TV's negative image of religionIt is painfully apparent...

the Forum

July 15, 1991

TV's negative image of religion

It is painfully apparent that TV producers are engaged in all-out bashing of religion in their television programming. Characters identified as religious most often turn out to be fanatical, extremist, bigoted, unintelligent, certifiably insane or all the aforementioned. They just seem to be fresh out of any positive religious characters in televisionland. According to L. Brent Bozell of the Media Research Center, "Television producers, always eager to promote their political agenda, have responded with a deafening silence when asked to defend their anti-religious bias."

Yet it is well known that Americans are strongly religious. "Religious faith" came in first in Lifetime network's recent Great American TV Poll asking people to name the most important thing in their lives. Another recent national survey (conducted by the Graduate School of City University of New York) showed that over 90 percent of Americans identify with religion. So TV's negative depictions about religion are bound to be offensive to a majority of Americans.

It can be inferred that advertisers who choose to display their wares on this type of programming are deliberately thumbing their corporate noses at America's religious sensibilities. Their reasoning can only have to do with TV ratings and dollar signs, to the cynical exclusion of everything else. As for the television industry itself, it has long ago dropped so low in public respect that there are now few contenders for a lower spot. What a sad perversion of a magnificent technology!

H.J. Rizzo


Remember Tommy

in Wiley Hall's column of July 4, he forgot to mention the man who was instrumental in bringing baseball and football to Baltimore: former mayor and congressman Thomas D'Alesandro.

D'Alesandro spent his life devoted to Baltimore and served the nation.

John P. Castello


Right to know

The response of abortion rights activists to the recent Supreme Court decision upholding the "gag" rule proves their utter hypocrisy.

They argue that the gag rule infringes on a woman's right to make an "informed" decision. Prohibiting clinics funded with tax dollars from disseminating information on abortion, these activists argue, deprives poor women in particular of the information they need to make "intelligent" choices.

Unfortunately, these activists hypocritically fail to note that, in their view, a woman's right to information stops at telling her in general terms that abortion is "safe" and legal. She is not entitled, in their view, to information on the specific risks inherent in an abortion procedure or, most of all, to any information related to fetal development.

Thus, she is not entitled to know the statistics related to death or serious complications from an abortion. She is not entitled to know that her child's heartbeat begins after only three weeks of pregnancy, and that her child at 2 1/2 months into pregnancy will feel pain from the abortion procedure.

This information, the activists argue, deters a woman from exercising her "constitutional" right to abort. By their standard, how informed can a woman's choice possibly be?

Robert L. Miller


Architecture of Stephens Hall

Your correspondent, Stanley M. Pollack, recently properly corrected the misrepresentation of your reviewer that Stephens Hall on the Towson State University campus was Victorian in design. For his part, he referred to it as Jacobean and mentioned its resemblance to Blickling Hall, one of the prime examples of English Jacobean architecture, but noted it did not have the same kind of porch.

The questions of the building's architectural style is strangely complicated by the insistence of the Maryland State Normal School Building Commission in its report of 1915 that, "The buildings (constructed for the normal school) are Middle English in architecture," a statement repeated by the commission's president, J. Charles Linthicum, in his address at the dedication ceremony on Nov. 19, 1915. One can only wonder why Congressman Linthicum used that term unless it was the one employed by the architect, Douglas H. Thomas Jr., who had been killed in an automobile accident the previous June 15. The fact that Thomas had designed the administrative and academic buildings for the Homewood campus of the Johns Hopkins University and the Belvedere Hotel suggests that he was able to work with a variety of styles. And it may be possible that the Stephens Hall porch is a product of his creativity, rather than borrowed.

Herbert D. Andrews

Baltimore Someone said that those who forget history are condemned to repeat it. Can it not also be that reusing the good from history is what we need?

The Baltimore City Council is now fighting crime by putting the foot patrolman back on the beat. Until 1967, Baltimore police walked beats in all of the heavily populated areas of the city.

Baltimore Sun Articles
Please note the green-lined linked article text has been applied commercially without any involvement from our newsroom editors, reporters or any other editorial staff.