God And Country To the Editor:
Regarding Dan Huff and Dave Devine's "Grassroots Goliath" (Tucson Weekly, October 17): The Christian Coalition and the Pima County Interfaith Council are very much alike. Both groups consist of people with
strong religious principles, and both want the government to enforce those priciples on unwilling others.
Admittedly, the two differ on specifies. The Coalitioneers get their excitement from the grimmer passages
of Paul and the Pentateuch, while the libido of the Councilistas is directed more toward the Sermon on the Mount. Yet both represent a threat to the liberty of non-believers. The Pat Robertsonites lust for
state regulation of reading, viewing, speeach and more intemitae matters; the compassion-mongers of the PCIC crave vastly expanded spending on social programs, which would rob the taxpayer of free time and money.
Rather than yielding to the pleas, demands and threats of either group, our elected officials should undertake to maximize our freedom. If Ralph Reed's flock would rather not lie with mankind as with a women,
they should have the option; if the followers of St. Francis in the Foothills want to sell all that they have and give to the poor, that should be their prerogative. But by the same token, infidels whose
beliefs demand neither chastity nor charity should not be forced to practice either virtue to satisfy the consciences of others.
-- William Flack
To the Editor:
Regarding Dan Huff and Dave Devine's "Grassroots Goliath" (Tucson Weekly, October17): I am a third-grade teacher at Mission View Elementary in South Tucson and am involved in issues
affecting the Santa Rita Park and South Tucson communities. Last May, I initiated a meeting over business and residents' concerns about the homeless/transients in our area and park. I invited the PCIC to
attend, since I had positive dealings with the folks at the school. I knew they were homeless advocates, but felt they deserved to participate and speak out.
My naivete'. The PCIC folks who showed up tried to
take over the meeting, insulting me, threatened my job, and ended the session by praying for me and all the other folks who dare to speak out about our concerns. Our grassroots goals of empowernment and
dealing with an onerous situation didn't take with them.
Your articles on the PCIC glossed over the amount of anger and resentment many in our community feels toward this group. PCIC attacks the so-called
"power structure" not in the foothills or the development community, but in reality they go after many people who already engaged in the community and trying to accomplish good works.
modus operandi is to buddy up to a group on a project and then try to take it over, completely. They are an anti-neighborhood lobbying organization with a strong religious flavor. They espouse having allies
and communication, yet the words that have come up since I started to do research on them heve been: "racist, fascist, bullying, into intimidation and weird.
" I am not sure where their espousal of
caring about families, kids and community comes into keeping Santa Rita Park the city's homeless/transient park, where there are bare-bones recreational facilities and no sports leauges at all for kids or
Where do the kids in South Tucson have to go for a league of any kind? What has the PCIC done about South Tucson?
The PCIC folks feel that its time for them to be accountable to the
community. To not only clearly demonstrate a track recordfor what they put forth, but an authentic willingness to work with other folks in improving our community. The PCIC has needlessly alienated many
folks engaged in working for positive change. I thinks it's time for them to stop their squaking their talk and start walking it.
-- Mitch Sternberg