Magazine | August 19, 2013, Issue

Letters

Sins and Commandments in Language

I was thinking that I was the only one bothered by the all-encompassing use of “inappropriate” to avoid an honest confession of sin. Even my pastor, a straight-talking preacher, succumbed to referring to a particular sinful action as an “inappropriate” one. Kevin D. Williamson wrote just about everything that I had been thinking with excellent examples (“The Inappropriate ‘Inappropriate,’” July 15).  Part of this misuse is prompted by the modern humanist view that there is no such thing as sin — wickedness, evil words or actions prohibited by the Ten Commandments. But the Ten Commandments have themselves become inappropriate, and this is one reason for our moral decline.

Theodore Siek

Pittsburgh, Pa.

Grand Old Anabaptists

I was taken aback when I came across your description of Anabaptists as “tolerated oddball fanatics” (The Week, August 5). Although a Jew myself, and therefore not up to date on intra-Christian animosities, I live in a part of the world heavily populated by Mennonites, and I can assure you that they are for the most part decent, hardworking citizens, and almost exclusively conservative Republicans.

Don Feldman

Lancaster, Pa.

Seven (7) Chin-ups

(In re “Sensitive SEALs,” August 5) In 1977, I attended parachute school at Fort Benning, Ga. The most serious challenge at jump school — aside from stepping out of a perfectly good airplane at an 1,100-feet altitude — was the upper-body-strength requirement, including the ability to do seven chin-ups and masses of push-ups. The ostensible reason was that steering a WWII T-10 parachute requires you to pull hard on the risers; the real reason was to ensure that Airborne are an elite. Men were routinely washed out of jump school for not being able to do the chin-ups. By the third week, so many male officers had washed out that, although I was a junior captain, I was the senior Army officer remaining and had become the class commander. The Army had just opened parachute training to women, and my class included about 13 enlisted women and four or five female officers. Since women could not meet the upper-body-strength requirement, instead of chin-ups, the women “chinned” lying on an inclined board, and none of the Black Hats (cadre) bothered them much about push-ups. Nevertheless, all of the enlisted women had voluntarily dropped out during the first week, and all but one officer voluntarily quit by the end of the second week. After the fifth and last jump I stood on the drop zone, watching our female officer drift off the drop zone and into the trees: She was too light and not strong enough to steer the parachute. She was also designated the Class Officer Honor Graduate.

Terence Zuber

Major, Infantry (Retired)

Akron, Ohio

NR Staff — Members of the National Review editorial and operational teams are included under the umbrella “NR Staff.”

In This Issue

Articles

Politics & Policy

Carolina Comeback

Ever since Pat McCrory became North Carolina’s first Republican governor in 20 years, a stream of media coverage has portrayed the Tar Heel State as “the Wisconsin of 2013,” to ...

Features

Books, Arts & Manners

Sections

Politics & Policy

Letters

Sins and Commandments in Language I was thinking that I was the only one bothered by the all-encompassing use of “inappropriate” to avoid an honest confession of sin. Even my pastor, ...
Politics & Policy

The Week

‐ We’re traditionalists on sex scandals: They ought to include sex. ‐ In July, President Obama gave another in his long series of speeches that constitute “a pivot” to the economy. ...
Athwart

Rahs and Rah-Nots

Michael Shulan, creative director of the 9/11 Memorial Museum, said he almost didn’t include the famous photo of firefighters raising the flag because it was too “rah-rah.” One “rah” is ...
The Long View

The Al-Irshad Group

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Politics & Policy

Poetry

NO VOODOO No mystical sixth sense do I possess. I hardly handle normal senses well. No vision have I ever had of Hell. Jesus does not drop in at my address. My life has been ...

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Elections

Romney Is a Misfit for America

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Law & the Courts

What the Second Amendment Means Today

The horrifying school massacre in Parkland, Fla., has prompted another national debate about guns. Unfortunately, it seems that these conversations are never terribly constructive — they are too often dominated by screeching extremists on both sides of the aisle and armchair pundits who offer sweeping opinions ... Read More
U.S.

Fire the FBI Chief

American government is supposed to look and sound like George Washington. What it actually looks and sounds like is Henry Hill from Goodfellas: bad suit, hand out, intoning the eternal mantra: “F*** you, pay me.” American government mostly works by interposition, standing between us, the free people at ... Read More
Film & TV

Black Panther’s Circle of Hype

The Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) first infantilizes its audience, then banalizes it, and, finally, controls it through marketing. This commercial strategy, geared toward adolescents of all ages, resembles the Democratic party’s political manipulation of black Americans, targeting that audience through its ... Read More