American ideals don't preclude leaders stressing their...

THE BALTIMORE SUN

American ideals don't preclude leaders stressing their faith

I'm a registered Republican who will probably vote for Texas Gov. George W. Bush. I'm also a practicing Catholic.

While I do not like to see religion pushed down anyone's throat, I do not disagree with Sen. Joseph I. Lieberman's inclusion of faith in his speeches.

Those who feel he should stick to political issues should remember that political promises are only meaningless campaign rhetoric.

It is sad when someone states, as Anti-Defamation League Chairman Abraham H. Foxman did, that "appealing along religious lines, or belief in God, is contrary to the American ideal" ("Groups decry talk of faith," Aug. 30).

How dare any group presume to speak as though this is a universal sentiment?

In the formative years of our country, this was not considered to be contrary to the "American ideal." The principle of the separation of church and state has been bastardized over the years by those who want to preclude God from public life. It was not intended for this purpose.

As our Pledge of Allegiance says, we are a "nation under God." And if faith were more involved in our lives, maybe there would be fewer problems in our society.

John M. Goldbeck

Forest HillWill Lieberman, Robertson now be appearing jointly?

Now that the Democrats in this presidential campaign have a new battle cry, "It's OK to pray," how about an ecumenical prayer session at Bob Jones University led by Sen. Joseph I. Lieberman and the Rev. Pat Robertson?

Seymour Baida, Baltimore

God's name shouldn't be a cudgel to win elections

Does anybody else believe there is a conflict between the Second Commandment and the First Amendment?

All these political Bible-beaters in both parties claim to be on heaven's "A-list." But they keep ignoring the second commandment, the one about not taking the name of God in vain, to get elected.

I keep hoping The Big Voice will come out of the sky and say, "Keep my name out of it."

Michael S Eckenrode, Baltimore

The Republicans are right to remind us of Gore's failings

Those old enough to remember him know that President Harry Truman -- a great Democrat -- was referred to as "Give 'em hell Harry."

A reporter once asked Mr. Truman why he had that nickname. The president responded that he just told the truth and they "think I'm giving 'em hell."

The Republicans have taken a page from Truman's playbook when they remind us of Al Gore's participation in the Buddhist Temple fund-raiser and his self-serving taking of credit for things such as the invention of the Internet.

Telling the truth about Mr. Gore is not "giving him hell." The media just thinks that it is.

Frank Harbin, Parkville

Cheney's remarks on military misrepresent our situation ...

An unintended consequence of the United States routing Saddam Hussein's army in 1990 is that many Americans now see war as a clinical and, at least on our side, bloodless exercise.

As a result, President Clinton has been widely supported in initiating a number of foreign military interventions (Bosnia and Kosovo, among others) which have likewise resulted in minimal U.S. casualties.

The irony of course is that the military buildup of the 1980s, recently touted by Dick Cheney as the reason the U.S. was "able to win the gulf war," led directly to this antiseptic global interventionist mentality, which is now much decried by the Mr. Cheney's party ("Cheney attacks Gore on defense," Aug. 31).

The absurdity of Mr. Cheney's comments, however, seems to have been overlooked by all. The United States military of the 1960s, at half strength, would have defeated the Iraqi army of 1990.

In such a case, we would likely have experienced more of the horrors of war. And that might have had significant policy implications, for those who have known real war, with its attendant horrors, are much less likely to initiate it.

Lea Jones, Sparks

... and are a throwback to Cold War politics

When I saw the photo of Richard Cheney in the Aug. 31 Sun, I thought he looked just like one of those anonymous Politburo members from the Soviet era. And what's more, he's sounding like somebody in the midst of the Cold War.

How absurd to question the military preparedness of the only superpower left on the globe. Is this 1950s paranoia coming back to the surface or what?

Will we soon be looking for Commies corrupting us from within again?

Talk about "Old Guard" politics. Mr. Cheney makes my grandmother look like a whippersnapper.

Charles Rammelkamp, Baltimore

More respect for nurses could curtail the shortage

I've been a registered nurse for 10 years, and I have a few comments in response to The Sun's article "Everyone needs nurses, and the shortage grows" (Aug. 30).

As a nurse, I have found it a battle to maintain respect and dignity when many physicians treat us with little or no respect; they yell at us in front of our peers and feel no need to apologize.

It is very also difficult to see new nursing graduates being brought in making more money than some experienced nurses. And rotating work shifts -- a day shift on Monday, a night shift on Tuesday -- can be very difficult on the body.

Maybe the answer is to recruit more men into the profession. Then we'd have a stronger voice with management.

There are no immediate solutions, but if hospital managements started treating the nurses they have with more respect, that would be a start.

Denise Johnson, Belair

What would Clinton know about Vietnam?

In The Sun's article "Clinton vows to support Colombia" (Aug. 31), President Clinton is quoted saying of his $1.3 billion Colombia initiative --- replete with American pilots and military advisers: "This is not Vietnam."

His assertion leads inevitably to an observation and a question:

1. Mr. Clinton is a proven liar.

2. What would he know about the Vietnam War?

Robert A. Erlandson, Towson

City should have done more to salvage summer program

As an employee of the Baltimore public schools, I realize what hardships and struggles our students must endure. Poverty, violence and a lack of basic needs are a part of their daily life.

Unlike children of more fortunate families, they rarely have an opportunity to participate in activities outside of school.

With this in mind, I read "A failure of will in Harm City" (Aug. 27) with feelings of frustration and sadness. I have worked at summer camps in the past, and I realize how such programs allow children to grow both socially and academically.

I can understand the concerns of the school administrators that were cited in the article; however, a solution to these problems should have been found.

The Rev. Ronald Howard and his wife did their part. Why couldn't we do ours?

Sharon M. Flynn, Baltimore

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