'Impeachment's cultural divide': It's not religious

Regarding "Impeachment's cultural divide" (Jan. 5): I was disturbed by the linking of being "religious" with an increased belief in rigid moral rules. Although this may reflect the unfortunate attitude of many - that religion is primarily about "dos" and "don'ts" - Christianity focuses more on repentance and forgiveness.

On the other hand, I take issue with the suggestion that being a Democrat means that one advocates "moral relativism," or believes that it's sometimes acceptable to lie or mislead. By lying to the nation, the president was very wrong, but just because I don't think his behavior was impeachable shouldn't imply that I am not "religious" or that I believe it's OK to lie. True religion acknowledges that God has established rules, but - fortunately for all of us - God also offers hope for those who have broken them.

Rick Libert Jersey City, N.J.

The liberal spin machine

"Public Backlash" (Dec. 29) gives us a glimpse of how influential the liberal spin machine is. The Democrats and their friends in the press have been threatening a backlash against Republicans who vote for impeachment. The same liberals were telling us a couple of weeks ago that the financial markets would be topsy-turvy if President Clinton were impeached. He was, and the stock market improved. The same liberals put out the message that the government would be impeded for months if there were a long impeachment trial. Now it looks as if the trial will not take that long. So much for credibility of the spin doctors.

Antonia Gonzalez Phoenix, Ariz.

Watching DiMaggio hit - in total silence

I found "Joe DiMaggio: still America's hero" (Dec. 18) interesting and informative. Articles on baseball legends always catch my eye because my father is Ned Garver, a Major Leaguer who pitched from 1948 through 1962. He began his career with the St. Louis Browns, then to the Detroit Tigers, then to the Kansas City Athletics. He ended it with the California Angels. He was the starting pitcher in the 1952 All-Star Game. He read the article and responded with the following:

"As a member of the 1948 St. Louis Browns, I got to realize one of my childhood dreams - a visit to Yankee Stadium and a trip out to deepest center field to view the monuments of past Yankee greats. Then as the Yankees took batting practice I saw something I had not seen before - or since.

"It happened when DiMaggio stepped into the batting cage to take his cuts at pitches thrown by the batting practice pitcher. The St. Louis players were playing catch in foul territory outside the 3rd base line. There was considerable noise from the fans already in all three decks of the ballpark and the vendors were loudly hawking their wares. When Joe hit that majestic stance of his, everything in the ballpark stopped! We stopped warming up, the sounds of the vendors stopped, the noise in the stands stopped, and in total silence we all watched DiMaggio hit. A fitting tribute to the greatest baseball player I ever saw."

Don Garver Ney, Ohio

Reading the Monitor ... with scissors

Cheers to columnist Marilyn Gardner for her excellent "moral elevation" story in the Homefront section ("From the momentary to the long-range," Dec. 30). Thanks for "breaking from the pack" once again, as you do so well. Somehow we need to get more of the "pack" reading the Monitor, and a lot more of the American public as well.

It's because the Monitor's content is so outstanding that we just spent three days reading some 15 back issues that piled up while we were away for the holidays ... always with scissors in hand.

Rich Hart Watsonville, Calif.

Your letters are welcome. Letters for publication must be signed and include your mailing address and telephone number. Only a selection can be published and none acknowledged. All letters are subject to editing. Letters should be mailed to "Readers Write," One Norway St., Boston, MA 02115, faxed to 617-450-2317, or e-mailed to oped@csps.com

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