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Mailbag

Issue: "Welfare Reform on Trial," May 3, 1997

No problems solved

Your April 12 article on the IRS seemed rather taxing. There are reasons that such a complex system has survived and flourished. If you want to end a war, you have to solve the problems that war solves, without the war. If you want to end a system of taxation, you have to solve the problems it solves, without that system. Your article did not adequately address this aspect of the solution-only a problem we're already aware of. - T.J. Talley, Charlotte, N.C.

It does add up

Just as we would encourage an illiterate adult to take reading lessons, we should encourage innumerate adults to take math lessons. Would Margie Haack (April 12) as easily admit, &quotI can't read the words," as she unembarrassedly claims, &quotI can't do the math"? I am sorry math is taught so poorly in this country and that otherwise intelligent adults don't have the confidence to pursue the completion of their education. As a math tutor, I find our culture's flippant attitude toward innumeracy to be expected. But I am disappointed when Christians think it is acceptable to be ignorant of an entire realm of God's truth. - Leigh A. Bortines, Winston-Salem, N.C.

Not holding our breath

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Your April 12 article about ratings as &quotforbidden fruit" for many children ends by proposing that &quotperhaps the solution would be to scrap rating systems altogether in favor of responsibility, restraint, and moral sensitivity on the part of Hollywood." My wife and I are not holding our breath for entertainment companies to clean up their act, but we're not offering our kids' minds up as a repository for their ill-conceived junk. Besides, do you want your child to sit passively, absorbing hour after hour of even good programming? Children need a childhood. That means moving their limbs, getting dirty sometimes, running around, getting scraped and bumped at times. And it means doing things with their parents besides sharing the remote. - Hendrik A. Mills, Harlem, Mont.

Not holding our breath

Your April 12 article about ratings as &quotforbidden fruit" for many children ends by proposing that &quotperhaps the solution would be to scrap rating systems altogether in favor of responsibility, restraint, and moral sensitivity on the part of Hollywood." My wife and I are not holding our breath for entertainment companies to clean up their act, but we're not offering our kids' minds up as a repository for their ill-conceived junk. Besides, do you want your child to sit passively, absorbing hour after hour of even good programming? Children need a childhood. That means moving their limbs, getting dirty sometimes, running around, getting scraped and bumped at times. And it means doing things with their parents besides sharing the remote. - Hendrik A. Mills, Harlem, Mont.

Light in a dark TV world

I was very displeased with Arsenio Orteza's article &quotGratuitous virtue" (April 5). Granted, Promised Land's stories are shallow at times, but strong godly values are proclaimed. The main character, Russell Greene, speaks and does what is right, whether it's convenient or not, whether it brings positive or negative consequences. In one episode a woman claimed that Russell and Claire were lucky to have such a good marriage. His response was that there's no luck about it; it takes work and commitment and doing what's right. Why not encourage them toward higher quality at the same time acknowledging their incredible positive points? I thank God for Promised Land as well as Touched by an Angel. They are sparks of light in the very dark world of television. - Denise Sherman, Phoenix, Ariz.

The almighty dollar

Thank you for giving the Western controversy some attention (&quotTaking the land, not the financial responsibility," April 12). I am a cattleman from central Nevada, and I live my life at the center of the environmental hurricane. I am seeing that these controversies are more than philosophical; sometimes it's as simple as following the dollar bill. - W.J. Neal, Ely, Nev.

Dangerous Israel

We were just in Israel one month ago. From what I understood, talking with both Palestinians and Israelis in Bethlehem and Jerusalem, one can travel to the holy sites, but one couldn't take a vehicle into the differently controlled areas for obvious security reasons. If we were at war with either Canada or Mexico, would we allow free travel of persons or vehicles crossing the borders? Israel is doing the best it can amid the threat of terrorism it constantly faces. I have appreciated your coverage of the plight of the Christian Palestinians, which isn't often mentioned in the news. They are caught in the middle of the conflict and should be remembered in our prayers. - Joseph Walsh, Plain City, Ohio

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