Today’s New York Times features a travel story about Manitou Springs – and what distinguishes it from neighboring Colorado Springs.

Manitou is described as a jewel box of a village. Colorado Springs is described as a sprawling, chain-stored center of conservative evangelical Christianity.

Manitou is a place where ill people find healing from its mineral springs. Colorado Springs is the city on the other side of Garden of the Gods – which serves as a buffer between the two cities.

Read Lon’s Letter to the Editor of the NYTimes


  1. Perhaps the stark contrast is over-simplified, but is any part of it untrue?

    It is our own fault that this is how the rest of the US percieves us.

    That’s why I live in Manitou!

  2. I’ve only lived in Colorado Springs for two years and as I talk to business leaders here they all seem satisfied with the idea the C.S. is a suburban city. No need to develop a cental downtown. So perception? I think not.

  3. I am a Colorado native who grew up in the Arvada / Golden area and lived in the Springs for 7 years in my 20’s. I’ve since moved away in part because of the atmosphere caused by the hypocritical “Christians” who insist on imposing their views on everyone around them while blatantly ignoring the teachings of their own religion. I’m not an atheist, just someone who believes that freedom of religion is a fundamental right in this country, and should be in Colorado Springs too. It maybe a nutshell description, but based on my experience, it certainly fits.

  4. I’m a native.

    I love it here.
    I stay mostly because of my family.

    This city pisses me off on a weekly basis. I can accept the evangelicals on the north end, as long as they keep it up there. What I can’t accept is this distaste for progress, and that it seems content with mediocrity. It would take very little effort to make this a great city.

    I could go on. It’s a frustrating place, that’s for certain.

    As for The Times article… lazy writing. An unnecessary jab thrown in just because they could.

    I’m agnostic… but when the hell did it become okay to be any religion EXCEPT christian? Give me a break.

  5. Anonymous,

    The one wuo said he does not mind evangelicals, as long as it stays on the north end, you are a biggot. Replace the word evangelical with Latino, African-American, or Homosexual. See what I mean? Tolerance, my friend, works both ways.

  6. I admit it. I hate, hate.

    A bigot is someone who hates a particular group of people for reasons that are out of their control. I.E. race, orientation, nationality… Evangelicals chose to be evangelicals, they chose hate, and yes… I have a distaste for this group that has come in to my hometown and ruined it’s reputation. I don’t hate evangelicals. I don’t believe they should be stripped of their right to worship. It’d be nice if they’d stay out of politics and quit making me and my city look bad, though.

  7. are you saying that evangelicalism is a choice? people aren’t born that way?
    i think in a way, they are. everybody has some amount of spiritual need, and it appears to me that the evangelical community makes sure that their own children are fully indoctrinated. have you seen jesus camp? do you think those kids had a choice about their spirituality?
    i know plenty of people who call themselves “recovered catholics” and they all say that catholic school did it. but i don’t know anybody who calls themselves a “recovered evangelical.”

  8. I will be writing a letter to the editor of the NYT. It will also run as my column in this weeks CSBJ. The facts just aren’t there.

    The national perception of the Springs is an issue for Economic Development. Our EDC leaders have confirmed this.

    According to The quality of life indicators published recently by the Pikes Peak United Way El Paso County has a lower rate of membership in religious congregations than Denver County, Pueblo County, Colorado and the U.S. Additionally, while other areas show an increase in membership from 1990 to 2000, only El Paso County residents’ and U.S average membership decreased.

  9. Just keep trying to justify your own hate. The person is right, you are wrong. Your reasons for hating Christians are plain ol’ wrong. Admit it, intolerance is intolerance, not just when it is the people who view are intolerant of your views. Your generalizations are at best wrong, and at worst, sick.

  10. The United Way report was baffling.

    It could be that the fringe religious right are not the majority here, simply the most vocal, and most politically and financially powerful… which is just as bad, unfortunately.

    The Broadmoor cronies, most of city hall, Focus on the Family, New Life Church, Doug Bruce… who has managed to throw the entire state into chaos.

    Even if the extremists aren’t the majority… I think they have the power to justify the rep.

  11. Monday, October 22, 2007 11:44: blogger anonymous of this date,

    You are clueless and deserve to be banished to the western Kansas plains. You must be a Doug Bruce suppoter as well.

  12. that’s enough, kids! not only is everyone anonymous, but you’re all regressing to childhood! i don’t know who is who anymore!
    the question remains: is our reputation broken? how can it be fixed – or taken advantage of?
    if either[any?] of you have the ganas, you’ll stop shouting and you’ll type something useful.

  13. Whether or not our reputation is broken stopped being a question about a decade ago.

    It is. Period.

    Can it be fixed? Sure.

    Are good things happening here? Sure.

    Until we get some real leadership in city hall, it won’t matter.

    – COSNative

  14. It doesn’t matter how right Lon is… the people at The Times will no doubt just roll their eyes and laugh.

    I thought Hazelhurst’s piece was interesting. He nailed the city, no surprise, but I disagree with his assessment that we should strive to be what we are. If you read between the lines, he said we are a politicaly divided community of extremists with a struggling economy because the liberal-progressives here lack power. Right on… but why the hell would we want to be that? Why would we want to be divided? Want extremism on both sides? Want a struggling economy and low wages?

    Another observation…

    Just last night I read on a message board I frequent about what “the cesspool that is Colorado Springs did to the country back in the ’90’s.”

    A reference to Admendment 2. Colorado Springs may forever be the Selma of the gay rights movement. It’s possible that the damage is so severe, it can’t be fixed.

    On one hand it makes me angry that *the city* gets blamed for the actions of the politically powerful christian groups that operate here. On the other hand, we allow them to stay… which doesn’t reflect well on us at all.

    – COSNative

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