Childish GesturesEditor: When I see the stories about...


November 06, 1990

Childish Gestures

Editor: When I see the stories about children sending cookies and letters to the soldiers in Saudi Arabia, and wishing for their safety, I am touched. And yet it bothers me, and I have finally figured out why.

These are the gestures of children, helplessly making the best of a bad situation created by harsh decisions made by unthinking grown-ups. It is a gesture of vain hope from those who see themselves as having no power to control their lives. A more appropriate gesture for us, as adults, would be to send to those soldiers, our sons and daughters, brothers and sisters, tickets home in the form of a demand that the government call them back.

We should demand that the government return them to us now, before the situation gets more violent, before they are killed or maimed, before they become paid mercenaries in the hire of oil sheiks. Let us stop this sacrifice of our young people before it happens. Let us say to the government, ''We do not want our young people killed over oil, we do not want to kill Arab children over oil, we do not want blood running in the sands of Arabia because of oil.''

We are not helpless children facing righteous parents, we are free citizens of a 200-year-old democracy. If we cannot determine the outcome of this onrushing war by making our opinions known to our representatives, then it is no longer a free and democratic nation.

Our representatives and senators and our elected president are there to listen to us, the citizens, the owners of this country, the parents and friends of those soldiers. They must be brought home, now before they begin to die and to kill. An administration that can be brought to almost a standstill by its own inability to set a budget should not be allowed to decide on the life or death of half a million of our young people.

We are not children to try to be cheerful about a bad situation. We are citizens and will have our way in the running of our nation. So send cookies if you want to, but also write your congressman, send a telegram to the president. I'm going to, and I'm going to say ''I don't want this country to spill the blood of its young people and lay waste our national honor by fighting a war over oil. Bring the troops home now.''

Denise Barker.


Bring Back Pogo

Editor: Recent letters lamenting your decision to let Pogo go were too kind. I find it insulting that you have retained the inane new strip Stanley and axed the clever, relevant, entertaining and funny Pogo.

Distinguish yourselves, gentlemen, and bring back this refreshing and witty strip.

John deRussy.



Editor: The Republicans have certainly come a long way on civil rights. Overwhelming majorities of Republicans in both houses of Congress voted for the historic Civil Rights Act of 1964. But when Congress recently passed the Civil Rights Act of 1990, overwhelming majorities of Republicans in both houses (including Helen Delich Bentley) voted ''nay.'' In between we've had the GOP nominate Barry Goldwater for president after he voted against the 1964 act; Richard Nixon's Southern Strategy; and Ronald Reagan, Edwin Meese and company doing everything possible to turn back the clock three decades on civil rights.

Now President Bush, who opposed the 1964 act, has vetoed the 1990 act, joining the ranks of only two other presidents who have vetoed civil rights laws -- the ex-slave owner Andrew Johnson and Ronald Reagan, whose tolerance of racism had few limits. Is it any wonder that Louisiana Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke feels at home in the GOP, or that the Klan has endorsed Alabama's Republican Gov. Guy Hunt for re-election? After years of pandering to white racial fears, the Republican Party of Abraham Lincoln has started to look like the Republi- Klan Party of Reagan, Bush and Duke.

Alan B. Bromberg.


Christian Science

Editor: We wonder if Diane Winston's article about Christian Science, Oct. 1, might confuse some of your readers about the priority of spiritual healing among our church members.

This simply is not a divisive issue. All members see spiritual healing as central. Our church's primary purpose is to bring healing, blessing and regeneration to individuals and society. It always has been, even before the founding of The Christian Science Monitor over 80 years ago.

The Sun's writer refers to ''critics'' who refuse to be identified because they allegedly have been intimidated and not allowed to speak openly as church members. The allegation that such an atmosphere of repression exists just doesn't stand up in light of the remarkable forbearance shown to those who have differed in their views.

The ''critics'' make a number of other spurious charges in the article, including an allegation of dwindling contributions to our church. That assertion is blatantly untrue.

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