Letters To The Editor

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

December 08, 2004

Ignoring Bible isn't mainstream for Christians

The United Church of Christ is not "a pretty mainstream American institution," as The Sun suggested ("A chill wind," editorial, Dec. 3). It occupies a far-left position on the spectrum of Christian belief and practice -- not because it admits all comers, but because of what the members say and do once inside the church.

The Bible flat-out declares that homosexual behavior is sinful. Agree with it or not, but that's what it says.

Nevertheless, the United Church of Christ is known for promoting self-avowed (read: unrepentant) homosexuals to positions of leadership, and advocating their cause.

Disregarding the Bible's teaching in this area might be "tolerant," according to the contemporary definition, but it's hardly a "mainstream" position in Christian circles.

Glenn Hoge

Ellicott City

Networks chill voices of inclusion

Thank you for your editorial, "A chill wind" (Dec. 3). It's refreshing to see a media outlet publicly air the issues of censorship and discrimination.

It is chilling that both CBS and NBC refuse to air this message of inclusion. At a time when the nation should be healing from a divisive election, networks should embrace such messages.

The response from CBS referring to the Bush administration's support of the federal marriage amendment is an absurd excuse for censorship.

Our constitutional guarantee of free speech is withering away.

Aimee Darrow

Baltimore

The Sun's editorial "A chill wind" was aptly titled.

It's scary, indeed, when networks are intimidated into not showing a church ad embracing those who are "different."

Velva Grebe

Towson

Gays as welcome as other sinners

The Sun's editorial "A chill wind" (Dec. 3) does not address the fact that the television ad promoted by the United Church of Christ is insulting to those of us who belong to other Christian churches because it implies that we exclude people from attending. This is not true.

No Christian church excludes anyone from attending. All are welcome, although many do exclude nonbelievers from becoming members.

The problem, however, is with ordination to church offices, because all churches, including the United Church of Christ, have requirements for ordination because it places people in positions of responsibility within the church.

Churches do ordain sinners (we are all sinners) but will not ordain anyone who openly advocates sinful behavior -- no matter what the sin is.

The Bible calls homosexual behavior an abomination, and we call it a sin. Therefore, we do not ordain anyone who openly advocates homosexual behavior.

But homosexuals are welcome in the church, just as the rest of us sinners are welcome.

Jim Kniss

Aberdeen

Using Bible to seize the rights of others

It would appear that discrimination against homosexuals is the last politically correct form of discrimination ("A chill wind," editorial, Dec. 3).

This is America, the shining example of freedom and liberty. Yet it seems we have to have someone to hate and denigrate, and sadly, the Bible is used to usurp the guarantees of the U.S. Constitution to U.S. citizens.

It is because the Bible is used in this manner by so many religious groups in this country that the separation of church and state is critical to maintain a democratic society.

In a democracy, your rights extend only as far as my rights.

And you should not use your right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness to trample my right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

Mary P. Remington

Cockeysville

Crackdown on drug that kills very few

State laws that allow marijuana to be used for medical purposes should be overturned, White House lawyers argued before the Supreme Court ("Justices skeptical over patients' use," Nov. 30). This provides a revealing glimpse at the administration's values and priorities.

Marijuana kills few, if any, users, and may be effective in relieving pain and other distress, as many victims of disease contend. Cigarettes kill about 440,000 Americans a year.

Yet the administration takes a hard line against pot and other illegal drugs but has opposed measures that could have sharply reduced tobacco use. And it should be noted that Big Tobacco is one of the Republican Party's biggest financial supporters.

Mort Paulson

Silver Spring

Pushing patients to use drug dealers?

If health outcomes instead of cultural norms determined drug laws, marijuana would be legal ("From the ground up," editorial, Dec. 1).

Unlike alcohol, marijuana has never been shown to cause an overdose death, nor does it share the addictive properties of tobacco. Marijuana can be harmful if it is abused, but jail cells are inappropriate as health interventions and ineffective as deterrents.

By raiding voter-approved medical marijuana providers in California, the same Drug Enforcement Administration that claims illicit drug use funds terrorism is forcing cancer and AIDS patients into the hands of street dealers.

Apparently, marijuana prohibition is more important than protecting the country from terrorism.

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