- The Washington Times - Wednesday, April 30, 2008

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

Wright isn’t doing Obama any favors

Thank you for yesterday’s perceptive Op-Ed column “The glaring case on race in America.” The Rev. Jeremiah A. Wright Jr. appears to enjoy the limelight, but he’s certainly not helping Sen. Barack Obama — or the cause of unity among Americans.

In the same issue, Mr. Wright warned Mr. Obama, “If you get elected November 5, I’m coming after you because you’ll be representing a government whose policies grind under people” (“Wright stands by his remarks, and then some,” Page 1).

Years ago, people said John F. Kennedy, a Catholic, wasn’t electable because they feared the pope would influence the way he governed. This proved to be a needless concern. However, Mr. Wright does give us concern.

CAROLYN VAY

Woodbridge, Va.

In the article “Wright denies political ambition” (Page 1, Monday) Sen. Barack Obama defended the Rev. Jeremiah Wright for the many comments with most readers have become familiar. He said it was unfair “to run a snippet of 30-second sound bites, selecting out of a 30-year career, simplified and caricatured him and caricatured the church.”

He should compare that with the treatment of George Allen of Virginia, who was a state senator, governor and U.S. senator. When he was running for re-election in 2006, he called someone “Macaca,” which I think means a little monkey. Although there was no hint or evidence of any racism in his past, he was smeared as a racist for that one word. It probably cost him the election.

Mr. Obama, Mr. Wright and many Democrats are angry because the news media is treating them the same way they’ve treated Republicans for years.

ROBERT BOUDREAUX

Waldorf

The Rev. Jeremiah A. Wright Jr., Sen. Barack Obama’s inflammatory former pastor, tried recently to defend his anti-American and baseless comments made from the pulpit (“Wright denies political ambition,” Page 1, Monday). When confronted with questions, he tried to embarrass his questioners by asking when they last attended church. Well, not only do I attend church, I studied theology and graduated from a Catholic university.

Contrary to Mr. Wright’s anti-American sermons, Jesus never preached the destruction of the Roman Empire, nor did he condemn it. Jesus never encouraged an attitude of rebellion against the Roman government. The separation of church and state is mentioned in the Bible. For example, Matthew 22:21: “Render therefore unto Caesar the things which are Caesar’s; and unto God the things that are God’s.” A Christian’s work is spiritual, not political. His responsibility is to assist the people of this world to offer their faithfulness to the heavenly kingdom.

Mr. Wright still claims, without offering a shred of proof, that the U.S. government invented AIDS to kill black people. “Based on what has happened to Africans in this country, I believe our government is capable of doing anything,” he said.

Mr. Wright, now that he is in retirement, needs to read the Bible and not just misinterpret it. He needs to embrace Jesus’ teachings of love, to not hate and to ask for forgiveness.

CHRISTIAN GATSBY

Orlando, Fla.

The Jubilee Act is tough and responsible

Rather than reading the legislation, George Ayittey and Richard Tren must have taken their Monday Op-Ed column denouncing the Jubilee Act for Responsible Lending and Expanded Debt Cancellation straight from the talking points of ideologically driven activists circulating misinformation about the bill (“Tough love needed”).

If they had read the bill, they couldn’t have written the following: “The Jubilee Act includes no criteria for recipient countries to meet. It’s not tough love, it’s dumb love.”

Log onto Thomas.gov and enter “HR 2634: The Jubilee Act.” There you will find in the bill passed by the House that there are 11 specific requirements to ensure that only democratic nations with accountable policies are eligible and a further seven requirements to ensure that countries use the money in the fight against poverty. These criteria include public financial management, budget transparency, free and fair elections and other requirements typical of U.S. foreign-assistance programs.

The Jubilee Act is a responsible measure that builds on a decade of successful debt relief. It would give some of the world’s poorest countries that have been left out of previous debt deals a fair chance. One such country is Lesotho, which pays approximately the same amount in debt service annually as it spends on its entire education budget, while 34 percent of its children are not enrolled in primary school. That’s not tough love, it’s bad policy.

Debt relief is a bipartisan issue; it also is a pragmatic and tested tool in the fight against global poverty. Recognizing this, 69 Republicans joined most Democrats in voting for the bill in the House. The legislation is supported by more than 60 religious denominations, development agencies and human rights organizations, including the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, the ONE Campaign and the evangelical development network Micah Challenge.

Debt relief is an investment in the growth and stability of our trading partners and in our national security; it can make our aid more effective and bolster our own nation’s image in the world. There’s plenty tough and nothing dumb about that.

NEIL WATKINS

National coordinator

Jubilee USA Network

Washington

DANIELLE PALS

Policy fellow

Jubilee USA Network

Washington

Condoms offer no cure for casual sex

Cheryl Wetzstein’s article “Panel debates effectiveness of abstinence education” (Nation, Thursday) reported: “Two witnesses Max Siegel and Shelby Knox testified to the harmful effects of abstinence education. Mr. Siegel, 23, said he contracted AIDS from his first sexual experience. ‘I took out a condom but he ignored it,’ he said of his older male partner.”

Though it is tragic that this young man contracted AIDS, I hope the members of the House can see through his faulty logic. True to the teachings of a comprehensive sex-education program, this young man was equipped with a condom. By his owns words, his experience is more appropriately identified as a sad reminder that the “take a condom” approach to teaching sexuality doesn’t protect our youth from disease, pregnancy or the emotional trauma of casual sex.

GAYE WILLIS

Juneau, Alaska

Don’t sugar-coat syrup’s sweet benefits

The article “Sugar in moderation sweetens life” (Food, April 23) may mislead consumers about high fructose corn syrup. High fructose corn syrup, sugar and several fruit juices all contain the same simple sugars.

New research continues to confirm that high fructose corn syrup is safe and no different from other common sweeteners such as sugar and honey. High fructose corn syrup has the same number of calories as sugar. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration granted high fructose corn syrup “generally recognized as safe” status for use in food and reaffirmed that ruling in 1996 after thorough review.

High fructose corn syrup offers numerous benefits, too. It keeps foods fresh. It enhances fruit and spice flavors. It retains moisture in bran cereals and helps keep breakfast bars moist.

Consumers can see the latest research and learn more at www.HFCSfacts.com.

AUDRAE ERICKSON

President

Corn Refiners Association

Washington

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