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The Monitor's Standards: Two Views

I want to congratulate you on a well written paper and an accurate representation of Christians. In every issue there is a column entitled "Today's Article on Christian Science," which leaves me with a renewed focus on God and an idea on improving my life.

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There is enough ugliness and "no news is good news" in the media today. Thank you for making an effort to bring God into all things. The world needs newspapers that will convey morality and not let the "news" become a degrading aspect of life. I recommend your paper to all my friends. Though I may not agree with all opinions in your paper, I find comfort knowing that the finished product works to achieve a noble goal.

Please continue to inform us of world events and promote a standard and a journalistic approach that is both modern and Christian.

Rachelle Larsen

Rexberg, Idaho

Regarding "The Monitor Movie Guide" (Oct. 16): I can't believe how supportive the Monitor is of violence, nudity, sex, profanity, and drugs in movies. The staff movie critic gave a four-star rating (excellent) to "A Soldier's Daughter Never Cries." After the review, there is a listing of the qualities that make it R-rated: frank talk about sex, a fistfight, 44 strong expressions of profanity, teenagers smoking, and some social drinking. It may be exciting and well made, but does that make it a "good" movie?

I thought that the Monitor was a newspaper with strong "Christian" values, a paper that would fight against entertainment that reflects moral decline. The founder of the Monitor, Mary Baker Eddy, wrote on the occasion of starting her church's first publication, The Christian Science Journal: "through our paper we shall be able to reach many homes with healing, purifying thought." Can you call 44 strong expressions of profanity purifying, healing thought?

The Christian Science Monitor should not support films that contain material that goes against the Christian values on which the paper was founded. Set reviewing standards that good Christians can trust.

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Blaine R. Olsen

Orem, Utah

A reply to a reply

I am NOT the father of Ms. Earlene Asher of Payson, Ariz., who responded in Readers Write (Oct. 30) to an opinion piece entitled "A Congressman writes to his daughter about the president, morality, and telling the truth" (Oct. 19) by Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen of New Jersey. But if I had received Ms. Asher's reply, this is the way I might respond:

1. C'mon Earlene, to have expectations that certain standards of decency and moral conduct will be adhered to is not equivalent to placing anybody on a pedestal!

One of the essential qualities of leadership, if not the most fundamental quality, is trustworthiness. Blatant and repeated lies, month after month, to your family, to your Cabinet, to your staff, to your friends, and to the public leads to one conclusion: The president is untrustworthy and thus has ceased to be an effective leader.

2. Yes, perhaps under the most difficult of circumstances involving critical national and or world conditions, lying might be one of the noblest of choices before a president. However, lying under oath about personal matters unrelated to national or world affairs is totally unacceptable, inexcusable, and against the law, regardless of how personally painful or harmful the subject might be.

3. I share your desire for compassion for those who misstep. And I too regret the public flogging of the president that many have undertaken. But let's not cast too broad a net over the proceedings on Capitol Hill. Impeachment is not about punishment, nor is it the act of uncompassionate men and women. Rather, it's a necessary first step in the constitutional process of obtaining a new leader, hopefully one the public will have more reasons to trust than to distrust!

Harvey Neilson

Manassas, Va.

The Monitor welcomes your letters and opinion articles. Only a selection can be published, and we can neither acknowledge nor return unpublished submissions. Mail letters to 'Readers Write,' and opinion articles to Opinion Page, One Norway St., Boston, MA 02115, or fax to 617-450-2317, or e-mail to

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