Sam Menahem (Letters, Dec. 19) seems to like terrorists more than he likes me. While he argues that I am an angry man who ought to be censored, the terrorists, he says, are akin to “young children.” We should tell them that “we do not accept their bad behavior,” even though this is “more easily done with normal children than terrorists.” You don’t say!
In addition, to Mr. Menahem’s mind, terrorists are not responsible for their actions since they have been “abused and wrongly programmed to do their evil deeds.” How fascinating that a man who is the director of the Center for Psychotherapy and Spiritual Growth in Fort Lee actually denies that people can grow spiritually since they lack freedom of choice and are mere pawns at the hands of external indoctrination. If they become cold-blooded murderers they are to be absolved because it is the fault of the people who taught them incorrectly. No doubt it is time that we stop judging the Nazis who perpetrated the Holocaust at the hands of Hitlerian propaganda.
This kind of excusing of evil behavior by mental health professionals makes a mockery of the entire idea of morality and is a dangerous idea that will ultimately allow terrorism to triumph. I personally prefer the Judeo-Christian insistence on right as opposed to wrong, good as opposed to evil, which rewards the good for their righteous action and punishes the wicked for taking innocent life.
When we loathe and fight terrorism, we are not guilty of revenge, as Mr. Menahem insists, but we are upholding justice, which is the very cornerstone of all civilized living.