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TV's negative image of religionIt is painfully...

THE BALTIMORE EVENING SUN

TV's negative image of religion

It is painfully apparent that TV producers are engaged in all-out bashing of religion in their television programming. Characters identified as religious most often turn out to be fanatical, extremist, bigoted, unintelligent, certifiably insane or all the aforementioned. They just seem to be fresh out of any positive religious characters in televisionland. According to L. Brent Bozell of the Media Research Center, "Television producers, always eager to promote their political agenda, have responded with a deafening silence when asked to defend their anti-religious bias."

Yet it is well known that Americans are strongly religious. "Religious faith" came in first in Lifetime network's recent Great American TV Poll asking people to name the most important thing in their lives. Another recent national survey (conducted by the Graduate School of City University of New York) showed that over 90 percent of Americans identify with religion. So TV's negative depictions about religion are bound to be offensive to a majority of Americans.

It can be inferred that advertisers who choose to display their wares on this type of programming are deliberately thumbing their corporate noses at America's religious sensibilities. Their reasoning can only have to do with TV ratings and dollar signs, to the cynical exclusion of everything else. As for the television industry itself, it has long ago dropped so low in public respect that there are now few contenders for a lower spot. What a sad perversion of a magnificent technology!

H.J. Rizzo

Baltimore

Remember Tommy

in Wiley Hall's column of July 4, he forgot to mention the man who was instrumental in bringing baseball and football to Baltimore: former mayor and congressman Thomas D'Alesandro.

D'Alesandro spent his life devoted to Baltimore and served the nation.

John P. Castello

Baltimore

Right to know

The response of abortion rights activists to the recent Supreme Court decision upholding the "gag" rule proves their utter hypocrisy.

They argue that the gag rule infringes on a woman's right to make an "informed" decision. Prohibiting clinics funded with tax dollars from disseminating information on abortion, these activists argue, deprives poor women in particular of the information they need to make "intelligent" choices.

Unfortunately, these activists hypocritically fail to note that, in their view, a woman's right to information stops at telling her in general terms that abortion is "safe" and legal. She is not entitled, in their view, to information on the specific risks inherent in an abortion procedure or, most of all, to any information related to fetal development.

Thus, she is not entitled to know the statistics related to death or serious complications from an abortion. She is not entitled to know that her child's heartbeat begins after only three weeks of pregnancy, and that her child at 2 1/2 months into pregnancy will feel pain from the abortion procedure.

This information, the activists argue, deters a woman from exercising her "constitutional" right to abort. By their standard, how informed can a woman's choice possibly be?

Robert L. Miller

Millersville

Architecture of Stephens Hall

Your correspondent, Stanley M. Pollack, recently properly corrected the misrepresentation of your reviewer that Stephens Hall on the Towson State University campus was Victorian in design. For his part, he referred to it as Jacobean and mentioned its resemblance to Blickling Hall, one of the prime examples of English Jacobean architecture, but noted it did not have the same kind of porch.

The questions of the building's architectural style is strangely complicated by the insistence of the Maryland State Normal School Building Commission in its report of 1915 that, "The buildings (constructed for the normal school) are Middle English in architecture," a statement repeated by the commission's president, J. Charles Linthicum, in his address at the dedication ceremony on Nov. 19, 1915. One can only wonder why Congressman Linthicum used that term unless it was the one employed by the architect, Douglas H. Thomas Jr., who had been killed in an automobile accident the previous June 15. The fact that Thomas had designed the administrative and academic buildings for the Homewood campus of the Johns Hopkins University and the Belvedere Hotel suggests that he was able to work with a variety of styles. And it may be possible that the Stephens Hall porch is a product of his creativity, rather than borrowed.

Herbert D. Andrews

Baltimore Someone said that those who forget history are condemned to repeat it. Can it not also be that reusing the good from history is what we need?

The Baltimore City Council is now fighting crime by putting the foot patrolman back on the beat. Until 1967, Baltimore police walked beats in all of the heavily populated areas of the city.

The result was that the officer on the beat got to know his area and the people residing there. He developed rapport with local ++ people who told him of anything untoward.

Then we were put in patrol cars. We were highly visible, but it wasn't long before all the work of 100 years was lost. Soon nobody knew us, nor did we know the police. The loss in public relations and crime control cannot be imagined. Let us hope it won't take another 100 years to get the situation under control again.

Edward C. Mattson

M; The writer is a retired Baltimore city police sergeant.

Arrest Saddam

The Iraqi people, the Kuwaitis and the world community have suffered enough. It's clear that when the Americans leave Iraq, Saddam will again slaughter the Kurds and bulldoze their bodies into pits. It's clear that he is hiding machinery so that he can again make nuclear and chemical weapons to use on his neighbors and their oil fields. And it's clear that making Iraqi civilians suffer the consequences is both inhumane and ineffective. The only solution is to eliminate Saddam Hussein as quickly as possible.

It's inconceivable that Hitler, Mussolini and Tojo would have been left in power after their crimes against humanity. One of these dictators committed suicide, one was killed by his own people and one was tried, convicted and executed by the Allies. Saddam's atrocities are comparable.

The international alliance that accepted Saddam's word regarding the now thrice-violated inspection process should issue a warrant for his arrest. If he surrenders or is taken alive, he should be brought before an international tribunal. Once this cancer is removed, the Iraqi people and their neighbors, with international support, can get on with rebuilding and stabilizing the region. This is a difficult collective task, but the alternatives are much too dangerous. Left in power, Saddam will eventually succeed.

Roger C. Kostmayer

Baltimore

Unseat incumbents

Mary Pat Clarke and the City Council have cut a nickel off the city property tax rate. Whoopee! In 40 years we will have $2 cut off the rate. By that time, Baltimore will have become "Ghost City." Forty years of planning down the drain.

For a faster solution, vote Mary Pat Clarke and the entire City Council out of office.

Alfred Feher

Baltimore

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