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Respect For Opinions of Mankind

Thanks for Hal Crowther's great cover story "At The Twilight's Last Gleaming" (Mar. 5). It is strong rhetoric which is required at this time, and it is used well. The time for appeasement is gone. As Americans, we grow up with the basic tenet of respect for the opinions of others as a basic civility. However, the Bush administration and its fanatic right-wing, Christian fundamentalist supporters have proven themselves unworthy of this simple courtesy by ignoring, as Thomas Jefferson was aptly quoted, "A decent respect for the opinions of mankind."

Having an MS in counseling, and having worked as a psychiatric nurse, I can only wonder about the mental status of George Bush and Donald Rumsfeld and their obsessive religious ideation. It is frightening to realize that they are using God as their personal sledgehammer to bludgeon other countries, as well as the environment and precious domestic programs.

I, too, have dissociated from political parties by registering as "Unaffiliated" after the 2002 elections. I may re-register as a Democrat when that party offers a real Democrat as a presidential candidate. The only person on the horizon who seems to fit that description at present is Howard Dean, from Vermont. Happily, his campaign seems to be gaining momentum at this time.

-- Amy Keith, Charlotte

Bravo Tara & Bless Your Heart

In reference to "Give Me A Break" (by Tara Servatius, Feb. 26): As a "Native Charlottean," I often find myself caught between the Southern Way and the New South way of thinking. With my father a "Yankee" (Republican) and my mother a "Southern Belle" (Democrat), I've been lucky enough to participate in many two-sided debates on everything from politics to pronunciation. Because of my upbringing, I have always been careful to look at important issues from every angle possible -- a practice which has greatly aided me in my three-year marriage to yet another "Yankee." In an area of the country where media reports are largely biased and one-sided, I take great pleasure in finding a publication where not only are all views expressed but intelligently conveyed as well. I find Tara's articles, especially, to be not only well-informed but also fantastically well-rounded. I always enjoy her column, though of course I don't always agree. (Actually, isn't that the point?) Unfettered social and political commentary are rare in these parts. Please be certain that Tara has fans who not only get her theme, but who agree!

-- Danielle Fitzpatrick, Charlotte

Truth Is The First Casualty

In response to "The War Party's Huckster: Colin Powell has lied before -- do you believe him now?" (by John Sugg, Feb. 26): There is nothing Colin Powell or his master, Mr. Bush, can do to convince me or people with a mind of their own that a "pre-emptive" war with Iraq is necessary.

It is time for America to clean out its Colin (as in Powell), while you're at it don't forget to wipe your Asscrack (as in Ashcroft) because this war party is full of Bushsh*t (as in Mr. Bush).

The Bush regime's war party is being exposed. Their so-called "war on terrorism" is a quest for oil and colonialism. From the oil pipeline in Afghanistan to the oil fields of Iraq, oil and greed seem to be a common theme, under the guise of "fighting terror." The link between the attacks of 9/11 and Iraq still hasn't been made, so it leads me to believe that the Bush oil cartel planned this war on Iraq before 9/11. Colin Powell, recently did his "pre-emptive" act of war at the U.N. because as we know, in the case of war, the first casualty is the truth!

-- Jibril Hough, Charlotte

Protecting God's Children

Tara Servatius' article about pedophilia in the Catholic Church ("From Boston to Charlotte," Feb. 12) came to me clipped, stuffed, and stamped "confidential." No note, no return address -- anonymous mail.

What can I do beyond teaching the children in my Sunday School class to defend themselves? Curse the guilty priests -- named in a letter Bishop Curlin sent to every parishioner? Withhold my tithe?

Fixing this problem is going to take work. Keeping money for myself is not work.

Sacrifice time, give up the notion that everybody else has this under control and learn what needs to be done. Attend the training course "Protecting God's Children." It is mandatory for staff and volunteers in the Catholic Church, and trains us to prevent or identify pedophilia. I wish it was required of every Catholic. It should be attended by those who understand the deep, permanent harm caused by pedophilia and those willing to put effort into correcting this problem.

Sessions are being held at St Matthew on March 15 and 26; St. Therese, Mooresville, on April 5; and again at St. Matthew on April 26.

What would Jesus do? What would Charlotte's founding Catholics do (the ones who worked so hard when being Catholic was painful)? They would be active and involved. They would make things right.

-- Eli Branscome, Charlotte

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