A rejoinder is in order to a Santa Ana couple’s well-intentioned advice (Letters, May 14) that Christians are also to “be wise as serpents,” a reference to the Rev. Arnold G. Kuntz’s apparently being deceived into giving $17.70 to a young man who may have been an addict and wanted the money to continue his addiction.

Every pastor worth his salt has a shoe box full of IOUs and rubber checks. But, under the same circumstances, every pastor would extend such help again.

Think of the possibility that somewhere, somehow, and at some time some possible good impression left upon the deceiver by the pastor’s attempt to genuinely live his faith might furnish both the motivation and the means to overcome his own problems.

Then think also of the physical, emotional, and spiritual harm caused by many religious people who often, even in the name of religion, display an inordinate and paradoxical amount of paranoia over against those in need, real or only apparent.