It is always sad to learn of someone losing their battle with cancer, and I send prayers to Ron Smith and his family as he faces this final phase of life ("My work here is done," Nov. 18).

However, I must comment on one point in his last column. He is grateful to The Sun for having provided him a forum, despite the fact that his conservative views were often at variance with the more liberal views of the newspaper.

In fact, it is a tenet of liberal faith that voices from various perspectives should be heard. (Sadly, this does not seem to be the case in the conservative media. Try finding a liberal columnist like Thomas Schaller in The Washington Times or the Wall Street Journal or on Fox News.)

Yet Mr. Smith seems to deplore the liberal tolerance of diversity that gave him a voice in The Sun when he quotes Pat Buchanan's book calling our society "a multiracial, multicultural, multilingual, multiethnic stew of a nation that has no successful precedent in the history of the world."

In fact, America has been a nation of immigrants from the very beginning, and that, along with our tolerance of a diversity of opinion, is our strength and our glory.

Elizabeth Fixsen, Savage