November 2010

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Letters to The Ethical Spectacle

Spectacle Letters Column Guidelines. If you write to me about something you read in the Spectacle, I will assume the letter is for publication. If it is not, please tell me, and I will respect that. If you want the letter published, but without your name attached, I will do so. I will not include your email address unless you ask me to. This is in response to many of you who have expressed concern that spammers are finding your email address here. Flames are an exception. They will be published in full, with name and email address. I have actually had people follow up on a published flame by complaining that they thought they were insulting my ancestry privately. Nope, sorry.


My name is Beth and I was looking for some information on communications for my class when I came across your free speech resource page.

Your page has some really helpful resources and I wanted to let you know of one that doesn't seem to be working properly, This page is similar,, and has some great information and resources on the history of communication that would make a nice addition to your resources if you are interested. Thanks for the great resources.

Take Care,


Re What I Learned From Auschwitz:

I believe your reasoning is understandable, yet faulty. Please know that I am not belittling you, but shall try to explain my reasoning. 
Death comes upon all men ( and women ) for those who insist we make proper cognizance. 
Our manner of death is not ours to determine, though it be desirable we should have the opportunity of choice. Persons can suffer at the hands of others, and whether or not God should intervene is purely debatable in our limited capacity. 
If a person dies a violent death, we might say God is not kind nor caring. Likewise, given your position, should one die happily, God must be neither kind or caring. In both cases the premise must stand as you insist. 
However, God has manifested His love toward us in that Christ died for us... 
Romans 5:8 NIV
But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died forus.
Your being Jewish presents neither difficulty or obstacle, as the message you suppose, " there is no God ", presumes from both gentile and Jew. It is only important to the unbeliever that there is no God. For one to counter that observation, there must be a statement of one kind or another, God is love, God is good, or an action only God may accomplish. 
When the body is brought to death, there is little we may do, bury, burn, or otherwise dispose of it by one means or another. But it is my strong confidence that God is not limited by death, indeed cannot be, else Christ should not have been raised. 
I am sad for you. I am not disdainful, nor shall I ridicule you. I do wish for you the hope that I have, indeed the confidence so clearly expressed by Job, " And after my skin has been destroyed, yet in my flesh I will see God ". 
Job made this statement during a time of extreme suffering and the ridicule of his friends. 
There is far too much evidence for the joy of life and the goodness of the Creator to prevent me from understanding otherwise. 
And, for you as a Jew, I can only commend you to the oracles of God, of which Paul said profits you. ( What advantage, then, is there in being a Jew, or what value is there in circumcision? Much in every way! First of all, they have been entrusted with the very words of God ). 
Indeed, you cannot be an atheist, otherwise you should know everything which both you and I know is not true. 
You just don't know if there is God? 
Jesus said, " Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me ". 
Christ was speaking of the Tanakh. 
God Bless You, 
You may have read this already, but I included it nonetheless. It is a small beginning. I would like to talk it with you. 

Dear Mr. Wallace:

I just read your essay on lying and it hit home with me.

I have come to understand that my husband is an addictive lier, and this piece of writing was able to clarify for me what is happening.

You are brilliant.


Dear Mr. Wallace:

First, and most importantly concerning the death of Marine Lance Corporal Matthew Snyder. My immediate response to his picture on the website brought tears of sorrow for a family I never knew nor even met. It saddens me greatly that such a young man with so much to live for was taken from our grasp by a shot fired from a group of individuals who stand for nothing but the sheer thrill of killing American soldiers. The picture also reveals one more thing; the character and sense of humor his parents did so well to instill. For whatever the reasons, right or wrong, for going to war in Iraq and Afghanistan, Matthew heeded the call and took up the sword to defend those very freedoms we all enjoy but fail everyday to appreciate. It sickens me to recognize how disconnected the American people are from our military defending our sovereignty worldwide. Most United States civilians seem to treat service in combat as though it is some television realty show; and all the while mischaracterizing the military service as someone's desire for war like it is some sort of hobby. I believe the overt military policy in Afghanistan and Iraq are wrong. I too was fooled into believing the political manipulations of the powers that be; that is was worth sending our best troops to defend our liberty in a land full of lawless people. Sadly, however, I believe we have let our own military down. While this does not in any way diminish the sacrifice put forth by Lance Corporal Matthew Snyder, it only bothers me more that I consented to requiring he be sent. How will this change the future of his family? Why must the lives of our sons and daughters continue to be put at such high risk knowing full well the consequences of their deaths? The time is long overdue to withdraw our overt military forces from these two countries before any more of our fathers, mothers, brothers and sisters are laid to rest. President Obama, I call upon you to bring home our soldiers, sailors and airmen before further catastrophe strikes more American families. Marine Lance Corporal Matthew Snyder, I stand at attention and salute you sir. Thank you, I love you and will always appreciate what you did for me. Now, as to the issue at hand. Anyone who wants to defend our freedom regardless of race, religion or sexual orientation should be held in high regard and treated with the respect and dignity afforded to all members of the military. I highly doubt Mr. Phelps would object to a homosexual soldier pulling him to safety after the explosion of a road-side bomb. How ironic that Lance Corporal Matthew Snyder died defending the very right that Mr. Phelps chose to exercise {while albeit a legal right} speaks volumes of the kind of values espoused by Westboro Baptist Church. A homosexual person is one who is sexually attracted to others of the same sex. Except for a genetic variation of nature, they are virtually identical to their heterosexual counter parts. They feel the very same kind of attraction to the same sex as heterosexuals feel about the opposite sex. Now, granted, there are those people who freely choose this behavior as a form of "life style" but that accounts for a very small population of homosexuals. In fact, if one is not genetically predispositioned for this behavior then by definition they are not truly homosexual but rather some deviant variation of perverted behavior. Some would argue that the Bible condemns homosexuality but I believe (through the persistence of science) this behavior will be proven to result from natural genetic variation. One can draw on the example of retarded people {no offense intended toward either group} who by no action of their own are born comparatively slow or deficient in mental, physical, or emotional growth. Homosexual people are therefore entitled to engage in sexual behavior consistent with their genetic makeup so long as it is between consenting adults. To deny them this right would be the same as denying heterosexuals their right to consensual sex. Some would argue that sexuality is strictly for the purpose of reproduction but yet the animal kingdom has many variations of species who also cannot reproduce. Human beings are sexual beings as was intended by their creator and to suggest that a genetic variation of nature somehow makes homosexuals less human is indeed an inhuman concept. Matthew, my brother I'll see you on the other side: The Lord bless you, and keep you; The Lord make His face shine on you, And be gracious to you; The Lord lift up His countenance upon you, And give you peace."'

Joe Bialek

Dear Mr. Wallace:

I enjoyed your essay, Natural Rights Don't Exist. I think that there is a good point being made, though it seems to me and keep in mind I am ignorant on many levels that there is morality and an ultimate Truth. I suppose my thoughts go towards what are the effects of there not being natural rights? Where is the room for justice? How do we determine what is wrong or right? I don't believe that Justice or Truth are determined by the majority of men, most men are ignorant ( a few more so than me), if it is like Locke says coming from our logic and rational, then "Whose Justice? Which Rationality?" are we to accept? We all seem to have preconcieved notions that make it impossible to have a true conversation in the name of Truth.