Reagan, Reason, and Astrology
Chris Tucker’s column [“Astrology and So Much More!” July] was a refreshing break from the usual credulity with which the popular media handles all the crazy claims of astrologists. channelers, UFO abductees, and the like.
Most of the negative press coverage concerning the White House astrology flap seemed to be simple partisan politics. Newspapers that have run astrology columns without disclaimers for years, for example, suddenly saw fit to subject the Reagans to ridicule on this count.
Astrology, as Tucker points out, is simply wrong. It’s not as though it’s right for supporters of George Bush and wrong for those of Michael Dukakis because Jeane Dixon tells the former what they want to hear and the latter what they don’t. More important than belief as such or being for or against a candidate or policy (or anything else) is the how and why of belief and advocacy.
Thinking, to be sure, is a dangerous thing: dangerous to irrational ideas and the people who make their living from them. This column has given me a little more hope that there is a future for reason and intellectual honesty. Thank you for that.
Deborah A. Boak
It is very sad that a nation owing its intellectual foundation to thinkers like Locke, Paine, Jefferson, and Franklin is in danger of running aground on the “limp relativism” that denies the difference between truth and error.
Jeane Dixon can at least be excused. She and her kind can’t afford (literally) to be skeptical. I wouldn’t expect the pope to change his religious affiliation either. Yet it is very discouraging when the popular media makes a habit of failing to apply the kind of sensible and critical thinking to paranormal and pseudoscience claims (as Tucker points out) that it makes such a show of in more mundane matters. This column was a welcome exception to this unsettling diet. It’s good to know that D Magazine is on the side of rationality and common sense.
It is interesting that Chris Tucker took the time to denigrate astrology without the likelihood of having done one iota of research into the subject. Astrology represents influences, and other influences such as genes and environment have an equal force in human development. This is why Natal Horoscopes have holes, but more often than not, have a ring of truth as well. Why are Planetary Octaves harder to accept than believing we can gain absolution of sin from a building? Fortunately, this is America, and we can believe what we feel to be true.
You fail to realize that science and religion are the same. Both seek truth and understanding. If you take evolution and crea-tionism together it is easy to see that they are the same thing. First there was a ferment (collapsing universe), then God created light (big bang), God formed the heavens and the earth (accretion of the planets), then you get the beasts of the field (evolution) and man. How many new life forms have developed since the dawn of man? Since the Bible is told from God’s point of view, and God transcends our dimensions of space and time, would not seven days to a being without time be 20 billion years to us? Where’s your sense of relativity?
Lessons From Atlanta
I was most impressed by Ruth Fitzgib-bons’s editorial, “Learning From Atlanta, A City ’Too Busy to Hate,’” [July]. While I’ve been concerned about DART, the police review board, crime, AIDS, etc.. the biggest issue facing Dallas-in my judgment-is leadership in all facets of the city. Many of the people we could once call on have become preoccupied with saving their businesses or their jobs. Others have grown weary of the battle and have retired to the sidelines. I hear too many folks with leadership qualifications say, “I don’t want any part of this mess… I’m not going to waste my time dealing with those people.” Underlying much of this, of course, is the black-white relationship.
The editorial suggests that Atlanta could serve as a model for how Dallas comes to grip with the black-white issue. Obviously, until we do there is no real hope for Dallas achieving its “place in the sun.”
David J. Kerr
The Melting Pot Church
Having just read Richard West’s “Amazing Grace,” in the July Z), I found it to be both informative and inspiring, with an effective balance of “story” and feeling that commends its content to the reader, whether sympathetic with Grace United Methodist or not. I want to compliment West highly for his skill and style in the article.
J. William Matthews
Director, Public Relations
Perkins School of Theology. SMU
Pei Dirt Is Groundless
I read with dismay the first item in your “Street Talk” column [July], which erroneously reports that Betty Marcus made suggestions to I.M. Pei regarding the design of the Morton H. Meyerson Symphony Center windows and placement of trees outside the windows. There is not any truth to this. As a longtime friend of Betty Marcus and as resident partner of the Dallas office of I.M. Pei & Partners, I have been very close to Pei during the entire design process and would have been aware of such a conversation, had it taken place.
Betty Marcus, who so meaningfully participated in a large number of Dallas civic projects, had no involvement in the design of the Symphony Center. Her participation began after the design had been finalized, when as president of the Dallas Park Board she led the effort that resulted in what will be a beautiful park, named in her honor, adjacent to the Meyerson Center. This kind of “reporting” is distorted and irresponsible.
Theodore A. Amberg
/. M. Pei & Partners
Dallas Women: Beauty and Brains
1 was so happy to begin to receive D Magazine through my KERA subscription until the July issue. In this issue appeared a very small piece entitled “Dallas Passions- The Women.’1 (p. 83). The whole theme of the piece was offensive-judging half or more of the population of the city of Dallas by their physical appearance. Haven’t we come farther than that?
Do the mayor and Lori Palmer and Diane Ragsdale, leaders of the community, fit in with the gross portrayal of this article? Are they “catty” or “catatonic”? Or how about your editor, Ruth Miller Fitzgibbons? Into which category does she fall? The article asks, “where do all of these beauties come from? It’s like asking God how He created the world. You simply must accept with grace one of the special blessings this life has given us.” I say that we must accept that a brain was also a blessing that She (God) gave us with which to think and to remember that beauty is only skin deep.
Women and men are capable of so much more than just looking good. Ruth Fitzgibbons, I am surprised that this one got past your desk. Let’s grow up, Dallas!
Reagan, Reason, and Astrology