on a private function nor lampoon the very industry to which we — and more than 150,000 others in San Diego — owe our livelihoods.
As the third-largest source of employment in San Diego, the hospitality and tourism industry is a $7 billion cornerstone of our city’s vitality (dollar figure courtesy San Diego Convention and Visitors Bureau). While the country’s unemployment rates hover around 10 percent (Bureau of Labor Statistics, August 2010), we should be thankful that our idyllic climate and countless attractions drew almost 30 million visitors to our city last year. It takes little more than a glance at the Detroit Free Press or Times-Picayune to see that San Diego’s economic circumstances are fortunate by comparison. Can you imagine if one of our city’s main industries had been drenched with 4.9 million barrels of oil?
I believe a publication such as the Reader should elevate the community it supports through fruitful dialogue and by challenging the status quo when needed. By contrast, this article carried the tone and substance of two teenagers snickering at the rear of a classroom. While many organizations and individuals work to bring new business and maintain the prosperity of our industry, this piece needlessly (and illegally) mocks it.
Ultimately, I want to apologize to the individuals portrayed negatively in this article and emphasize that Midnight Express prides itself on hiring courteous chauffeurs and delivering the best transportation services in Southern California. We recognize that publicists and their teams work tirelessly to plan first-rate events, and we remain excited to play a role in successfully executing each one. Press events such as the one held for Marmaduke are terrific for San Diego in every way, and on behalf of the other 149,999 people in this industry, I eagerly await the next one.
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