Regarding: "Catholic reformers hold historic meeting" (July 19): One of the problems with your articles on the Catholic church is that most of your sources come from the "progressive" wing of the church. For example, the National Catholic Reporter and many of those claiming to lead the Voice of the Faithful are actually well-known dissidents connected with the Call to Action group. Although they call for democracy, it is actually a revolt of "middle management" (theologians, professors, church bureaucrats) trying to wrest control and remake the Catholic Church.
One expects reporters to know that when a "new" group such as the Voice of the Faithful comes out of the woodwork, it's probably been there all the time under a different name. Yet the press ignores this, and ignores the opinions of larger groups of Catholics who still hold to church tradition.
I am disappointed in the shallow coverage of this newly discovered (20-year-old) scandal.
Nancy K. O'Connor
Regarding: "Rays of hope in reaching the young Arab mind" (Opinion, July 17): John Hughes's column about Radio Sawa, the new US-funded broadcasting effort to the Arab world, includes some misconceptions about the capabilities of different technologies to deliver news into countries where information is restricted. He wrote, "Once, [governments] could try jamming shortwave broadcasts from the outside world. Today, modern information technology knows no international boundaries."
"Modern information technology" is replete with technological boundaries. In China, Saudi Arabia, Vietnam, Laos, and other countries, websites undesirable to those countries' governments are blocked. Internet users in those countries might try "proxy" websites, but these, too, are blocked as soon as they are discovered.
To be sure, most people would rather watch television, listen to FM radio, or surf the web than endure the fading and static of a shortwave signal. But for people in countries in times of war, crisis, or oppression, shortwave radio is often is the only lifeline of uncensored information.
Regarding "Edgy first college assignment: study the Koran" (Learning, July 30): When "under God" came under challenge, many said how ridiculous it was that the two words could not be voluntarily said in front of an atheist's child just because they "offended." Now Christian students claim the right not to have to read parts of the Koran for course work because they are "offended." You can't have it both ways.
Elk Point, S.D.
Regarding: "Cheney's CEO past seen as burden" (July 30): I'm glad that Vice President Dick Cheney is being utilized more significantly under President Bush, particularly in regard to foreign policy, including being involved in policy decisions. Too often in the past, vice presidents have been put on the shelf and forgotten about, cast into a nebulous political wasteland, even though many were very talented individuals whose skills virtually were wasted.
Mr. Cheney has proven to be a real asset to the Bush administration, which has heavily relied on his experience, expertise, political contacts, and know-how in foreign policy matters. In this day and age of big government and the accompanying large-scale and complex problems that go with it, a president needs all the resources he can muster.
Kenneth L. Zimmerman
Huntington Beach, Calif.
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