Religious labels are irrelevant

  Dear HCN,

l was startled to see one of our Idaho senatorial candidates characterized in HCN as a "Jewish Wall Street refugee" (HCN, 10/14/02: The politics of growth). "Wall Street" is relevant; "Jewish" is not. Mr. Blinken is not running as a Zionist, and how he prays has not been an issue here.

In fact, HCN has a minor tradition of using religious labels as shorthand - other favorites in recent memory have been "Mormon" and "born-again Christian." Does the paper have a religious agenda that you haven't told us about? Or do you simply think all Christians agree with James Watt that we don't have to save the forest because Jesus is coming soon, all Mormons promote - what? All Jews believe - what?

For the record, we are all out here: Jews, Muslims, Episcopalians, Mormons, Roman Catholics, Buddhists, Presbyterians, Unitarians, Baptists, followers of tribal spirituality, and so on. We all live in the West, and we all care what happens here. Please don't foster easy stereotypes about faith communities. Where a religious position explicitly relates to someone's behavior, mention it. Otherwise, it doesn't belong in the story.

Darcy James

Grangeville, Idaho

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