Politicians needn't keep their faith to themselvesIn...


June 28, 1999

Politicians needn't keep their faith to themselves

In response to Michael Olesker's recent column "Politicians best leave God off their platforms" (June 22), I think what Gov. George W. Bush said to churchgoers or Elizabeth Dole said at a prayer breakfast is their business.

If Mr. Bush has recommitted his life to Christ and Ms. Dole has submitted herself to God, good for them. If Vice President Al Gore is happy that Americans have a high level of religious belief, that's his opinion. They have the right to state their beliefs.

Has separation of church and state gone so far that candidtates for president are no longer allowed to express in public a belief in religion?

Saying that you have committed your life to Christ isn't a political platform; it's a statement of belief. If Mr. Olesker can publish his beliefs about God in a newspaper, then Mr. Bush, Ms. Dole, and Mr. Gore can certainly express their faith.

Faith may be private to some, but others believe in proclaiming theirs to the world. Good for them.

Christine Walsh

Owings Mills

Commandments belong in `one nation, under God'

The House of Representatives passed an amendment last week which would give states authority to post the Ten Commandments in public buildings, including public schools ("Members of the House play a zero-sum game," June 22). As usual, the American Civil Liberties Union and others cry, "unconstitutional."

But consider the wording of the Pledge of Allegiance, which calls us, "one nation, under God." If posting the Ten Commandments is unconstitutional, isn't the pledge bogus and illegal?

If we cannot post the Ten Commandments, aren't we mocking God by printing "In God We Trust" on our currency?

All of this sends a conflicting moral message. When my children ask me what the Pledge of Allegiance means, I'd like to be able to tell them something that's not based on a lie.

Daniel Hollins


School prayers, posters won't stop the violence

All the horrendous school massacres were perpetrated by a handful of deranged youngsters. Posting the Ten Commandments in schools, or holding school prayers, are simplistic responses that won't solve the problem.

We can't cure the problem with more stringent gun laws either, but making it more difficult to acquire a gun that can spray bullets through an area in seconds would surely help.

Preventing the death or injury of one child is more important then all the guns in America.

Stanley Oring


Firearms industry should make guns safer

The gun lobby is dead wrong ("House passes weaker rules on gun shows," June 18).

When the pharmaceutical industry had trouble with people tampering with its products, it and the packaging industry solved the problem. The drug packaging is inconvenient for all of us, but it saves lives. The auto industry has used seat belts and air bags to save lives.

Yet the National Rifle Association and its supporters fight tooth and nail against safety measures for guns.

It doesn't take Einstein to figure out that mandatory locks on guns, or better yet, a system that would allow only the owner to fire it, could save hundreds or thousands of lives each year, but the gun lobby says no.

No one wants to take guns from law-abiding citizens. We just want responsible, adult action from the gun industry.

Robert Davis


`Castle Garden' hosted second-most immigrants

Gilbert Sandler's article "Locust Point history" (June 1) was wrong that Locust Point was "up until World War II, the largest point-of-entry for immigrants -- second only to Ellis Island."

Prior to the opening of Ellis Island in 1890, there was another immigrant receiving depot, Castle Garden, near New York's Battery Park, through which about 17 million immigrants passed.

George J. Svejda

Silver Spring

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