Columnists > Mailbag

Mailbag

Issue: "Lyons thrown to Baptists," Sept. 20, 1997

Family matters

Bravo, Louisiana legislators! Thank you for the courage to establish a higher standard of marriage ("I really, really do," July 26/Aug. 2). No-fault divorce laws have institutionalized and even encouraged "successive polygamy" in the United States. As a single, 20-something woman concerned about the stability of my future family, I believe no-fault divorce laws should be repealed. However, given the recent failure to repeal no-fault divorce laws in Iowa and Michigan, it looks as if reestablishing a "heavy-weight" standard of marriage must come by another means, such as covenant marriage. - Alexis Z. Kotjarapoglus, Charlottesville, Va.

Doonesbury cure

Thank you for the recent feature article on the political cartoon Mallard Fillmore ("I'll never duck a controversy," July 26/August 2). Our local newspaper does not carry this strip, nor had I ever seen it before. After reading the article about Bruce Tinsley, I e-mailed my paper's editors to urge them to begin running Mallard as an antidote to Doonesbury. I hope they will take the suggestion. - Maryann Stevenson, Ashtabula, Ohio

Editorial duck

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I actually skipped looking up those much-to-learn-in-a-single-glance cartoons to turn to "I'll never duck a controversy" by Jay Grelen. Well written. Interesting. Good stuff! In our hometown newspaper (Ottawa Herald) Mallard was taken from the comics and put on the opinion page and, naturally, to the right of Doonesbury. At least he wasn't shelved. - Mrs. Fleta Robinson, Williamsburg, Kan.

Need the detail

I disagree with the two letters in the August 9/16 Mailbag about Brad Stetson's article, "The limits of tolerance." While I was certainly uncomfortable reading about the degree of sexual perversion that took place at this party, I felt that Mr. Stetson's description was necessary for accurate reporting. Unfortunately, our society has declined to such a degree that often our "imagination" falls far short of the reality of modern decadence. - Ron W. Hammer, Prescott, Ariz.

Fans on the left

We at The Door (www.thedoor.org) surfed on over to your online edition a few months ago to check it out. We found a magazine whose political positions we often didn't agree with. But the article by Stephen J. Cole that suggests, "Take up your cross daily and deny yourself" grabbed our attention. That was so on-target that we told our readers about it and published a link to that article, and thought we ought to tell you about it. We noticed other articles in your Soul Food archives that were just as good. This is simply a letter of encouragement and gratitude. Keep it up. The message of the Cross has the effect of knocking us all off our high horses and political agendas and uniting us-on our knees. - Skippy R., door@flash.net

Web advice

After reading the article by Bob Jones IV ("Wild, wild web remains untamed," July 12/19), I tried to replicate his experience while searching the web for information on "Little Women." I used nine search engines to look for the string "little" and "women." I looked at the textual descriptions of the first 10 sites found by each engine. Here are the results. Alta Vista, Excite, HotBot, Infoseek, Magellan, and Search.com found no sites that could be identified as pornographic from the textual descriptions. Lycos found numerous pornographic sites. Metacrawler and Yahoo each found one. Here are some recommendations for parents helping their children do research: (1) Always assume your children know more about the Web than you do. (2) Not all search engines are created equal; avoid any that return objectionable results. (3) Make a bookmark for each appropriate hit and instruct your children to work from those bookmarks only. (4) If you stumble across pornographic sites while using a search engine, close the browser window before turning over the keyboard to a child. Netscape Navigator will store search results even though you haven't actually visited a site. To continue, pull down the File menu and select New Web Browser. Netscape should now be safe for a child to use. - G. Edwin Lint, Mechanicsburg, Penn.

Sweeten up

If WORLD prefers those who write "sweetly" when criticizing it, perhaps WORLD might consider the same in its writing? Could it be that truth could be wrapped in gentleness? - Dennis Hesselbarth, Wichita, Kan.

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