Mr. President, are you willing to put your family on the line?

Regarding the March 28 article "As war stretches on, recruiters scramble": My question is, where are the children, grandchildren, nieces, and nephews of our leaders in Washington - leaders who are so anxious to spread democracy in the Middle East? Why aren't they standing up for the convictions of their parents, grandparents, and aunts and uncles by enlisting in the armed services?

As the mother of a new marine recruit, I would feel much more comfortable if I knew that the president, as well as Mr. Rumsfeld, Mr. Cheney, Ms. Rice, et al. had a young member of their family on the front lines.

It would also give our recruiters a fantastic sales pitch if they could say, "The [leader's title] of our country and his/her family so believes in the Iraqi 'freedom struggle' that his/her [relative] has volunteered for a tour of active duty."
Carol Nathan
Franklin, Mass.

US gas expensive? Think again.

It is with some dismay that I see regular stories in The Christian Science Monitor about the high prices that Americans are paying for gas.

My husband and I, although Americans, lived in England for the past several years, where the price of gas (petrol) is about $5 per gallon. And my niece just spent time in Belize, where a much more impoverished population pays a similar amount. From Bombay to Buenos Aires, almost everyone in the world pays more for gas than we do.

I may not have the full details, but I believe that the American government subsidizes the cost of gasoline in this country so we are not paying the true cost. I'd very much like to see a story exploring these realities ... and some global perspective on how much less we pay for petrol than most of the rest of the world.
Zarrin T. Caldwell
Elkridge, Md.

Religion based on love, not fear

Regarding the March 16 article, "For evangelicals, a bid to reclaim America": I don't believe their goal is to reclaim America, but to change America.

One of the wonderful things about our country has been, and is, separation of church and state. We have so far been free of the religious wars so prevalent in much of the world, but this could change if the right-wing evangelicals succeed in taking over our government.

Religion is based on love and forgiveness, not hate and fear. We need to choose our enemies well; if we are not careful, we become like them and lose our own principles.
Ann Blue
Lakeport, Calif.

A youth weighs in on 'playing God'

In reference to the March 17 article, "A mix of mice and men," I certainly hope that much thought and consideration are given to this issue. After all, it concerns the very root of our being.

If this biotechnology of mixing genes between animals and humans is allowed, many lives could benefit and medicine could change dramatically, but at what expense to mankind? I agree that "even secular people, people who aren't of faith, nonetheless see the wisdom of the 'playing God' objection to creating chimeras." It has to be considered that these are potentially dangerous experiments. After all, humans have a higher thought process with a conscience and a soul. Human reason and intelligence separate humanity from the animal kingdom.

Most Christians would view this as tampering with God's purpose for mankind. God created human and animal entities separate from each other. As an adolescent, I will see this controversy evolve before my eyes. I believe legislation should be considered with great thought and careful discussion.
Mary Vitale
St. Peters, Mo.

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