Intimate TalksJames Hannah wrote an article (Today, Jan...

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

January 25, 1995

Intimate Talks

James Hannah wrote an article (Today, Jan. 9) about the Antioch College policy requiring "consent before kissing." According to the dean of students, Marian Jensen, the policy has helped increase "applications and inquiries from students." I feel this policy pushes forward in the right direction.

Aimed at date rape, this "sexual-consent rule" will, by itself, not wipe out the crime but rather gear students to talk about intimacy, and how far they feel comfortable in sexual relations.

Verbalizing among a couple clearly establishes sexual boundaries and leaves no question in anyone's mind as to what physical and/or sexual "level" the couple can approach.

Knowing each other's limits as the relationship grows reduces the risk of someone going too far and creates respect for one another.

This policy draws complaints regarding invasion of privacy, and the reality that long-dating couples will not query one another for a peck on the cheek.

Antioch College, on the other hand, developed this plan in hopes of focusing student attention on openly discussing higher levels of intimacy and talking through emotions before taking quick action and facing severe consequences.

Students expressing their feelings will hopefully avoid date rape, and those "acting before asking" might face penalties in the future.

Expecting couples to ask one another before kissing sounds silly, but the issue of discussing sex before having it isn't such a ridiculous notion.

Neil J. Adler

Ellicott City

Editorial Baloney

Truly you must have had tongue in cheek in your editorial "Balanced Budget Baloney" (Jan. 11).

The statement "from our viewpoint, which is conservative in an old-fashioned way" tends to make me try to remember when anything that The Sun stated was conservative.

You support Sen. Paul Sarbanes and then try to tell us that you are a old-fashioned conservative? Give us a break.

Joseph H. Cutchin

Salisbury

Good vs. Evil

On Jan. 8, Mayor Kurt L. Schmoke was quoted in The Sun as saying, "Black-on-black crime continues to be a real problem in our community. We are doing more harm to ourselves than was ever contemplated during the era of segregation. We have inflicted more pain on ourselves than the Klan did during the worst periods."

Baltimore's mayor continues to beat that same old liberal Democratic Party drum that America and, I believe, Maryland just recently rejected.

Is black-on-white crime or white-on-white crime any more tolerable than black-on-black crime? I think not.

The legitimate differences in our society are not differences of race, color or creed, but are instead between good and evil.

Get with it, Mr. Mayor. Crime is a moral problem . . .

Louis H. Kohlman

Parkville

Fractured

William Pfaff wrote an interesting column (Opinion * Commentary, Jan. 16) comparing the political party structures of France and the United States.

I don't know much about French politics, but I believe Mr. Pfaff's theories on manipulative over-simplification, politico-sociological profiles and vertical institutions "missed the boat" concerning what is happening in America.

The vote on Nov. 8 wasn't a "fracture between electorate and elites." It was a fracture between the electorate and its leaders, whose policies were guilding our nation down the drain.

The voters punished their politicians for lousy leadership and, to some extent, for their permitting other forms of incompetent leadership to go unchallenged throughout our society.

After spending billions of dollars on government and education, the main reason we're better off today (where we are better off) is due to private industry overcoming the government's and educators' shortcomings.

The best to be said is that the tax money gets spent and schools are still open.

And remember all the news about religious leaders and their misconduct -- try remembering one article about an inspiring sermon or a growing congregation.

Too many people enter the fields of education, government or religion to escape the commercial arena of employment: the weak ones who find safety educating inexperienced youth, political spenders who are free from the consequences of supply and demand and religious leaders where there is always someone more fearful of life than themselves.

I'm not talking about the truly dedicated. But there are many whose fears cause them to avoid life; in their positions of trust their weakness can create havoc for those depending upon them.

They include educators who mock the capitalist idea of productivity, imparting a distaste for commercial achievement; politicians whose decisions satisfy their supporters, rather than the interests of their political division as our founders intended; and spiritual leaders who have surrendered hope of adjusting to this life, but offer guidance in worldly matters to others.

The news media bombard the public with reports about these misfits who cast shadows on their positions of trust.

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