Holiday dilemmaI will be extremely relieved when the...

The Forum

November 23, 1994

Holiday dilemma

I will be extremely relieved when the Baltimore County School Board finally makes its decision on the "holidays in schools" issue.

I would encourage the board to adopt the task force's recommendation to ban holiday symbols from public schools.

I also have a correction for Mary Mashaud's article on the subject ("Board tackles religious holiday issue ," Nov. 11). Minorities are not the only parents at Hillcrest Elementary who would like to see Christmas celebrations out of our schools.

I am a Christian who has two children at Hillcrest. It is my job to choose how to celebrate this holy season. I believe it is the faculty's job to teach my children to read and write, do math and learn the skills necessary to function in the outside world.

Hillcrest does an outstanding job of this. As increasing part of the world is not white and Christian. However, at Hillcrest we don't have the benefit of a diverse student population. This is perhaps why our school seems to be on the forefront of this issue, although I believe that many other districts are facing the same controversy . . .

Let's not kid ourselves. This issue is not about the children, but about ourselves.

My kids don't care if they have a winter party or a Christmas party as long as there is food. If we are honest, we can all remember the humiliation of being different from the rest of the class in some way, even if it was only because of a bad haircut. My kids can give up Santa Claus in school to spare some child that feeling.

Don't feel sorry for my children, who don't get Christmas until Christmas Day. We will celebrate with all the red and green, White Christmas, stuffed stockings and new dresses.

But my children will grow up knowing and respecting those families who don't. And we are much richer for it.

Kathryn Carpenter



The color picture from Reuter on the front page of The Evening Sun for Nov. 17 struck me as a most forceful metaphor for the inability of man, with all his wonderful modern technology, to keep from reverting at times to the state of a jungle animal.

It shows what appears to be the rear view of a soldier (whose nationality is immaterial) firing a heavy cannon.

He appears to be wearing a heavy, hooded jacket, and because he is silhouetted against the terrible flames engulfing most of the background, the impression is one of the frontal view of a spraddle-legged great ape, mindlessly destroying his own world.

John C. Weiss


Out of touch

As a typical middle-class husband and father with two kids and a mortgage, I would say Texas Republican Rep. Dick Armey's tax plan is crazy.

Crazed is the only word for a tax plan that would make Americans write monthly tax checks to the government so we can "feel" the pain of costly federal programs.

Crazed is what I call a plan that eliminates "federal tax deductions on home mortgage interest payments, on state and local income tax payments, and on charitable deductions."

Regardless of the changing of the guard in Washington, why is it the middle-class consistently gets stretched on the rack?

It would be nice if the threat of being voted out of office had some effect on incumbents. But with special interest groups proliferating and infecting both parties, that threat never seems to work.

Middle-class America remains the financial play toy of our bipartisan, spendthrift goof.

One resolution may be a third party -- the Independence Party. After all, the founders of this nation were hoisted there by furious resentment over issues like taxation, lack of representation and being bullied by a government thoroughly out of touch with the majority of its people.

Benjamin Franklin knew the government would come to this 200 years ago -- but he signed anyway.

Jeffrey P. Natterman


GOP's sore loser

This is for Ellen Sauerbrey, another sore-loser Republican, and for all the Republicans and "Reagan Democrats" who voted for her: She lost fair and square, and she ought to be woman enough to accept that.

Ms. Sauerbrey received as many votes as she did because some people actually believed that she'd cut their taxes. For someone who vowed to donate her salary if she couldn't do so, she has become a joke.

Even without being in office she has already cost taxpayers $100,000 by her insistence on challenging absentee votes and the state's ability to count accurately.

Instead of saving us money as she promised, she is costing us plenty by not admitting her loss.

I never did believe that she could cut taxes. But I'm forced to pay anyway. I'm actually glad the Republicans with big-mouth promises now control the Congress, since now they must produce.

Sen. Robert Dole and Rep. Newt "Mr. Ego" Gingrich will have to put up or shut up.

As dictators, they are not really interested in what Americans want. I predict they will be shutting up in two years or less, as people see and feel their failures.

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