Younger students will have problems
Recent publicity about changes at the community colleges of Baltimore County should not discourage those who may wish to enroll at any of the colleges in the next year or two.
It is true that the current trustees are rash and willfully ignorant. It is also clear that their recent decisions will, within four or five years, lower the quality at CCBC so drastically that a degree from Catonsville, Dundalk or Essex will mean far less than it does today.
For the moment, however, as an Essex instructor I can assure potential applicants that the decline has not yet begun. For a year or two more, CCBC students will find the same capable and caring faculty and staff and the same strong programs that are in place now.
Today's high school seniors can consider any CCBC campus with confidence. Younger students and their parents, however, should be looking elsewhere, or should be urging the politicians to save CCBC from its trustees.
Robert W. Lynn
Jewish heritage needs no outside validation
Once again The Sun has somehow managed to irritate those of us in the Jewish community who seek to preserve the unadulterated integrity of our historic spiritual legacy.
The Opinion Commentary piece by Gerald Kamber ("A Jewish Christmas miracle," Dec. 20) is one of those pieces selected by your editorial page editors to focus on Jewish holidays such that they are measured in the context of non-Jewish categories of experience, rather than in terms of what is authentic to believing Jews.
I personally find the message of the piece offensive, implying as it does that Jews (such as the author's uncle, described tastelessly by him as "der Fanatik") who find the assimilationist urge to be distasteful (e.g. to mix Chanukah with Christmas) is essentially narrow-minded.
It goes well over the top when he says that "no reasonable person sees any harm to it." I am not an unreasonable person, but I disagree intensely with such a statement.
I believe that Jews, who form less than 2 percent of the population, have a perfect right to work to preserve their traditions without being made to appear selfish or intolerant because they, like every other religious or ethnic group that cherishes their history, choose not to syncretize their faith to ideals that are not their own.
Perhaps The Sun could learn occasionally to select Opinion Commentary pieces from the Jewish world that reflect a positive Jewish self-image.
Mark G. Loeb
The writer is senior rabbi of Beth El Congregation.
Many theologians find all Scripture historical
The Dec. 22 front page article, "Overtures to the Gospel," quoted Bishop John Shelby Spong: "There's not a biblical theologian in the world today that is regarded as competent that would treat these stories, the birth stories of Jesus, as if they were history."
There are hundreds if not thousands of competent biblical theologians in the world who treat all of Holy Scripture, including the birth of Jesus, as completely historical.
Your article made it appear that anyone who teaches that the word of God is historical is suppressing the truth from his parishioners.
Many of us proudly proclaim God's word as it proclaims itself to be: the inspired, inerrant word of God.
If one wants to disbelieve that parts of Scripture are historical, then one might as well start ripping the pages out of his Bible, leaving only those parts that can satisfy his reason.
In regard to the supposed "contradictions" when comparing the gospel of Matthew and Luke, each was writing with a different purpose, in his own writing style, and therefore selected to focus on different issues. Sometimes events were even taken out of historical sequence by a writer to serve the purpose of the book.
If one solely relies on the intellect and reason, it may seem impossible that the Scriptures can be looked upon as historical. If one relies on faith, he will accept that God's word is true and historical in all it says.
Rev. Karl M. Schmugge
The writer is pastor of Christ Lutheran Church.
Pub Date: 12/29/96