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Theological Geography

Naming America's Holy Cities. On the road against. Plus more.

8.1.03

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HELL'S ANGEL
Steve Hornbeck's Down at the Office:

Kudos for such an imaginative article. Who says conservative-minded people are boring and unable to "think outside the box"? Excellent article by Steve Hornbeck. I truly enjoyed it. Please keep up the good work.
-- Tim Johnson
Micrel Semiconductor

GEOGRAPHY CLASS
Re: Bill Croke's Clueless in Cody:

Great article about the cluelessness of many American travelers. I will always remember Cody as it was just about 10 miles west of there, after coming out of Yellowstone (just over those hills), that one of my front brake pads disintegrated. Imagine my concern, and that of my family, when we saw chunks of metal trailing out behind my Dodge Caravan. I slowly made it to Cody. It being a Saturday I was worried that I would not find anyone open to help or that parts would not be available in such a "remote" locale. As it turned out, a local gas station/garage was open and the extremely helpful mechanic called the nearby NAPA store and was able to replace the pads and I was on my way after only an hour delay. One of many great memories of my numerous cross country trips while in the Navy. When I retire for good I hope I can get back out to Wyoming again. Great state with lots to see! I currently reside outside of Harrisburg, PA -- think I can make it there by nightfall??? :)

Thanks for the article.
-- Mike

I always enjoy the insight Bill brings to your pages. My wife and I travel, via car, all over the United States and it is so true that many people simply do not understand distance. Our recent trip to Glacier National Park drove this point home for us once again too. I think some folks expect their video world to extend to instant video vacations, and hurry up about it!. What ever happened to stopping to smell the roses?
-- Roger Ross
Tomahawk, WI

What a great article!!

When I was a teenager in the 50's growing up in North Dakota, I was on tour bus full of teenagers on my way to New York City when a young man noticed my name tag and asked if North Dakota was a state yet?! I told him that in North Dakota we were taught the states and their capitals in second grade. North Dakota like Wyoming has vast open spaces that I consider very beautiful.

I am also alarmed at the little knowledge that many of our citizens have about our great country.
-- Connie Klecker
Minnesota and Arizona

Bill, I enjoy your amusing tales from Wyoming. As a fledging writer from Montana, now retired in Southern California, I can relate to your homespun western humor and wry comments about the literacy of tourist and the general population in regard to geography. As an example, when my wife and I lived in New Mexico for several years, many of our friends and casual acquaintances wondered how we like living in a foreign country, namely Mexico.

Keep up the good work
-- Tom Bullock
West Covina, CA

AMERICAN PILGRIMAGE
Re: R. Emmett Tyrrell, Jr.'s America's Holy Cities:

In case no one else mentioned it, the both Pentagon and the CIA Headquarters are located in Virginia, not Washington, D.C. Conservatives might alternatively designate Arlington, home of the famous cemetery, as their "Holy City," despite it being within a Democratic stronghold.
-- John McConnell
Herndon, Virginia

How can you pass up San Francisco, the true liberal mecca where the progressive elite hold their deserved sway over the lumpen masses and have enshrined the liberal belief that, since all the pinkish social engineering they've done to date has failed, the only thing left to do is more of it?
-- Richard McEnroe

Citizens and boosters of Charleston, South Carolina have referred to their town as the "Holy City" for many generations. The origin, I suspect, has to do with the large number of churches (almost one on every corner in the peninsular part of the town between the Ashley and Cooper Rivers). It also relates to the proud (but not haughty) nature of the citizens. I am told it is frequently voted the most polite city in America, an honor one would never consider bestowing on Washington, Chicago or Hollywood.
-- Stuart S. Settle, Jr.
Richmond, VA

R. Emmett Tyrrell's column about America's holy cities reminded me of Ambrose Bierce's definition of mammon. "Mammon," he wrote in The Devil's Dictionary, "God of the world's major religion. Its temple is in the holy city of New York."
-- Bill Roughton
Fairfax Station, VA

Go scour the USA for a place where a saint or saints have lived and worked, or where God has manifested Himself, opened a new revelation or traditional dispensation or accomplished some great prodigy, and you will find your holy city. What? You can't locate such a place? There is your answer.

