In the slick argot of Christian conservatism, being anti-abortion is "pro-life" even if you support the death penalty and the Iraq war and ignore genocide in Darfur.

Rejecting the possibility that gay and lesbian couples could ever love and honor each other enough is defending the "sanctity of marriage." Blaming "liberals" for rampant heterosexual dysfunction and divorce upholds "family values." "People of Faith" (POFs) don't actually have to read the Constitution to know what it means.

I grew up breathing the less rarefied air of authenticity, where bigotry and hypocrisy had very distinctive odors. Moral clarity didn't require the promise of heaven or the threat of hell any more than a bird needed baptism in order to fly.

POFs can try to wallpaper the hard-fought walls of American freedom with their version of Scripture, but the blood of patriots who died building those walls will always soak through. It's my own belief that even POFs will eventually figure out that the water we drink, the air we breathe and the Earth from which we draw our sustenance are as close to God as we'll ever need to get. — S. Davis, Talent

Globalization was meant to be a great equalizer. Lives in rich and poor countries would be better and government would be more stable.

The reality is that the rich countries are getting richer and poor countries getting poorer. Poor countries are often left with environmental problems and corrupt governments.

The big issue for India and China will be energy security (oil), with both countries' economies growing (over 9 percent a year). China has been buying African and Asian energy and mineral resources.

China has integrated its energy and military policies to lock up as much resources as possible. India has been slow to get into the new great game.

Both countries are rushing to deploy deep-water naval forces to protect oil lifelines as did the U.S. before World War II. Indian navy and air power will provide air cover for the Indian Ocean and Gulf. China and India will challenge U.S. power in the region, too.

The new great game will be a five-way contest (China, Europe, India, Japan and the United States) for energy security. This should be a fascinating game to watch as it plays out. — Art Gerds Jr., Yreka, Calif.

I am asking you to please print for all to see who was the sponsor for the "domestic partnership" bill that was just passed. I believe it was originally sponsored last year, but didn't have time to be acted upon, so was resubmitted this year.

Also, please print how both our state House and Senate voted on this bill. There was much to-do about its passing, but absolutely nothing regarding the above-mentioned questions. I feel voters have the right to be informed on this issue. Thank you. — J.M. Smith, Williams

editor's note: Senate Bill 2007 was sponsored by the Committee on Elections, Ethics and Rules, at the request of the Governor's Task Force on Equality. The vote on final passage in the House was 34-26; in the Senate, the vote was 21-9. In both houses, the Republican members of the Southern Oregon delegation voted no. The Democratic members voted yes.

Regarding the man who was stopping traffic on Crater Lake Highway Monday morning, May 21, at approximately 9:30 a.m. in order to let a mallard hen and her several baby ducks cross the highway: God bless you!

You have a great heart and it was very refreshing to see some kindness toward an animal which is lacking in this area. I wanted to help but you seemed to have it under control. I sure hope you see this or maybe someone who knows you will see this and tell you because it did not go unnoticed.

I hope they made it across safe and sound. Thank you for your kindness. — Jaci Ballard, Medford

I'm a bit confused as to how I can be pro-life and support these wars at the same time.

With women and children getting killed every day by them and us, it's hard for me to do both. Maybe someone has an answer for me. — J.D. Stewart, Phoenix

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