Reading the letter from Corey and Suzanne Diekman (see "A Passionless Review," River Cities' Reader Issue 467, March 10-16, 2004) regarding their unhappiness with Mike Schulz's review of The Passion of Christ made me physically ill, but it had nothing to do with their opinion about the movie. And I was prepared to just ignore it until Mr. Deikman wrote in a second time. Honestly, I could care less what they, or Mike Schulz, thought of the movie. No offense, Mike. While I don't always agree with you, I think your reviews are very well-written, and I always enjoy them. It's just that I prefer to make my own judgments after I've seen a film, which is what I always do. Independent thinking is fun for the whole family. I'm sure you would agree. I doubt the Deikmans would.

No, what made me so nauseous and angry was the fact that they took a movie review they disagreed with and instead of simply making their point, they turned it into a political issue, maligning an entire group of people in the process. Not very Christian, if you ask me. To top it off, they used religion as their foil, insinuating that anyone who might disagree with their particular point of view was not only wrong, but "liberal," a term they meant to use in the most distorted, derogatory, dirty sense of the word. I can respect conservative thought when it's rational, but there is a breed of radical conservative out there who are every bit as fundamentalist - and dangerous in their quest for dominance - as the extremists our nation is currently at war with.

I myself am a Christian, and a moderate left-leaner. Contrary to popular opinion among neo-conservatives, this is not a paradox. In fact, if Christ had a political party, I have no doubts where he would stand on social and economic issues. (Hint: It wouldn't be with the folks who most often invoke His name). His teachings are what inspire many people to become socially active. Jesus not only took care of the hungry, sick, poor, and "morally casual," he hung out with them! He lived to save others and even died to do so. Talk about putting your money where your mouth is! No doubt about it folks - Jesus is a full-on liberal!

I've grown weary of all these fascists coming out of the woodwork using Christ, arguably the most peaceful figure in history, as their excuse to go to war, discriminate, judge, or otherwise get in other people's faces. Christ's message was all about love for thy neighbor, yet many folks out there with an agenda continue to manipulate His message in order to validate a wide variety of truly heinous crimes against humanity (and I am not talking about gay marriage, brothers and sisters!).

The only statement the Diekmans made that I can agree with is that Christ's teaching had nothing to do with anti-Semitism. He had nothing to do with that; that was all mankind's doing. Mankind is fallible, is prone to misinterpretation, and will almost always manipulate for his or her own gain when given too much power. God gave us choice and free will. America is supposed to give us freedom, including from religious persecution, whatever your flavor.

I certainly stand by the radical conservatives' right to free speech, but if they keep dissing us liberals, they better think about who they're really persecuting.

Mark Hancock
Bettendorf

In Memory of 315


Well, 315 (born William Arion Wells) just recently passed away, on April 1, his birthday no less, and I felt a few words should be set forth in his honor and memory. "3" was a huge part of the "scene" we were all involved with in the 1960s and 1970s. I've got a zillion great 315 stories, as I'm sure lots of us do. For those of us that knew him, nothing needs to be said but just the thought of him will bring a smile and a good feeling to mind; for here was that one special person who showed us that all rules of social convention and conformity could be comically trampled on. "3" could transform any event from a gathering to a happening. For me, he was a great friend and an inspiration. There sure won't be another like him.

Goodbye Billy. We'll all miss you.

Robert Dahms
San Juan Capistrano, California

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