'Passion' is unvarnished view, not anti-Semitic

Regarding the Feb. 2 Opinion piece "'The Passion of the Christ' - two ways to think about a difficult movie": I believe that Michael Medved gave the most thought- provoking response to Mel Gibson's "The Passion of Christ" rather than the knee-jerk reaction that seems to be so common place.

His observation was especially poignant regarding relations between the Jewish communities of faith and the Christian interpretation of faith. The two are not necessarily incompatible. A reasoned dissent from a different perception of faith does not automatically make one anti-Semitic.

It is true that the Jewish faith and the Christian faith do have differences, however, as Shakespeare observed in "The Merchant of Venice," "Do we not bleed as other men bleed?" Perhaps Mr. Gibson's film can be a bridge between the communities to find our common ground.
Stephen P. Gray
Tulsa, Okla.

Although I have not seen "The Passion of the Christ," I believe Paula Fredriksen is going a bit overboard. From my limited interpretations of this film through trailers and movie clips, I see Mel Gibson as attempting to humble us, attempting to show us a glimpse of the sacrifice Jesus made. This is truth with no sugar coating.
Jaime LeRoux
Muncie, Ind.

Where will Dean supporters turn?

Regarding your Jan. 2 article "Kerry's quest to clinch it": With over half the delegates to be selected in the final week of the primary season, this show is far from over. But if Howard Dean loses, the real question is what happens to his supporters. Dean energized a huge number of people who had felt that their vote did not matter. If Dean loses because of media hype, bandwagon effects, or simply because of party shenanigans, it reinforces the feelings of disaffection. Once lost, these people will not come back.
Lysa Montwill
Columbia, Mo.

The race isn't over yet

Regarding your Jan. 3 article "Biggest question for Tuesday: Who drops out?": This isn't the Olympics. It's not the role of the press to call the election or rule candidates ineligible before most folks have even voted. And why didn't your story mention Dennis Kucinich or Al Sharpton? The article says that after Tuesday it might become a two-way "horse race." Has someone broken the other horses' legs? We are voting - not betting - on the future of our country.
Ruth Wangerin
New York

Houston's inner beauty

Regarding your Jan. 29 article "Sunday best: Houston's Super Bowl face-lift": Most large American cities are ugly. Consider Cleveland, Detroit, Denver, Dallas, or even New York. Paris, they're not. Consider Los Angeles, which depresses me visually every time I fly into it from "ugly" Houston with its endless flat sprawl of tacky buildings.

Houston's beauty is in its gorgeous trees and fertile intimate greenness year round. One could say that ugly cities are the American norm, but perhaps beauty is in the eyes of the beholder.
D.G. Brock
Los Angeles

Jon Stewart's other fans

Regarding your Jan. 30 article "Politics as punch line": You say that "young voters are turning to comics like Jon Stewart, Dennis Miller, and Bill Maher as an alternative to the news anchors." My husband and I are grandparents who almost never miss an episode of the "Daily Show." Jon Stewart and his gang of senior correspondents make a terrific complement to my daily reading of the Monitor. To us, the show represents true satire, definitely not just for young people.
Linda Bargmann
St. Louis

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