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Mail: September 1 2004

COMMANDMENTS CRUSADE MISGUIDED

The leaders of the "Keep the Commandments" coalition are telling the citizens of Boise we have had our voices silenced by a vindictive and arbitrary politician. But don't be fooled: this crusade is being led by hardcore partisan politicos who see every politician to their left as a surrogate for the man they love to loathe--Bill Clinton.

Let's be honest, the Ten Commandments flap is a just a convenient face for their opposition to Mayor Bieter (and his political party). If this monument had never existed they would have come up with some other issue from which to launch a "grassroots, populist" rebellion against his Honor. For example, Brandi Swindell depends on divisive issues for her livelihood. You can't raise money through direct mailing without an enemy, and the "culture war" is the tap from which riches untold flow. Big time.

As a lifelong devoted Christian I can find absolutely no manner in which a monument to the Ten Commandments in a public park furthers the spread of the Gospel as we are called to do by Christ Himself. Reducing the Decalogue to just another secular, historic document to avoid obvious church-state commingling would seem to undermine rather than honor its importance. What have you won if you degrade the very thing you fight for?

Cleary, public access to a copy of the original stone tablets is not even the issue here. We can still read, touch and if we choose, pray before the above-mentioned granite slab. It is not hidden under a bushel, it is in plain sight. No, there is something deeper afoot here. Something inspired by fear, distrust and a desire to exert moral authority and power over the lives of fellow Idahoans.

To be honest, these are not bad people. No, they simply are genuinely frightened by others having the ability to live according to their own conscience and system of values, and they are masters at fomenting and exploiting that fear in others. All one has to do is read back issues of the local dog trainer to see this pattern played over and over again with same cast of characters; it is worthy to note that they are the only people who have benefited from these frequent spasms, proudly touting their high scores in name recognition polls. What a measure of a life well lived.

It is true that the seeds of fear and distrust naturally exist in all of us; however, truly great people seek to minimize their effects on society, not amplify them for their own edification or political benefit. It is sad that some choose the latter, especially those that bear the name of the Cross.

--Michael J. Devitt, Boise

CORRECTION

Regarding Flying Pie's information in "Cheap Eats" (BW, 8.25):

1. The "Gourmet Night" pizza buffet is $6.75, not $6.

2. It happens from 6-9 p.m., not 6:30-9:30 p.m.

3. Talk like a Pirate Day was not invented by the Flying Pie, but they enjoy celebrating it.

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