Letters To The Editor

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

April 16, 2004

Offering praise to God betrays no hypocrisy

After reading Dan Rodricks' comments suggesting that the woman who raised her arms before the showing of The Passion of the Christ was engaging in an inappropriate display of piety ("Old teachings outclass new shows of piety," April 11), I would say that she was outwardly giving praise to the Lord Jesus Christ for who He is and for what He has done for her in going through the public exhibition of scourging and crucifixion so that she could experience forgiveness of her sins.

Mr. Rodricks brings up the Scripture regarding praying in public in which Jesus tells the people not to be like the hypocrites who love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. Instead, He tells the people they should enter their closet and pray in secret; then the Father will reward them openly.

But there is another passage of Scripture that speaks of the first Palm Sunday on which Jesus rode through the streets on a colt (Luke 19: 37-40). A multitude of the disciples began to rejoice and praise God with a loud voice for all the mighty works that they had seen. Some of the Pharisees among them wanted Jesus to rebuke the disciples.

Jesus answered that if they should hold their peace, the stones would immediately cry out.

Melba Stankiwicz

Baltimore

Perhaps God chose Gibson as messenger

How does Dan Rodricks know the Holy Spirit didn't tell Mel Gibson to depict the suffering of Christ in all its realistic brutality ("Old teachings outclass new shows of piety," April 11)? Maybe God got tired of seeing his cross bejeweled, dipped in gold and otherwise prettied up.

By denouncing Mr. Gibson's claim of guidance from the Holy Spirit, Mr. Rodricks is demeaning those who know God isn't necessarily opposed to using a wealthy man for divine purposes.

Cynthia Clark

Westminster

Message doesn't alter Dwyer's successes

I read with interest a recent article describing an e-mail sent by Del. Donald H. Dwyer Jr. regarding Islam ("Lawmakers issue rebuke to Dwyer over Islam e-mail," April 8).

The article quoted members of the opposite party as describing the note as "prejudicial and hateful." The article did not bother to mention any rebuttal from Mr. Dwyer.

People may disagree with the content of the e-mail or his decision to forward it, but Mr. Dwyer's accomplishments as a legislator are not eclipsed by that single incident. Residents of Anne Arundel County are aware of his support for the victims of Tropical Storm Isabel last year. Not only that, but Mr. Dwyer recently invited former Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore to speak at the State House. Mr. Moore accepted, and his presence highlighted the very important debate regarding the role of religion and faith in government.

I am pleased that my delegate spends some of his time highlighting important constitutional issues that would otherwise never see the light of day in our modern vote-for-sale legislature.

David Ferguson

Brooklyn Park

Memo on hijackings warranted a reaction

On Tuesday night, President Bush reiterated his assertion that had he known that terrorists were planning to fly airliners into skyscrapers, he'd have moved all of government to prevent the attack ("Likening Iraq, Vietnam `false,' president says," April 14).

Of course. Wouldn't we all. But the infamous Aug. 6, 2001, briefing memo to the same president suggested that Osama bin Laden's forces might be planning airline hijackings, perhaps to hold the passengers as hostages in order to gain the release of convicted criminals.

Was not the threat of hijackings and the taking of hostages sufficient to react in some manner, perhaps by immediately tightening the control on who is able to board an aircraft?

A. Brinton Cooper III

Bel Air

Question Clinton on terror attacks

Is everyone completely brainwashed by the media? Every time I read the letters in The Sun it seems someone else is complaining about President Bush's reaction to the 9/11 commission. Has anyone stopped to think that we might be questioning the wrong person?

Mr. Bush was in office for eight months before the 9/11 tragedy; former President Bill Clinton was in office for eight years prior to that ("Ashcroft faults Clinton in 9/11 failures," April 14).

And what about the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, the bombing of U.S. embassies in Africa and the attack on the USS Cole? Those were huge breaches of American security that also cost American lives.

Why don't we look into those incidents, too?

Mary Walsh

Owings Mills

Vietnam analogy isn't so outrageous

Sen. Edward M. Kennedy has taken some flak over referring to Iraq as "George Bush's Vietnam" ("Kennedy assails Bush `credibility gap,'" April 6). It is said that such comparisons are odious, but perhaps it`s worthwhile to note that combat deaths in Vietnam totaled 392 for the first four years of our major involvement there (1961-1964). We all know the course that war later took.

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