Vigilant to vote
The 2004 election was less controversial than the 2000 election only because the popular vote and the Electoral College numbers were not so close ("Early & often," Nov. 6). Both elections revealed similar problems and arguments involving voter registration, electioneering, voting methods, and vote counting. Everyone should demand that registration rolls be cleaned up, all fraud prosecuted, and penalties be sufficient to deter future irregularities. "The price of freedom is vigilance" and always will be.
-John Terneus; Yukon, Ohio
All or none
I was pleased that you picked up on the story of how John Kerry and company seemed to get away with violating the rules regarding politicking from the pulpit ("Pulpit politics," Nov. 6). It's about time that the mass media take note, and that the government applies the law to all groups evenhandedly. H.R. 235, which would abolish such restrictions, would get my vote. Allowing our spiritual leaders to lead and inform congregations on key political issues, just as they did early in our history, would be a welcome change.
-G. Robert Greene; Fredericksburg, Va.
Some white churches in the South supported President Bush and the Republican agenda from the pulpit. I attended a church where before any major election, state or federal, the "right" politicians were introduced and praised in the morning worship service, while Mr. Bush was hailed for his integrity, and on and on.
-Martha Riles; Midwest City, Okla.
As an unrepentant Blue State, center-left, semi-lapsed Catholic Democrat, let me congratulate your side for a marvelous electoral victory. As a gay American, I was wondering whether some fundamentalist, mind-of-God-knowing person, preferably from a Red Flyover State, could take a minute from gloating, listening to right-wing talk radio, or shopping for shampoo and ammo at Wal-Mart to explain why you prefer Bush's America, a creeping fascist police state that's sending your children to be killed in a needless, bloody quagmire, over a Blue State America, where a few of your fellow citizens who happen to be homosexual have the right to marry. On second thought, don't.
-Richard M. Todaro; Washington, D.C.
Thank you for Andree Seu's recent column contending that the possibility that some people are born with a propensity toward homosexuality does not excuse that behavior ("Born that way," Nov. 6). When I was a toddler, I used to get angry to the point of holding my breath till I turned blue and collapsed. Just because I was born with a temper doesn't make it OK to lose it. -Jane Miller; Middletown, Ohio Too many followers of Christ, myself included, have been unsettled by the argument that homosexuality, although condemned throughout Scripture, just might be "natural." It was thrilling, and I admit somewhat embarrassing, to be reminded that, natural or otherwise, biblical morality is not subject to our human tendencies.
-Timothy Jewett; Millersburg, Pa.
Not a tax protester
Referring to me in his column ("Taxing story," Sept. 4), Joel Belz said, "I, for one, earnestly wish for the profound tax reform Mr. Zuniga and his friends say is critical. . . ." But I've never called for tax reform-only for lawful government.
The largest financial fraud in history is the unlawful collection of "income" tax for 90 years. Congress entraps you to sign promissory documents, fork over one-third of your pay without reading the law, certify that you're a "taxpayer," and under penalty of perjury that you owe and promise to pay. The legal principle is simple, the scheme immoral: He who certifies such, even out of ignorance, is obligated. The press is spiking the story: Most Americans are not legally obligated.
I asked IRS to prove otherwise. In three years and seven responses from IRS Austin, Ogden, and Memphis, they can't do it. There exists no law making average Americans liable for "income" tax. Thomas Reeves said the same and a jury agreed. Similar acquittals were won by Franklin Sanders and 16 co-defendants, by Gabriel Scott, Lloyd Long, Fred and Chris Allnut, Gaylon Harrell, Don Fecay, Vernice Kuglin, and Lois Somerville-and that's hardly a .000 batting average.
The government claims that over 30 million Americans are out of the system; the "profound tax reform" that Mr. Belz wishes for is here.
I support all lawful taxation to fund only the powers granted to Washington by our Constitution. All such activities can be funded from lawfully collected taxes (on corporate profits, alcohol, tobacco, firearms, foreign transactions, excises, customs duties) as the framers intended. For years I've kept no government records, filed no government forms, and paid no tax not required of me by law. My well-worn copy of the code proves it. And I am certainly no tax protester. I'm exercising stewardship and my duty to defend our Constitution. If more Christians did so, we'd become the world's tax haven and regain a constitutional level of government.
-David M. Zuniga; Laredo, Texas
Life over party
Democrats for Life director Kristen Day says she hopes for a "pro-life majority," but she is only speaking about a Democratic majority ("Diversity of life," Nov. 6). It is admirable to want to return the Democratic Party to its pro-life roots, but this would be impossible once abortions were fully funded by the state and pro-choice judges put in place, things that were part of Sen. Kerry's agenda. Ms. Day should have been willing to put pro-life principles above her partisan politics and support President Bush.
-Mary E. Traeger; Forsyth, Mo.
I found Arthur Schlesinger's suggestion ("Battle of beliefs," Nov. 6) that "Christians are anti-democratic because they display 'absolutist thinking'" at odds with Alexis de Tocqueville, who wrote: "I doubt whether man can support complete religious independence and political liberty at the same time. I am led to think that if he has no faith he must obey, and if he is free he must believe." This suggests that Christians are especially qualified to participate in a democratic government. It seems that the further our country pulls from Christian values, the further away we pull from true freedom, having to rely on more laws and regulations to make up for our lack of biblical morals.
-Carolyn Hughes; White River Jct., Vt.
My heart fell into my stomach reading the comment from one of the soldiers who had seen Fahrenheit 9/11, who said that "there's no clear definition of why we came here" ("Citizen soldiers," Oct. 30). My hope and prayer is that this young man has also seen The Lord of the Rings. Michael Moore is Wormtongue.
-Karlene Gade; Chaska, Minn.
His and herstory
It's ironic that the IBS and CBT went ahead (against their word) and revised the NIV Bible to make it gender inclusive, but then published "his and hers" versions of it through Zondervan (Bestselling Books, Oct. 30). Give me a break. They should be ashamed. -Jodi Teasley; Oxford, N.C.
Hezbollah is a Shiite terrorist group based in Lebanon ("Taking stock," Nov. 13, p. 33).