Letters

American Christian views of modern Israel

Regarding "Christians hit theological rift on Mideast policy" (May 14): Your article should have noted the impact of "Christian tours" in Israel and Palestine that typically focus only on sacred shrines like the Church of the Nativity or the supposed site of the Sermon on the Mount in Galilee. Most Christian tourists in their zeal to see the Holy Land ironically have little, if any, contact with the religious communities of Jews, Christians, and Muslims living there today.

Such tourism has skewed American-Christian views on Israeli and Palestinian anguish. It's like American tourists who think they understand 9/11 after looking at ground zero in New York City, but who never talked in depth with any New Yorkers.
Rev. Thomas Niccolls
Hiram, Ohio

Your article "Christians hit theological rift on Mideast policy" says that those who sympathize with the Palestinians believe their "faithfulness equals pursuit of justice by ending the Israeli occupation." On the other hand, Christians who back Israel do so "to honor God's prophecy." In other words, supporting the Palestinians means one is rational and compassionate, while support of Israel equates blind adherence to religious dogma.

Many people of all religious faiths support Israel because they believe that Israel is legitimately defending itself against enemies that are out to destroy it; that an open and democratic society is more just than one that rules by intimidation; and that the root of the conflict stems from the longstanding refusal of the Palestinians and other Arabs to recognize Israel's right to exist in peace.

The debate among Christians is not between rational thought and blind faith.
Ira Mehlman
Marina del Rey, Calif.

A windy solution to farm woes

Regarding "More subsidies, but farmers aren't smiling" (May 14): Perhaps a better long-term solution to the plight of the farmers would be to help them generate supplemental income through the rich reservoir of wind energy in the plains states.

I would rather see my tax dollars being used to erect wind turbines in the middle of farmers' fields than simply to pay the farmers to take land out of production. I am temporarily living and working in Denmark, where it is quite common to see wind turbines sprinkled throughout the landscape. This could help the farmers without irritating our trading partners, and simultaneously please environmentalists by developing our sustainable energy infrastructure.
Travis Metcalfe
Aarhus, Denmark

Preserving identity means 'far right'?

Regarding "Across Europe, the far right rises" (May 15): Is preserving our regional identity and community a far-right issue? It seems that any challenge to multiculturalism is regarded as evidence of fascism. The fact is that neither the Americans nor the Europeans asked to be multicultural; it was a term invented to rationalize the result of immigration policies that people never wanted. Regional and, yes, ethnic loyalties would have been considered quite mainstream not that long ago. Now it seems we are to regard them as the concerns of the "far right."
Kelly Gibson
Moline, Ill.

Escaping our debts

Regarding: "Bankruptcy fix: a tightening, or an unfair squeeze?" (Work&Money, May 6): The rise in bankruptcies is caused by overextension of credit. I base this opinion on how easily my wife or I can obtain credit on a low income. I have failed to convince my legislators that this is even a factor. If a bankruptcy reform bill passes, I will simply pay off my credit cards and close the accounts.
Dan Lozer
Elk Point, S.D.

The Monitor welcomes your letters and opinion articles. We can neither acknowledge nor return unpublished submissions. All submissions are subject to editing. 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.

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