Letters To The Editor

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

September 04, 2005

Pope continues outreach effort to other faiths

The Sun's editorial "Papal outreach" (Aug. 26) made some valuable points about Pope Benedict XVI's approach to Judaism and Islam.

However, in pointing out what the pope should have said during his recent visit to Germany for World Youth Day, the writer did not seem to realize that Pope Benedict had already spoken to these issues on a very public stage.

Poverty, globalization, racism and other issues "that have alienated many Muslims and provoked a hatred for the West" have been tackled by Pope Benedict and his representative at the United Nations.

Notably, the pope specifically pointed out in his address to Muslims living in Germany his concerns over terrorism and the evil it causes.

It is significant also that the pope, in Cologne, met also with the principal leaders of the Christian churches in that country.

And he noted that "we can rejoice in the fact that ecumenical dialogue, with the passage of time, has brought about a renewed sense of fraternity and has created a more open and trusting climate between Christians belonging to the various churches and ecclesial communities."

Clearly, Pope Benedict intends to continue to reach out, as Pope John Paul II did before him, to all people of good will everywhere.

Cardinal William H. Keeler

Baltimore

The writer is archbishop of the Diocese of Baltimore.

Where is the U.N. when we need help?

For months, Democrats bemoaned President Bush's efforts to nominate an ambassador to the United Nations, one who might rein in the corrupt, anti-American bias of the organization.

They fought tooth and nail, claiming that John R. Bolton was not the right man to be our U.N. ambassador. Their rhetoric would seem to suggest that the United Nations does not need fixing.

Now, the United States is facing possibly the worst natural disaster in its history ("Desperation in New Orleans," Sept. 1). And where is the United Nations?

Is Secretary-General Kofi Annan urging U.N. members to send aid, food, support and money to the United States to help with this disaster?

He has expressed sympathy for victims of Hurricane Katrina. But not one word about aid from the United Nations.

Meanwhile, the United States is expected to continue providing the lion's share of financial support, security and hospitality to the United Nations.

We are expected to save the rest of the world, while our disasters go unnoticed by many others.

One must surely agree with Democrats that the United Nations does not need to be fixed. It needs to be abolished.

Tony Ondrusek

Hunt Valley

Wasting gas adds fuel to killer hurricanes

The horror of Hurricane Katrina has dominated the news for days ("Desperation in New Orleans," Sept. 1). We've been emotionally torn apart by hearing and reading about the suffering, death and disaster of this monster storm.

What we haven't heard or discussed is the part played by human beings in contributing to this disaster.

Yes, we have hurricanes. We always have had them, and always will. But lately these storms seem to be getting stronger and more damaging to life and property.

Hasn't anyone connected global warming to these killer storms?

As the seas heat up (and they are definitely warming), this high heat energy contributes to the ferocity of storms at this time of year.

As we continue to use fossil fuels in the wasteful manner we do, we contribute to the warming and demise of our planet.

It's time for our politicians to show some leadership and help us see what's happening.

If we don't wake up soon, we'll soon wake up dead.

Jeannette Marx

Towson

Photo ID valid way to stop voter fraud

The editorial "Eyes on Snellville's prize" (Aug. 30) complains about the government-issued photo ID requirement in Georgia's new elections law to prevent voter fraud.

According to The Sun, this law is a return "to a form of poll tax on its populace."

But if it is proper to require government-issued photo ID to board an airplane in the United States, why is it wrong to require one to vote?

Ronald Wirsing

Havre de Grace

Echoes of U.S. past drowned out by woes

Concerning the drafting of a constitution, Michael Hill's comments that "Iraq's struggles echo U.S. past" (Aug. 28) draw some sound comparisons between America in 1787 and Iraq in 2005, but omit several basic differences.

Unlike the American experience, Iraq's dictatorship was overthrown by a foreign power (which still occupies the country); Iraq has a continuing and increasingly active insurgency; against the military and civilian populations; and Iraq has three dissimilar constituencies - the Shiites, Sunnis and Kurds - with a long history of religious and ethnic conflict.

Anyone looking at these differences realistically could hardly feel hopeful or optimistic. Yet a recent Sun headline noted that "Bush remains upbeat on Iraq" (Aug. 28).

Sadly, history is not on his side.

Stanley C. Gabor

Baltimore

Iraq constitution isn't worth dying for

What are we creating in Iraq?

We've militarily brought down a secular government that was no threat to America. And now the constitution drafted mainly by the Shiites and Kurds may create almost a mirror image of Iran's theocracy with a heavy emphasis on Islamic law ("Iraqi groups mount campaign over charter," Aug. 30).

It would also greatly diminish the role of women in public and private life.

This doesn't look or feel like any democracy that's worth dying for.

David Bavaria

Granite

Mother has earned the right to protest

I don't know for sure if what Cindy Sheehan is doing is right ("They share only grief," Aug. 28). I don't know for sure if what Mrs. Sheehan is saying is right. I am sure she has earned the right to do what she is doing and say what she is saying.

It's too bad she's being personally attacked for doing and saying what she believes. Of course she doesn't speak for every mother or every citizen. But who does?

Let's leave the woman alone. She's suffered enough for two lifetimes.

Jeff Sattler

Baltimore

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