Dear editor,

First I must say that I am a liberal and a Democrat and enjoy Republican bashing as well as the next guy. I am also distressed by activities in Guatemala [“The Congressman and the Dictator’s Daughter,” August 25]. With that said, I must make some observations.

First, it is the pinnacle of hypocrisy for the White House to ostracize the Guatemalan government, pretending to have nothing to do with its rise to power and its suppression of more democratic, populist, and progressive alternatives. At the time when our State Department becomes less of a global chamber of commerce and more of an agent of peace and stability, then maybe they can cast a jaundiced eye on the dictatorships of our southern neighbors.

Second, as a Christian, I believe in the redemptive power of love. It would be a shame to put undue pressure on this couple. All of us have feet of clay (even the current resident of the White House, that the press has been having such a love affair with these past six years). We need to encourage progress, while not overlooking shortcomings. An administration whose own behaviors don’t make any scolding appear as a wink and a nod and an elbow in the ribs would also help international relations. But the larger point is that the personal relationships involved are, frankly, none of our business and that focusing on the wrong issues can be destructive. You would think the Clinton scandal would have taught us that.

I say to Congressman Weller, I disagree with many of your policies, but we are both God’s children. I wish you all happiness and congratulations on your new baby; now go and make a better world for this child, children to come, and all of the children of the world. You see, in your arms, why the future is so important. God bless you.

Mike Grello

West Columbia, South Carolina