Promise Keepers' Motives
I would like to commend you on correctly articulating some of the goals of Promise Keepers (Editorial, Oct. 3). I attended a stadium event three or four years ago, and the only mention of the meeting I read was in an editorial by a city sports editor! And he did a far better job of relating what Promise Keepers is concerned about than some of the current so-called political and social experts.
How anyone could be against the strengthening of families and the call for moral excellence is beyond me. If all the money that has been spent by the United States government to rectify our social ills hasn't succeeded, why would anyone object to a program that stresses another approach that won't cost the taxpayer a thing?
Claude B. Graves Jr.
Port Townsend, Wash.
In "Mega Marches: Size vs. Substance" (Oct. 2), religion scholar John Green says "Promise Keepers offers some pretty good answers" to the question of how men and women should view their changing roles.
But some of us think their answers are simplistic at best and dangerous at worst. Promise Keepers are simply more outspoken than the rest of the religious right when they say that women have to be under the control of men for society to function properly.
Faultfinding in Northern Ireland
"Belfast Brims With Hopes for Peace" (Sept. 29) is welcome news. However, while there is little use in recalling a past of violence, it is misleading to imply that the British do not share responsibility for evoking, with violence, a violent response.
Sinn Fein has consistently maintained its definition of consent to be within the 32- county context of the entire island. It is Sinn Fein's position that this partition of the island has failed. While the loyalist and unionist segments of the population of the six northern counties represent a majority, it is also Sinn Fein's position that a majority in those counties cannot hold hostage the majority in the 32 counties with a minority veto.
The article states "Since the IRA launched a guerrilla war in Northern Ireland in 1969, the struggle has claimed 3,200 lives."
The initial incident in 1969 was a peaceful civil rights march by Irish Catholics that was savagely attacked at Burntollet Bridge by those who were not going to allow any changes in the status quo. The IRA, which had never really disbanded since the Easter rebellion in 1916 (its goal always being a united Ireland free of British rule) did not receive much active local support until these peaceful demonstrations were suppressed.
Britain's Northern Ireland Secretary Mo Mowlam speaks of bringing the parties together for the first time in three-quarters of a century. The unnatural partition was forced upon the Irish people by Britain's threat of "immediate and terrible war." Perhaps, with more Irish involvement, this time we can gain a fair peace.
Desmond Nunan Sr.
Ocean City, N.J.
Generalizations don't hold
I happen to live in an area - Grand Rapids, Mich. - where the daily paper, in my opinion, is hopelessly mired in the conservative point of view. So I always cringe when I read generalizations about liberal bias, as I did in the letter "Liberal Bias in the Press" (Sept. 30). It seems so easy for us today to use sweeping generalizations in talking about this enormous and varied country, whether it's about education, welfare, or any other topic. We all come from our own little province, but we so often forget that.
Barbara A. Robinson Grand Rapids, Mich.
Colonial power sometimes welcome
"Islands Prefer Dependence" (Opinion, Sept. 24) - sometimes to the point of trying to be recolonized. The island of Anjouan (Indian Ocean) recently seceded from the Comoros Republic and asked to become a part of France again (the Comoros Islands became independent in 1975). France rejected the request, and the Comorian army took over Anjouan. To my knowledge, this is the first time that a decolonized territory has asked to be recolonized.
Associate Professor of French Studies
SUNY at Albany
Your letters are welcome. All letters are subject to editing. Mail to "Readers Write," One Norway St., Boston, MA 02115, fax to 617-450-2317, or e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org