Wrongs done in the name of moralityIt's amazing that...

the Forum

August 28, 1991

Wrongs done in the name of morality

It's amazing that protesters become so self-righteous whenever they feel they have a moral cause. I've been following the activities of Operation Rescue and cannot believe Michael McMonagle's statement that his people were taking a risk when they climbed the fence of another person's property. Where do these people get the idea that they have the right to break the law just because they perceive themselves as our moral standard bearers?

As far as there being no violence, I would call kicking police

officers just that. Terrorizing women at abortion clinics and trying to force entry into these clinics is not only illegal, it's immoral. As a woman, I find it insulting that people with this kind of disregard for the law and rights of others think they can dictate to me what to do with my own body.

McMonagle beats his breast about the unborn but shows little consideration for those already here. He justifies his group's actions by saying they are for the good of the babies, but he ignores the needs of women and places himself above the law.

I have seen enough abused and unwanted children to last a lifetime, and I always wonder what these anti-abortionists really want. They talk about the quality of life but offer no answers about how these babies will survive once the mother is forced to have them. They talk about killing babies but forget how many die or wind up beaten, crippled or destroyed emotionally by parents incapable of caring for them.

Abortion should not be the only answer; birth control, along with education and more parental awareness, are needed. But if it comes down to whether to have an abortion, I don't believe it's up to Michael McMonagle to call the shots. It's very sad that in America, where freedom of choice is supposed to be one of our greatest assets, people like McMonagle can force their views on others. McMonagle is just another hypocrite trying to ride the crest of the abortion issue for his own publicity and self-satisfaction.

Georgette Shay


Black Madonnas

I found Wiley Hall's column of Aug. 15 interesting, but somewhat lacking in important factual content.

Father Sylvester Peterka is quoted as saying, "Unfortunately, the church has made God so Eurocentric that all of the images are Eurocentric . . ."

This is not true, although it is a pervasive belief. I recently relocated to Baltimore from Miami, Fla. A very popular Madonna among Hispanic Catholics is black. Her title is "Nuestra Senora del Regla" or "Our Lady of Regla." Regla is an outlying section of Havana. I own a statue of her.

Surely Father Peterka is aware of the Patronress of the Americas, Our Lady of Guadalupe (Mexico). She is certainly not Euocentric, as she resembles a young, dark-complected native America, and she spoke in a native American dialect.

Poland's most celebrated shrine to the Blessed Virgin is Our Lady of Czestochowa. She is also black.

There are at least two books published on the Black Virgin, probably more since she has appeared in many places across the Earth. These black Madonnas are fully supported by Rome.

Some of the black images have been traced back to the most ancient deity forms known to the human race - to Africa. This gives a new dimension to the term "Mother Africa."

Looking around Baltimore and hearing of the Afrocentric school curriculum, I have wondered, where are black images?

Now I am glad to hear that artist Agnes Pulliam has brought Our Lady of Baltimore to a local church.

Jeffrey Allen


GOP slighted

Even though the mayoral election will not be held until November, the local media appear to have already narrowed down the winner to one of three individuals: the incumbent mayor, Kurt Schmoke, and his two Democratic opponents, William Swisher and Clarence "Du" Burns.

While I realize the majority of Baltimoreans are Democrats, I am distraught that the press has focused only on those candidates who seem most likely to be elected. I believe the Republican candidates have been neglected. In fact, little has been said of the other Democratic candidates, either. It would serve the voters well to know there are other choices for mayor, candidates who may present better ideas than the well-known candidates.

It is the duty of the press to give the public every opportunity to explore these alternatives.

David Shaw


Fairness at work

It was at a public meeting of African-American community leaders with County Executive Roger Hayden last February that the question of part-time county employees and their compensation was raised.

We know Baltimore County government is in a budgetary squeeze and that the workers are fortunate to have a job in this period of high unemployment. But the county's problem is gender and racially skewed patterns of employment.

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