Our terrible national tragedy: Thank you, Jim Schutze, for your article "All God's Children" (September 13). It was beautifully written and expressed many of my feelings in the aftermath of our terrible national tragedy. I, too, have a teen-age son. He just turned 16. One of my first thoughts as I watched the horror of the towers falling was, "Oh God, please don't take my son." Thoughts of watching the Vietnam War on the national news every night came back to me. I am a 48-year-old woman with no military experience, but I would willingly go in my son's place. I love him more than life.
I have not read the book you referenced in your article, but I plan to get a copy of it today. May God bless you and your family. You have given me a reason to be a faithful reader of the Dallas Observer.
Janie Dew Garland
One God: As a Muslim student in Boston, I read your story when a friend e-mailed it to me. I wish American attitudes in general were just as your own. I heard some people ranting on and on over the radio this morning. "Let's bomb Afghanistan. We need to desecrate those Muslims."
Things like this hurt my religion more than they hurt me, yet in American today, I will suffer. All over CNN, they are mentioning Islam and defacing the religion. It is a religion of peace. Only a small minority of extremists have soiled our good name.
At my university, one Muslim student has already been threatened. How far must this go?
I was touched by your article, sir. In this time of tragedy, we must stay together, regardless of religion. I have cried for the innocent as much as the next non-Muslim. We have but one God.
Omar Haq Via e-mail
The need to hate: I wanted to share with you how very much I appreciated Jim Schutze's wonderful essay "All God's Children." It was heartfelt, honest and pull-no-punches concerning the reality of being Arab/Muslim in the USA. Thanks to Jim for remembering that we are all part of the human family. The hatred and racism that has resurged exposes the giant need some folks have to hate someone. Let us not repeat the prejudice we saw against Iranians in this country in the '80s, against the Iraqis in the '90s and now fueled by the pro-Israel lobby and right-wing policies against all Arabs. I speak as an American and a Jew. I work for peace and understanding with other Jews and Palestinians and Arabs and Israelis around the globe. Peace is the only thing that will provide security...peace and justice for all.
Bring those responsible for this vile terrorist act to justice, making certain that we do not create a bigger hell for us all with just the thought of revenge. Thanks, Jim, once again, for your thoughtful and needed column.
Culpable in our own demise: We allow our politicians to storm out of Durban like petulant children. We let them blow off Kyoto. We bomb Iraq, killing untold civilians, yet don't challenge our media to ask why. We permit our leaders to support world banking policies that continue to strangle the hopes of the helpless.
Our anger should not be directed entirely at the perpetrators of this heinous act. We are culpable in our own demise as long as we continue to ignore the insidious effects of racism and injustice around the world. Don't worry, Jim. Your son will be part of a military force that will crush all opposition handily. Bush and his hawks have been angling for war from day one, and they've got one. But if military solutions are our only solutions, then we completely underestimate the passion of our enemies, and we have already lost the war.
John Carstarphen Via e-mail
Where to find books: Shame on you, Jim Schutze. How dare you "drive north" when all you had to do was pick up the phone and call the library! Dallas Public Library has several copies of A History of God. You could have saved yourself some money for that gas you needed!
Roger Carroll Dallas
Go back to being a cop: It is quite obvious we are out-budgeted, out-gunned and out-organized to fight the war on drugs ("Drug Crazed," September 6). When will the politicos ever learn this? I am not specifically for legalization of what we may consider recreational drugs, but it may make a lot more sense to do so.
Let the assigned policing agencies revert back to being cops, catching the out-of-control violent criminals who commit offenses against citizens--often drug-related--and be stiff in the sentencing, not 10 to 20 years but out in one to three.
For those who want to get high or get a buzz, perhaps we should simply issue a ticket or even let them ruin their futures, brains, jobs, marriages, etc. If they seek help, that should be a burden they--the users--shoulder, or get a private citizen to sponsor them. We should not use our tax dollars to fund a multibillion-dollar industry. I'd like to keep some of what I have earned the old, hard way.