As a retired energy-environmental engineer, I find the June 26 news article "EPA's new clean air rule allows more pollutants" rather alarming.
It is my opinion that the Clean Air Act, which was passed by the Congress and signed into law by President Bush, is the law of the land. To avoid this law by any means, by any citizen or corporate entity, is a violation of the law and should carry severe penalties to all involved.
Ernest M. Stolberg
Perot's Game Plan
Call me naive and crazy but I'm less concerned about H. Ross Perot's lack of specificity than I am about Gov. Bill Clinton's overt specificity.
Successful businessmen the world over, like H. Ross Perot, understand that a successful game plan must outline the general goals but be flexible enough to succeed over obstacles. To bend, rather than break.
It's the same in business and politics. Unlike Clinton, who is producing complicated, brittle, inflexible game plans, Perot is saying simple things.
Does this mean he is saying stupid things? Hardly. If we should have learned anything from the last 30 years, it is that complicated and obtuse do not equal "workable."
Our nation's problems have come, mostly, from a lack of plain speaking. We grind up more time endlessly debating and dissipating our energy and resources rather than applying simple, common-sense values and good deeds.
We have been led down the path by those who would have us believe nothing can be so simple. They have told us a lie, these political action committees, these special interest groups, these Democrats and Republicans, to enhance their own ends.
Douglas B. Hermann
Jesus Had No Gender
Garry Wills' June 23 column, "Life and Death in the Catholic Church," calls our attention to the fact that Roman Catholic bishops, meeting at the University of Notre Dame, have not been able to come to agreement on a pastoral letter concerning the role of women in the church.
Wills ably points out the historical reasons for the emergence of an all-male celibate priesthood already in the 5th century (the church was heeding popular demand for an ascetic and celibate priesthood). Yet there are even more pressing theological reasons for coming to the same conclusion as Wills: the church should abandon its restriction on women being ordained to the priesthood.
In earlier drafts of the proposed letter, the bishops have stressed that Christ is the model for the priesthood and, like it or not, Christ was male. But to argue that the importance of Jesus Christ lies in his male gender identity denies the more central doctrine of the resurrection.
It is the resurrection which has always been the main focus of Christian identity, not simply in terms of a pie-in-the-sky or a hoped for afterlife but for ethical and religious conduct here on earth.
To focus only on the maleness of Jesus, and hence a male priesthood, is to revive an ancient Christian heresy -- that Christ was merely human and not divine. As divine, the resurrected Christ himself overcomes the limitations of gender and summons all Christians, male and female, unto himself.
In their proposed pastoral letter the bishops are attempting to do just what the gospels condemn: to decry the sin of sexism while practicing it themselves. What they have so far failed to understand is that there is no good theological reason for such hypocrisy.
The writer is an assistant professor of theology at Loyola College in Baltimore.
Timoria McQueen is an excellent, very readable essayist, and XTC The Sun is to be complimented for publishing her important essay "Ass-U-Me" (June 23). I have clipped it, and will make continuing reference to it as a reminder of what well might be the key flaw in our makeup.
Gay Pride Day
I was surprised and not a little distressed to discover in the June 15 issue of The Sun no mention of Baltimore's Gay & Lesbian Pride Day celebration that took place the previous day.
That Sunday's event began with a parade along Maryland Avenue and culminated with a festival in the Wyman Park Dell that was attended by close to 10,000 people. The day was honored by a proclamation of the mayor and the participating of several city officials, City Council President Mary Pat Clarke, and thousands of dollars were raised in support of a variety of causes, from medical clinics to sports groups to religious organizations.
Pride Day, celebrated in June throughout the country by gay people and their friends, commemorates the 1969 Stonewall riots in New York that inaugurated the modern movement for equal civil rights for gays and lesbians.
But sad to say, after nearly a quarter of a century of struggle, we still have far to go before gays are accepted as full-fledged members of this society.