Sanctimonious heads of House and Senate should...

THE BALTIMORE SUN

Sanctimonious heads of House and Senate should back off 0) gays

Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott has joined House Majority Leader Dick Armey in whipping out the Holy Bible and thumping it to tell us how sinful homosexuals are ("Lott's pronouncement on homosexuality won't help the GOP," June 16).

I'm not surprised that these two sanctimonious hypocrites don't understand the establishment clause in the First Amendment of our Constitution.

I would not be surprised if Mr. Lott and Mr. Armey introduced a bill to eliminate all taxes and replace them with tithes.

Sexual preference is not sinful, ungodly or anything else. Neither is religious preference. Consenting adults have the right to have sex however and with whomever they wish. An adult has the right to worship a bowling ball, a goldfish or not worship at all. Every woman has the right to choose abortion.

If Mr. Lott and Mr. Armey do not wish to sleep together, fine. If they don't wish to bow and face Mecca, fine. And if they don't like abortions, they don't have to get one.

Gerald Ben Shargel

Reisterstown

Discrimination against gays is another form of bigotry

In your story about the fight against confirming James C. Hormel as ambassador to Luxembourg because he is gay, one quote stood out ("Envoy's nomination fires debate over 'gay agenda' " June 23).

Steve Schwalm, senior analyst at the conservative Family Research Council, said, "Anti-Christian mockery is the last accepted form of bigotry in this country."

That's a rather ironic statement to make when arguing (discriminating) against a candidate receiving a position he is qualified for solely because of his sexual orientation. Seems like anti-gay bigotry is alive and well in Congress.

Brian Cox

Baltimore

Protecting moral standards but killing us with pollution

After reading the last in a long line of articles concerning Gov. Parris N. Glendening's tired no-slots stand and his shallow arguments and commentary on values, I would like to pose a couple of questions.

Does the governor consider industries that pollute our waters, store hazardous waste materials and seek relief from air quality emissions standards to be the wholesome kind of businesses we want in Maryland?

These hard production industries the governor values so much cost every Marylander, without their freedom of choice, extra dollars in environmental cleanup and treatment of pollution-related illnesses. Yet these businesses are considered essential and good economic growth opportunities because they kill us physically and not morally, assuming we all have the same moral standards as Mr. Glendening).

If the governor wants to take a stand on slot machines, however, why not take action on the thousands of gaming machines in local bars?

Fred Metschulat

Baltimore

Parental guidance needed to help teach pupils to read

The Sun's editorial "Teaching the teachers more about reading" (June 19) is certainly commendable for its foresight in noting that beefing up the level of reading instruction knowledge for future and present teachers is a "no-brainer." Why? Because, as is stated, "it makes sense to expect that colleges and universities will give future teachers the training" required to ensure the literacy of their students.

There is a dimension, however, that our educators and curriculum planners seem to overlook: There are significant differences among elementary students in lower grades because the environments in which they are reared.

Education, particularly during early childhood, involves a proper coordination of parents and educators. When the imbalance between parental responsibility and that of educators becomes critical, the educator is confronted with an impossible task to teach effectively.

In that context, the child in one environment probably remains with an inherent inability to read and comprehend effectively, in contrast to another reared in a different environment.

Some youngsters have been provided with much-needed parental supervision, and the child's learning ability is in balance with the mission of the educators.

Our society should being solving the Reading by 9 issue by adopting the methods we used in the past.

Sy Steinberg

Baltimore

The Maryland State Board of Education is well-intentioned in moving to require reading instruction to ensure that all teachers have the knowledge needed to teach reading, but in some instances it will be a waste of time and/or money.

Many experienced teachers did have excellent instruction in the teaching of reading. It would be a waste of their time and money (and a waste of taxpayer money when teachers request their reimbursement money) to take a course or courses in reading instruction. For experienced teachers, require a performance exam. Teachers who fail could be required to take courses in which they lack knowledge. Those who pass it could devote their time elsewhere.

Why do so many people think that there is one simple solution that fits all?

Karen Gronau

Perry Hall

Teacher's influence could end up turning around pupil

I found myself agreeing with almost every one of Gary Levin's insightful observations and comments about his satisfying teaching career ("School's out for teacher after 32 years," June 21, Perspective).

The only remark made by Mr. Levin with which I dissent is that "two out of three ain't bad" when evaluating correspondence from former pupils.

I find the anonymous note written on the "back side" of the Polaroid to be logically structured, very descriptive (using well-chosen vocabulary) and free of mechanical errors, a tribute to the excellent English instruction provided by Mr. Levin to this nameless but apparently photogenic student.

Perhaps even she will realize the positive value and influence of teachers like Gary Levin some day.

Three out of three is better.

Harvey Zeiger

Baltimore

As a 12-year retiree after 30 years of teaching elementary schools in Baltimore, I would like to say that Gary Levin deserves congratulations.

Mr. Levin has paid his dues to humanity. He should enjoy life and do all the things he has wanted to do but was unable to because of his dedication.

He should remember that some will still wonder if "hisself" is spelled with one or two S's. When I listen to the media, I wonder whether subject and verb agreement among today's youth has gone out the window.

Lola J. Massey

Owings Mills

Threaten to punish nations for use of nuclear weapons

I take exception to the statement in your editorial "The treaty restricts nuclear weapons to the five, which now flies in the face of reality" ("Nuclear sword over Kashmir," June 11).

All it takes to prevent the use of nuclear weapons is a resolute no.

The United States, Russia and China can resolve to immediately punish the first user of atomic weapons, using their preponderance of conventional weapons.

Not only would this inhibit the nuclear pollution of the world's atmosphere, but it would also discourage nations from creating atom bombs they dare not use.

Martin Fass

Baltimore

Lewinsky affair is wasting our time and our tax dollars

It seems as though I have been hearing about Monica Lewinsky and President Clinton for a lifetime. There has been much speculation about the extent of any relationship the two may have had, perhaps because of the fascination the public has with sexual matters.

All of this might seem quite humorous and titillating if it were not for one factor. All of this investigation has been financed with my tax dollars. If my money is to be wasted, I can think of many others ways in which to do it.

Mark E. Romanoff

Catonsville

Pub Date: 6/28/98

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