Regarding "Rethinking religious tolerance," (Ideas, March 28): As an enlightened society, the United States has always accepted any and all religions as long as they have respected the laws of the land. But this has never meant that the attitudes and practices of all these religions have been openly welcomed by everyone.
In our modern world, it is perfectly understandable that liberated, enlightened women should question and voice their displeasure over practices that repress or humiliate other women. It is their right to do so and one of the wonderful characteristics of this beautiful and free land, just as it is the right of those in other countries to hold firmly to beliefs not shared by all.
Carl Mattioli Newtonville, Mass.
Regarding "Church flextime: Selling out or saving world?" (March 29): We were members of a local church. Sundays we took the kids to Sunday School while we attended the service. When the Sunday School teachers decided they wanted to attend the services, Sunday School was moved an hour prior to the regular service. This meant either the children attended two services or one of us stayed home with them. Both are bad ideas and we had to stop attending regularly.
Regarding "Applaud the campaign bill as a first step" (March 25, Opinion): Campaign finance reform is not so much an abridgment of free speech as a prohibition on excessive noise. Unlimited campaign contributing is like allowing unlimited amplification of one's opinion shouted so loudly that the audience can hear none other. We need a listener's right to not have to hear so much of one side.
Moneyed interests drown out opposing opinions by dominating the media with their costly, prime-time unfair ads. Campaign finance reform asks for a turn-down of that volume so others can be heard. What are the interests of those challenging this new law?
President Bush's recent signing of the campaign finance reform bill was pure posturing. He knows it will be caught up in the Supreme Court until well after his administration. He won on both sides. The people think he's for them and big business knows it will be tied up for a long time. In the meantime, it's business as usual.
William Opperman Mansfield, Ohio
Regarding "Rating the best family vehicles" (March 25, Work&Money): Thanks for your list of family-friendly cars. I can tell you, I can't get into any of them. I can fit comfortably into any airline seat I've ever seen, but fitting into cars is another matter. Let's have a list of cars that fit us big guys written by anyone who happens to be at least 6'6" and 250 lbs.
James Ross White Tacoma, Wash.
With prices for most new vehicles well over $20,000, then tack on tax, license, insurance, finance charges, maintenance, and road hazards from overly used roads, it is difficult or impossible for the average family to get any real value out of a new vehicle. In my opinion there are no best family vehicles any more.
About 75 percent of Americans still buy American cars to help American business thrive. Why don't you give us the best cars made by American companies? I guess I am too much in love with America to even consider a foreign nameplate.
Blaine E. Sowers Leo, Ind.
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