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Letters to the Editor

February 9, 2006
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Hate Goes Way Beyond the Limits of Free Speech

Concerning “Anti-Semitic Material Pops Up in City, Suburbs” (City & Suburb, Jan. 26), my appreciation goes out to the Jewish Exponent for covering something that otherwise might have gone unnoticed.

I’m one of those residents who found such anti-Jewish hate literature on my front lawn. The impact on my shalom bayit (“peace at home”) was as if a Molotov cocktail had exploded on my doorstep.

How dare the anonymous cowards who circulate this material invade my privacy!

I appreciate the blessing of living in a country where free speech is protected. But charging these unknown local terrorists with littering or trespassing doesn’t cut it for me.

People of all faiths and beliefs must unite in opposition to “legal” speech, which cuts and scars as sharply as a knife. 
Ellie Shaffer 
Jenkintown

If Decisions Are Sound, Then He’s Doing His Job!

The Jan. 19 letters by Rosalind Spiegel and Eleanor Levie regarding the fight to confirm Judge Samuel Alito demonstrate that our founding fathers exercised good judgment.

They provided that the president, by and with the consent of the Senate, has the power to appoint judges to the Supreme Court rather than have the appointment made with the consent of a subjective and often ill-informed general public.

The letter-writers’ conclusions were based on personal interpretation of the effects of Alito’s prior rulings, without supporting data. Their words might be more appropriate if they were evaluating the merits of a candidate for Congress.

Their only concern should be whether Alito’s prior rulings were constitutionally sound. If unjust, they should express their dissatisfaction to members of Congress or to their state legislators. 
T.A. Spina 
Philadelphia

Abramoff Isn’t the Only Hypocrite in Washington

Robert Leiter is correct to point out the disgrace of Jack Abramoff’s religious hypocrisy (Media Clippings: “Much to Atone For,” Jan. 26)

But there are many other public figures like him.

Sen. Rick Santorum, a devout Roman Catholic, has turned his back on Pope John Paul II’s admonition not to make war in Iraq.

Both Santorum and President Bush have willfully ignored writings throughout the Bible that urge us to help the poor and downtrodden.

Instead, both of these self-proclaimed Christians continue to bestow riches on the rich. 
Darlene Finch 
Philadelphia

Take God Out of Pledge, or Terrorists Will Win

The Dec. 29 editorial on the intelligent-design debate also decried the “radical secularists who would alter the pledge of allegiance.”

That’s just wrong.

The case for altering the pledge is a thoroughly conservative one. It is common knowledge that the impetus for inclusion of the phrase “under God” was a specific historical circumstance: to counter the (now defunct) threat of atheistic communism.

Speaking conservatively, by the same logic, it’s time to remove it — and return the pledge to its original formulation and “original intent” — in response to the threat du jour: fundamentalist terrorism.

Sayyid Qutb, a 20th-century Egyptian, was the intellectual hero of contemporary radical Islam. He deplored the “hideous schizophrenization of modern life” — meaning the creation of autonomous realms free from religion.

The more cracks there are in the wall of separation between church and state, the more we come to resemble our implacable enemy, and the more homage we pay to the “spiritual godfather” of 9/11.

Qutb would categorically affirm “one nation, under Allah,” to which Osama bin Laden and his followers enthusiastically reply, “Amen.”

As the late African-American lawyer Johnnie Cochran might have put it, “keep ‘under God’ in, and the terrorists win.” 
S.R. Cohen 
Philadelphia

Relocation of School: It’s a Benefit for All!

As the parents of two young boys who have attended the nursery school at Congregation Rodeph Shalom for three years, we were saddened when we learned that the suburban campus would be put up for sale (City & Suburb: “Rodeph Shalom School Finds New Home Nearby,” Jan. 26).

What a blessing it is that the school’s entire teaching staff will remain intact, continuing to provide their excellent, loving care at the new Kol Ami nursery school.

This is a win-win-win — better than we ever imagined, assuring a smooth transition for current students while reaffirming the school’s ability to serve the community for many years to come. 
Neal and Barbarann Voron 
Philadelphia

Early Education Provides a Basis for Judaic Life

I was pleased to read the article, “Starting Early — It Makes a Difference,” (Focus on Community, Jan. 19).

The Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia and the Federation Early Learning Services are to be commended for reaching out to young families to make Judaism a meaningful part of their lives.

This article highlights what early-childhood education professionals have known for a long time.

Children start to make associations between Judaism and a warm sense of belonging at an early age, something that remains with them for the rest of their lives.

Additionally, interfaith families who send their children to Jewish preschools develop a more positive attitude to Judaism based on these experiences. 
Lyndall Miller 
Coordinator Jewish Early Childhood Education

Gratz College

Melrose Park

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