Letters to MotherJones.com

Faulty Photo Choice
Re: “A Notorius Cleric”
May 29, 2002

I was disappointed to see the photograph of a black member of the Roman Catholic church in an article about sexual misconduct among the clergy when this man is clearly not the individual accused of such misconduct, nor is he the author of the article. Why was this photograph used? The photograph of the imprisoned priest, or the clearly-identifiable Pope, should have been used if you needed the face of a person. Otherwise, perhaps a picture of a building belonging to the church, a large group of priests, a crucifix, or some other symbol of the church would be more appropriate. Not the face of an innocent man, who happens to be black.

Moremi O.

The photo in question is of Bishop Wilton Gregory, president of the US Conference of Catholic Bishops. Given that the conference was charged with deciding how the Catholic Church in the US will respond to allegations of abuse, and what punishments abusive priests may face, we felt it was appropriate to use Bishop Gregory’s photograph to illustrate the article — Ed.

 

Gitlin’s Assessment a Bit Off
Re: “The Rough Beast”
May 8, 2002

Todd Gitlin expects more from a student-movement response to current Israeli policies, but student movements have long been fueled more by passion than by information. After all, sitting around sorting out detailed arguments is so much less emotionally fulfilling and attention-getting than staging a large public protest in which all the key concepts are bounded by the edges of poster board.

Another complication is that it’s natural — sloppy and irresponsible, but natural — to ascribe the actions and policies of a nation’s leadership to its people, especially in a representative democracy. Abroad, blame tends to fall on all Americans for the egregious actions of our elected “leaders,” even though very few of us have actually voted for those leaders. Much of the railing against Israel is not necessarily anti-Semitic; it’s just typically indiscriminate.

As for right-wing Zionists being likened to Nazis, this is, of course, offensive and wrong. But neither is it surprising, given that both movements have relied on the paranoid rhetoric of blood-and-soil mythology.

James Reel

 

Damn Those Contractors
Re: “A Contract to Spend”
May 23, 2002

Why is a single period of history, let alone a single government contractor, singled out for scrutiny? The whole history of government is one of contractors — a privileged class of government beneficiaries and tax receivers who have over the centuries formed the base constituency upon whom the government has ultimately depended for its existence.

Alan Koontz

 

This is yet another appalling example of corporate welfare cheating tax payers, working poor, welfare poor, elderly, mentally ill, etc, etc, etc, while a few wealthy CEOs and their companies fatten their bank accounts, pay little or no corporate taxes, get tax rebates on taxes not paid, lay off workers, hide assets in off-shore banks, down size, globalize and nepotise.

Faye Slice
Butte Montana