People with conservative religious beliefs are told, often by people in groups like GLAAD, that we and our families must endure the media deluge of crudity, pornographic filth, and sexual perversion we see in America today as the price that must be paid for living in a politically free society. Well, it appears that the First Amendment cuts both ways. If Dr. Laura's remarks offend homosexuals and lesbians, they get little sympathy from me ("Taking static," April 8). They ought to pay the price for freedom, too. Or they can just not watch her program. Does that sound familiar? I hope the people at Paramount will be discerning enough to see through the GLAAD ploy of labeling as "hate" anything negative that someone says about their sinfulness. - Jack Burhenne, Leroy, Ohio
How sad that the self-ordained forces of "tolerance" are once again contradicting their own doctrine. If the situation were reversed with Christians and other social conservatives trying to stop someone with virulently anti-God messages, the gay-rights activists and their liberal cohorts would be screaming "censorship," just as they did with the Brooklyn Museum of Art last year. I hope that Dr. Laura and Paramount hold firm and don't cave in to the real bigots and First Amendment opponents. If simply following the Bible constitutes "bigotry" and "hate speech," our nation is on a dangerous course. - James McGinnis, York, Pa.
Thank you for the encouragement in "Support Dr. Laura" (April 8). My e-mail was the first time in my 64 years that I took a public stand on an issue like this. - Rob Hague-Rogers, Richardson, Texas
In addition to writing to Frank Kelly at Paramount, supporters of Dr. Laura might also want to write to the Paramount, Viacom, and sponsor contacts listed on the www. stopdrlaura.org website. Let's use that website, which was intended for harm, for good. - Jean Forster, Danvers, Mass.
Babysitting for gold
Some days I too go to bed feeling like Eric Lindros, with "concussions and migraines and punctured lungs and vomiting" ("Lessons by Lindros," April 8). I'm a homeschooling mom and we struggle to make ends meet. The rocking chair is broken and the towels frayed because money only goes so far. Our mechanics know us by name. Recently I had to increase my babysitting to full-time. I hate babysitting. My house is never clean, and it's an endless succession of diapers and potty chairs and runny noses and fighting over toys and pulling the dog's tail. Each morning I wonder why I put myself through this. I work long days, and my $2/hour wage reminds me of my worth in a culture that kills its babies. Mrs. Seu's article was a needed reminder that I'm working for a greater gold, and for a Master who does not overlook a cup or water (or milk or juice) given in His name. - Debbie Croft, Phoenix, Ariz.
I appreciated Joel Belz's "O' both your houses!" (April 8). I often feel that same way and find myself condemning others for their foolishness. Yet, like Mr. Belz, I must remind myself that I too was once an enemy of God. - Matt Helbling, Pittsburgh, Pa.
Yes, we do
Do you really call yourselves conservatives? Mr. Belz called tobacco companies "killers, vicious killers at that."A conservative would say that tobacco companies do not kill people. Rather, certain consumers, via too frequent use of tobacco, kill themselves. Mr. Belz must not believe that each person is responsible for his or her own self. Therefore, I cancel my subscription. - Rusty Hawkins, Amarillo, Texas
Good to hear
You mirror my thinking in "O' both your houses!" It is good to hear you say that tobacco companies are "vicious killers." The government has every right to regulate drugs, and nicotine is a drug that causes cruel illness and death. - Lester F. Polenz, Franklin, N.C.
In "Shooting from the lip" (March 25) and "O' both your houses!" you used only a portion of NRA president Wayne LaPierre's quote from This Week, in which he accused President Clinton of being "willing to accept a certain level of killing to further his political agenda." The full quote makes far more sense. In it he argues that Bill Clinton could have had a bill last summer that included several items he had been demanding, but he "killed it all over the issue of a 72-hour wait ... I mean, how else can you explain this dishonesty we get out of the administration?" - Andrea Fisher, Wadsworth, Ohio
Regarding your questioning of the Vatican's observer status in the United Nations, I would point out that Vatican City is the world's smallest state. It became independent from Italy in 1929. The chief of state of the monarchical-sacerdotal government is Pope John Paul II. When the Southern Baptists have their own country, diplomatic relations with them will become an issue as well. - Patrice Ward, Pasadena, Texas
Rule of judges
Regarding the update article on New York Mayor Giuliani's loss in federal court to the museum displaying blasphemous art: I wonder which federal judges were involved, which president appointed them, and which senator nominated them ("Victory for hate art," April 8)? If we're going to have a judicial oligarchy, we should understand how important elections are. - Jim Kohlmann, Apopka, Fla.
We are what we are
I was taken by Johnny Hart's description of Christians hiding behind their front curtains ("Widely read-and widely censored," April 8). He's right. When modern Christians hear a criticism such as "out of touch with reality" or "fundamentalist," we shuffle our feet, swallow our tongue, and go yelping back under the porch. Why should we be ashamed of what we are? - Allen Brooks, Sheridan, Wyo.
Regarding the implosion of the Seattle Kingdome, I would point out that many citizens did not want a new stadium while paying off the old ("Dethroning the Kingdome," April 8). It was a disgusting display of governmental "keeping up with the Joneses." I am thankful it's an election year, and I am not alone in my prayers for change. - Julia Watterson, Renton, Wash.
I cried upon reading Mr. Alberty's account of his experience with the live aborted twins ("Anatomy of a debacle," April 1). I prayed for years that the workers in the abortion industry would have their eyes opened and hearts sickened by the atrocities of their profession. My prayers were answered in Mr. Alberty, but our political representatives boarded ships to Tarshish, so to speak, and fled their responsibilities. - Francesca Osigian, Asheville, N.C.
I was disappointed by WORLD's rather cynical review of Return to Me (The Movies, April 8). My wife and I saw this film, and it was wonderful to see faith treated as a real part of characters' lives. - Jason Huff, Indianapolis, Ind.
I am disgusted by "In an ideal world" (March 25). I have read WORLD since it was a newsprint tabloid. I remember Joel Belz's pleas for funding and drives to increase circulation. Howard Phillips and the Constitution Party are trying to restore the republic by relying on a "sovereign God," the same God who allowed WORLD to become a leading Christian publication from some very humble beginnings. - Maude Jordet, Bend, Ore.