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Mailbag

Issue: "Cracking the code," April 29, 2000

Hope and smoke

The Supreme Court ruled the Clinton Administration overstepped its bounds by attempting to regulate tobacco products as a drug, citing constitutional separation of powers ("Up in smoke," April 1). But the same activist court thinks nothing of trying to impose its own liberal views on American society far beyond anything Congress ever intended. Could we dare hope that this case signals that the Court is willing in the future to apply the same logic to its own actions? Or does "separation of powers" apply only to the executive and legislative branches? - Al Schrock, Falls Church, Va.

Not strict enough

Governor Bush promises to appoint "strict constructionists" to the federal judiciary, and as a lawyer I'm all for that. But will he appoint able men who fear God? Seven of the nine current justices are appointees of "conservative" Republican presidents, as was Harry Blackmun, author of the infamous Roe vs. Wade. The "conservative" and "strict constructionist" justices O'Connor and Kennedy are reliable pro-abortion and pro-homosexual votes, though they know full well that neither the Constitution nor the 14th Amendment were meant to protect abortion or sodomy. - John D. Hendershot, Munster, Ind.

Drug dealers

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As a pro-life tobacco epidemiologist, I am disappointed in "Up in smoke." The FDA reversed its previous decisions and attempted to regulate tobacco only when it became clear from recently released industry documents that the manufacturers used nicotine as a drug; that is, that they intended to affect the structure and function of the body. - Gary A. Giovino, Buffalo, N.Y.

Cuban property

Although I reluctantly supported the idea of returning Elián Gonzalez to Cuba because I believe that parental rights are paramount, I changed my mind because of a comment from a Cuban spokesman: "He is the possession of the Cuban government. Once the transfer takes place, no other entity can remove this." If a young slave mother perished attempting to escape the South, and the owner claimed, "I own the father; send me back the son because I own him also," that boy should not have been sent back. Our country denies all that is right if we send Elián back as a slave, a "possession of the Cuban government" ("Strike two," April 1). - Michael P. Farris, Home School Legal Defense Association
Purcellville, Va.

One small step

As a Christian, I would not wish to send Elián back to a Godless, Communist country. But as a parent, I am very uneasy with the government taking jurisdiction from a parent with whose political or theological beliefs they disagree. That is only one small step away from the government taking my children out of a Christian home because they think I am a Jesus freak and that my children would be better off in a more "neutral" environment. - Barb Boswell, Aston, Pa.

For self-defense

In response to the letter which called for stricter gun control and rhetorically asked, "Would Jesus carry a gun or speak out against them?" ("Mailbag," April 8), the issue is not quite so clear. In Exodus we are told that if you kill a thief who has broken into your home you shall not be held accountable for his death, suggesting that self-defense is not as repugnant to our Lord as some would have us believe. - Jim Sciaretta, Novelty, Ohio

Sleepless in debacle

Thank you for your coverage of Dean Alberty's story in "Anatomy of a debacle" (April 1). Unfortunately, it did not make good bedtime reading. It left me lying awake picturing the two live, late-term abortion victims about to be dissected (probably looking something like my son when he was born at 30 weeks), cherishing every movement I felt from the 20-week-old baby now in my womb, and praying for Mr. Alberty, who surely needs the support of the Christian community right now. - Heidi Morrow, Upland, Ind.

Donating drugs

As I read "The candymen" (April 1) I had to groan. As president of the board of Agape House Worldwide Ministries, which operates free medical clinics in Paris, Texas, and Hugo, Okla., we recently became aware that millions of dollars worth of medications are being destroyed each month in nursing homes across America because of federal regulations. I understand that privately donated medications must be discarded because of the risk of tampering, but nursing homes are licensed by the state to manage and distribute drugs that come directly from the pharmacy. If nursing homes and hospitals could donate to clinics like ours the unopened, tamper-proof medicines left behind by some of their former patients, we could help many elderly residents who cannot afford their needed medicines. - John Kelly, Paris, Texas

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