Readers write: migrants in Germany; Kevin McCarthy's gaffe

Letters to the editor for the Oct. 19, 2015 weekly magazine.

Francois Lenoir/Reuters
German Chancellor Angela Merkel talks to journalists as she arrives at a European Union leaders extraordinary summit on the migrant crisis in Brussels today.

Migrants in Germany
Regarding the Oct. 12 One Week article “Merkel’s tightrope of leadership roles”: History will determine whether German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s decision to promise refugee status to Middle East migrants will be viewed as an act of great courage and statesmanship, bringing stability and prosperity to Europe, or a stunning act of folly and personal hubris. Undoubtedly, this one decision will have enormous ramifications for Europe. Even before the migrant crisis, and with generous social programs, France, Germany, and Sweden have had problems assimilating their Muslim populations.

Should one person have the power to make a decision that so radically affects an entire nation and the continent of Europe? Ms. Merkel may be basking in the moral beauty of her compassion, but it’s the German people and their descendants who will make the sacrifices and pay the costs. Drumming up more enthusiasm for multiculturalism might not solve all the problems. Surely, the German people should have been allowed to vote on this matter.
Jonette Christian
Holden, Maine

Kevin McCarthy’s ‘truthful gaffe’
Regarding the Oct. 2 online article “GOP leader backtracks on Benghazi ‘strategy’ comments” (CSMonitor.com): If I were advising Hillary Clinton today, which I am not, I would suggest she skip the Oct. 22 congressional hearing on Benghazi. That’s because what once was considered a fact-finding mission by outgoing House Speaker John Boehner (R) of Ohio has now been debunked by Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R) of California, who, by all accounts, most likely will become the new speaker.

No matter how the former secretary of State answers the committee’s questions, her answers will be spun, twisted, and left out in the political cold by a panel that already has made up its mind. Shame on Congress. As far as I am concerned, this is as un-American as it gets in Washington or anywhere else in this great land.
Denny Freidenrich
Laguna Beach, Calif.

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Dear Reader,

About a year ago, I happened upon this statement about the Monitor in the Harvard Business Review – under the charming heading of “do things that don’t interest you”:

“Many things that end up” being meaningful, writes social scientist Joseph Grenny, “have come from conference workshops, articles, or online videos that began as a chore and ended with an insight. My work in Kenya, for example, was heavily influenced by a Christian Science Monitor article I had forced myself to read 10 years earlier. Sometimes, we call things ‘boring’ simply because they lie outside the box we are currently in.”

If you were to come up with a punchline to a joke about the Monitor, that would probably be it. We’re seen as being global, fair, insightful, and perhaps a bit too earnest. We’re the bran muffin of journalism.

But you know what? We change lives. And I’m going to argue that we change lives precisely because we force open that too-small box that most human beings think they live in.

The Monitor is a peculiar little publication that’s hard for the world to figure out. We’re run by a church, but we’re not only for church members and we’re not about converting people. We’re known as being fair even as the world becomes as polarized as at any time since the newspaper’s founding in 1908.

We have a mission beyond circulation, we want to bridge divides. We’re about kicking down the door of thought everywhere and saying, “You are bigger and more capable than you realize. And we can prove it.”

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