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Kent Ashcraft wrote us on December 9, 2003
"This is to confirm that I am in fact the author of the Dr. Laura letter, and that what you have on your web page is the exact text that I wrote (which is amazing to me, since there have been so many changes and add-ons).
"A couple of years ago Lorimar Productions compensated me for the use of portions of the letter on The West Wing."We had previously heard from Marc Bejarano on September 29, 2003
Marc Bejarano sent us a link to
an open letter to Dr. Laura
J. Kent Ashcraft
The above site claims they have tracked down the original author of the letter and the date it originally went out is said to be before any of the ones listed as possible origins below.
The site also has a slightly different version of the letter than the one below.
The open letter (below) has certain similarities to Bartlet's speech in "The Midterms". It has been circulating around the Internet for months now.
The following is one version of the emails that have been going around. We do not know how closely it matches the above radio bit:
- "Dear Dr. Laura,
- Thank you for doing so much to educate people regarding God's law. I have learned a great deal from you, and I try to share that knowledge with as many people as I can. When someone tries to defend homosexuality, for example, I will simply remind him or her that Leviticus 18:22 clearly states it to be an abomination. End of debate.
I do need some advice from you, however, regarding some of the other laws in Leviticus and Exodus and how to best follow them.
- When I burn a bull on the altar as a sacrifice, I know it creates a pleasing odor for the Lord (Leviticus 1:9). The problem is my neighbors. They claim the odor is not pleasing to them. How should I deal with this?
- I would like to sell my daughter into slavery, as stated in Exodus 21:7. In this day and age, what do you think would be a fair price for her?
- I know that I am allowed no contact with a woman while she is in her period of menstrual uncleanliness (Leviticus 15:19-24). The problem is, how can I tell? I have tried asking, but most women take offense.
- Leviticus 25:44 states that I may buy slaves from the nations that are around us. A friend of mine claims that this applies to Mexicans, but not Canadians. Can you clarify?
- I have a neighbor who insists on working on the Sabbath. Exodus 35:2 clearly states he should be put to death. Am I morally obligated to kill him myself?
- A friend of mine says that even though eating shellfish is an abomination (Leviticus 10:10), it is a lesser abomination than homosexuality. I don't agree. Can you settle this?
- Leviticus 20:20 states that I may not approach the altar of God if I have a defect in my sight. I have to admit that I wear reading glasses. Does my vision have to be 20/20, or is there some wiggle room here?
I know you have studied these things extensively, so I am confident you can help. Thank you again for reminding us that God's Word is eternal and unchanging. "
- But John Hudert passed on information from Lori Greene which referred us to an Entertainment Weekly news item, October 26, 2000, which says:
- "Refreshingly candid exec producer Aaron Sorkin admits he lifted the diatribe from a much forwarded anonymous email. . . . Sorkin, who hoped to give credit, says they ''cast a fairly wide net, but we didn't find the author.''"
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