Our 'thought police' would stifle writing of...

THE BALTIMORE SUN

Our 'thought police' would stifle writing of Edgar Allan Poe

In regard to your article ("Stories' content scares parents," June 5), we knew it would come to this. Now students are being vilified for original, creative thinking, for reaching into the inner recesses of their own understanding.

When I was in school, writing teachers always encouraged us to let it flow, to let our thoughts emerge in unedited, sometimes unnerving, ways. They weren't as critical of content as of mechanics, such as whether were we getting our message across.

These days, though, we have to contend with the thought police. Indeed, I wonder how Edgar Allan Poe would have fared at the hands of politically correct teachers when his dark, macabre ruminations were surfacing? Under the mentality that prevails in your article and among Taneytown's parents, he'd likely have been punished, perhaps imprisoned. And we would have lost one of our most interesting and thought-provoking writers.

Even the young are more than one-dimensional, especially with respect to thoughts and emotions. We need the light, and we need the darkness.

Keith Batcher

Bel Air

Is Bob Hope announcement par for course in Congress?

If Congress can be so careless about prematurely announcing the death of an entertainer, one can't help but wonder what far more serious mistakes its members may have made.

Richard Crystal

Baltimore

Father Roach's new parish is no pastoral purgatory

Richard O'Mara's article ("Exiled from his Eden," May 28) depicted the Rev. Michael J. Roach as being unhappy in his assignment as pastor of St. Bartholomew's Roman Catholic Church in Manchester, Carroll County.

As a parishioner who has worked closely with Father Roach since his arrival here at St. Bartholomew's, I am outraged that Mr. O'Mara used his subtle journalistic dexterity to cast Father Roach as a disgruntled, dissatisfied malcontent. In doing so, he has also managed to brand my parish and church as a pastoral purgatory.

It is no secret that Father Roach understandably reserves an extra special place in his very large heart for his past parishes and parishioners. I am persuaded that it is large enough still to fully embrace our wonderfully vital, rapidly growing and historically significant parish. He has demonstrated that by his loving commitment to St. Bartholomew's from the moment he arrived.

He is a fine priest who has uplifted all who have been blessed by his unselfish service.

Mr. O'Mara's article was to have focused on Father Roach's extraordinary abilities as a comforting and inspiring funeral homilist.

It is unfortunate that Mr. O'Mara chose to put his own spin on Father Roach's trusting reflections and reminiscences, portraying them as complaints worthy of headline exposure.

Calvin N. Pierce

Hampstead

Quitting a job could raise family's standard of living

Susan Reimer's article "Juggling Act" (June 3) was exactly what I would expect from this newspaper.

I continue to be dismayed by your one-sided approach to reporting. Nowhere in the column did you suggest that staying home and raising your own children was an option.

I do not believe the women in the article exemplify women who have to work. The article mentions new homes and professional careers.

These are not women who require necessities but rather niceties. It is not up to an employer to provide assistance in this juggling act.

Someone once told me that in the juggling act of life, family is the glass ball, one you can't drop. I cannot feel sorry for women who leave the care of infants in the hands of strangers.

They say they feel stressed and guilty, and maybe they should. Maybe our maternal instinct is made to protect our children from our own greed and self-interest.

I know many single moms who truly must work, but I know more moms who are working to provide luxuries at the expense of their children's well-being.

Staying home is an option that should be considered for the good of the entire family. The loss of income can raise your standard of living.

Mary Nasuta

Bel Air

Young's bid for comeback a reason for public's disgust

Larry Young's gearing up to run for the Senate seat from which he was ousted is another example of why politicians and the political system are thought of with disdain.

There is something drastically wrong with a system that allows Mr. Young to be ousted from the Senate by his colleagues -- by a vote of 36-10 for expulsion and 46-1 for censure -- and still allows him to run for political office.

His ethics are obviously hidden under a rock. This most recent display of arrogance is revolting and disgusting.

James E. Haines

Baltimore

'Control criminals' spiel is ploy to open gun market

When people fear sitting on their front stoops, walking in their neighborhoods or sending their children to school, something has to change.

Gun violence has become a way of life, and it is past time to say enough is enough.

The National Rifle Association says we need to "control the criminals, not guns," and yet, the most recent highly publicized explosions of violence have been committed by children using guns legally acquired by family members ("Control the criminals, not guns, NRA advises," June 6).

The NRA is exploiting our youngsters by marketing to them in the hopes of preparing for another generation of gun customers.

Unfortunately, it is working, but it is wrong -- deadly wrong. Easy access to guns only increases the opportunity for violence, as is evident every day in the newspaper.

Anger and frustration mixed with accessible guns leaves the door wide open for an explosive situation.

To prevent acts that lead to violence, we should teach conflict resolution skills and anger management, reduce the availability of guns and enact into law child-safety lock bills throughout the country.

Jeanne Ruddock

Baldwin

Catonsville's 'Mr. Holland' deserves teaching honors

Congratulations to James Wharton, Baltimore County's teacher of the year. He is the real "Mr. Holland's Opus" ("Teacher who introduced steel drum bands honored," May 21).

He is one of those rare individuals who builds American society and culture.

Dr. Robert Brundelre

Baltimore

We fought World War II to preserve freedom, liberty

Many of the things Gregory Kane said might be true ("Liberty, justice for all pledge isn't reality," June 3), but he should stay away from saying it was hogwash to contend that America fought World War II to preserve freedom and democracy.

Indeed, World War II was fought for freedom and liberty.

It liberated us and the millions of slaves in the Nazi and Japanese camps. Had the other powers won, we all would have felt the whip under the Axis powers.

We should teach our children that World War II was fought for liberty and democracy, no matter how both of them can be infringed upon.

All wars are cruel, but this was a defensive war. Thank God that Americans saw the danger.

Eve Kristine Belfoure

Woodlawn

Drivers blamed in death were not real drag racers

In response to "Drag race suspected in fatal accident" (June 3), your description of drag racing as a clandestine sport popular in 1950s is grossly inaccurate and unfair.

I feel sorry for the family of the victim, but she was not a victim of organized drag racing.

Drag racing today is organized by the National Hot Rod Association, with strict safety rules and guidelines. Races are held on professional, corporate-sponsored tracks across the country. Each of 19 events draws 200,000 or more fans, families, professional racers and TV crews.

We fans and racers do not deserve your stereotype and negative description of a fine professional sport.

Chris Betts

Parkton

Pub Date: 6/11/98

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