Letters To The Editor


November 30, 2006

An insult to service of our armed forces

I pity Gordon Livingston for failing to appreciate his countrymen who serve in the armed forces ("U.S. soldiers mired in Iraq strive for survival, not heroism," Opinion * Commentary, Nov. 26).

We do not serve to satisfy Mr. Livingston's political whims, or our own, but for our country - regardless of who sits in the White House.

I do not serve because I couldn't get a job or get into college or because I wanted to live my later years on the government dole. Nor do I want a standing ovation on the "Oprah Winfrey Show."

And "getting blown up" is hardly "unlucky," as Mr. Livingston puts it, but tragic. Just ask the "unlucky" service members and their families.

Finally, being from the southern United States, I must have misunderstood Mr. Livingston's statement about the U.S. Army looking "like the student body of a Southern community college" and not "being representative of the whole society"?

I think our military represents the best of our society.

And Mr. Livingston's statement sounds like he stole a page from Sen. John F. Kerry's stand-up routine.

James Billingsley


The writer serves in the U.S. Navy.

Evangelicals ignore themes of justice

Kathleen Parker's column "Evangelicals fought the good fight against slavery - and they still do" (Opinion * Commentary, Nov. 24) made some good points.

It is good to be reminded of the work of William Wilberforce in his efforts to wipe out slavery in the British Empire.

It is good to know that there are Christians who are working to eradicate slavery in our own time. It is good to know that movies will be coming out to widen awareness of this fact.

It is, however, an appalling mistake to suggest that modern "evangelicals" are somehow in the line of Wilberforce and his social gospel.

Rather, they are in the line of the Southern Baptists and others who supported slavery prior to the Civil War, maintained segregation and fought the civil rights movement.

The record of these Christians is a disgraceful splotch on the pages of Christian history; it cannot be eradicated by sporadic efforts to eliminate modern slavery.

I occasionally watch the big television shows of some of the conservative churches, which call themselves "evangelical."

If they have a social gospel emphasis and if they are speaking out against worldwide slavery, it must be happening when I am not listening.

For the most part, these churches are so concerned with private sins that they cannot be concerned with the great biblical themes of justice.

Bob Dorr


The writer is a retired Baptist minister and the former pastor of Seventh Baptist Church in Baltimore.

Tanning can boost level of vitamin D

I read The Sun's article "Less sun, more sneezing" (Nov. 26) with great interest. The vitamin D deficiency epidemic is finally receiving the media attention it deserves.

Unfortunately, The Sun's article ignored the elephant in the parlor. Moderate exposure to ultraviolet B rays in a tanning bed naturally produces all the healthy vitamin D a body can use in a controlled sanitary environment.

Studies prove that vitamin D produced naturally from UV light exposure is better for humans than supplements.

The health benefits of moderate exposure to UV light in a tanning bed far outweigh any possible health risks.

The healthy appearance that comes with a tan is an added bonus.

Jim Wint


The writer owns a tanning salon.

Fancy new device reveals rear view

The writer of one of the letters titled "Back-in parking will create real mess" (Nov. 28) yearns for the day when science will devise a way to let drivers see what's behind them.

It already has.

It's called a rear-view mirror.

Jim Jagielski

Forest Hill

Where's the outrage on slurs to women?

There has been an outpouring of outrage, and rightly so, at Michael Richards' racist rant at a comedy club last week ("Richards tells Jackson anger fueled tirade," Nov. 27).

His hurling of offensive epithets to silence rude hecklers has prompted folks across the country to demand sensitivity training, to use this incident as an opportunity to look at the racism that lies so close to the surface in so many and the effects this has on its victims.

And yet, there are billion dollar industries that are based on the denigration and abuse of women - for example, prostitution and pornography are big businesses across the globe. And there is music filled with references to "bitches" and "whores" and far worse which celebrates acts of violence against women, and comedy channels where we are encouraged to laugh uproariously at ugly female stereotypes.

So when is someone going to demand that we look at how this is connected to little girls being lined up and massacred in an Amish schoolhouse? Or at the epidemic of domestic violence in this country?

Or the struggle women everywhere face to be seen as equal and be treated with dignity?

I'm not holding my breath.

Louise A. Machen


Care in community for all the disabled

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