Letters To The Editor


August 06, 2006

The right is wrong on Christ's precepts

The Rev. Gregory A. Boyd has made more public an issue that has long percolated below the surface of American religion: whether the so-called religious right, in its endorsement of Republican Party politics, accurately represents the teachings of Christ ("Pastor speaks against politicizing religion," July 30).

As a pastor of an evangelical church, I am saddened by the alignment of church and para-church organizations with policies that, to me, are opposite the teachings of Christ.

As a Christian, I hope to see my nation stand for good in the world. Instead, we stand for might and that might is used for dubious and deadly ends.

America has a great capacity to sow destruction, as we can see in Iraq. But we have an even greater, if under-used, capacity to heal and help to build.

Christian teachings include the directive to "overcome evil with good."

And I believe a vigorous program of foreign aid aimed at building hospitals and schools and sewage systems would get us a lot closer to the people of the developing world than bombast, bombs and bullets.

So, when I see Southern Baptists celebrating President Bush's war on Iraq, I shudder that they think this support is consistent with the teachings of Christ.

The meaning of Christ in our time is less about condemning the lifestyles and politics of non-believers than about raising the light of liberation through love, even of our enemies, justice and, yes, peace on Earth and goodwill to men.

The Rev. Reginald Wade Lawrence


The writer is the pastor of Disciples Bible Baptist Church.

Would Jesus raze low-income housing?

I read with interest the article about postponing the demolition of the Rochambeau ("Rochambeau razing on hold," Aug. 3) and I began to wonder: If the Catholic Church is Jesus' representative on Earth, and Jesus knew that a housing crunch would soon strike, would He raze an apartment building to put in a prayer garden and "to better show off" a basilica?

Fran Hodgkins


National health care harms the economy

In the call for guaranteed health care from the federal government, the one thing usually overlooked is the cost to the economy of implementing such a system ("The best path to universal coverage," Opinion Commentary, July 19).

However, implementing universal health care in any form requires raising taxes. And higher tax burdens slow economic growth and job creation and lead to lower incomes.

For instance, France has a 10 percent unemployment rate. Germany's is 11.6 percent. Here in the United States, our unemployment rate hovers around 5 percent.

Are we willing to give up low unemployment and a healthy economy for the higher taxes and labor costs associated with universal health care?

The decision makers in health care should be the people who use health services.

Opening up the health care market to competition and allowing patients to make their own choices will not only keep our citizens healthy, it will help our economy thrive.

Devon Herrick

Dallas, Tex.

The writer is a senior fellow a the National Center for Policy Analysis.

A cynical excuse to despoil Alaska

Those who would despoil our Arctic National Wildlife Refuge by drilling for oil and gas are getting desperate ("Senators vote to open drilling in Eastern gulf," Aug. 2).

Rep. Dennis Nunes of California has introduced a cynical bill into the congressional hopper that would open the entire 1.5 million acre pristine Alaskan coastal plain to oil drilling, then use the leasing and drilling revenues to pay for tax subsidies for biomass, ethanol and solar power and coal-to-liquid fuel projects.

But, surely, revenues for those worthy energy proposals can be found without exploiting a national treasure.

Ajax Eastman


Back Israel's battle to root out terrorists

The lack of logic in the editorial "The lesson from Qana" (Aug. 2) is stunning.

Israel was unable in 1996 to eliminate the threat of Hezbollah because the United States. saw fit, with its European allies, to force a cease fire.

Little good that did. Hezbollah, an organization committed to the destruction of Jews and the state of Israel, has had 10 years to re-arm, regroup and renew its attacks on Israel.

And where has the world community been for these past 10 years while Hezbollah ratcheted up its attacks on Israel? Nowhere.

The Western world has been too impotent in its response to Hezbollah, Syria and Iran in their threats to wipe Israel off the face of the Earth.

Yes civilians die in wars. They always have and always will.

And the Lebanese are particularly vulnerable as they live in a country that has a government in name only. Their government does not protect them and their leaders are no more than spineless, servile lap dogs to Syria and Hezbollah.

But Israel should never let up its military campaign to wipe out Hezbollah in its entirety and remove it as a threat.

There can never be weakness or cowardice when an individual or state is facing extermination, as Israel is today.

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