Just call me Ray (Satan), as in Hartmann (Beelzebub): As a regular reader of the Riverfront Times, I could not help but to respond to your article "This Is Not God's Team," referring to the Rams [Ray Hartmann, Jan. 30]. We all have a right to our opinions, and you have a right to yours, but to say Kurt Warner or any other Rams player should leave the mention of God on the curb is ridiculous. I'm not overly religious, but I can understand why Kurt and the others feel the way they do. Though you may or may not believe in God, did not God give Samson extraordinary strength? Other than the temple, should Samson have kept his thoughts to himself on whom and why he was given this gift? I don't think so. You use the analogy "What if a Muslim member of a football team praised Allah" -- so what? That is his choice. God is God. Neither Kurt nor anyone else on the team is likely to say, "We won the game because we're Christians." There are Christians in all team sports. Kurt knows this, as well as Isaac Bruce and Aeneas Williams. No team is holier than another.
The Quarterback's Bible
Ray (Satan), meet Brett (the Antichrist): You must have been reading my mind. It may be true that Kurt Warner, Aeneas Williams and Isaac Bruce do believe that they have what they have due to their faith. And it is nice to hear them express this, [but] for all of us fraught with cynicism and somewhat suspicious of those who thump Bibles a little too much, the interviews with Grant Wistrom and Marshall Faulk and their ability to display gratitude, humility and appreciation for their accomplishments [were] refreshing ... maybe I am wrong, but [the Rams] do come across as a bunch of televangelist football Jim Bakker types. At times [they] seem as sincere as a Jimmy Swaggart apology. Now, I would never propose to be as holy as Kurt Warner ... but I do recall from my cursory studies of the Bible that when you go to pray to be seen by others or do your charitable giving to be seen by the public, you are going against the word of Jesus ... Then again, maybe I just have a different Bible than the rest of St. Louis, which apparently has the New Red Letter Kurt Warner edition. P.S. -- Do you mind if I send a copy of your article to the Vatican as an attachment?
Brett "Antichrist" Rodman
via the Internet
Any color you want, as long as it's black: I was quite thrilled to see that Christina Wojtan and her Nocturnal Blasphemies show on KWUR were given some space in this week's "Radar Station" [René Spencer Saller, Jan. 23]. The black-metal scene in St. Louis is indeed lacking in support, and I applaud her for her crusade to give the genre a little bit more recognition. The goth scene is very unique in the fact that it is one of the few music-based subcultures that encompasses so much more than the music. It is also about art, fashion and literature, all bound together by an interest in a darker aesthetic than that of mainstream culture. We are not all sex-crazed degenerates whose lives revolve around Club Fetish (and you would be surprised at how many of the goths actually show up to dance, as opposed to being there for the bondage show), nor do many of us find Marilyn Manson to be representative of gothic subculture. I could go on and on, but the point I am trying to make is that the local goth scene deserves more recognition than that of its spectacle or extremes.
Joel Lovins/DJ Skeletal
See no evil, hear no evil, test no evil -- unless you have to: As a long-time resident of Herculaneum and a mother, I applaud Roland Klose's attention to detail in his article "Heavy-Metal Racket" [Dec. 26]. The truth must be told concerning the neglect Herculaneum has endured throughout the years from the various agencies whose jobs are to "protect" the health, welfare and environment of our citizens. Our children's first line of defense should have come from our local health department. Mr. Dennis M. Diehl, of the Jefferson County Health Department, writes to you in total denial of his agency's lack of attention given to the Herculaneum children and the most obvious source of the lead contamination ["Letters," Jan. 16]. The JCHD only supported and participated in the two recent Herculaneum blood-lead screenings because of the public outcry, and the public only allowed the JCHD to participate if they were diligently supervised by the Missouri Department of Health. All other blood-lead screenings performed by the JCHD were contracted by the Doe Run Co. This alone gives many residents of Herculaneum good reason not to trust Mr. Diehl or the JCHD. Please ask Mr. Diehl and his agency how many public-awareness efforts for lead effects and exposures they have initiated on their own in Herculaneum! I do not know of one! Mr. Diehl does not assign blame because he himself does not want to accept blame for his agency's neglect of the problem.
Clarification: The Chris Hoffman who was the subject of the Jan. 30 article "Sealed With a Kiss" is Christopher S. Hoffmann, an attorney in private practice and a 1998 graduate of the St. Louis University School of Law. He is not to be confused with Christopher A. Hoffman, clerk for the chief judge with the Missouri Court of Appeals and a 2000 graduate of SLU's law school.