TCCatholic FaithRev. John J. Kelly, in his...

THE BALTIMORE SUN

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Catholic Faith

Rev. John J. Kelly, in his letter Sept. 7, demonstrates a facile logic and keen sense of clarity in refuting Father Andrew Greeley's article of Aug. 25 when it comes to the difference between a good Catholic and a good person.

What I question is the tortuous trail that leads to the doubt of

Adolf Hitler's ultimate judgment as a good or bad person, and the apparent certainty of "insight" of what will happen to those individuals not "basically insane" or "gone to full bloom" who do not heed the Church's warning about birth control.

I am reminded of an elderly man who died several years ago. A staunch convert to Catholicism, he argued that I would only find the true church of Christ by coming back to Catholicism.

He was an open homosexual, at a time when closet homosexuality was a given. I asked him how he could even

conceive of himself being a Christian or good Catholic when he knew what was taught by all the churches of his day regarding the eternal fate of homosexuals.

His answer: "I believe in the eternal mercy of God." His faith, I believe, did not go unrewarded.

Lawrence A. Temple

Baltimore

Not Good Sports

Roger Simon reported that members of the Congressional Sportsmen's Caucus describe themselves as "the true conservationists" ("Congressional sportsmen shoot wide of fair game," Sept. 1).

Yet many hunters and fishermen, notably Fly, Rod and Reel magazine contributor Ted Williams, decry the caucus as apologists for polluters, habitat wreckers, and wetlands developers. Examples of the Sportsmen's Caucus' "conservation" efforts include support for hunting the nearly tame deer at Mason Neck National Wildlife Refuge in Northern Virginia, placing at risk both the resident pair of bald eagles and anxious homeowners surrounding the refuge.

The caucus opposes the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's intention to review the regulations governing Eastern Maryland's captive-reared mallard shooting preserves, despite the consensus among waterfowl biologists that these preserves may facilitate the spread of potentially devastating disease to wild populations of waterfowl.

These "duck farms" offer easy shooting of docile, disoriented, pen-reared ducks. Many such preserves are owned by powerful lobbyists and campaign contributors, whose guests include members of the Congressional Sportsmen's Caucus.

The Congressional Sportsmen's Caucus has now reached 192 members, gaining nine members in August alone, to account for a staggering 36 percent of the Congress.

According to the latest figures from the Department of Interior, a mere 7.4 percent of the public hunts. Through their participation in this caucus, these congressmen represent neither the public, the conservation community, nor wildlife.

Their allegiance appears, rather, to belong to money interests and to their own desire for easy "hunting" in the national capital.

John W. Grandy

Washington

The writer is vice president of the Humane Society of the United States.

Better Words

In his commentary "8 Reasons Not to Get Excited About the '94 Election" (Sept. 19), Peter A. Jay used these words to describe Rep. Helen Bentley: loner, aging and irascible. A better choice of words would be: independent, experienced and straightforward.

Joseph W. Doughney

Parkville

Too Negative

In his Sept. 19 column, Ernest F. Imhoff bemoans the poor literacy of the American public.

He also cites a reader who called and complained that The Sun was reporting "too much crime."'

Mr. Imhoff suggests that if reading were made joyful, more people would read.

I have a solution: The Sun should start printing more good news.

There was good news concerning the academic achievement of some of Maryland's high school students that was released for publication the same time as the report concerning our nation's illiteracy.

The National Merit Scholarship Corp. announced the names of Maryland's top seniors in high school -- about 300, which is a tenth of one percent of the high school seniors in Maryland.

However, The Sun chose not to publish the names of these youths.

These students are being successful and adding to society instead of depleting its limited resources.

Many readers are wondering why The Sun chooses to publish articles about drugs, crime and destruction instead of noteworthy scholastic achievement.

In a time when our newspapers are cluttered with catastrophe, The Sun should focus on the good things that happen in our community. Readers grow numb after countless stories of violence and corruption and want to read about something to give them hope.

Mr. Imhoff complains that newspaper circulation has not increased since 1960; the reason is that newspapers are too pessimistic.

If newspapers published more good news, maybe more people would read them, and who knows -- maybe our literacy rate would increase, too.

Jonathan Lurie

Pikesville

Missing the Mark on Health Care

After spending weeks reading and trying to digest every proposal suggested on health care for everyone, I'm convinced that the president, Hillary Clinton, the Republicans and others should all scrap their proposals and start over, for they have completely missed the mark.

The president has said repeatedly, and rightfully so, that health care is too expensive. All have completely overlooked the most expensive and unnecessary cost, the high cost of liability insurance for all those providing our health care.

Experts in the medical field have, from time to time, tried to get this message through, but it seems that the media and the legislators, for some reason, have not taken them seriously.

President Clinton has not hesitated to suggest caps on other items to control cost, but he has failed to suggest we get a handle on this liability problem.

Every day, we read of claims of up to $100 million. This is ridiculous, but I don't blame the courts as much as I do the public. Many of us feel the insurance companies are loaded with money, so why not stick it to them? We don't realize we are actually paying this bill when we pay our insurance premium or hospital bill.

I'm not proposing banning the right to liability protection, but we must control it.

The attorneys go for all the marbles on every claim, not because their clients deserve it but because it fattens their pocketbooks. Maybe the reason the lawyers writing the laws turn their backs to this problem is the fact they feel closer to their profession than to the kids that the president says are going without care because of the cost.

I read recently of 15 counties in one of our states that were without an obstetrician because the cost of insurance prohibited one from making a living.

The president says one cost that must be contained is the time consumed in filling out claim forms . . . And consider the hundreds of millions that could be saved by giving the doctor more freedom to determine if a test is really necessary for the good of the patient rather than to protect himself and his insurance company in a court of law.

The state medical boards should be required to record and police the performance of all doctors. The 99 good doctors should not be required to pay a sky-high premium to protect the one incompetent doctor.

If we reduced health care cost by 15 percent, we could hold the line on premiums and assess the premiums 15 percent to help pay for those unable to pay.

Now that we have saved all this money, let's come clean on the payment of this cost.

The president is naive to think this cost will be carried by an employer if it is a private or public company. Either the employee will foot the bill as part of his wages, or the cost will be passed on to the consumer of the product or service produced.

Also, the 70 percent or more that the government pays on the premiums of the insurance its employees and dependents carry is paid by the public as part of their taxes.

Insurance for the uninsured does not have to be a large problem. They should be required to select an HMO and premium payments handled as other benefits such as food stamps or welfare, but claims should be screened, as there are people who carry no insurance because it would cut into their gambling or drug money.

The majority of people will accept some controls, but very few will accept socialized medicine. The president keeps telling us that countries that have it receive better health care, but we know that people from those countries come to this country when they really need good care.

Charles W. Ahalt

Columbia

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