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Quayle and the Morality Issue

July 7, 1992



Regarding the Opinion page column "When the Messenger Deserves to Be Heard," June 18: The author's attempt to defend Vice President Dan Quayle's recent support of family values against the assault of the amoral "cultural elite" is typical right-wing hypocrisy. The implication that people criticizing Mr. Quayle are somehow against the religion, family values, and patriotism Quayle is promoting is absurd.

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While there is certainly nothing wrong with being married, going to church, and flying the flag, and indeed, for many people they are valuable expressions of deeply held convictions, to imply that they demonstrate one's worth, or worse yet, that their lack indicates a moral deficit, as Quayle attempts to do, is morally repugnant.

I would prefer that Quayle and his cohorts leave government to protecting the rights of individuals so that we can each live by the moral code that our conscience believes. Kent M. James, Pittsburgh, Pa. Books on disk: a good idea for kids?

Regarding the Books page article "Booksellers Jump on Electronic Bandwagon," June 8: I am surprised to hear that narrated computer disks are becoming increasingly popular. Unfortunately, the ones that are selling the fastest are the classic fairy tales. The warmth created when a parent reads a child to sleep can hardly be compared to the switching on a computer screen and a synthesized voice telling the story of "Goldilocks and the Three Bears." Is this really good for a child? Melody Dye, San Leandro, Calif. Diversity, tolerance, and prayer

The editorial "Prayer in School - a Special Case," June 26, says: "The Supreme Court ... banned non-sectarian religious invocations for public-school graduation ceremonies" because, in the case before it, the reference to God in an invocation "breached the constitutional wall between church and state."

America was settled largely by people fleeing strictures which forbade them to worship as they saw fit. Individual freedom used to be the life-blood of America. Is that spirit now dead and being buried among legalities? Are our children to be brought up in a mood of agnostic or atheistic fundamentalism? How are they to be encouraged in their reverence and love for life, nature, and humanity? Is there no divinity in any of these?

Until we can respect the marvelous wealth of our differences, when will we find unity within the diversity of races, nations, and creeds? Christy Barnes, Hillsdale, N.Y.