Letters to the editor

Readers write in about Iran and the US, faith in hospitals, and moral consistency

Iran and the US

Regarding the opinion piece, “Terror trials will pose tough questions about Islam”; I was shocked at Walter Rodgers’s comment that some people think the Islamic extremists may have begun their holy war against the United States in 1979 when Shiite extremists took over the Iranian government and the American Embassy in Tehran.

And then, Mr. Rodgers goes on to say that Muslim belligerence actually goes back much further.

As far as Iran is concerned, problems between Iran and the US go back no further than the US government’s takeover of Iran’s democratically elected government in 1953, engineered from the American Embassy, according to David Barsamian, an independent journalist who has been to Iran and speaks some Farsi.

The shah, whom the US set up, had a dismal human rights record (I well remember the expression on an Iranian student’s face when I congratulated him on the birth of Prince Reza).

The 1979 attack on the US Embassy in Iran was not a mere Shiite extremist gesture. According to Mr. Barsamian, the embassy was taken over because the Iranian government got wind of another overthrow setup, again being masterminded within the US Embassy.

If that isn’t enough to start a war, holy or not, what is?

MarJorie Derrick,

Melbourne Village, Fla.

Separate church and hospital

Regarding the opinion piece “Different health care reform: doctors trained to deal with patients about faith” : From reciting statistics on the numbers of Americans who pray and believe God can cure the incurable, Wendy Cadge somehow concludes physicians must “support” patients in such activities and beliefs.


For myself, I prefer my physicians well schooled in medicine and will look elsewhere for spiritual support.

Were Ms. Cadge to aver that healthcare insurance providers might benefit from a semester at seminary, or even a refresher on the golden rule, I’d be more inclined to agree.

Tom Kiske

College Station, Texas

Moral consistency

Regarding The Monitor’s View “Switching off the death penalty,”:

The primary scope of any penalty is to redress the disorder caused by the offense. When punishment is voluntarily accepted by the offender it takes on the value of expiation.

There ultimately remains no moral justification for imposing a sentence of death.

Violence begets violence both in our hearts and in our actions.

By continuing the tradition of responding to killing with state-sanctioned killing, we rob ourselves of moral consistency and perpetuate that which we seek to sanction.

Paul Kokoski

Hamilton, Ontario

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