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Know the West

Are we so shallow of spirit?

  Dear HCN,

We Americans are really something (-The Sacred & Profane Collide...," HCN, 5/26/97).

We spend a century trying to annihilate the natives so we can steal all their best land, land that contains their holiest sites, their natural cathedrals. Somehow a few manage to survive our onslaught, but we banish these people to hostile patches of earth that we have no use for.

Then, when their descendants ask us to please show a little respect for the religious places we've taken, we grow incensed that we can't swill beer, set up the barbecue and relieve our poodles any damn place we well please.

I fear the worst, that we've finally grown so shallow and tacky, that we're so completely bankrupt of spirit that we really can't conceive of anything more sacred than recreational frolic. We should be hit upside the head and sent packing to our zillion other roadside attractions that have already been cheapened by whiny, crass, touristy antics, because if we can't find it in our hearts to tolerate another's sense of reverence and honor the genuinely holy places where reverence is expressed, then soulless, plastic, gyp joints are all that we truly deserve.

David Seppa

Denver, Colorado