LETTERS

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October 6, 2005

Letters to the Editor

Jews for Jesus

As a Presbyterian pastor laboring down here in the Bible belt, I want to express my deep appreciation for the article “Jews for Jesus Offends Jews and Christians” by Ethan Frenchman and Seth Mayer (10/3/05). Writing in a culture where civility towards and respect for the religious beliefs of others seem to be rapidly disappearing, the authors remind us not only of pertinent facts of Jewish identity, they also challenge us to be respectful of those long-standing facts. I plan to share their article with my congregation and my colleagues. Thank you.

Gerald Stephens, Jr.

Pastor, Bold Springs Church

Birmingham, Alabama

The September 30 issue of the Maroon ran an advertisement aimed at wooing Jewish readers away from basic teachings of their religion. The ad takes a cheap shot at Judaism by juxtaposing three ultra-Orthodox Jews and a smiling man wearing a Jews for Jesus shirt. As director of Hillel at the U of C, I am certainly unhappy to see an effort to proselytize Jewish members of the University community. Yet the issue is not essentially a Jewish one. If an ad had run encouraging Christian or Muslim students to “think for yourself” (in the language of the actual ad) and consider adopting the tenets of Islam or Christianity, as the case may be, I would still be offended.

Constituent members of the Campus Ministry Association follow a simple rule of non-proselytization. It is ironic and unfortunate that the sponsor of the September 30 ad, not being a member of the Campus Ministry Association nor bound by its rules, found in the pages of the Maroon a platform that the religious groups on campus appropriately may not enjoy.

David M. Rosenberg

Executive Director

The Newberger Hillel

It’s with disappointment that I read your recent article ìJews for Jesus Offends Jews and Christians.î I have been reading the Maroon for well over 20 years and know it to be a fine newspaper. But your recent article fails to live up to the journalistic standards the Maroon has upheld through the years.

Frenchman and Mayer never called Jews for Jesus to verify any of their allegations. In fact, it looks like they just went to an anti-Jews for Jesus website and cut and pasted the typical accusations leveled against us.

We’re accused of using deceptive methods. Oh please! Handing out literature with Jesus emblazoned across one’s shirt, do Frenchman and Mayer really feel that the University of Chicago’s student population is that thick that they would not know they are receiving something about Jesus? “Duh! What could they be handing out?”

You know there’s something wrong when the article says, “The group refers to Jesus as Y’shua, which they claim to be His Hebrew name.” A simple phone call to the Oriental Institute would have confirmed to Frenchman and Mayer what everybody else seems to know: that Jesus is not Italian, that the Gospels did not happen in Norway and that His mother didn’t call him Jesus. His name is Y’shua; He was born in Israel and claimed to be the Messiah of the Jewish people. Those are not our claims; those are the claims of the New

At least I can take comfort in one thing. I know that University of Chicago students are able to recognize the difference between real dialogue and a hatchet job.

Jhan Moskowitz

Midwest Regional Director

Jews for Jesus

A History of Violence

Terrific review. I did wonder a bit when Mr. Frame said there was something odd about the robbery. The only odd thing was that Tom Stall knew how to handle a gun as well as he did. Given that we don't know much about his background we may think he is totally unused to handling a gun. Since this is the Midwest I would think that in a rural area like that hunting, fishing, etc., may be the norm. He may be used to handling guns though certainly "not" something like that.

Given what we find out later in the film it is completely understandable "why" he did so well. This movie was meant to be very direct, clean and unimpeded by all the usual stuff put in films where everyone talks out what they did and why they did it and so on. The ending was a bit stark but the movie wasn't made to explain away anything that happened. It was left to the viewer which I think Mr. Frame knew as well. I'm sure many were a bit letdown at how simple the ending was and unexplained but that was the point now wasn't it? You were left to wonder if this family could put itself back together and be happy again or not. That is the real world.

Thanks for a great review.

Peggy Kincaid

Long Beach, CA.

Hired Truck Scandal

Samuel Rosenberg's article in the last edition of the Maroon was both petty, and insipid. Even if it were written tongue-in-cheek, it would still be a waste of otherwise good ink. Mr. Rosenberg contends several absurd positions: 1) Mayor Daley is not corrupt; 2) The investigations into the Mayor's cronies are pure political pettiness on the part of President Bush; and 3) That this is the "city that works" because of Mayor Daley's staunch dedication to the needs of his citizens.

Perhaps I missed something in the past 21 years of life (my family has long been resident in Chicago, although I grew up near Philadelphia), but the corruption of the Daley family (past and present) is corrupt to the point of legend: one remembers the famous story of the woman who asked to be buried in Chicago so that she could remain politically active. Mayor Daley (the current) oversees an administration that seems to become embroiled in corruption scandals every few years. The Hired-Trucks scandal has cost this city, and its citizens millions of dollars. Those are dollars that could have gone to social services, to new roads, to any number of causes; instead, they went to the pockets of corrupt officials intimately tied to the Daley administration.

The contention that the mere investigation of Mayor Daley's administration is some form of political assault is sickening and undemocratic. Instead of pointing to the repeated and egregious incidents of corruption at lower levels as a justification for the investigation, Mr. Rosenberg lists a number of Democrats in state government (many of which the Mayor does not always have the best relations with: see his efforts to secure a casino for the city and his occasional fights with the energy lobby in Springfield). As if the sheer existence of democrats in government is sufficient proof to malign the Bush administration for abusing its power. I suppose that Mr. Rosenberg would prefer that immensely powerful local governments that control huge portions of state revenues be exempt from federal investigation…or is it only when Republicans are in charge?

It is true that there has never been any concrete proof between Mayor Daley and his corrupt underlings who rotate periodically through the city government, but then again his father was never proven to be corrupt either. Neither was Al Capone, for that matter. Obviously what we have here is an evil Bush plot to malign upstanding Democratic Chicagoans.

That being said, I do agree with something that Mr. Rosenberg said: This is the City that Works, and Mr. Daley is a great mayor and has done great things for this city. If I am still here when he is up for reelection, I will vote for him; and I voted for Bush in the last election. But simply saying this city "works" ignores a terribly important question that one must ask when assessing the Mayor: "How does he work?" His administration has shown itself willing to bend and break the rules, and money just seems to slip through the cracks time and time again. The social services in the city are excellent for many, yes, but one need only take a long stroll around Hyde Park to show that Daley's tenure has not made things better for those who arguably need it the most. Mr. Rosenberg's comments are ignorant, malicious, and gloss over the very real problems that exist in this city and its government.

Scott Weese

4th year History Concentrator