DEAR MERCURY: I didn't know whether to laugh at or cry for someone like Mr. Martin ["Letters," Nov 18, who wrote in lambasting Dan Savage's "Better Dead than Red" article, Nov 11] who is so scared of Portland he feels "the need for a concealed weapon-carry permit" because of the "bums, winos, and hobos" and the gangs which "roam freely, scaring the bejeezus out of innocent citizens." I have never felt threatened, nor for that matter, been threatened by anyone in Portland. In fact, I find the idea of extremely paranoid people with guns far more threatening.

Bryan D. from Gresham [also "Letters," Nov 18] paints himself and his fellow "Red State people" as Christians who have "core beliefs" which lead them to "respect all people and to forgive." Aside from apparently leading the charge as his fellow Greshamites "hunt down Islamic genocidal freaks," I guess Bryan is one of those Christians who is unconcerned with the teachings of Jesus, who was very clear on the definition of a hypocrite: someone who holds one set of standards for himself and another set for others. How does one respect all people when writing bigotry into constitutions and supporting the killing of Iraqis under false pretenses? And in light of these lies, how does Bryan support the killing of our troops? Jesus' constitution--the Sermon on the Mount--does not allow for this. However, apparently some people's Christianity does not allow for Jesus.

Hiding behind concealed weapons, imagined Jesus, and blatant ignorance, these people are cowards, not patriots.

Peter Shaw


TO THE EDITOR: Dan Savage is a complete moron. Let me elaborate: 1) First of all, he needs to do some research before spewing excrement from his poison pen. Kerry did NOT win every city over 500,000, because he didn't win Houston, TX OR Dallas. 2) You communist, liberal traitor types LOST, LOST, LOST! So get over it. 3) Conservatives have WON and there's nothing you can do about it. However, I will tell you what WE can do about it. I suggest you Liberal/Communists leave now, before we start hanging you from lampposts, or lining you up against walls like you deserve. Remember the French Revolution. Good Ol' Dan might be the first person in line at the guillotine.

Jaye K. Curtis, Texas


TO THE MERCURY: This is for all you fascists who voted for the worst President in history, then wrote in to tell off Dan Savage for speaking his mind:

Al Martin: There are not more homeless people downtown because some local liberals espouse Christian values toward helping the needy. There are more homeless people because of disastrous Republican economic policies and funding cuts for mental health clinics.

R. Walker: I don't understand why you accuse liberals of telling people what to do. I think that, unless you're harming the environment or other people, you should be able to do whatever you want. But Republicans and Christian extremists love prohibition and censorship. They don't want people to watch certain movies, listen to certain songs, or even teach science at public schools. Meanwhile they want to force their radical views on everyone else by displaying Bible verses with public funds and eliminating a woman's fundamental right to choose whether or not she wants to have a baby. Oh, and they just amended Oregon's constitution to prohibit gay marriage. Where's the "live and let live" in that?

Jesse Smith


DEAR RED STATES: I know why you're mad. You're mad because Liberals are finally waking up. The recent election has shaken us out of our collective malaise and shown us what we need to do. For years, you fuckin' assholes have been telling us what's "right" and "wrong." Well, now it's our turn. For too long, we have tried to embrace diversity of viewpoints and we need to stop. There are some things that ARE just WRONG. Denying equal rights to homosexual couples is wrong. Letting corporations and the rich keep more of their money while slashing programs for the needy and poor is wrong. Using the Bible to justify your hatred and bigotry is wrong. Supporting Bush and his messianic imperialism is wrong. AND YOU, red states, you are FUCKIN' WRONG! And you better get used to people like Savage telling you that, because we're not going to take your shit anymore.

Zakk Daniek

CONGRATS TO ZAKK for winning the Mercury "Letter of the Week!" For taking up arms against Red State jerk-offs, Zakk will receive this week's prize of two passes to the Laurelhurst Theater and two tickets to see Sparta at Bossanova on Thursday, Dec. 2. Let 'em have it, Zakk!