Routine TestsTo read and hear that Sen. Paul Sarbanes had...

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

September 15, 1995

Routine Tests

To read and hear that Sen. Paul Sarbanes had his prostate cancer diagnosed early due to a "routine" blood test is a tribute to the miracles of modern medicine and research, which our government is slowly illuminating by cutting grants to carry on much needed research.

I personally wish Mr. Sarbanes a long and healthly life. I do note, however, the rather special health benefits afforded to members of Congress, and to those who can afford a private health care plan, that allows "routine" tests as part of its program.

My question is: Would the ordinary man been able to have that routine test, the ordinary woman a routine yearly mammogram, given the ever increasing growth of stringently managed health care systems, most of which do not even offer coverage for a routine physical examination?

Toby Mower

Baltimore

Religious Record

The Rev. T. M. Moore (letter, Aug. 28) calls upon all contenders in our church-state wars to tone down their rhetoric and show "more careful fidelity to the historical record."

Unfortunately, Pastor Moore's own letter is not free of extravagant claims. Particularly glaring is the boast that ''everything from our republican form of government to higher education to the abolition of slavery to penal reform and a host of lesser benefits'' was Christian-inspired.

When the Civil War helped America to cease being half-slave and half-free, Abraham Lincoln was painfully aware that both sides had prayed to the same God. Why, then, does Rev. Moore insist on giving full credit to Christian leadership for the abolition of slavery, while assigning no blame to the numerous clergy who had found biblical sanction for the abominable institution? For a long time, abolitionist clergy were at best a conspicuous minority in Christian ranks.

Similarly, at the birth of our republic, the colonial clergy were hardly unanimous in support of American independence. Many loved the mother country and wholeheartedly approved the monarch's role as ''defender of the faith.''

As for higher education, it's true that in our early years education at all levels was a church monopoly.

Jefferson, in founding the University of Virginia, fought hard to create a secular institution. He was an inveterate enemy of kings, priests and nobles ''who will rise up among us if we leave the people in ignorance.'' When he swore an oath upon the altar of God, it was directed against every form of ''tyranny over the mind of man'' -- and especially against religious establishments.

I welcome Rev. Moore's exploration of our history and heritage. But let's not coat religion with Teflon.

Stan Lichtenstein

Bethesda

Faulkner's Fate

Shannon Faulkner -- the Madeline Murray of the 1990s. All she wanted to do was create a brouhaha. She couldn't have been serious about going through The Citadel without preparation.

During the two years she was fighting her cause, she should have put her body through a strenuous fitness program. And how could she have been so naive as to think she wouldn't undergo every form of mental and physical stress?

Had she been after a for-real military education, she'd have applied to one of our service academies where women's programs have been in place for some years. But, of course, we all know she would never have been accepted with that body and mind.

I believe in equality for women in just about every way possible, but I also think there are some things that should remain sacred.

What's wrong with a little bit of exclusivity?

Alice Anderson

Ocean City

Special Moment

Everyone will remember a special moment in watching Cal Ripken pass Lou Gehrig's record and become a legend.

What I will remember about that moment has nothing to do with baseball.

I will remember watching a man, who at this finest professional hour raced to be with the people he so obviously loves, his wife and children. A man blind to cameras and screaming fans, who only wanted to be in the arms of those most dear to him. A man passing thousands of cheering fans intent on reaching the outstretched arms of his little son to hold him close.

I will remember witnessing in the middle of a public media frenzy a personal moment between four people whose eyes were only on each other while the world's eyes were on them.

That is what I will remember about the night Cal Ripken became a baseball legend.

Rhona R. Beitler-Akman

Owings Mills

Biotechnology's Faulty Premise

Cheers to Christine R. Mencken for her Opinion * Commentary piece (Aug. 20) on the UMBC Research Park. The Park's probable focus on biotechnology deserves additional comment.

As an alumnus ('87), I can see the administration's overbearing paternalism has only intensified (surprise!).

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