Truth in labeling

The political cartoon with presidential candidate Mitt Romney wearing "pro-life" and "pro-choice" buttons and the letter about those issues (Inquirer, Dec. 10) made me a bit steamed. We should be honest about definitions before using labels.

Pro-choice is

not necessarily

pro-abortion; it's about women's refusing to let their reproductive lives be controlled by others, especially a society in which decisions are made by groups predominantly male. Pro-life is really anti-choice and pro-



If the people who call themselves pro-life lived up to that label, then we would have health care and education for all children. And mandatory family leave, and the funding of SCHIP, Head Start, and other life-affirming programs would no longer be debatable.

Let's start with honesty about our priorities.

Glenna Geiger



Faith's 'Compass'

Ryan McCarl's insightful and articulate response (Commentary, Dec. 10) to those warning of the dangers of taking children to see

The Golden Compass

should be must reading for all of us who claim a religious tradition.

Faith, after all, always takes the risk of being wrong, and belief can only be enriched and strengthened by dialogue with believers and nonbelievers of every stripe. Like

The Passion of the Christ


The DaVinci Code

, this film is inviting people to think about possibilities.

It is encouraging that McCarl is doing graduate work in international relations. That's one area in which we need people who can see all the possibilities.

Marie Conn


Beyond ludicrous

Kevin Ferris' tireless trumpeting of the virtues of George W. Bush have always seemed ludicrous, but with his latest column ("An Iraq campaign for hope, Dec. 7), he has crossed into the realm of the insufferable.

Like a gushing

American Idol

judge, he cites the president's passion and enthusiasm, notes that he is confident and upbeat, and writes that Bush describes his White House years as a "joyous experience." What has been joyous about it, Mr. Bush? Was it 9/11? Hurricane Katrina? The deployment of thousands of troops in a fruitless search for phantom WMDs? The dead, wounded and maimed troops and innocent Iraqi civilians? The anguish and suffering of their families?

Our mentally and linguistically challenged president needs a reality check, as does Ferris.

Salvo Pellitteri


Polite young people

Something unusual happened this morning. I was waiting in the cold for the 8 a.m. bus for work. Three younger women were milling around the bus stop, obviously late for work or some appointment. They were all shivering. When the bus finally arrived, two of the women got on right away, but the third hesitated and expressed interest in letting me get on first. Instinctively, I invited her to get on first, but she motioned again and said, "Please." When did this ever happen in Philadelphia?

As I was exiting the bus at Broad Street, another college-age woman was waiting for the door to open. When it did, she held out her hand to let me go first. I hesitated but she smiled, nodded, and I went.

Is it the holiday spirit? Or do I appear to be an old codger in need of assistance? I think neither. It is just that some of our younger city residents were brought up with the values of courtesy, humility, and respect for their elders. The experience has changed my attitude about both living in the city and public transportation.

Allen Stiteler