Hardball, hard road
"Scooter" Libby's March 6 guilty verdict and the controversy over the firings of federal prosecutors ("Power of attorneys," April 7) illustrates the Democrats' strategy of accusing your political opponents of wrongdoing and then catching them lying under oath about it. The Democrats are playing hardball; whether the Republicans will take the difficult road of telling the truth before they get stuck in their own tangled web is another matter.
-John Crosmun; Columbia, S.C.
You would think that an impartial and fair-minded press would have taken the first bleat of complaint from divisive Democrats over the firings and asked, "So? What's the big deal? Doesn't every president exercise that same prerogative of the office?" If the "big deal" is the ham-handed way in which the administration handled the first reports, then perhaps there's room for criticism. However, bear in mind that there have been six years of constant whining and sniping from Democrats about everything that moves.
-Duby Todd; Kempner, Texas
Sandy Berger's comment (Quotables, April 7), that "I made a very stupid decision" misses the point. The point here is integrity, or rather the lack of it. His willingness to steal and destroy documents from the National Archives for a political cover-up speaks volumes about the man and the administration he worked for. But even more disturbing is the fact that most of the political establishment and the media are willing to ignore this crime.
-Thomas N. Burley; Alto, MichIn church
Andrée Seu's latest column ("Moveable feast," April 7) went with me to church this morning. In our house church we had been talking about living more in the moment, and her article dovetailed into that discussion.
-Douglas Monk; Monticello, Iowa
Seu uses "darned" then "dagnabit!" as euphemisms, followed by "Good Lord" as an exclamation, not a prayer or respectful salutation. Am I being overly sensitive? There is a pervasive use of vulgarities in everyday speech, even among Christians.
-Stu McAllister; Hendersonville, N.C.
A large step
You slapped Chris Sligh on the hand for not singing "Christian" songs on American Idol ("Religious idols," April 7), but on March 6 he performed a dc Talk song titled "Wanna Be Loved." Granted, it's not "I'll Fly Away," but it's still a rather large step for a contestant if you can only expect to get shot down, which is exactly what happened.
-Karisa Schlehr; Sanford, Fla.
Plus the beauty
Lynn Vincent wrote that downtown San Diego is like New Orleans, "minus the dirt and naked women" ("Catchin' the wave," March 24/31). I am weary of the negative comments directed at the Crescent City. Sin and debauchery are a fact of life in many places, and yes, my native New Orleans is one of them, but it also has so much beauty and romance to offer.
-Elizabeth Saadeh; Spring, Texas
I was shocked by Will Edwards' admission that his clientele may not "do anything because they don't want to do anything" but "that doesn't mean they have to starve" ("Not in my backyard," March 24/31). I, for one, beg to differ. As Paul wrote, "If anyone is not willing to work, let him not eat." There are many good homeless shelters that truly help desperate men and women overcome years of abuse, addiction, and disabilities. Do-gooders of both the personal and municipal varieties simply prolong miserable lifestyles by subsidizing them. To really do a homeless person good, drive him to a rescue mission and give the mission money to help pay for your homeless friend's needs.
-Jonathan Adams; Overland Park, Kan.
Helps to know
`0 It is a shame that in "Jerusalem by foot" (March 24/31) Marvin Olasky chose the words "too much like a medieval theme park" to describe his opinion of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. Orthodox Christianity considers "bling" as the material richness of Orthodox worship: the gold censers, elaborate vestments, grand iconostases. It is the equivalent of the anointing of Christ with the very costly fragrant oil in the woman's alabaster flask. Doubting Thomases need to feel and touch places like the rock of Golgotha to build their faith just like we taste the bread and wine of the Eucharist; our senses help us to know and believe.
-Hillary Dunshee; Alpine, Texas
Temptation to hoard
Thank you to Andrée Seu for "Dependence day" (March 17). Hoarding is a temptation I fight almost every day, especially now that I am retired and living on Social Security and a small IRA. I depend on our Lord's guidance every day.
-Alan Mills; Reno, Nev.
While I appreciated Mark Bergin's healthy skepticism on the virtues of biodiesel ("Greener pastures," March 17), I don't believe alternative fuels research and development should be dismissed. Certainly conventional biofuels aren't a perfect solution, but our gluttonous self-indulgence in petrofuels certainly is not a viable option for the balance of the 21st century. As for nuclear power, since Three Mile Island and Chernobyl the very mention of the "n" word seems to elicit a knee-jerk reaction of disgust and fear among many Americans. While there is no perfect energy source, I believe we should pursue all options with vigor.
-Edward A. Sanchez; Lake Forest, Calif.
Thailand, Malaysia, and Indonesia may be slashing their rain forests to make room for palm oil farms, but Singapore has no forests to slash. It is a relatively small island, covered mostly by a city of high-rise buildings. Singapore instead suffers from its neighbors' (especially Indonesia's) forest fires, which create terrible smog in Singapore.
-Ghislain Sylvestre; Hickory, N.C.
May mean war
As a veteran not afraid of just war, I totally agree with Marvin Olasky's column ("Make love, not war," March 17). God has made warriors and God has made peacemakers; they both have their place in history.
-Al Wychers; Jamestown, Mich.
While Olasky, in "Make love, not war," very politely disagreed with Stanley Hauerwas ("A playful mind," March 17), much harsher criticism was warranted. Meanwhile, "Circuses and bread" (March 17) condemned Ann Coulter for a humorous semi-slur of a candidate. We need more outspoken Christians like her.
-William Nowers; Locust Grove, Va.
It was interesting reading Hauerwas' answers to the hard questions about Scripture that Olasky posed. I was amazed at how deftly and craftily he juggles the Word of God. No wonder Time magazine called him "America's Best Theologian."
-Katy Landers; Wenatchee, Wash.
Only people who are protected by someone else would, like Hauerwas, support pacificism. Just as we would not test God by walking out into the path of a semi truck, we should not test God by ignoring the need to defend ourselves and bring justice to others. We cannot force people to accept God's truth, but we do need to work for justice on many levels. That calls for both policing, which may involve violence, and a military, which may mean war.
-Kathleen Isaacson; Iron, Minn.
"Year of Jubilee" (March 10) really hit home. We run a youth center in northern Ethiopia and rely heavily on short-term volunteers. We've had over 50 young adults come and work with us over the past four years, and four of those have spent an entire year with us after finishing college. We and the youth center kids have benefited immensely from the shared lives, passion, and love of these wonderful Christian young men and women, but the most common comment we hear from our short-termers as they leave is "I got so much more than I gave."
-Kristi Nykamp; Mekelle, Ethiopia