Letters: May 3, 2010

‘Cross Of Gold’ When bankers become bookies, it’s past time to crucify them—whatever the cross may be. Charles R. Smith Ft. Collins, Colorado

Fareed Zakaria would be correct in “Cross of Gold” if cheating and bonus-motivated fraud were not involved. Saying that risk existed is not the same as saying there was no chance of these notes being paid back. Larry Severson Fountain Valley, California

Surely you are not sympathizing with Goldman Sachs for being tackled rather harshly. I do not see the problem in taming, or even crucifying, the financial giant, which has been long overdue. If America wants its regulators to function as they ought to, then that is the right way to treat Goldman. Chin Munn Zie Shanghai, China

Goldman Sachs was colluding with one client to rig the bet while keeping the other client in the dark. To proceed with Zakaria’s analogy of betting on the Yankees: imagine that the person betting against the Yankees is also the manager of the team, and this is not disclosed to the other party who is betting on the Yankees. In the Goldman case, had the conflict of interest been disclosed, it would all have been legal. This is the crux of the SEC’s case. Paul Case Pleasant Valley, New York

‘Bring the Pope to Justice’ The clergy-abuse scandal is the most tragic episode in modern Catholicism, but the venom from Christopher Hitchens’s pen will never assuage the pain. Hitchens’s thesis that Pope Benedict XVI should be “brought to justice” for the actions of rogue priests makes no more sense than suggesting that President Obama should be put on trial for police brutality in American cities. Carlos X. Colorado Long Beach, California

Is anyone really surprised that Christopher Hitchens wants to put the pope in jail? Even as a non-Catholic, I would expect more respect for the pope than that. Has the situation been handled appropriately, by the Vatican or the pope or anyone else? Frankly, no, but Hitchens’s very well known long-term biases prevent him from being considered a balanced and disinterested critic of any religious matter. Robert S. Miller Bainbridge Island, Washington

Pedophilia is a crime, and perpetrators and those who act as accessories by covering up sexual assault should be tried in court. The issue is not repentance or forgiveness—it is justice. The lives of those who have suffered at the hands of pedophiles are irrevocably damaged. Criminals should not be protected by the power and money of the church. Helen Meier Livermore, California

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