A Silence Hovers Above Gun Issue

In regard to ``Students Urged to Break `Code of Silence,' Make Schools Gun Free,'' Sept. 7, I urge you to support the growing movement to have the Federal Bureau of Investigation take over the duty of overseeing the legal selling of guns. The FBI has the resources to effectively check those who are buying guns. Why should children have to be on the front line fighting to keep their schools free of guns? Why are we so willing to kill over the abortion issue, yet do nothing to save the children after they are born? Why is the pope spending large sums of money to fight the abortion issue, yet only spending pennies to save the millions of global street children? The Christian right attacks homosexuality every day over Oregon radio but is completely silent on the issue of guns in Oregon's schools.

Why are abortion and homosexuality more important than kids being killed in school? Jerrold S. Flemming, Salem, Oregon

Quayle and `Murphy Brown again

It is disturbing to see the mainstream media echo Dan Quayle's claims of unjustified ridicule regarding his views on single-parent families in the article ``Both Conservatives and Liberals Decry Rapid Increase in Single-Parent Families,'' Sept. 13.

Mr. Quayle's 1992 remarks on the TV show ``Murphy Brown'' were in response to the Los Angeles riot, which was an act of political violence protesting a grievous miscarriage of justice. It was Quayle's equation of the riot with a fictional TV character that drew the ridicule - to claim otherwise is an attempt to rewrite history. Richard Gleaves, San Diego

The Zen of a Harley

Regarding the Home Forum essay ``Touchstones, Time, and Travels,'' Sept. 9, Thomas Wolfe would understand why we turn our Harley-Davidsons into personal touchstones. An amazing thing happens when one makes such a personal investment: You find yourself moving beyond the mere expression of identity. The labor becomes one of personal discovery. One explores the limits of imagination and pushes the edge of what some call ``gumption'' to bring an artistic statement to life. To customize a Harley, one must know the bike inside and out. David D. Brown, Natick, Mass.

Stick to the books

Imagine my horror when you speak of ``The Nothing'' as emanating from the movie, ``The Neverending Story'' in the editorial ``The Courage to Read,'' Sept. 6. I am currently reading the book by Michael Ende to my children. The leap into imagination so encouraged in the book completely escapes the movie. Only a reader would appreciate the subtle messages conveyed in the changing of the font color.

Ironically, the book's strongest message demonstrates reading's power to cultivate imagination. For without imagining the possibilities, we are unable to escape many of our sad realities both big and small. Let's stick to the wonderful books and not the movies that attempt to imitate them. John W. Hebeler Jr., Ellicott City, Md.

The Catholic Church: a moral voice

I take offense to the article ``UN Population Conference Meets Religious Resistance,'' Sept. 6. The article reports concerns that the Roman Catholic Church is afraid ``that the moral and political power of the institutional church could be threatened by placing individuals - especially women - at the center of a moral decisionmaking process.'' Nothing could be further from the truth.

The Catholic Church, as a religious organization, has the duty to tell the faithful how to live a moral life. Many of the teachings of the church seem to be impossible to live by, but they are there to be followed, and many see these as goals to aim for. The church recognizes that all individuals must ultimately make their own moral decisions, but that does not mean that the church must remain silent when these individuals disagree with it and accept the disagreement without raising its voice to ensure that the moral teachings of the church are heard. The church recognizes that ultimately all will face God alone, but the hierarchy and other faithful also know that if they remain silent, they will have to answer for their silence. Judy Garton-Zavesky, Raleigh, N.C.

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