Though I myself remain agnostic on the importance of Mary Magdalene to Jesus, I must point out the following factual error (Arts, “Mary, Quite Contrary,” July 19):

“The sacred feminine was an intrinsic part of the earliest Christian tradition […] until it began to be selectively purged, first by Plato in the third century B.C. […]”

May I remind the editorial staff of the City Paper that Plato was not part of the earliest Christian traditions; Plato died centuries before Christ was born.

Dr. Ethan Deneault
College of Charleston


I just wanted to write and say thank you to Michael Graham for his article “Surrender or Sacrifice” (Views, Usual Suspects, July 19). I just got back from Israel in late June and have many relatives there, including my 21-year-old niece. While the world continues to judge Israel, it is comforting to know that some people support Israel’s right to defend itself. It is important to remember that this confrontation was initiated by the abduction of two Israeli soldiers by Hezbollah. Israel is too small to allow Hezbollah, or any terrorist group, to continue terrorizing the nation. While the world may judge Israel’s retaliation as disproportionate, Israel and Jewish law maintains that one human life is of immeasurable value. And not just Jewish life is valued. That is the reason Israeli forces warned Lebanese civilians to get out of areas they were going to target, and why, unlike Hezbollah, the Israeli defense forces do not hide arms in civilian homes. The terrorists may continue to choose to strap themselves with explosives, detonate on buses, kill innocent civilians, and believe these acts will be greeted with glory in heaven. That is never a mentality Israel, or any Jew, will ever adopt. For according to Jewish law, to save one life is to save the world entire. The world may not agree, but it is very inspiring to me to see what Israel will do to save one of its own.  

Tikvah Habib
Save Scenic 11

For all the residents who have meandered along scenic Highway 11 in upper Pickens County to experience the brilliant autumn colors or the fresh growth and blossoms in the spring, the up-close and natural beauty of the most cherished view of Table Rock Mountain may be permanently impaired by a monster galvanized cell tower (like the ones we enjoy along the interstates) if Cingular and the Wesleyan Methodist Church are successful in pushing approval through the Pickens County Council. A tireless and dedicated group of longtime community residents and others are fighting the location of the tower — not only for themselves, but for the thousands of people who enjoy the views every year. There are many other sites that are less obtrusive along Highway 11 that would permit us to enjoy our view unobstructed, plus have better cellphone service. If you care, please let your representatives, the governor, the County Council, the Wesleyan Methodist Church, and Cingular know!

Lee Chastain
Pickens, S.C.