Running to live

I am one of many who run in spite of a medical implant, a mechanical heart valve and reconstructed aorta ("Nothing's going to turn us away," April 22). Inspired by the patriotism displayed in Boston last year, I was determined to join the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society Team in Training and support the Boston experience with so many dedicated persons. The 25 runners with medical devices honored annually at the Medtronic Twin Cities Marathon have my back, as they have shown me that lives can continue and rejuvenate with insulin pumps, internal cardiac defibrillators, heart valves, neurostimulators, and spine implants. It is this life-sustaining technology that reminds me to run, allows me and others to live, and brought me to Boston to share with the city, honor her survivors, and memorialize her losses.

David J. Hoffman, M.D., Wayne

Burqa mandate

Rules and regulations framed by Allah shape Muslims' moral lives. In accordance with the Quran and Sunnah, they are meant to be beneficial ("In Pakistan, feeling free to leave the burqa behind," April 20). Allah has made us absolutely free to choose the right or the wrong path for ourselves. If a woman wishes to seek attention from men by avoiding a burqa or niqab, then she must be careful that such a path doesn't attract rapists or freedom-loving, independent men at 2 a.m. or so - as that path may end up leading to a deadly end.

Asad Butt, Allentown

Free to be

It is so sad that many women (of every culture) seem to find it their societal duty to keep each other in their place rather than elevate each other ("In Pakistan, feeling free to leave the burqa behind," April 20). Journalist Sahar Majid's closing comment about Allah's stance - that he sent her into "this world as a free individual" - was the most liberated I've ever heard. It was like a breath of fresh air.

Elizabeth Decordova, Lafayette Hill, edecordova@hotmail.com

BMOC, indeed

It's amazing and disheartening to see how college athletics has become more important than education ("Unneeded distraction for Penn St.," April 20). Even criminal allegations take second place to keeping the athletes on the field, because the television networks won't air your games in prime time if the stars aren't playing. Other students are being shortchanged, and I don't see this ending in the foreseeable future. Therefore, parents should be thinking about sending their children to schools where athletics don't take first place, and a university education does.

Joe Orenstein, Philadelphia, Joe4189@verizon.net

Roughshod on taxes

I am as angry over the continued act of federal tax evasion "despite two court orders" committed by cattle rancher Cliven Bundy as over the heavy-handed and costly response by federal officials ("'High Noon' over turtles," April 21). But if Bundy had paid his taxes like responsible citizens, none of this would have happened, turtles or no.

Linda Berger, Maple Glen

Careful with wishes

One of two dissenters in the Supreme Court affirmative action ruling, Sonia Sotomayor, benefitted from a program similar to Michigan's, and it's understandable she would have an affinity for it, but her stating that rights have been violated defies credulity ("Ban on use of race is upheld," April 24). There is no reference in the Constitution to equal outcomes. Schools can feel good about having a racial cross section, but it's not reflected at graduation. Collegians who don't make it should ponder whether a less rigorous curriculum would have been a better choice.

Stephen Hanover, Doylestown