Editor, The Times-Picayune:

I was deeply saddened by the letter from Maria E. Monahan questioning Hillary Clinton's sincerity in her expression of desire for another child because of her pro-choice convictions. Worse than the lack of understanding that a large part of the reason for many people's support of the right to choose an abortion is concern for the quality of life of our children, was the dehumanizing of one whom she perceives as the opposition. If we disagree with one another, the other must have no good qualities or motivations, or even be able to rise to true humanity. As the rhetoric becomes more and more shrill, we become less able to see one another as the well-meaning (if sometimes mistaken) people that most of us are, brothers and sisters in the human family. This encourages the unstable among us to treat one another as less than human, murderously attacking clinics and office buildings and burning churches.

There has been an understandable attempt to discover a conspiracy in the widespread arson destroying black churches. I feel that it is even more frightening to think, as I do, that no conspiracy exists - that we have allowed the shrillness of our hate-filled rhetoric to encourage the spontaneous response of destruction by isolated individuals. Those who are motivated to destroy are unbalanced, but even the sanest of us find the gaps between us widening, and it becomes harder to remember that we are all one family of humankind, whatever our color, the shape of our eyes, our sex or sexual orientation, or our political or religious convictions. The voices of separation have become too loud to permit us to hear the murmur of human unity. We must, before it is too late, lower our voices and listen to those who speak far too quietly of those human qualities which transcend our differences: qualities of compassion, understanding, and commitment to justice for every member of the human family.

Rev. Kathleen Damewood Korb