Readers write: teens under the influence of IS; Dolley Madison the bridge builder

Letters to the editor for the Dec. 7, 2015 weekly magazine.

Courtesy of Christianne Boudreau
After her son, Damian (right), was killed fighting for the Islamic State, Christianne Boudreau formed Hayat Canada to help provide family-based intervention services for parents in Canada and the US who suspected that their children may be radicalizing.

Helping teens under influence of IS
Thank you for the very revealing Nov. 9 cover story, “The recruiting of an American jihadi.” It is a sad indictment of our inadequate efforts to reach out with love and understanding to all our teenagers to discuss their concerns and guide them with wisdom in a compassionate faith.

Hence, I was very disappointed in the sidebar “How to save kids from IS recruitment.” It offers very little useful advice to parents – not even a link to better guidance. Waiting until a young person has been drawn in by Islamic State social media is late in the game.

Unfortunately, the adults in this country are not providing a very good example, with all the fireworks in Washington and on the campaign trail.
Kris Johnson
Williston, Ohio

Dolley Madison’s bridge building
Regarding the Nov. 2 Monitor’s View “How Canada’s election just might help save democracy”: The editorial shows how Canada’s new leader, Justin Trudeau, stands in stark contrast to our polarized political atmosphere with his (so far) inclusive style. However, when I read the editorial I was reminded of someone in the early 1800s who brought the polarized factions of our newly formed US government together in an incredibly inspired way and may have provided the glue that held it together.

First lady Dolley Madison brought all sides and classes of society together to talk civilly in her weekly “squeezes” (open houses at the Madison residence) and would introduce congressmen to each other for the very reason so eloquently stated in the editorial. Madison’s contributions to our democratic form of government cannot be overstated. Just one sign of the great appreciation and respect both the government and society in general had for her is a now-little-known fact that she was given an honorary seat in Congress to use after her husband’s death. It was frequently said of Madison that she loved everyone. And in turn everyone loved her.
Robin Kadz
Beaverton, Ore.

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