Amendment allows judges to run amok
Regarding your editorial (Dec. 17) that praised the Bill of Rights and the 14th Amendment, I share not in your evaluation of the 14th Amendment as a great achievement. It has set the stage for a terrible usurpation of power by the judiciary, impacting malevolently the checks and balances set in place by our ancestors.
An amendment meant to ensure that the Civil Rights Act of 1866 (granting rights to newly emancipated citizens) was not ignored by the states has turned the concept of states' rights on its head. In Everson vs. Board of Education, Justice Hugo Black penned a phrase concerning a "high and impregnable" wall of separation between church and state. Thus was the stage set for an assault on the free exercise of religion that has, today, all but eliminated religious influence and religious speech from the public forum and government.
In Roe vs. Wade, the plaintiff presented a lie (she was not raped as she had claimed before the court, having admitted the lie after the decision) that resulted in the judicial nullification of the ordinances regulating abortion in all 50 states and our protectorates. The 14th Amendment left no avenue of appeal for those people who anguished over a new "right" to murder unborn children. In the aftermath of that case, in excess of 26 million children have been killed. Should we then laud the 14th Amendment, or should we be weeping in lamentation over the slaughter of innocents and of the blood that now stains our land?
Straying from a reasonable and scholarly search for the intent of the drafters of the 14th Amendment, it has been enlarged to the point where the Supreme Court has become, at times, a robber of liberty and a destroyer of conscience. I cannot share in your praise of the 14th Amendment it has cost us far too many lives and robbed us of too much of our freedom.
David P. Gilmore
While driving, I noticed a firehouse decorated with Christmas lights. The governor's mansion has a tree, not to mention the one in Washington, D.C. These symbols are a part of the religious tradition of Christmas.
I believe in Jesus. I do not want my tax dollar spent on this pagan custom of decorating trees, etc. I personally do not celebrate Christmas in any form or fashion.
If the government believes in the separation of church and state, why use taxpayers' money to promote this holiday?
Amiod reports of the sorry state of the economy and the lack of a skilled and educated workforce, it's frustrating to see President Bush signing laws preventing low- and middle-income families from having a chance for a brighter future. Yet that's exactly what happened when a little known provision was placed in the much needed Emergency Unemployment Compensation Act.
This legislation gets a portion of its funding by denying student loans to people without strong credit histories. It requires all applicants 21 and older to pass a credit check. If they fail, they must either find a credit-worthy co-signer or be denied a loan. Middle-income parents of dependent students must also submit a credit check.
Restricting access to student loans is not a policy this nation can afford. Among this country's many needs is a greater pool of educated, skilled workers.
Federal student loans should not be a cash cow for unemployment insurance. Sen. Paul Simon, D-Ill., realized this when he sponsored a bill to repeal this provision, which runs counter to the very intent of the Guaranteed Student Loan program. We praise Senator Simon's efforts and strongly encourage other members of Congress to step forward and help keep open the doors to educational opportunity.
The writer is president of the Maryland Association of Private Career Schools.
Since you, Marcie Handler (Forum, Dec. 17), are short-changed in your religious beliefs, you had best look close to home for religious instruction. I'm certain that getting rid of Santa Claus and Christmas trees is not going to help you, Marcie. I also suggest that you speak to the many merchants who are responsible for more Santas and trees than any government organization. Do you think the merchants will agree with me?
Because I drive past the Holocaust Memorial, my religious beliefs have not been short-changed. I'm reminded, instead, of the horror and atrocities ` the embarrassment to humanity. These transgressions occurred in my teen years.
I'm not offended by Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur, your most sacred holidays. Nor do I take a position against Hanukkah.
Your stance, Marcie, perpetuates intolerance and prejudice. Try to understand, as you wish non-Jews to understand your feelings.
A few of our churches celebrate a Seder meal during the season of Lent to illustrate the importance of Lent and to better understand the Passover season. I have attended Seders, was pleased and understood more.
Our country has been bombarded with a proliferation of religious movie epics. "The Ten Commandments," "Ben Hur," "Exodus" and "Fiddler on the Roof," to name a very few, did not compromise my religious belief. Instead, I was moved and understood more.
Santa Claus and Christmas trees are not cases of church and state, Marcie. They are cases of you and me, us and them, us and us.
The beat goes on
He gave us "Thriller," then he gave us "Bad" and now, in 1991, he gives us "Dangerous."
Is Michael Jackson telling us about the economy?