`Family Values' and America's Have-Nots

The Opinion page column "How Bush Could Make Use of `The Family Thing', " Aug. 20, misses the point. The focal point of the story is: "If a troubled and alienated American electorate seems to think that America has lost its economic direction, I detect a large body of opinion that believes it has also lost some of its moral bearings."

The disenfranchised of America have been increasing for many years. It appears, more than not, that their numbers are growing in concentrated areas of the nation's inner cities, with their high unemployment and single-parent families. This brought forth the gang mentality as a source of support and rebellion.

"Family values." Is there, in the minds of those forgotten, a family or values? I think not. The cruel, clear truth is that an uncaring society of the "haves" in their selfishness, together with their government leaders, created the vulgar, filthy cries from their lips, and we are offended. Indeed all of us should be deeply offended with our society for allowing such despair to grow to unbelievable limits through our apathetic inaction. Wayne A. Lawson, Bellevue, Wash. Crediting stay-at-home parents

I love the People page article "Working Mothers Who Stay Home," Aug. 18. About eight years ago I was on a jury panel and asked to describe my job. My answer - a household administrator, meaning I was a financial planner, a social secretary, a psychologist, a gourmet cook, a chauffeur, a wardrobe coordinator, a laundress, a bookkeeper, and a confidant. The word housewife just doesn't come near to describing the role. Thanks to the author for bringing this to light. Barbara Meyler, Encino, Calif.

The article on working mothers lacks credibility because the author never interviews any working fathers who stay home. The author also never mentions how much housework and child care the husbands of the full-time homemakers perform.

Discrimination against women will never be eradicated until all husbands take equal responsibility for housework and child care and are fully willing to be full-time homemakers when children are young.

The article could have helped pull society one step forward if only a few small paragraphs were written about working fathers who stay home. Marie Brady, Garland, Texas Too much kid-power in the courts

The editorial "Kids, Parents, Politics," Aug. 6, concerning children given full legal standing in courts, is very troubling to me. It cites the Florida case of a lawyer who sought to adopt a boy by having the child petition to "divorce" his parents.

Placing such a powerful tool into the hands of some immature, rebellious child could compound injustices to child-parent relationships. The other factor is the excessive number of lawyers in the United States and the resulting search for litigious cases. Given the economic incentives involved, this proposal could compound, not correct, injustices to vulnerable children Kathryn Humphrey, Wilmington, Del.

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