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Michael Douglas & Catherine Zeta-Jones
Finally, a Hollywood wedding we were allowed to enjoy! I was so excited to see the pictures. Instead of surrounding themselves with security and hiding under canopies of privacy, this very public couple invited us to share in this enchanted evening. Thank you, Michael and Catherine!

Roxann Koser, Mount Joy, Pa.

What beautiful pictures. Catherine looks like a happy young woman, and Michael shows his pride in his son and his new wife. The pictures show the love these two have for each other, their respect for their parents and the joy they shared with their friends.

Tammy J. Metrovich, Stockton, Calif.

It sickens me that a nursing mother who had an adulterous affair that produced an illegitimate child wears an elaborate ivory-white wedding dress that shows too much cleavage and marries a man two years older than her father. There is nothing pure or prayerful about this marriage. Shame on those who attended, condoned and applauded this mockery of a ceremony. Of course, Hollywood has no shame.

C.V. Linkous, Charlotte, N.C.

When I heard that Michael and Catherine had asked that guests bring no presents, just checks to ensure the solvency of their newborn son, I nearly threw up. Why don’t you stop glamorizing people like Madonna and Michael and let us read about celebrities who give rather than take?

Chris Meyer, Denver

Michael Douglas’s representative, Allen Burry, explains: “Rather than give the couple wedding gifts, guests were invited to contribute to a charitable foundation created in Dylan’s name, not a trust fund. At age 21, Dylan will have the right to direct the money to his choice of charities. He will never be able to use it for himself.”

Thank you for sharing the pictures of Catherine Zeta-Jones and Michael Douglas. She looked radiant, and it was easy to see the love between them. Catherine MacAskill, Toronto

Sal Dimiceli

I finished reading about Sal Dimiceli and had tears rolling down my face. Here is a man who did not grow up privileged yet became a generous, kind person who is making a difference in so many lives. This was a wonderful story for the holidays, but its message is timeless. It should never be a sacrifice to help anyone who is in need.

Christie McBride, Rochester, N.Y.

Thank you, Mr. Dimiceli. Your story has made me believe in good people again.

Rachel Owens, Biloxi, Miss.

I just read about the wedding of Michael Douglas and Catherine Zeta-Jones. It was beautiful, and I don’t for one minute resent the money they spent, but then I came to the story of Sal Dimiceli and the poverty in Pembroke Township, and I had to ask myself, “What is wrong with this picture?” Thank God for people like Mr. Dimiceli, who has the wealth and spreads it around.

Pat Shell, Greenwood, Ind.

Robert Downey Jr.

I’m amazed at the disagreement between those who believe Robert Downey Jr. has been given more chances to clean up than the average person because of his celebrity and those who believe he is in need of help and sympathy, not further incarceration. By all accounts he’s a decent person who doesn’t steal to purchase the drugs he takes, nor has he ever been accused of intent to sell. He is arguably the greatest actor of his generation, and I really hope someone or something helps him survive long enough to play with his grandchildren and get a Lifetime Achievement Award at the 2050 Academy Awards.

Barbara A. Simpson, Wellesley, Mass.

Having the illness of substance dependence explains Mr. Downey’s behavior; it does not excuse it. As for Mr. Stilwell’s comment that “relapse is part of the recovery process,” I, as a professional with more than 26 years of experience in treating substance-abuse clients, am dismayed at those chemical-dependency counselors who continue to use this absurd excuse. Relapse is a part of the disease process and is the exact opposite of recovery.

Charles W. Parks, Amarillo, Texas

Passages

How dare the Gospel Rescue Mission in Tucson not allow Rep. Jim Kolbe to serve Thanksgiving dinner to the homeless just because he is gay? Do they ask recipients of the meal if they are gay before they will serve them? The mission should be ashamed.

Sherri Ziplow, Brighton, Mass.

Elizabeth Fisher

Thank you for the article about Elizabeth Fisher and her campaign to make all seat belts fit every body. As a large woman, I fight discrimination and prejudice every day. I should not have to fight the federal government as well just to ensure my big, beautiful body’s safety in a car.

Kathryn Lizee, Seattle

I hope Elizabeth Fisher succeeds in getting manufacturers to sell seat-belt extenders as an option. But I take issue with her push to require car manufacturers to install them on all cars. If the law she proposes goes into effect, I will be forced to pay more for my cars to subsidize her need for larger seat belts. This does not seem fair. I am very active, therefore I have remained at an ideal weight my whole life. Since she has chosen not to do the same, she has chosen to be the weight she is. She should have the option to purchase a larger seat belt, but I should not have to pay a higher price for it.

Michael Morris, Ontario, Calif.

Elizabeth Fisher responds: “I agree. I don’t think it would be fair to ask. automakers to install seat-belt extenders in all vehicles. I am asking that longer seat belts be made an option. That won’t cost you anything. But I take issue with your assumption that you have remained at your ideal weight because you are active, and therefore I must be fat because I am not active. In addition to this seatbelt campaign, which I have been working on for 22 months, I work full-time as a computer programmer, have an active social life and go to a fitness class twice a week. My husband and I just bought bikes so we could do more physical things together, and I get in a pool every chance I get. It is a common myth that fat people are fat because we eat all the time and aren’t active. People come in a variety of widths, just as they come in a variety of heights.”

Chris & Peter Artinian

I am the mother of a hearing-impaired 12-year-old daughter, so I am well aware of the controversy over whether deaf children should be fitted with cochlear implants. My daughter has a severe-to-profound hearing loss without her hearing aids. Fortunately she is a very good hearing aid wearer, and we have never had to make the decision as to whether she should have the implant. We as parents can only do what we feel is best for our children. What bothers me more than the controversy itself is the unwillingness of the hearing community and the deaf community to agree on anything.

Susan M. Kowalczyk, Sterling Heights, Mich.

As the recipient of a cochlear implant in 1996 after 30 years of profound i deafness, I am astounded by Peter and Nita Artinian’s attitude toward their daughter’s deafness. Peter states that Heather “likes to wear a hearing aid,” but later in the article Nita likens a cochlear implant to a robot “that they put inside your head.” Both are artificial means of hearing, yet one is acceptable while the other is not? I feel sorry for Heather that her parents are denying her a means by which she could live in what is essentially a wonderfully loud, noisy—and, yes, hearing—world.

Marion Battreall, Macomb, Mich.

As a hearing teacher of deaf children who is married to a wonderful deaf man, I find it appalling how the Artinian family is divided. What really upset me was that Chris Artinian accused his brother and sister-in-law of I child abuse. If you ask me, surgically implanting a device into a small child to make him someone the Lord didn’t intend is child abuse. Being deaf is a privilege and an identity. Chris and his wife are abusing their son Peter by stealing that from him.

Jeneen Demers, Shrewsbury, Mass.

Joe Kelly

When I was a girl my grandmother told me, “A man is what he does, and a woman is what she looks like.” I dismissed her words as the dated ranting of an old woman. But as I grew into adulthood, I saw that in advertising, movies and TV, women were often portrayed as having no real identity except as the objects of male desire. I have been saddened to realize that my grandmother’s words still represent the prevailing attitude of far too many people. Joe Kelly and his DADS organization give me hope that as my 8-year-old daughter grows into womanhood, it is possible that things will change to the point that her looks will be no more important to her self-esteem than her brother’s are to his.

Mindy Krause, Arlington Heights, Ill.