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Northwest Voices

Seattle Times letters to the editor

December 4, 2008 at 3:09 PM

White House ornament debacle

Thanks for nothing

I am so sad that Deborah Lawrence would have the disrespect for our state of Washington by creating a tree ornament with a negative message that has brought negative attention to Washington [“Impeachment ornament from Seattle nixed for White House tree,” News, Dec. 2].

It has been on every news program that the White House tree is decked out with ornament contributions from every state with the exception of Washington, due to inappropriate content.

Have we lost the meaning of the holiday season? What official in Washington state let this glass ball be sent without proofing it? It represents all residents in Washington, not just the person who decided to voice their political opinion. Shame on you for the shame you brought to our state.

— Pam Wright, Kirkland

Not the time, nor the place

How sad that Deborah Lawrence’s hatred for President George W. Bush completely overwhelms her ability to comprehend the holiday season. Certainly, she has First Amendment rights, which we cherish and fight to preserve, but inserting such negativity into a request for a Christmas ornament shows the pathetic way some people diminish anything positive in our society.

Those responsible from Congressman Jim McDermott’s office and the “local arts organization” are helping to promote an atmosphere of hatred and division instead of raising the level of public discourse by encouraging respect and conciliation.

— Cecilia Bordenet, Redmond

One month and counting

The Bushes [President George W. Bush and first lady Laura Bush] could have put the [ornament] on an upper branch and nobody would have been the wiser. Instead, they continue to cause as much meaningless divisiveness as possible.

So glad we have regular elections.

— Doug Palmer, Seattle

You reap what you sow

Is it the “impeach Bush” Christmas ornament that is in “poor taste” [“In really poor taste,” editorial, Dec. 4]? Or is it the myriad impeachable offenses committed by the George W. Bush presidency — an administration marked by lies, illegal wars, a disdain for the Bill of Rights and the environment, a corrupt mismanagement of the economy, the use of medieval tortures and more — that has been in “poor taste” and worse?

Please don’t confuse the messenger with the message.

— Thomas Goetzl, Bellingham

Whatever happened to

freedom of expression?

In your Dec. 4 editorial you indicate that the artist of the Christmas ornament in question, Deborah Lawrence, “is known for her anti-war, anti-torture and feminist views [which] should have alerted someone to check with the artist — or to select someone else who might feel the Christmas spirit a little more acutely.”

Are distastes for war and torture and support for women now such controversial views that they should immediately indicate a need for a background check or exclusion from the public arena? No doubt, the ornament in question was in poor taste, but that could easily be determined by judging the art itself without prejudging the artist, as you suggest.

— Geoffrey Baird, Seattle

Time to make some new friends

Deborah Lawrence was awarded the honor of making an ornament for the White House tree. She abused the privilege and embarrassed me and everyone in the 46th District.

The prevalence of opinionated people like her in the city of Seattle, who assume the right to speak for all of us, angers me and causes me to seriously question my affiliation with the 46th District Democrats.

— Beverly Perry, Seattle

We deserve an apology

The so-called artist by the name of Deborah Lawrence is a childish woman. If one of my children would have showed such disrespect for the first lady and the office of the presidency (no matter who was in office), I would have made them write a letter of apology. Aside from the childish attempt to embarrass the White House, the ornament isn’t particularly artistic. It looks like a child made it.

The state of Washington has no clout in this nation and when some goofy woman pulls an embarrassing stunt like this we become tainted by her actions. She should apologize to all of us.

— Kathleen Lawrence, Mercer Island

Shame on you

Seattle artist Deborah Lawrence missed the point by painting a political message on an ornament meant for a holiday tree in the White House.

A reminder to this artist: This is our holiday tree and it is our house. By bringing this unnecessary attention to yourself, you stole from the talents and efforts of 369 other artists who had the grace to celebrate a cherished holiday without making a political statement.

— W. Hoke, Bremerton

Kudos, Lawrence

In the Dec. 4 editorial you say “Lawrence is known for her anti-war, anti-torture and feminist views” and, therefore they should have chosen “someone else who might feel the Christmas spirit a little more acutely.”

If you reread your New Testament, where most of the idea of Christmas spirit comes from, you’ll see that Christians are actually supposed to be opposed to killing and torture. And, I would include that Christians should generally be in favor of equal rights as well (e.g., feminism).

Maybe for Veteran’s Day or July 4, you’d want an ornament that celebrated war, but I think for a Christmas tree, Lawrence’s spirit is just right.

— Margaret McGaughey, Seattle

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