I would have laughed at Tyrrell's tongue-in-cheek article, but for my suspicion that his tongue is only halfway in (out?). . .
-- Jeffrey S. Erickson
Davidson, NC

Exquisite! I hate to admit it, but I had forgotten how ineffable is Tyrrell's talent for satire. He is truly America's Addison and Steele.
-- J. R. Wheatley
Harper Woods, MI

I loved your column tonight and wonder why you did not say, "Las Vegas," city of the holy rollers? (groan:)

Anyway, I will probably be writing in with a rant soon as I am reading too much "stuff," should just stick with you fellows.
-- Carole

Just a minute -- there is no precedent that I am aware of, at any rate, for having a capital city also the Holy City. Think about it. Najaf -- not Baghdad, Qom -- not Tehran, and Mecca -- not Riyadh. Washington, therefore, cannot possibly qualify. I propose Garden Grove, California. We have the Crystal Cathedral, an ideal location for a pilgrimage, and by the way, it's only a short couple of miles from Disneyland.
-- Jim Heideman
Garden Grove, CA

Well, we may not have holy cities, but the liberals and their language distortions have given us something almost as good. We have "sacred" Indian stuff. Yes, anything Indian or, as they say Native American, must be viewed as "sacred." Any noun referring to Indian material, "burial ground," "headdress," or "totem," for example, must be preceded by the word "sacred." When carried to its natural conclusion, we will have "sacred Indian casinos," "sacred Indian relics," and "sacred Indian tractors." And, just as Muslim priests have decreed that certain cities in their part of the world are holy , in our part of the world, the priests of liberal culture have declared everything Indian to be sacred.
-- M in Colleyville

Mr. Tyrrell has missed the obvious, though I can easily forgive him. Has he ever been to Nashville?

Thank ya, vera much.
-- Jim Sweet

The Editor replies: Yes, during his Hoosier years in Bloomington, Mr. Tyrrell often visited Nashville, Indiana, in neighboring Brown County.

CRISIS INTERVENTION
Re: David Hogberg's Among the Tax-and-Spenders:

My state, Alabama, is said to face a budget deficit requiring 1.5 Billion in new taxes (25% of the state's 2002 revenue).

It is a phony claim for several reasons:

*Alabama's constitution prohibits deficit spending, and provides pro ration instead.

*State tax revenues have increased $625 million (11 %) from 1998 through 2002 (latest figures)

* The bulk of the "crisis" is said to be under funded public schools. A bogus claim, but mega bucks for the all powerful teachers union. No publi official has ever detailed the "shortfall".

I strongly suspect that except for a few states, like California, the Crisis is manufactured just as it is in Alabama.
-- G.B. Hall
Montgomery, AL

PIKES PIQUE
Re: Reid Collins' Let's Not Go to the Videotape

Mr. Collins needs to take a closer look at American History. Not only did the founders come here for freedom to worship as they pleased, to explore new lands, to do as they pleased, they also did put heads on pikes. In Plymouth colony. I'm not suggesting it's what should or should not have been done, nor am I implying that we should or should not do the 21st century-technologically possible equivalent. Simply that Mr. Collins should better check his facts.
-- unsigned

ON THE MOVE
Re: Reader Mail's Talking Back to Old Europe:

Several eloquent writers (Carrigg, Diaz, Dana and Tinder, among others) supplied considerable "comeuppance" to a demented view expressed earlier -- but there was one point about the Middle East apparently forgotten: The Arabs/Palestinians of that general region were nomads. Nomads! They went wherever there was something-to-get/find/eat. And when a bunch of Jews turned the desert into citrus groves, gardens and a very livable place?

Then, by golly, more than a few of the former camel caravans decided to stay put, stick around, and partake of the goodies -- nomads no more. Just thought I'd remind you about some history most have ignored ...
-- Geoff Brandt
Everett, WA

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