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"Mailbag" Continued...

Issue: "Daniel of the Year 2002," Dec. 7, 2002

There must be extreme disappointment among the cultural and political elite that the recently arrested snipers were not homophobic, white middle-aged males who are members of the "religious right" (Top News, Nov. 2). Dan Rather and Peter Jennings must be grinding their teeth. - Hadley Robinson, El Paso, Texas

Be not afraid

I disagree with Mr. Sillars's interpretation of the "fear of the Lord" ("Be very afraid," Oct. 26). Jesus taught us to address God as "our Father who art in heaven." That doesn't sound like a God who would have us be "very afraid" of Him. - Fred Marley, Punxsutawney, Pa.

Songs of Psalms

In "Musical diagnosis" (Oct. 19) you say that great Christian songs with the diagnosis of and prescription for life are hard to find. What about the Psalms? They are beautifully written and contain the problems and the solution. - Elsie MacKenzie, Debois, Wyo.

Corrupt clergy

"Hunting predators" (Nov. 2) was very interesting. How much of a step is it from pornography to sexual predation? The problem of clergy sexual abuse also goes back to a too-often corrupt clergy exalting itself over the so-called laity. - Richard C. Muller, Oak Ridge, Tenn.

You have published articles comparing Protestant clergy sexual misconduct with the current Catholic problem, most recently "Hunting predators," but have failed to address child molestation in Protestant churches. It exists. To not address the issue is to help maintain freedom for the perpetrators. - Benjamin Yates, Mesa, Ariz.

Freed from slavery

As a woman recently divorced, I was distressed, to say the least, by Joel Belz's comments on the portrait of the American family ("Nobody's smiling," Nov. 2). Women are now able to financially support themselves and no longer need to put up with verbal or physical abuse to survive. Most with whom I have spoken were dominated, sabotaged, and overworked-marriage became slavery and oppression. It was with great pain and anguish that they decided to divorce, but they are healthier and happier as singles. The American family is in trouble. The status quo does not work any longer. - Nancy Sisson, Crawford, Neb.

Look north

In "Risk had its rewards" (Oct. 26), Joel Belz correctly mentions as problems our own greed and gullibility, the complicity of health-care insurance companies and providers, and the tendency of consultants to make a bad situation worse. To suggest that many of the problems of uneven risk selection could be solved by moving to single-payer systems in each of the 50 states is to raise a red flag about socialized medicine. Consider Canada, where health care is under provincial control, but physicians are paid on a fee-for-service schedule. Canadians complain that their taxes are too high but quickly add, "But we don't have to pay exorbitant health insurance premiums like you do in the States." Waiting lists for health services in Canada are based on medical need, not insurance, so that those who most need services receive them. - Mark Weller, Jersey City, N.J.


The governors of Virginia (Mark Warner) and New Jersey (Jim McGreevy) are Democrats (Nov. 16 map, p. 24).


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