Scouts' prejudice doesn't merit support from the United Way
The news that the United Way of Central Maryland will continue to allot several hundred thousand dollars to the local council of the Boy Scouts of America was bad news to those who hate discrimination and bigotry ("United Way to continue funding local Boy Scouts," Oct. 5).
The national Boy Scout organization fought to maintain its controversial ban on gay troop leaders and religion-free youngsters all the way to the Supreme Court and won Pyrrhic victories.
As a result, many United Way organizations have pulled their funding from the Boy Scouts to protest this heartless policy.
It is certainly true that the United Way of Central Maryland does excellent work in many areas; however, anyone who opposes this decision to fund the Boy Scouts should send a message to the United Way by decreasing their contribution this year by at least 25 percent.
Robert A. Ritchie
I read with great interest The Sun's article about the United Way of Central Maryland continuing to fund the Boy Scouts despite the organization's prohibition of gay troop leaders.
Bob Myers, director of finance and marketing for the Boy Scouts in Baltimore said, "It's not an issue until somebody starts acting out or becoming an advocate for that kind of behavior."
I must say I am rather confused. By "acting out" does Mr. Myers mean caring for and sharing your life with someone you love? Or does he mean owning a home, paying taxes and participating in neighborhood activities?
Perhaps he was referring to working hard at your job and volunteering for good causes. Does acting out include forming a family and raising children?
These are the kinds of "behaviors" I, and most other gay people, engage in. I would have thought the Boy Scouts would advocate this kind of behavior themselves.
Column trivialized rights of both gays and Scouts
Patrick Boyle's column on the Boy Scouts' disputed policy against professed homosexuals leading boys on outdoor adventures trivialized both gay rights and religious liberty ("Boy Scouts and religion," Opinion
Commentary, Sept. 24).
"Leave this question," Mr. Boyle suggested, "up to the groups that sponsor packs and troops."
Not only would that deprive the Scouts of the right to establish a religious ideal, it would also subject the rights of gay Scout leaders to a group-by-group veto.
In keeping with the times, Mr. Boyle would sacrifice everybody's rights on the altar of tolerance.
Gregory L. Lewis
Vice presidential nominees outshine top of their tickets
After watching the vice presidential debate Oct. 5, I conclude that Richard Cheney and Sen. Joseph I. Lieberman seem sharper, sounder and more comfortable with themselves than the men who head their tickets.
If we could flip the tickets, I would feel more at ease when I go to the voting booth.
The vice presidential debate was a wake-up call for the American people. Former Defense Secretary Dick Cheney and Sen. Joseph I. Lieberman made us all proud that we do have very well-qualified and well-spoken gentlemen who are willing to serve their country.
It is sad that Vice President Al Gore and Texas Gov. George W. Bush are so lacking in intellect and charisma that they take a back seat to their running mates.
Another trashy gateway disfigures the city ...
I agree with Anne Mackenzie: The trash in Baltimore "colors every visitor's impression of Charm City, coming and going" ("Residents must take pride in their city," letters, Sept. 30).
In September, we moved our son into a lovely Mt. Vernon apartment from Harford County. The most direct route to his home is via Interstate 95, then Interstate 895 and ultimately onto Route 40.
As soon as you leave I-895, the trash starts to be visible and it only gets worse on Route 40 -- on the sidewalks, in the streets, in the alleys.
This entrance to Baltimore is indeed horrendous -- even on a beautiful day.
but some `trashy stories' have a happy ending
I read with great interest the myriad stories people had regarding the trash problem in Baltimore (letters, Sept. 30). As a 19-year resident of Federal Hill, I could relate to many of their complaints.
Chief among these was that people no longer feel a sense of responsibility for the care and cleaning of their own space.
This was particularly evident to me recently when the occupant of the house two doors from mine on Cross Street moved out. With total disregard for his neighbors, he left behind a mountain of trash covering the sidewalk.
At about 5 p.m. that afternoon, a city worker in a small cart stopped by and asked about the mess. After listening to what had happened, he drove off.
Now, I've had many dealings with city employees over the years and, in my experience, that would usually have been the end of the story.
Imagine my surprise when the man returned 15 minutes later, bringing with him another cart and three more men. Within 20 minutes, the area was spotless.