Letters

'Under God' in the pledge: save it or scrap it

Regarding David Greenberg's March 25 Opinion piece "One pledge, hold the 'under God' ": If the Supreme Court agrees with Mr. Greenberg, the decision would seem to be contrary to what the government is doing elsewhere. The motto "In God We Trust" is on our currency; the Ten Commandments are on the wall of the Supreme Court; we pay clergy to offer prayer at the opening of Congress; and the Bible is used to swear in the president. In schools, however, children are not allowed to pray and they are not allowed to ask God to bless a ballgame. So it doesn't make sense for public officials to look to God when conducting their public duty and not allow our children to do the same.
Conrad P. Lachel
Springdale, Ark.

While Mr. Greenberg's article and Michael Newdow's argument before the Court both eloquently outline the rights of children not to be coerced into acknowledging God, I have yet to hear the no less valid argument that public-school employees, too, have the right to not be coerced into making that acknowledgement. That a school-aged child should have to make public his or her religious beliefs in a school setting is unacceptable - no less so is making a government employee do the same in his or her place of employment.
Elizabeth Mauldin
Iwakuni, Japan

The real liberal agenda

Beverly Crane's March 26 Opinion piece "Time to redefine the oft-maligned 'liberal'" ends with the thought that liberals and conservatives are not really different. Perhaps this is true with regular Democrats. However, the political liberals - the hard-liners - have a different agenda. These liberals believe in subjecting the country to the rule of the UN, cutting and weakening our military; they believe in a high tax rate; they support big government and big spending; they believe in the redistribution of wealth through socialism and socialized medicine; and they want to appoint judges to take God and Christianity out of public institutions and our currency. Conservatives are diametrically opposed to the above views.
Robert Shelton
Winter Haven, Fla.

Ms. Crane's defense of liberals is long overdue. Besides the strict dictionary definition of the word "liberal," we should examine the fact that liberals - generally considered outside the norm or ahead of their time - may include people like our Founding Mothers and Fathers, who saw the benefits of independence but had to work hard to convince the general populace in a newly forming America. Abraham Lincoln comes to mind, whose views on slavery were not warmly received even in parts of the North.

What's best for our country is a good balance of liberal and conservative ideals - ideals that respect what is good about the old and embrace the new.
Susan Deal
Park City, Utah

Green issues not always partisan

Your March 25 article "Bush, Kerry, and green differences" leaves a false impression at its conclusion that there is a small internal revolt against President Bush's reforms to a Clean Air Act provision called New Source Review. That overlooks the regional, not partisan, nature of many environmental issues. These issues are certainly not as partisan, as the article leads readers to believe, and in fact tend to be economic competitive issues. For the most part, there are as many or more Democrats in the Southeast and Midwest that support these Environmental Protection Agency reforms as Northeastern Republicans who oppose them.
Frank Maisano
Washington
The writer is a spokesman for the Electric Reliability Coordinating Council.

The Monitor welcomes your letters and opinion articles. Because of the volume of mail we receive, 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.

Any letter accepted will appear in print and on www.csmonitor.com.

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 Letters.

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