- The Washington Times - Sunday, August 19, 2007

U.N. kowtows to Beijing

For the second time, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has returned, unopened, a letter from Taiwan seeking membership in the international body (“Taiwan chastises Ban for spurning U.N. letter,” World, Thursday). A peace-loving, prosperous democracy of 23 million people wants to join the supposedly universal organization in order to help further its stated goals, and the head of that organization refuses even to look at its application?

Instead of bowing blindly to China’s desire to isolate Taiwan, Mr. Ban should be exploring ways to have Taiwan participate in U.N. activities. Full membership for Taiwan obviously is out of the question, given China’s veto in the Security Council, but surely ways could be found to let Taiwan work with the World Health Organization, UNESCO and other bodies to which it could make valuable contributions.

As the major funder of the United Nations, the United States should insist that Mr. Ban seriously examine such possibilities.


LORNA HAHN

Executive director

Association on Third World Affairs

Washington

Don’t mix government and religion

Kirby Wilbur’s speech at the National Conservative Student Conference (“Religious foundation,” Culture, et cetera, Wednesday) though containing useful information, did not get the story completely straight.

Yes, the Declaration of Independence says that liberties come from a Creator, but the Constitution itself mentions only “We the people” and not the deity. Further, the Declaration was written as a revolutionary document to rally Americans to the cause and to counter the European notion of the divine right of kings.

If rights come from the Creator, why was this not expressed until 1776 — and then only for white males in America? And why haven’t rights been more widely distributed around the globe?

What makes sense is that people conceive of and define rights, struggle to win them and then build the machinery to protect them, whatever anyone might think of their divine or human origin. Further, government can take away our rights, and it is up to us, we the people, to see that this does not happen.

EDD DOERR

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