Letters to the Editor

Readers write about grade inflation at US colleges, whether ministers are to blame for evangelicalism's collapse, why Hamas is not a terrorist organization, and how a recipe from the Monitor became a family's tradition.

College grade inflation is not a major problem

In regard to the March 24 Opinion piece, "Grade inflation gone wild": I don't agree with author Stuart Rojstaczer's sweeping characterization of grade inflation in university education in the US. It exists, for sure, but from where I sit – in the College of Engineering at the University of California Berkeley – we've had the kinds of grading guidelines that Mr. Rojstaczer suggests for at least the 30 years I've been teaching there. And they are followed quite well by the faculty and accepted by the students. Many of my colleagues at other leading engineering schools have similar systems.

The graduating students work very hard to compete for grad school admission and in the marketplace. They are well-educated. I can assure you that engineering students don't "spend more time drinking than studying."

David Dornfeld

Professor of engineering

University of California, Berkeley, Calif.

Priests and ministers have shamed their churches

Regarding the March 10 Opinion piece, "The coming evangelical collapse": I appreciated the commentary on the coming end of the evangelical movement. I agree that this is going to happen soon. But what was neglected in the commentary was the absolute harm that corrupt evangelical ministers have done to the movement.

I do not believe there has been a time in history that so many of the ministers of faith – not only the evangelical ministers, but the priests of the Catholic Church – have violated the purity of their church's message. Somewhere, God has gotten lost.

Jan Konetski
Lumberton, N.J.

Hamas is not a terrorist organization

In regard to the March 25 article, "FBI and American Muslims at odds": Author Alexandra Marks labels Hamas a "Palestinian terrorist organization." This has no more legitimacy than labeling the Israeli Defence Forces a "terrorist organization." Hamas is the legitimately elected leader of the Palestinian government. No party won more votes in the last free and fair democratic election.

When Israel stops expanding illegal settlements and mercilessly blockading the Palestinian territories, and negotiates a two-state solution, that's when a legitimate peace will come to Palestine and Israel.

Jerry McIntire
Viroqua, Wis.

A Monitor recipe becomes tradition

Regarding the March 25 article, "Monitor' cake a hit with several generations": It was a happy surprise to discover the origin of my mom's favorite chocolate cake recipe. I should've guessed it came from the Monitor! I think Mom originally received it from a friend she'd known from her Monitor Youth Forum days, who obviously had clipped it from the Monitor.

That cake has graced many a family celebration for two generations, and will no doubt continue to do so. Thanks for the article!

Abby Hillman
Clifton, Va.

The Monitor welcomes your letters. All submissions are subject to editing. Letters must include your full name; your city, state, and country; and your telephone number. Any letter accepted may appear on our website, www.CSMonitor.com, or in our weekly print edition. E-mail letters to oped@csps.com. Or mail letters to Readers Write, 210 Massachusetts Avenue, Boston, MA 02115.

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