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Mailbox, Spring 2007

Thoughts on torture and human dignity.
By Jane Greer
Spring 2007 2.15.07

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We received 50 letters about the Winter 2006 issue. The strongest response was to William F. Schulz’s feature story, “What Torture Has Taught Me,” which garnered seven letters. The feature story on the Rev. A. Powell Davies and his planting of multiple congregations in the Washington, D.C., area drew four letters, and the story about UU partnerships with Gulf Coast grassroots organizations elicited three letters.

Most of the readers responding to the torture article reacted to Schulz’s reference to the Unitarian Universalist First Principle, which affirms the inherent worth and dignity of every person, as a myth. Wrote Dino Drudi of Washington, D.C., “I see worth and dignity as being inherent as potentialities in every human being, but it is up to each to actualize that potentiality.”

The Rev. Inderias Dominic Bhatti, National Director of the Unitarians in Pakistan, commented, “It is a fact that religions do not directly instigate torture but the bitter reality is that they do support the perpetrators.”

Executive Editor Christopher L. Walton’s mailbox column in the Winter 2006 issue about the decision to use gender-neutral language in Opening Words drew huzzahs from Monica Vaughan of Corpus Christi, Texas, “I write to make sure you know how grateful I am and how helpful it is to women to be consciously included in the world of words.”

The Winter issue’s cover did not win kudos from three of our readers. Wrote Georgia and Al Weber of Cedar Park, Texas, “We have enough sensationalism in the general media and tabloids. The point of continued devastation in New Orleans could have been made without featuring a doll’s head in the wreckage.”

Among the 14 letters in the eclectic “other” file were letters about the possibility of reincarnation, the environmental benefits of vegetarianism, the need for interfaith cooperation, the advantages of using nuclear power over fossil fuel, and one suggesting that we use the term “human species” instead of “human race.”

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