RAPE AND RESPONSIBILITY
Opposition to myths laudable
Re: “Diversity of thought” (Perspective, Nov. 23).
As an education specialist for the Spokane Sexual Assault Center, I have the privilege of working with many diverse groups of people in our community to educate about the dynamics and affects of sexual violence.
I often challenge community members to explore their values and concepts about sexual violence and personal responsibility. During this time, participants explore what are facts about sexual assault and what are values and opinions. We also explore to what extent individuals’ opinions and values are influenced by socialization processes such as media, school, parents and role models. This cannot be accomplished without an atmosphere of safety and mutual respect.
I do not, however, create this challenge at the expense of anyone who may have been the victim of sexual crime or someone who may have had a loved one victimized by this trauma. I try to follow the standard of “do no harm.”
It appears to me that The Spokesman-Review has failed to create an atmosphere of safety and respect within its own newsroom. It also appears evident that The Spokesman-Review did not take into consideration the effects that these “opinions” would have on many, many victims in our community, or their families.
To those 40 or so individuals who did not tolerate the proliferation of standardized rape myths, I applaud you. Your bravery to “step over the invisible wall” has held journalism to a standard above the norm. Your willingness to be a voice will aid those who have suffered from this kind of trauma on their journey to recovery. Laurie McKettrick, education specialist Spokane Sexual Assault Center
Consider provocation in other contexts
It’s the day after Thanksgiving and I’ve just received my paycheck. I am in the mood to shop and I’m giddy with excitement as I head toward the mall. I have had my eye on something for a while, and this one store has it.
I walk into the store and I’m greeted by the owner, who seems as eager to take my money as I am to take what he has to sell. My wallet is already out of my pocket as I look over his wares. But then I notice something is wrong. The product isn’t quite what I had in mind. It now looks cheap and tawdry. I decide that I am not going to get it after all.
The storekeeper, however, grows angry and grabs my arm. He tells me I have to keep up my end of the bargain. Pushing me to the floor, he rips my wallet from my hands and pulls out the amount I had intended to spend.
Stunned and shaken, I stumble out of his store and find a security guard. She laughs as I tell her my story.
“What did you expect?” she jeers. “You practically invited him to take your money!”
I later find out that hundreds of thousands of people share my experience, but such storekeepers always get minimal punishment.
There is a point, it seems, after which a buyer simply cannot change his or her mind. James Hunter Spokane
Founders’ intention perfectly clear
Letter writer Mike Matiska is right (“Founders did intend Christian nation,” Nov. 18).
Our nation was founded on Christianity. Those who have been led to believe otherwise by modern-day revisionist historians should read for themselves the historical records of the founding of America. They are replete with court rulings and statements of founding fathers verifying the Christian nature of America.
Nine of the 13 states at the time of the Constitution had established religions and they were all some denomination of the Christian religion. Samuel Adams said when he signed the Constitution, “We have this day restored the sovereign to whom all men ought to be obedient.” One of slogans of the revolution was “No king but Jesus.”
John Quincy Adams said, “The highest glory of the American revolution was this: It connected in one indissoluble bond the principles of civil government with the principles of Christianity.” Chief Justice John Marshall stated, “The American population is entirely Christian.”
Daniel Webster said in 1820, “Let us not forget the religious character of our origin.” Alexis de Tocqueville, in 1830, stated, “There is no country in the world in which the Christian religion retains a greater influence over the souls of men than in America.”
In the famous Trinity case of 1892, the court declared “Our civilization and our institutions are emphatically Christian. This is a Christian nation.” As late as 1986, a federal judge in Chicago said, “The truth is that America’s origins are Christian.”
The testimony of the early founders was quite different than the secular and godless views that are being promulgated today. Marilyn Lawson Spokane
U.S. a nation of Christian states
Those who argue that ours is not a Christian nation miss the point. Our Constitution of 1787 left that decision to the states, which were of course Christian to the bone. John Hodde Colville, Wash.
Pushy religious types get it wrong
This letter is directed to all you religious types who are so busy telling the rest of us what is right and wrong.
I was raised extremely fundamentalist Protestant, so I’m acutely aware of all the dogma that is taught. In my childhood, I sincerely tried to believe. But somehow, it never worked for me. It has taken me the rest of my life to get over it.
Contrary to what I was warned would happen to me, I have not become an alcoholic, drug abuser, prostitute, unwed mother or any other of the ill fates which awaited me. I have raised two good sons and lived a fairly normal life.
All of you who are intent on “saving” souls are defeating your purpose. From what I’ve seen of all you people who claim you’re going to heaven, I’d rather go to hell. If heaven means being cooped up with all of your hatred, bigotry and condemnation of others for eternity, that would certainly make it hell for me. I would rather spend eternity in hell, where I know what kind of evil I am dealing with.
If you read your Bible you will find that God worked his way and miracles through people who were not always perfect, but had faults, committed “sins” and were just as dysfunctional as the majority of people in society are.
Remember, if you have everything in this world and have not love, it merits me nothing. The greatest thing you can have is love, and that includes love for all of God’s creations. Mary C. Caloia Spokane
Hard times for common sense
As a retired vice detective and youth coach, I congratulate the following for not enforcing the common sense principle during the past week:
To Doug Clark, for his unintelligent, insensitive column concerning our county commissioners passing the much-commended adult entertainment four-foot no contact ordinance. Maybe he would like to talk to the wife who had called in reference to her husband spending $800 of family food and Christmas money at a single sitting at an adult entertainment club.
To our Washington State Patrol chief who does not support her own officer, who was sworn to uphold the DWI law so vital to preservation of life at this time.
Finally, to the Eastern Washington University head women’s basketball coach, who did not recruit an All Greater Spokane League three-point shooting star, a devoted player who has been a winner at all levels and has numerous paying fans, because she is not 6-foot-1-inch tall. Two 40-point losses in a week seriously question the integrity of an already imperiled women’s basketball program. Oh yes, the non-recruited athlete gets tuition waived at any state of Washington university. John G. Kallas Veradale
School bus driver died a hero
I just read the Nov. 27 story about the school bus driver who took a bullet in the head and it says “authorities aren’t sure why he staggered off the bus.” Your headline says, “Shooting suspect is schizophrenic.” What it should have said was that the school bus driver was a hero because, even though the guy was mortally wounded, he got off the bus to draw fire away from his kids. He was protecting them - that’s the way I see it.
My former landlady was a school bus driver for over 30 years and this guy drove bus for 15 years. He was protecting people’s babies. He wasn’t being stupid. Mike W. Childress Cheney