(2 of 2)
North Potomac, Md.
The key issue of gay marriage is not morality but law. What would we do if a group of unlicensed drivers simply decided to create their own licenses? We don't need a constitutional amendment to uphold the laws of our country.
It is dangerous to adopt a constitutional amendment that denies any individual a right. How hypocritical are those who for decades have championed states' rights and now want to place a constitutional ban on marriage, a matter that has always been left to the states? Who ever heard of federally approved marriage? That is what such an amendment would impose. Tinkering with the Constitution would be a big mistake.
Marriage is a heterosexual practice. At the heart of the gay activists' agenda is homosexuals' desire to feel good about themselves and what they do. But is marriage just about feeling good? Should it be used merely to boost the self-esteem of those seeking validation and legitimacy or the blessings of society? Let's not overhaul the entire institution of marriage merely to satisfy the psychological needs of a few.
Haapiti, French Polynesia
An Insult to Churchill?
In his essay "If It Could Happen To Churchill" [March 8], Andrew Sullivan cited the electoral defeat of Winston Churchill after he guided Britain to victory in World War II and warned that a similar fate may await President Bush. But to compare Bush with Churchill as a wartime leader is an insult to Churchill's memory. During the war, the British Prime Minister inspired his citizens to stand tall while he held together shaky international alliances and led the world to triumph over the Nazi threat. Bush sells fear to his citizens and has shaken long-standing alliances. He has led the U.S. to war with a country that was not involved in the 9/11 terrorist attacks and was not a serious threat to the world. And the mastermind behind 9/11 is still at large. A great wartime leader? I think not.
Sullivan's attempt to draw parallels between Churchill and Bush was unconvincing. Churchill's war against Hitler was necessary. Bush's war against Saddam Hussein was not. Churchill knew what Hitler was doing. Bush relied on faulty intelligence about Saddam's weapons of mass destruction. After the war, Britons may have wanted a different political party to lead them during peace. Postwar America's decision about who should be President is still up in the air. Only the elections will tell.
Churchill and Bush can both be considered wartime leaders, just as Secretariat and Mr. Ed were both horses.
British voters didn't "eject" Churchill as Prime Minister following World War II. His Conservative Party suffered an overwhelming defeat by the Labour Party in parliamentary elections. Unlike the U.S. system, in which voters support a particular candidate, Britain's governmental system is controlled by the party that holds the most seats in Parliament. If Britain had had the U.S. system of government, the Brits could have voted directly for Churchill.
Inherit the Wind
Reading the interview "10 Questions For Bill Gates" [March 8], I was appalled by TIME's asking Gates whether he had told his kids that he was giving away their inheritance. Gates' money is his and not his children's. It was especially wrongheaded to imply that Gates' philanthropy for health-related causes is less worthy than passing on money to children who will have an upbringing strong enough to allow them to earn their own money. Parents do not owe their children any inheritance beyond a good, solid background that enables them to thrive and grow independently as adults.
Mullica Hill, N.J.