Clinton as King David Is a Stretch

In the editorial "Clinton and Trust," (Sept. 23) you compare King David's wrongful actions and repentance with the president's. I submit that there is one great and telling difference: Nathan was following God's behest in calling David to task for his sin. There is no similarity between Nathan's purpose and that of the Republicans in their harassment of the president. Nathan had no hatred of David, no self-serving motives, no agenda, and was willing to let David work out his redemption alone with God and with the people, without imposing his own personal judgment.

Could it be that Americans (1) don't in any way condone what Clinton has done in his personal life, (2) like very much what he has done in most of his public policies, (3) don't condone the hateful and never-ending personal attacks on him by his detractors, and (4) realize that his actions are not impeachable and his redemption must be worked out with his family, his God, and the people too, over time.

We are not really immoral out here. We just may be a little more comprehensive, forgiving, and realistic in our thinking than our sometimes fixated friends in the press.

Charles Gahr

Vancouver Island, B.C.

President Clinton is being compared to King David. There are at least two fallacies here: King David immediately acknowledged his wrongdoing and was contrite when confronted by the prophet Nathan. Clinton tried every possible maneuver before acknowledging his wrong and then struggled to be contrite when confronted by Kenneth Starr. Also, there seems to be no comparable follow-up. King David was punished by God, but there seems to be hesitancy concerning the issue of punishment for the president.

Sharon Kay Ricketts

Bothell, Wash.

Hold the line on sexual harassment

The Monitor's editorial "No Derailing, No Delay" (Oct. 1) hit the mark. President Clinton's day of contrition is long gone, and regardless of how the process is handled from here on out, he will do what he can to make it politically dangerous to proceed.

As a professional woman and a federal employee required by this president to attend training on avoiding and handling sexual harassment in the workplace, I am disappointed to hear him say that it doesn't matter after all. It does matter, to every young, impressionable person who may be approached in an inappropriate way at the office. And it does matter, to everyone who tries to maintain professionalism when none is demonstrated above them.

True leadership takes people to better and higher achievements. It does not ask its followers to accept a lower standard for the convenience of the leader. The economy may be strong, thanks to those Mr. Clinton has appointed to watch it, but the lowering of standards between working people may well have its price later on.

If we disregard the president's actions, we mock any progress made in the business world, in the military, and in the government,to make our working environments conducive to progress without being buried in inappropriate pressures.

Kim A. Geisinger

Elkridge, Md.

Untapped harvesting resources

The article "Farm Worker 'Shortage' Stirs Fight Over Foreign Laborers" (Oct. 2) says growers are hurting because they can't find workers to harvest their apples and pumpkins. A forgotten pleasure for many is the simple delight in picking a ripe apple or loading golden-orange pumpkins from an overflowing field. Could farmers encourage people to take a week vacation from work to help in the harvest? Also, the growing number of younger retired folks might love to get in on the fun.

Bob Burkhart

Seattle, Wash.

The Monitor welcomes your letters and opinion articles. Because of the volume of mail, only a selection can be published, and we can neither acknowledge nor return unpublished submissions. 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 oped@csps.com

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