As a Catholic who is comfortable with evolution but following the intelligent design debate, I am concerned about the exclusivity of arguments presented by both sides. My religion teaches that we follow a kind and loving God. Science teaches that nature evolves to allow for adaptation and survival. I think science should continue to work to understand the evolutionary process, and religion should work toward understanding the spiritual nature of humanity. They should not be mutually exclusive.
West Chester, Ohio
Behind Prison Walls
According to your story "Torture No More?" [November 21], the apparent leak to the Washington Post regarding the secret CIA prisons is more troubling to Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist than the fact that such diabolical places exist at all. His avowed disinterest in the conduct at any secret jails, evident from his statement, "I am not concerned about what goes on behind prison walls," is chilling. If this view represents the moral values that supposedly define the government, then the moral state of the nation and its standing in the world are woeful indeed.
I am glad our country tries to maintain its allegiance to humanity and that Americans speak out when they feel the government falls short. But it is hard to feel compassion for people who were captured while trying to blow up innocent civilians, for people trying to derail the establishment of a free society, or for people who have no qualms about torturing, even beheading, their own prisoners.
Thank for your stories on "America's Best Leaders" [October 31]. It was very encouraging to read about so many positive role models, and not an actor or actress, rock star, or athlete among them. I especially enjoyed learning more about "author, pastor, and motivator" Rick Warren ["Preacher With a Purpose" ], Starbucks Chairman Howard Schultz ["Conscience in a Cup of Coffee" ], and Partners in Health Cofounder Paul Farmer ["Wiping Out TB and AIDS" ]. In a world where America-bashing seems common, and where we've experienced so much natural disaster lately, your timing for these uplifting articles was impeccable.
Even though your selection committee agreed not to include the president and past presidents, I still think your issue with all the leaders plastered on the cover was an insult to President Bush. He has tried so hard to change things but is criticized at every angle.
Fort Myers, Fla.
I was awed by your recent feature "America's Best Leaders." Like many others, I have fallen into a funk of pessimism and desperation when looking at the world around me. There is so much of the negative, and so few real role models on the national and international scene. Producing this discussion of outstanding individuals who are doing so much good is not only a breath of fresh air; it is a lifeline of hope and encouragement and an affirmation of sublime human potential.