Can't play without the best

It's already apparent that the Phillies without Chase Utley and Ryan Howard are comparable to my wonderful Philadelphia Orchestra attempting to play the masterful "Ninth Symphony" without the services of concertmaster David Kim and the first violin section. It's just not going to happen, either at Citizens Bank Park or Verizon Hall.

Jules Slatko, Holland

Save the United States

Joe Henwood aptly describes the concept, design, and construction of the SS United States as exemplifying the "can do" attitude of our country in his call to action to save that iconic symbol of the American spirit from being reduced to a scrap heap, quite likely in a foreign scrap yard ("Time to rescue another great ship," April 15).

It would be a shame, a disgrace even, to allow this ship to die in ignomy. Let's answer Henwood's call to action.

George T. Sikorski, Media

Love of poetry

Todd R. Nelson's riff on the perils and joys of teaching poetry ("The practical uses of poetry," Tuesday) reminds me of a statement Louis L'Amour made about poetry, that a memorized poem is always at one's service, in solitude, providing unequaled companionship. Once acquired, love of poetry becomes foremost. As William Carlos Williams wrote: "so much depends/ upon/ a red wheel/ barrow/ glazed with rain/ water/ beside the white/chickens."

James Miles, Collingdale, jxxphilly@gmail.com

Comforting those who mourn

Thank you for the front-page picture of a Philadelphia priest — the Rev. Charles E. Bonner — doing what so many of them do every day, trying to bring a word of comfort to those who mourn ("'We owe these men our respect,'" April 15). That is one part of the "good news" experienced by people when they turn to their pastors in times of need.

Mary McKenna, Philadelphia

Tax-and-spenders want more

President Obama and his fellow progressives in Congress are spending a lot of time and energy trying to confiscate even more money from the American public ("'Buffett rule' bill is derailed in Senate," Tuesday). They are demanding $4.7 billion a year more from the country's top earners.

What is the reasoning behind this? Surely it cannot be to pay down the debt. When you're running a $1.5 trillion deficit per year, removing $4.7 billion from the public will not help the situation at all. It will only give the tax-and-spenders more money to spend and our debt will continue to soar.

We are left with the question of who will sacrifice their time and sweat when the government is the sole beneficiary.

Gerard Wilhelm, Voorhees, gwil76@comcast.net

A question of faith

One letter ("Accounts of New Testament writers," April 15) in response to the "Debating the Resurrection" article honestly expressed the fear of Christians who cannot imagine their religion to be meaningful without a resurrection of Christ's physical body. That fear does not exist for all Christians. What remains for some is faith: Faith in the message of Jesus Christ, faith in the love of God, and faith that the life of the spirit is real, whether proven physically or not.

Jim Tweed, Ocean City