Regarding the Dec. 7 article, "New congressman to swear on Koran. Outrage ensues": It is surely time for the US Congress to be enriched by a Muslim representative. If Keith Ellison chooses to carry a Koran to his swearing-in as a congressman, I applaud him and hope the rest of our pluralistic society applauds him as well.
What a pity that we in the US are endangered by the words of public commentators such as Dennis Prager, who maintains that "America is interested in only one book, the Bible." This models for the rest of the US a discourteous and disrespectful approach to those who are not Christian or Jewish. Mr. Prager does not seem to understand that the Bible, in whatever form, is one of the foundations of the Koran.
Thank God for loving Muslims and loving Jews and loving Christians, who embrace one another and other faiths to walk arm in arm toward the all-embracing God who envelops us in love and care.
The Rev. Bruce MacDuffie
Adjunct professor of religious studies, Dickinson State University
In response to the Dec. 7 article about Keith Ellison and the Koran: I don't get it: Conservative pundit Dennis Prager, who is Jewish, wants congressman-elect Keith Ellison, who is Muslim, to swear on a Christian Bible? Go figure. For the so-named Christian critics of Mr. Ellison, in the Bible, Jesus said, "Do not swear at all."
Those who are outraged that Ellison would carry a Koran to his congressional swearing-in ceremony should engage in some introspection about what values they think they're upholding. Considering that we want our representatives to be people of integrity, the last thing we should be demanding of them is an act of hypocrisy. From Minnesota, as well as the rest of the nation, integrity is what we are trying to send to Washington.
Regarding the Dec. 7 article, "Should US bills be 'blind friendly'?": Having rattled around the world some, I find it stunning that the US is the only country I've been in that makes no allowances for the visually impaired in its paper currency.
I have known several blind people who were utterly amazing and capable, but how do you run a newsstand or lunch counter in the US if you can't see? This also ignores the daily struggles of getting along in the world in general. The gains in productivity and dignity for the blind will more than offset any transient costs of making US bills different sizes. This decision is long overdue.
I write in response to the Dec. 4 article, "What the US has learned (so far) in Iraq." The US has failed to learn the most important lesson in Iraq and in history: The fate of a country shall be determined by its own people and not by any foreign occupier. Our Founding Fathers proved that.
Regarding the Nov. 30 article, "Is Iraq a civil war? Scholars say yes. Media debate it.": It is unproductive to continue arguing about whether or not Iraq is in a state of civil war. The Iraq caldron is being stirred by too many forces, and the country's government has been powerless. The only accurate word to describe the situation is "anarchy."
Peter Y. Muller
The Monitor welcomes your letters and opinion articles. Because of the volume of mail we receive, we can neither acknowledge nor return unpublished submissions. All submissions are subject to editing. Letters must be signed and include your mailing address and telephone number. Any letter accepted will appear in print and on our website, www.csmonitor.com.
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 Letters.