At a time when our country should be banding together, it is frustrating to see the media coverage of the small number of Americans who insist on trying to divide our country.

These so-called "peace activists" compare the Gulf crisis to Vietnam and ask why our country has not learned a lesson from Vietnam when this is the question we need to ask the protesters. Haven't they learned that we cannot afford to be divided at a time like this, that we need to support the decisions made by our elected officials?

The most disastrous thing we could do once committed to helping Kuwait is to change our minds and pull out. If this were to happen, then, yes, we could compare the Gulf crisis to Vietnam, and we could thank the protesters once again for sending the message to aggressors that the United States' bark is worse than its bite.

This is exactly what Saddam Hussein is betting on. Let's prove him wrong.

JANICE L. SCHELL Sterling

On Jan. 12, The Post ran an article {"The Church and War," op-ed} by Edmond L. Browning, presiding bishop of the Episcopal Church. Bishop Browning spoke against the political conclusions of a well-known Episcopalian, President George Bush.

A Christian who is not an Episcopalian might have shrugged his shoulders and said, "Well, those disciples of King Henry VIII never did grasp the point of the Protestant Reformation -- that each Christian is the custodian of his or her own conscience and must face such moral problems as war (or the avoidance of war at any cost) as experience, education and prayer might decide."

Bishop Browning seemed to suggest that his political views represented those of all Christian believers, of Christianity today and of Christ Himself. But Bishop Browning does not understand Protestantism, America or the New Testament.

Christ sacrificed Himself for others. Bishop Browning and church leaders like him seem to believe that no one should ever be willing to make such a sacrifice. It is my personal Christian belief that it is necessary for us to protect the innocent if we have the strength to do so.

We almost lost World War II by listening to isolationists and noninterventionist pacifists like Bishop Browning. Such preachings cost the lives of 6 million innocent Jews in concentration camps. Evidently Bishop Browning does not understand the necessity of choosing the lesser of two evils -- a moral decision all of us face in real life, though perhaps not in church administrative offices.

DON H. OTTO Charleston, Ill.