Letters to the Editor

Harvey slams a couple of SunCruzin' Benedict Arnolds:
The most disturbing part of Bob Norman's story ("A Double Whammy," February 22) is not about SunCruz but that two Jewish businessmen support the Christian Coalition in a big way!

Why would influential Jewish businessmen promote an organization that wants to convert all Jews to Christianity? Don't Jack Abramoff and Ben Waldman, the two Jewish SunCruz executives, realize they are helping an outside organization promote religious conversion of their fellow Jews? Traitors is maybe a strong word to use when referring to these two jerks. How about assholes?

That the "good Christians" in Congress like Tom DeLay and Dick Armey block antigambling legislation just proves once again the hypocrisy of the GOP (Gangsters on Parade)!

Harvey Slavin

Help 'em find help:
Emma Trelles' February 15 article, "Street Life," was a very accurate portrayal, I think, of Federal Highway's working girls. I have never read an article that took the same position as Trelles, and I really admire her for that. Seeing these women on the roadside and the sense of struggle in their eyes has moved me. I just wanted to write and let you know how much I appreciated the article. Maybe now people will see the women in a new light -- not just as hookers, but as women with drug addictions and seemingly nowhere else to turn.

I am an 18-year-old college student with many expenses. I never have any money, but hearing and seeing people with these problems makes me feel selfish. In a way they keep me humble and in check. I was very glad to read that the police are taking stronger actions against the johns. They should know better and should be punished as well. One can only hope, however, that these women take advantage of the help around the corner. Then maybe one day they can aid other working girls.

Keep up the good work and interesting stories, and remember to keep the same attitude about people: Don't judge them until you're in their situation. Just remember what Thomas Carlyle once said, "Popular opinion is the greatest lie in the world."

Patty Ruffini
via the Internet

Her Manila is no thrilla:
I picked up your newspaper because of the cover. I am a missionary working among prostitutes in the Philippines and am visiting my family in Florida for a while. I have started a foundation in the Philippines called the Christian Cultural Development Foundation and have been working among prostitutes mainly in Manila for the past 15 years. I thought your writing was great and the story very well done. I will be making copies of it to send to the member organizations of our coalition there, the Evangelical Coalition of Ministries Among Prostitutes.

Your article is informative; prostitution is done a bit differently here and frankly I am unfamiliar with it. I am an artist, and my first assignment as a missionary in Manila was to do a documentary slide show about a drop-in center for prostitutes in the red-light district. Because of the revolution (1985), it took me a long time to complete the project. I began to notice that I may be more gifted than other missionaries to work comfortably with that group of people.

Having gone through four years of art school, doing nudes, you become desensitized quickly to the sexual nature of the human body. Thus, I was unruffled in the bar scene of Manila. That and a strong dose of "God's calling," I presume, helped me through. If you would like to read my story, a magazine recently did a write-up, and you can access it on the Web at www.christianitytoday.com. The article is called "The Art of Dodging Bullets."

Ten years ago in Los Angeles, I came across an article in the Los Angeles Times about a group called Prostitutes Anonymous. I bought a book from them, and it was really awesome. However, I can't find them anymore, and my book is gone. My husband and I are both artists, and we support our ministry through the sale of our artwork (as well as churches and individuals who donate funds regularly). We reproduce our artwork and sell a line of greeting cards, on handmade paper from the ex-prostitutes. They are blank greeting cards with our art images on the front. It's been a wonderful endeavor for the past few years now.

Again, congratulations on an article very well done. I hope you win some kind of journalistic prize for it!

Robin Merrill
via the Internet

Hollywood finally feels his pain:
Regarding the item about my family in February 15's Undercurrents: Today my wife Lisa was able to sign up the children, Garrett and Lindsey, on the City of Hollywood's group health and dental plans. May be a coincidence, but I think not. I want to thank you for your story and the effect that it had on the city. It made them do the right thing. Lisa and I are grateful to you and wish to express our deepest appreciation. Sleep well, for you have done a good thing.

Gary Hakanson
via the Internet

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