Bitter and bigoted

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Why should anyone give credibility to Ed Firmage Jr.? His most recent rant ("Norman Rockwell and the LDS ideal," Opinion, July 28) solidifies his status as a bitter, isolated individual and religious bigot.

Comparing sweeping European religious architecture to a small exhibit of American paintings is laughable to begin with but, in so doing, Firmage failed to mention that a significant message sent by the buildings of early Christianity was power, wealth, social status and exclusion of anyone who didn't fall into those categories.

Firmage's dismissal of Norman Rockwell is in itself "bourgeois," as he seems unaware of many of the artist's canvases which directly and courageously address issues such as integration, poverty and voter rights.

Rockwell illustrated Saturday Evening Post covers at a time when the American public actually read and relied on periodicals to accurately inform them of their times and the world around them. So it was, too, with his scouting calendar illustrations and covers for Boy's Life, from which the exhibit is compiled. Sorry, Mr. Firmage, no clandestine message or collusion with the LDS Church.

If the virtues of trustworthiness, loyalty, helpfulness, friendliness, courtesy, kindness and obedience are offensive, naive or unacceptable in our society today, what should be substituted in their place?

Mark Edwards

Salt Lake City