Dose of religion

With the Branch Davidian standoff in its second month, the religious right has received yet another bad report. As it is written, most journalists would have us believe that these fanatics are representative of all religious people.

This is no more true than saying extreme feminists, or Femi-Nazis, as they are called by Rush Limbaugh, represent the beliefs of the entire female population in this country. It is somewhat understandable that journalists tend to tilt their coverage in a liberal direction. The millions of good things that deeply religious people do go untold because it does not sell papers. Religious fanatics, on the other hand, get plenty of coverage because sensationalism increases sales and viewer participation.

My point can be made quickly through a short question. If you were walking through downtown Waco at night and saw several rough-looking men standing on a corner by which you had to walk, wouldn’t it be a comfort to know they had just come from a Bible study?

You can say all you want about the religious fanatics who don’t represent most of the religious population. But the truth is, this country could stand to have a large dose of the values taught through a truly religious upbringing.

David A. Blasingame


Like vultures

I know that it is the media’s responsibility to inform the public, but I think they have gone too far.

I am frequently amazed at the behavior of the media in situations that are out of the ordinary, such as the recent unfortunate events in our city.

The recent events prove how people lost reality of tragedy and make it glamorized. For example, our local television stations have developed special music and graphics anytime they mention the assault on Mount Carmel.

The coverage over this incident along with the coverage during Desert Storm gave the public a “Hands-on, you-are-there” perspective. We saw things as they happened. This was exciting, but the media have crossed the line.

The media act like vultures. They see who can tell the story best and who can be the first. They bring cameras and, in my opinion, show vital information and actually help the opposing side.

In the case of Mount Carmel, they show pictures of what is surrounding the compound. Just think, David Koresh wouldn’t know what he was up against if the media hadn’t shown him.

Keri Gluckman


Right to guns

Ben MacIntyre authored an article [about Waco] in the March 6 London Times which irritates and angers me.

Exposing each misstatement would take too long, but I would recommend he leave town before sundown.

He thinks our interest in guns is bad and unhealthy. To a degree he may be right, but this is our right guaranteed by the Constitution and is part of our heritage. We understand that David Koresh is an aberration and some control is needed.

We learned to use guns to free ourselves from the British yoke over 200 years ago and we cherish the Second Amendment.

We are not only free to believe as we choose, but to own weapons. We have had to use weapons to assist others who need us and our weapons so that they remain free.

We know we have our share of kooks and problems, but we will survive them. Waco is a great place to live and the people here are some of the finest on earth.

Robert L. Murray


Keep informing

For all the Central Texas media, I want to think you for your coverage of this mess at Elk and keeping the public informed on what is going on from Day One.

How can the feds blame anyone else when if they knew it had leaked and didn’t back off, then instead of going ahead with the raid, getting all those people killed and then backing off? They knew the children were in there at that time.

It is a real sad state that people had to die. I pray to God that it can all end peaceable. But regardless of the end, thank you all again for sticking in there.

I don’t see how it could be a picnic to sit on that hill day after day to see that the public is informed — not my idea of a good time. But you all have my support. Thanks for a job well done.

Hazel High


Read the Tribune-Herald's 7-part investigative series on the inner workings of the Branch Davidians. Hours after Part 2 appeared in print, the ATF raided the group's compound.

Read the Tribune-Herald’s account of the ATF raid on the Branch Davidian compound on Feb. 28, 1993. Four ATF agents and six in the compound were killed in the gunfight.

Read the daily news accounts of the 51-day siege at the Branch Davidian compound near Elk, which began Feb. 28 and lasted until April.

April 19 and beyond: FBI agents began inserting canisters of tear gas into the Branch Davidian compound in the early morning hours. By noon, it was on fire.

Federal officials left the compound site in late May 1993. As identifications of bodies continued, questions about the survivors, the compound and the cult itself began to emerge.

As the world began to take a critical look back at the events and legal proceedings continue, the ATF's bombshell report forces a shakeup at the top after the raid gone "tragically wrong."

In 1994, the surviving Davidians went on trial in San Antonio. Over six weeks, more than 140 witnesses testified, with the verdict coming just two days prior to the anniversary of the ATF raid.

The Rodenville shootout and the 1988 trial, the end of the world in 1959 and more stories from deep in the Trib archives.