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No One Said Dr. Laura Is Perfect

November 22, 1998

As both a rabbi and clinical psychologist, I was disappointed with the tone and spirit of Sandy Banks' article on Dr. Laura Schlessinger ("Are Any of Us Perfect?", Nov. 10).

Dr. Laura is an outstanding teacher of personal responsibility. Her views are particularly important in our current moral climate, when people have come to rely on the "abuse excuse," i.e., that pain in life can excuse many pathological, addictive behaviors. I recently have written about the life of Moses, the lawgiver who essentially epitomizes compassion for human frailties. Indeed, the Ten Commandments were given a second time in order to teach all generations that while we should strive to live a virtuous life, we will sometimes fail in this mission. Great is the person who has fallen and risen again.

RABBI LEVI MEIER

Chaplain

Cedars-Sinai Medical Center

Los Angeles

*

When Sandy Banks begins her column by saying "I know it's mean but . . . ' " and then continues anyway, she tells us more about herself than she could possibly tell us about Dr. Laura.

Dr. Laura's active listeners, as opposed to those who hear selectively, know that she has never touted herself as perfect. I'm baffled by Banks' need to gloat over someone who is working hard to fill her life with character-driven actions while inspiring others to do the same. If just Dr. Laura's style is irksome to Banks, then she is pitifully short on interesting topics on which to write.

JACQUELINE DORFMAN

Oak View

*

Ms. Banks, I believe, accurately expresses the position of most anyone who has heard the self-righteous doctor.

It appears that the good doctor could use a strong dose of her own medicine. Her pious pronouncements on how everyone else should conduct his or her life are insolent.

MICHAEL J. HENNINGER

Pasadena

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