Bring evil out into the lightA nation scrambles to fathom...

the Forum

June 22, 1994

Bring evil out into the light

A nation scrambles to fathom an evil that has penetrated our very souls.

A young mother and companion are slain. A father, beloved to us all, finds his life in a shambles.

But most tragic of all, two young children will have to struggle all their lives to overcome events that they were helpless to affect. Once again, an American family is destroyed. This is the real tragedy.

I hope some good can come from this evil. As a society, we have been in denial of the pervasiveness of domestic violence -- either verbal or physical.

How much violence erupts within the sacred walls of our homes every day that we do not know about? Can we find ways to be victorious over evil?

It was hard for me to watch the events unfold before our eyes on national TV last Friday night and realize this was not a movie.

To what extent does our fascination with violence on TV and in movies draw that evil toward us -- even if we in our right minds would not participate in such evil?

As a pastoral minister, I am very much aware -- even in my own life -- how rage can well up from within us. Each of us has a dark side that we are responsible for taming, controlling and balancing.

If we refuse to take inventory of the evil each of us is capable of, this story about our fallen hero can repeat itself again and again. Taming the dark side, that is, bringing the evil within each of us out into the light so it can be dealt with, is the agenda of our spiritual growth, whether or not we adhere to any creed.

I have been brought by these tragic events to do some soul-searching once again.

As a nation, I believe that we need to be cleansed from the violence that is within each of us, cleansed of our fascination with violence; and it is also clear to me that those among us who say there is no evil within them are the ones who embody the most evil.

And so I hope that some real good can come from this terrible evil. I hope that domestic violence everywhere can be curtailed. I hope this tragic story will help to prevent other tragic stories.

The hearts of many of us are filled with compassion for the victims, for the children, and for O. J. Simpson. Perhaps the people of our nation can find a way to heal their hearts -- in life and in death -- and heal our own hearts in the process.

Bob Traupman


Disability aid

I am responding to the letter in the Forum June 14 from Shirley Chater, the commissioner of the Social Security Administration.

While agreeing with Ms. Chater on a lot of what she says, there is one big disagreement.

Social Security provides disability insurance for those no longer able to work -- what a joke! It is almost impossible to get disability through Social Security, and if you are lucky enough to get it, it could take three or more years.

By the time some are approved for disability they have already passed away or lost their home, yet most of them have paid the maximum into Social Security for 35 to 40 years.

Social Security can find the money for big salaries, a $10,000 bonus for an employee who has only worked there for 2 1/2 months, millions for drug addicts who have never paid a penny into the Social Security plan, under the Supplemental Security Income program, but it can't find the money for the many who have worked all their lives and are all at once no longer able to work.

This is one of the biggest rip-offs in our country today. Social Security should be used for those who have worked and paid into it, and it should be made to cover those who need it desperately, and at the time when they need it most.

B. L. Thompson


Yes -- Virginia

There is only one answer to those of us who questioned the prospect of a Sen. Oliver North. Yes, Santa Claus, there is a Virginia.

Christian Blom


Courteous officer

On a recent visit to the Baltimore Harbor, we wanted to go to a restaurant for dinner.

On a Saturday night it is almost impossible to find a parking space downtown.

My mother walks with a cane and carries a handicap placard. I stopped a police officer to ask if there were any parking lots in the area, close to the restaurant.

I told him that my mother could not walk far, but I did not mind leaving her near the restaurant with the other passengers and then finding a parking lot.

All of the restaurants were so crowded that we did not know where we were going to eat.

The officer escorted us to a parking lot where there is ample handicap parking, centrally located near many restaurants. This parking is also free.

The officer was not only courteous, but very sympathetic to our needs. We were a group of women who had just spent three hours driving to visit an elderly relative in a nursing home and just wanted to stop for dinner on the way home.

It is not very often in large cities that you get this kind of attention. People only tell you about the bad experiences they DTC have when visiting cities and, on behalf of my family, I want to express my sincere gratitude to that police officer.

Janet F. Wilkes

King of Prussia, Pa.

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