Equal justice for fathers in child custody

I read with interest your Jan. 13 opinion piece "In divorce, men suffer too." As a licensed counselor and ordained clergyman, I have had ample opportunity over the years to meet with families dealing with divorce.

While I suspect that there may be little in the way of scientific studies concerning the impact of divorce on men, from anecdotal experience I can say that your article hits the target squarely.

There are groups and organizations which provide emotional solace for divorced fathers. But there remains a societal imbalance in the support given to divorced fathers and in the Court's understanding that child custody laws need a major reevaluation and overhaul.

The perspective in your opinion piece provides some balance in what is often a one-sided situation. The author also rather eloquently communicates the simple fact that men have feelings too.

The Rev. Thomas S. Baker Lawrenceville, N.J.

Difference in terrorist acts

In her Jan. 14 letter to the Monitor, writer Nancy Gallagher minimizes the threat of terrorism perpetrated by Islamists. While it is true that more acts of terrorism do occur in Latin America than in the Middle East, the former have often caused far fewer causalities.

According to the US Department of State's report "Chronology of Significance: Terrorist Incidents," 98 percent of the total American casualties from 1993 to 1997 were inflicted in incidents carried out either within the borders of Middle Eastern countries or were perpetrated by an organization or individual originating from or associated with the region.

Because Middle Eastern groups have perpetrated more lethal terrorist attacks, they pose more of a threat to American citizens.

Tamar Sternthal Boston, Mass.

Technology can't replace educators

I appreciated the opportunity to discuss emerging trends in college costs with the Monitor for your article "Seeing past the sticker price" (Jan. 18). Unfortunately, at a crucial juncture in his story, the reporter misquotes me as saying that "faculty will shrink by 25 percent in the next decade" as more institutions adapt new technologies to education.

In the course of our discussion, I referred to an article that had predicted that distance education and technology would lead to a 25 percent decline in faculty. However, at no point during our conversation did I ever claim this perspective as my own. In fact, I do not agree that such a reduction in college faculty will occur. While many colleges and universities will turn to new technologies over the next decade to help streamline the delivery of instruction, I believe that faculty will remain steadfastly at the heart of the educational process.

David Warren Washington President Natl. Assoc. of Independent Colleges and Universities

Critiquing the critics

Your Jan. 21 article "Criticized" on movie criticism and review should be read by all newspaper editors - not to learn something, but to reinforce what they already know. While I don't always agree with Monitor movie critic David Sterritt's ratings, both his in-depth and short evaluations are most helpful.

A case in point is "American Beauty," which he gave three stars. (Most critics gave the film a rave four stars.) I would give it two, for the very reasons he suggested.

Please, Mr Sterritt, come out with your own video and movie guide.

Arthur Collom Burlingame, Calif.

The Monitor welcomes your letters and opinion articles. We can neither acknowledge nor return unpublished submissions. Letters must be signed and include your mailing address and telephone number.

Mail letters to 'Readers Write,' and opinion articles to Opinion Page, One Norway St., Boston, MA 02115, or fax to 617-450-2317, or e-mail to oped@csps.com

(c) Copyright 2000. The Christian Science Publishing Society

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