Cheap shot at Catholic schools I take great exception...


February 12, 2000

Cheap shot at Catholic schools

I take great exception to Neil Herrmanns comments about Catholic education in his letter on public funding for Catholic schools (". . . but offends citizens who dont support religion," Feb. 3).

Religion is not a dead subject, as the writer states, but a living part of a human being.

We dont teach dogma, but values and ethics and how to live a good life, no matter what ones beliefs.

We produce students who fight hatred and intolerance.

Our science courses are up-to-date, relevant and teach modern methods and scientific reasoning.

We present the new as well as the old, and we open our students minds to all that is available.

We are proud of what we teach and the well-rounded lives we model for our students.

I am a product of Catholic education, a parent who provided the same for her children and a teacher and administrator in the Catholic system.

I experience every day the positive contributions Catholic schools make for the children of Maryland.

Diana M. Franz, Baltimore

The writer is academic vice-principal of the Institute of Notre Dame .

In his recent letter, Neil Herrmann decries the use of public money for private schools.

He then decries the "hatred and intolerance" of Catholic doctrine.

Yet he has no trouble calling Catholicism a dead religion which teaches non-scientific absurdities.

Will we see an outcry for Mr. Herrmann to attend sensitivity training, or perhaps undergo psychiatric evaluation?

No, of course not: I forgot its open season on Catholics.

Teresa Wilkins, Millersville

The recent letter to the editor entitled " . . .. but offends citizens who dont support religion" (Feb. 3) offended at least this reader. I would take to task both The Sun and the letter writer.

The writer for his wholly gratuitous attack on Catholicism and references to it as a dead religion.

The Sun for choosing to publish such a letter, instead of one with less inflammatory content.

Allow me to agree with the writer at least in part, however.

In no way, shape, manner or form do I wish to see state, federal, or any other government money flowing into Catholic education

None of that money comes without strings. Those are strings which we can certainly do without.

Glenn E. Redding, Baltimore

While we may take exception to the notion that Roman Catholicism is a "dead religion," many Marylanders heartily support Neil Hermanns position that the state should not provide any taxpayer funding to parochial schools.

Year after year, the Archdiocese of Baltimore and the Maryland Catholic Conference are instrumental in defeating legislation before the General Assembly that would prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation.

To require lesbian and gay citizens to make even a modest tax contribution to an institution that promotes discrimination against them flies in the face of fairness -- never mind breaching the wall the separating church and state.

Gov. Parris N. Glendening has been a great champion of both education and equality.

I hope he will reconsider his plan to fund parochial schools, and rechannel the money into the public school system that so desperately needs it.

James R. Moody


Few paying heirs tax?

Until recently, The Sun has provided thorough and balanced coverage of the General Assemblys deliberations on repeal of the states inheritance tax.

But I take exception to the misleading article "State likely to repeal inheritance tax" (Feb. 1), which attempted to minimize the consequences of this tax.

If the headline proclaiming "few would benefit" from repeal of the tax is correct, then who are the thousands of people who pay the estimated $50 million a year the state collects from this tax?

The chart accompanying the article, which depicted the tax savings for $500,000 and $1 million estates, was deceptive. Using these estate classifications as examples implies that individuals who inherit sizable estates would be the largest group of beneficiaries of repealing the tax.

The truth, according to a 1995 study conducted by the Maryland Department of Fiscal Services, is that 47 percent of all Maryland estates subject to the states inheritance tax were valued at $100,000 or less, 68 percent of affected estates were worth less than $200,000 and 79 percent less than $300,000.

Only 8.8 percent of affected estates were valued between $500,000 and $1 million.

Quotes throughout the article maintain that the inheritance tax has virtually no economic impact or effect on small businesses.

If this is true, why are at least 35 leading business organizations actively working for its repeal? And why did the Maryland Department of Legislative Services, in its fiscal analysis of the inheritance tax repeal bill, specifically note that the small business effect is meaningful?

It is by no means, "a stretch to see how this [repeal] would be good for business."

The only businesses for whom repeal might not bode well are those of estate and tax attorneys and accountants.

Baltimore Sun Articles
Please note the green-lined linked article text has been applied commercially without any involvement from our newsroom editors, reporters or any other editorial staff.