I think the article "High-tech toll takers to make area debut" (Dec. 9) stated a good idea, and I'm glad Maryland is getting this technology. I think this will reduce traffic backups. Maryland has the Chesapeake Bay with lots of bridges and tunnels to cross.
When I go to New York, it makes life a lot easier not to stop at tolls.
Higher education needs more religion
Michael Hill gives an incomplete and therefore misleading picture of the religious resources available to many university students ("Religion finds a place on secular campuses," Nov. 30).
James Burchard's recent book, "The Dying of the Light," tells how even those colleges and universities that were founded by churches have slowly reduced religion courses. So if the Johns Hopkins area has a few new spots that are hospitable to religious practice and study, it is better for it, and so are the students who might frequent them.
Most private universities and colleges have continued to offer some opportunities for a religious life on or near campus. State-supported campuses are the most arid environments for religious faith.
The University of Maryland, College Park is a good example. Despite its pretensions of international learning and culture, it offers almost no courses where a student could learn something about the other religions of the world such as Christianity, Hinduism, Islam, Buddhism and Confucianism.
In a recent catalog, only a philosophy course, "God and the Cosmos," is listed -- though not offered often -- and there is a course in Dante, in the Italian department, on the beliefs of major religions.
There is much to learn about the doctrines and history of one's own faith and the faiths held by others.
Link between abortions, contraception is not proved
In the story "Abortions increase slightly in U.S. after years of decline" (Dec. 4 ), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention implies that the decline in abortions in the United States from 1.4 million in 1990 to 1.2 million in 1995 is partly because of "changes in contraceptive practices, such as the increased use of condoms and the use of long-lasting methods such as Norplant and Depo-Provera."
If contraception really reduces abortion rates, the article fails to explain why abortions rose in many states last year, presumably along with the contraception rate.
We might also ponder the effect that promiscuity and contraception use have had on how we look at life. When we see intercourse as merely hedonistic pleasure rather than a fulfillment of perfect love and procreation in the context of marriage, we divorce the notion of life from the act of intercourse. Unexpected pregnancy becomes an evil intrusion, not a gift.
There must continue to be a growing sentiment in this country that abortion is the killing of a human being, that it is an practice that ought to be removed from any civilized society. If we are content to spend so much time, energy and money touting the benefits of condoms, might we spend just a fraction of it touting the benefits of innocent human life?