Will There Be a Civil War in South Africa?
In the Opinion page article "De Klerk Will Win His Gamble," March 12, the author was right in predicting a "yes" vote, but the problem the South African government must deal with now is right-wing white extremism. I see a right-wing white revolution rather than a black one.
The Afrikaners who make up most of the Conservative Party are a stubborn people. Their ancestors have been fighting black tribesmen since the 16th century. They are generally racists and would most likely not accept rule by what they consider inferior blacks.
The Afrikaners also fear the communist leanings of the African National Congress. Many believe that black rule would threaten Christianity. Many people who might not have fought for racist reasons could possibly fight for religious ones. Van Lawson, Sheffield, Ala. True protectionism
The Opinion page article and chart "Protectionism Versus Free Trade," Feb. 28, attempts to show current feelings of Americans regarding the purchase of American-made goods as opposed to imports of foreign goods.
This article upholds current stereotypes. What exactly is an American-made product? In this day of global communication and trade, few so-called American-made goods are actually produced in the United States by American workers.
If Americans really want to support American workers, shouldn't we purchase goods actually produced in this country by American workers? Jennifer Pierce, Coleen Fox, Eugene, Ore., Values are found on TV
Regarding the Opinion page article "Can Religion Get a Fair Hearing on Prime-Time TV?," March 19: Prime-time TV is full of affirmative values. Consider examples put forth by Bill Cosby and many of the other family shows. These don't preach a particular religious position, but they all stand for family values that are healthy, even when cloaked in comedic situations.
Entertainment does not ignore the positive aspects of life, and if critics see a tendency to trivialize, distort, or caricature them, perhaps they are looking in the wrong direction. L. W. Thomas, Ypsilanti, Mich. No prayer in schools
Regarding the Opinion page column "School Prayer Gets a New Day in Court," March 20: The author seems to be saying that the majority of Americans want "voluntary" religious devotions in the classroom, and therefore the Supreme Court should go along.
James Madison and the other drafters of the United States Constitution and its Bill of Rights approached the issue of religion differently. To them, religious practice was a personal and private choice, entirely exempt from the meddlesome control of government. No government had the right to coerce the religious practice of any individual. Even if a blandly generic prayer is used, some students will always be excluded by officially sanctioned devotions in public schools.
The real issue in the Rhode Island prayer case now before the high court is not voluntary prayer, but whether our nation will continue to uphold the protective wall of separation between church and state. Robert L. Maddox, Silver Spring, Md., Americans United for Separation of Church and State