EDITOR: Thank you for the insightful article ["God Was with Them," Eli Sanders, March 30], a rare chance to see the real face of Evangelical Christians. We have some nerve criticizing the Saudis for the destructive teachings in their religious schools but we're silent when it's being done right here at home. Civilization always pays a heavy price when religious fundamentalism takes over and America will be no exception. The other media is reluctant to tell people the dangers this presents. I'm glad that at least The Stranger has the guts to tell it like it is. May it long publish.

Vince Ambrose

STRANGER: Apparently your paper can get away with explicit sexuality and endorsing all types of "alternative" behavior, while the Christians are always pointed out as the intolerant, hateful bunch. I pick up your paper only for the free movie passes, but read the article about the beating of Micah Painter. I'm a Christian and the behavior of these Russian boys certainly doesn't reflect my attitude toward homosexuality. Yes, I believe it's sinful behavior (but no worse than other sins) and it's also a behavior that depends on choice. We can choose to go our own way because of hurts from others in the past (in his case Micah Painter was treated poorly by his father and thus he was acting out in a homosexual manner, trying to gain the favor of men that he never received from his father), or we can choose to follow God's way, which ultimately leads to peace for our souls.

The Christian faith does not depend on the behavior of Christians but on the lessons of Jesus Christ. Turn to Him for guidance and not on the misguided behavior of those Christians who choose to follow their own twisted interpretations of the Bible. The "Christians" represented in this article do not reflect the Jesus that I follow.

Erin McClain

EDITOR: Thank you once again for being different than the right-wing-dominated corporate media from which most people in America get their news. It was so refreshing to read Eli Sanders' article. The article frankly discussed the terrible acts allegedly committed by the three Bellingham men against Micah Painter as well as the terrible abuse gay kids so often suffer at the hands of their oh-so-moral-and-Christian Evangelical families. Even better, the article critically confronted the mean, crazy, intolerant beliefs of Evangelical Christianity as a movement. Such a critical look at this movement seems to have become taboo in the biased, cowed national media.

The national media seems hell-bent on kissing the butts of self-righteous red-state pseudo-Christians by pretending not only that such "moral" miscreants are a majority, but that they must be right about the "moral" issues because of their demographic prominence. It's sickening to think of how abusive right-wing "Christians" like those discussed in the article get away without jail time for abusing their gay children. It's even more sickening to think that these are the people that the pro-GOP mass-media machine holds up as the moral standard for the rest of us.

Tom Soppe

EDITOR: I just heard Eli Sanders on KUOW and it prompted me to pick up The Stranger and read "God Was with Them," an article that I've been intending to read but hadn't gotten around to yet. It was very touching, and I'm left a bit shaken after reading it. You raised some important issues surrounding this otherwise simple hate-crime story. I don't like the idea of sending an immigrant back to a difficult situation in his home country, but I hope we don't invite these horrible people to stay in our country. Anyway, I can't say enough good things about the manner in which you covered the story. Good job.

Phil Mocek

EDITOR: The "race to die" cover was a hilarious relief from the teary-eyed crap the rest of the media has been bombarding us with for the last few weeks. Thanks, guys!

Sohier Dane

DEAR EDITOR: The cover art on last week's edition of The Stranger was absolutely despicable. Has The Stranger really sunk to the level of picking on defenseless sick people in order to push the paper? Surely, there must be more creativity floating around your office than what's exhibited by the trash on this week's cover. It's offensive, disrespectful, and classless; but worst of all, the cover shows that you lack the insight and creativity to say anything meaningful about an event that will be remembered by Christians and non-Christians all over the world for years to come. You have proved that The Stranger has nothing to offer this city other than the shock value of an everyday rag.

A. L.

EDITOR: If you are going to continue to print Stefan Sharkansky's rants will you at least put them in the proper column, Drunk of the Week? Thanks.

Mike McCormick


DEAR STRANGER: Like gag me with a spoon! Ummm, do you faggots ever get out of your offices? In regard to the theater column concerning Streetbeat [Theater News, Brendan Kiley, March 31], I have big news: Streetbeat is totally a rip off of the original '80s street-dance duo Fankick! Where the fuck have you been for the last year and a half? Fankick! originated the boombox-carrying, sassy shouting, deadpan staring, '80s dance stylings that this insensitive, brain-dead group has come to call its own. As far as "takin' the beats to the streets" goes, please give credit where credit is due: Fankick!'s dances are the real jam, and the name Streetbeat!was once their's, too. Like, please, just gag me with a spoon. xoxoxoxoxoxxoxo

Jess Klein

DEAR EDITOR: Sorry. There's a typo in the "gag me with a spoon" letter--at the end: "was once their's, too" should really be "was once theirs' too." [Ed. Note: It should actually just be "theirs," yo.] Okay, thank you and goodbye.


CORRECTION: In last week's review of the restaurant Elemental @ Gasworks, we misspelled chef Laurie Riedeman's last name. Laurie, the copy department apologizes and sends props to your scallops ceviche.