CLINTON BEATS OBAMA

Time to fight back

It is an outrage that the Clintons have started race-baiting and fear-mongering, generally acting in a tag-team with John McCain. Hillary Clinton is ultimately little different from George W. Bush and certainly represents a return to the status quo, thus affirming Ralph Nader's criticisms of the political system process.

This is Barack Obama's moment. If he and his supporters can channel their outrage into constructive action and can come back fighting -- giving as good as he gets -- he can win the nomination and then the presidency.

JOHN MIHELIC, MINNEAPOLIS

THE 3 A.M. AD

Bill, are you up?

Suppose Hillary Clinton is elected president and the White House phone rings in the middle of the night. Important question: Which Clinton will answer?

I think the prospect of a dual presidency is unsettling to many of us who want to see a Democrat elected this year.

FRED JOHNSON, MINNETONKA

Call during the day

Answering the phone at 3 a.m. will be less necessary if more calls are made at 3 p.m. We need a president more in touch with other world leaders than with his or her "gut."

STEVE MARQUARDT, LAKE LILLIAN, MINN.

St. stephen's liturgy

Can't pick and choose

I commend the archdiocese of Minnesota for finally bringing St. Stephen's Catholic Church into conformity with the standards set out in the General Instruction on the Roman Missal ("The push for conformity shoves away parishioners," March 2). People go to church to pray, not to party. Part of the way in which Catholics act to carry out "the message of the Gospels" is by following the "rubrics." Otherwise they are merely social workers.

It has never been "OK" for Catholics to refer to God as "Our Father and Mother." Nor has it been acceptable to dance in the church aisles like a bunch of swingin' Maenads. Rubrics are formulated very precisely and put in place because they express the fundamentals of Catholic theology. One calls to mind the longstanding principle of Catholic worship, "lex orandi, lex credendi": Let the law of prayer be governed by the law of belief. Catholics worship in accordance with what they believe.

St. Stephen's and its band of merry rebels are free to pray the way they "think is right." They are also free to join another religion.

ANTHONY WILSON, MINNEAPOLIS

Back to the Dark Ages

Nick Coleman's March 2 column reveals the troubling tightening of the archdiocesan belt in the Twin Cities.

Catholics must choose to either adhere to every letter of the law (rubrics), with no exception, or go elsewhere. It does not matter if it takes the life out of the liturgy. At least it conforms, and that's what counts, according to spokespeople at the chancery.

On a global scale, Vatican II's "involvement of the people" has unilaterally been thrown out by current hierarchy. Catholic faithful are told to not speak in public, nor in church. Every male pronoun is now back in the liturgy. Every layperson is now back in the pews. Priests will make every decision -- not parish councils -- and everyone must do as they are told.

As a member of St. Stephen's for the past 20 years, I am saddened and must choose. But my choice will be to follow God, not an archbishop.

St. Stephen's has been a place where one is challenged 24/7 to live the Gospel. It is a tough place. The people there must accept their personal relationship with God and the call to be followers of Christ in daily living. Much of this challenge has come from lay preachers. Silencing those voices will adversely affect the poor, the underprivileged, the oppressed, the homeless, the abused.

ANN MARIE MCINTIRE, HUDSON, WIS.;

VICE CHAIR, ST. STEPHEN'S PARISH COUNCIL

raising the minimum wage

It won't be enough

I would like to thank the Star Tribune for its endorsement of an increase in the Minnesota minimum wage (editorial, March 3).

It is true that a better-paid workforce would mean less reliance upon public subsidies. However, a minimum wage increase in and of itself is not likely to stem the tide of families in need of housing support through Section 8 or other programs. With monthly rents in the Twin Cities averaging $899 in the fourth quarter of 2007, a worker would need to earn a full $17.29 per hour to afford an average apartment.

Minnesota does need an increase in the minimum wage, but it also needs better funding of state and federal housing programs to bridge the gap between wages and housing costs.

LEIGH ROSENBERG, ST. PAUL;

RESEARCH AND OUTREACH COORDINATOR,

MINNESOTA HOUSING PARTNERSHIP

the override six

Ad will backfire

Thanks to State Republican Party Chairman Ron Carey for running those new TV ads blasting tax increases for transportation funding. Now all Minnesotans will know exactly who is responsible for 20 years of chronic underfunding and short-sightedness, and, come November, there will be even fewer Republicans in the state Legislature.

STEVE ALDRICH, ST. LOUIS PARK

Where are the DINOs?

I wonder if ever I will read praise on these pages about a group of Democratic legislators who bravely "reached across the aisle" to do the right thing for the people of Minnesota. I fear that aisle is a one-way avenue.

I have often heard the term RINO (Republican in name only), but have never heard of a DINO.

DONALD MILLER, ONAMIA

Ask Lieberman

It's laughable to see all of these Democrats who are upset at the actions taken by Minnesota Republicans against the six House members who voted to override Gov. Tim Pawlenty's veto of the transportation funding bill.

Where were these Democrats when Sen. Joe Lieberman was stripped of support and funding in his reelection bid for the U.S. Senate? The Democratic Party punished a loyal party member simply because he felt that the war in Iraq was important to our national security.

JUSTIN LARSON, BIG LAKE

BRETT FAVRE RETIRES

A Strib love affair

Quite a few people complain that the Star Tribune is a liberal-leaning publication. I have a different observation. The Star Tribune is a "Favre- loving" publication. Just a quick glance at the paper this morning shows Brett Favre coverage on the front of at least three sections. I know there are teams out there other than the Vikings, but I'm not sure that the Star Tribune knows there are players out there other than Favre.

Who loves Favre more? John Madden, Packer fans or the Star Favre Tribune? That's a pretty tight race!

JIM THOMPSON, BLOOMINGTON