RE CAROL Towarnicky's op-ed on Christmas, the war that "nobody else noticed":

Not sure where you've been hiding or who you hang with, but just about everyone I know - of all different creeds - has managed to take note of it for years. Read the papers - there's been a multitude of stories of retailers, corporations and schools tying themselves in knots over what is politically correct or not.

I'm no evangelical (basically a bad Catholic), but it's gone too far. Religion has been in the public square since it was put there by the founders, who created the American public square. I find Bill O'Reilly a bit pugnacious and overbearing (no worse than Chris Matthews on the left), but he's spot-on about this and the decline of the culture in general.

Were we worse off culturally when I was growing up in the '60s, and no one thought twice about wishing others a Merry Christmas? I don't think so – we're far less civil, polite and considerate today. Sorry, but you're way off the ranch on this one.

Bill McGroarty, Yardley

JFK had Mr. S

Re Victor Kamber's op-ed on Oprah's supporting Barack Obama:

It's funny you should remark on the Oprah factor. You ask "why does Obama need a warm-up act?" and reference President Kennedy (and rightly so). I don't know how old you are but surely you have to remember who was campaigning for JFK. Only the biggest and most influential name in show business then - Frank Sinatra.

At the time, you could mention either of his names and people instantly knew who you were talking about. The mere mention would bring a smile or a look of fear (depending on who was saying it and why). His influence in that race changed the face of the campaign and even had a song, "High Hopes." It brought out a host of other celebs, including the Rat Pack and Marilyn Monroe. (We know what that resulted in, by the way. Can you say, "Happy birthday, Mr. President"?)

So this is nothing new. Let's see if it brings about the same results. I can just see it now - Halle Berry singing "Happy Birthday," Mr. President!

Mannwell D. Glenn, Philadelphia

Who knew it looked like crack?

Jill Porter's recent spate of hysterical articles condemning Hershey for marketing a mint that resembles packets of crack is perfectly in line with the liberal mindset of blaming everyone for society's ills except those who are actually responsible for them.

You asked, "Is this crack or candy?" I, like many citizens not addicted to crack, could not confidently answer that question. Is it so hard, then, to believe that the Oompa Loompas that design Hershey's fine products were also unaware of the resemblance?

Robert Ferrante, Philadelphia