Monsignor wrong to bar legislators
As a Republican delegate representing southern Frederick County and southeastern Washington County and a fellow legislator who tries to attend ceremonies to recognize young men who achieve the rank of Eagle Scout, I was shocked and appalled at the exclusion of legislators from such ceremonies on the grounds that these legislators support embryonic stem cell research ("Catholic Scouts shun lawmakers over ideas," June 9).
Sen. Katharine A. Klausmeier and Del. Eric M. Bromwell are two of the most dedicated and responsible legislators in Annapolis. I have worked with both of them on a variety of issues, and both have shown themselves to be dedicated to all Marylanders, without regard to religion, race or ideology.
Monsignor James P. Farmer seems to be more interested in playing politics than in allowing the young men of St. Ursula Catholic Church's Scouting program to be appropriately recognized for their significant and life-changing achievement.
I hope the parishioners of St. Ursula will rebuke the monsignor, and teach him a lesson he apparently ignored along life's way: Mixing politics and religion is a dangerous game. Valuing a political statement above allowing everyone to acknowledge such an important accomplishment is an embarrassment.
I call on the Catholic archdiocese to end this discriminatory practice and once again ensure that these ceremonies are about the young men involved, as they should be, and not a political soapbox.
The writer is a member of the House of Delegates.
What of lawmakers who back execution?
Now that Monsignor James P. Farmer has denied politicians who support embryonic stem cell research the chance to participate in Eagle Scout award ceremonies, will he do the same for those politicians who support capital punishment ("Catholic Scouts shun lawmakers over ideas," June 9)?
Or does he believe that living stem cells have more value than a living human being?
Unfair criticism of a fine pastor
The Sun's inflammatory article "Catholic Scouts shun lawmakers over ideas" (June 9) attempted to discredit a very good Catholic pastor.
It seems to me that The Sun has been frequently featuring controversial disputes or misdeeds of a few leaders in Christian communities, particularly those who are Roman Catholic.
Private disputes in a family or a religious community are not the business of the general public or the news media.
Religious bodies and their leaders have every right to make their own decisions concerning matters of faith and morals, as well as their own administrative policies.
It's time for The Sun and its reporters to back off.
A public apology to Monsignor James P. Farmer is warranted in this case.
Loretta J. Hoffman
The writer is a state representative for the Alliance of Catholic Women Inc.
Government isn't president's property
Did I actually hear President Bush say, about the Senate's no-confidence vote on Attorney General Alberto R. Gonazales, "They can have their votes of no-confidence, but it's not going to make the determination about who serves in my government?"
Wow. When did it become his government?
Whatever happened to government "of the people, by the people and for the people"?
I must have missed Mr. Bush's coronation.
Michaeline R. Fedder
Tired of the excuses for poor city schools
For years, there have been questions about just where the millions dumped into the Baltimore school system coffers are going. Well, it is apparent to me that much of the money is being squandered by those responsible for hiring contractors to make sure that the kids in the city get a quality education in safe buildings ("City to audit school repairs," June 7).
I, for one, am tired of city politicians and school board members complaining about not receiving their fair share of my hard-earned tax dollars to help right the sinking ship that is the city schools.
My wife and I attended city high schools in the 1970s when the quality of education was superior. We both came from underprivileged families but knew that hard work would pay off. The schools we attended helped us to become productive citizens.
But we moved to Harford County when we had kids to prevent them from attending city public schools. We saw the writing on the wall.
Today's underprivileged kids have a very small chance of success in Baltimore's schools.
I do not blame the teachers, many of whom have given their hearts and souls to educate the kids. I blame those in charge.
The governor, the mayor and the school board are robbing kids of what might be their last chance to succeed.
You do not need to hire a consultant to know the school system is one of the primary reasons families leave the city.
Using injury toll to justify intrusions?
I found the letter "Fire toll underscores an injury epidemic" (June 8) somewhat disingenuous and opportunistic.
Is it revealing that that "more children under 15 years old die from injuries than from cancer, heart disease and sudden infant death syndrome combined"? Primary heart disease is rare in children, the incidence of SIDS has declined significantly, and cancer is statistically very rare in this age group.
As for injuries being "prevented and controlled through science and the translation of research into effective programs and policies," this to me sounds like code for more government intrusion and regulation and more funding for institutions such as the Center for Injury Research and Policy, which the writer directs.
She also cites a public opinion poll showing that more than 1 in 10 people think injuries are caused by carelessness and stupidity. But couldn't this be read as suggesting that almost 90 percent of respondents do not think injuries are the result of carelessness and stupidity?
I do agree with the writer that injuries are preventable - not through more government regulation but through education, awareness and personal responsibility.
Why let bloodbath continue in Iraq?
Why are Americans being killed in Iraq ("Killed in Iraq," June 7)?
To bring about the reconciliation of Sunnis, Shiites and Kurds? To reduce sectarian violence? To disarm the militias? To develop an equitable plan to share oil revenues? Or to bring about an Iraqi government that can actually govern?
Not one of these so-called benchmarks is even close to being met. So how long will this bloody carnival continue?
In reality, American troops are President Bush's hostages against the will of the American majority, which has seen through his neoconservative fantasies and demands that Congress end the carnage.
Grenville B. Whitman