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by Abigail Van Buren

Debate on College Degree Pits Mother Against Son

DEAR ABBY: I just read in a local newspaper that a clergyman urges a ban on babies attending church. After what happened at our church last Sunday, I have to agree with him.

Today, parents dress up their kids real cute and take them to church to show them off, but they don't discipline them.

One little girl about 18 months old did everything but swing from the chandelier, and all her mother did was "shush" her by putting her fingers to her lips. Her brother (about 8) kept stirring her up by poking her, and the mother just gave him a few dirty looks.

Another child sitting behind me kept trying to grab my earrings. When I turned around and glared, her mother just smiled. At one point, when announcements were made over the loudspeaker, there was so much commotion from kids yelling that no one could hear the announcements.

The minister was disgusted, but he didn't have the courage to say anything. He should have told the mothers of those unruly children to take them to the bathroom and give them a good learning experience!

What do you think? I am ... HOPPING MAD IN POCATELLO, IDAHO

DEAR HOPPING: I think you're right. Parents who love their children discipline them. And contrary to common belief, "to discipline" does not mean "to punish." It means "to teach."