Letters To The Editor

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

May 01, 2008

Rejection of Wright comes way too late

Sorry, but I don't buy the thesis of The Sun's editorial "Rejecting hate" (April 30) that "we believe the candidate when he says with some emotion that his goal is to bring Americans together, not divide them, as Pastor Wright's rhetoric would."

The Rev. Jeremiah A. Wright Jr. was Sen. Barack Obama's minister for 20 years, a person Mr. Obama has described as "a sounding board for me to make sure that I am speaking as truthfully about what I believe as possible" and someone who he could "no more disown ... than I can disown the black community."

Pastor Wright was correct when he said, about Mr. Obama, "He's a politician, I'm a pastor. We speak to two different audiences. And he says what he has to say as a politician. I say what I have to say as a pastor. ... I do what I do. He does what politicians do."

Mr. Obama is doing what politicians do, which is pandering to what they think the voters, and The Sun's editorial board, want to hear.

Is this change? Hardly.

Twenty years of keeping Pastor Wright as his pastor and spiritual adviser speaks much louder than Mr. Obama's recent denunciations of the man.

Douglas Dribben, Woodstock

At long last, Sen. Barack Obama distances himself from a 20-year relationship with his hate-mongering pastor, whom he has referred to as "family," and The Sun would have us believe that this is not a matter of political aggrandizement.

The Rev. Jeremiah A. Wright Jr. is wrong about many things. But his assertion that Mr. Obama is saying what is necessary for political purposes is exactly right.

Jerrold L. Brotman, Timonium

So, Sen. Barack Obama spent a decade or two listening to the Rev. Jeremiah A. Wright Jr.'s racist rants and conspiracy theories, but apparently never gave an "amen."

I couldn't help but recall President Bill Clinton explaining that he had tried pot but never inhaled.

However, I applaud Mr. Obama's belated condemnation of Pastor Wright's musings. That is change for the better.

Philip M. Wright, Elkridge

It's quite ironic that the Rev Jeremiah A. Wright Jr. wrongfully used the adage "chickens coming home to roost" regarding the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

Now we find that Sen. Barack Obama sat through 20 years of race-bating, U.S.-hating, false accusations by the Rev. Jeremiah A. Wright Jr. as he began his political career.

Mr. Obama either agreed with what he heard in those 20 years of poisonous messages or he bit his tongue and kept silent for political reasons.

His tacit approval of Pastor Wright's vitriol is now indeed "chickens coming home to roost" for Mr. Obama, as Pastor Wright's rantings are being made public.

It's not enough now for Mr. Obama to say that he didn't agree with Pastor Wright's poison without answering the question of why he stayed in a church 20 years when such hateful speech was going on.

There is a price to pay when you compromise your principles.

James R. Cook, Joppa

I just cannot understand why on Tuesday the article "4 U.S. soldiers killed in Baghdad" (April 29) didn't get front-page treatment but "Wright media blitz could hurt Obama" (April 29) did.

I agree that the latter article is news worth reporting. But the media help determine the significance of a story by its treatment and positioning.

Was it responsible to accord the Rev. Jeremiah A. Wright Jr. story more prominence than the one informing us that the heartbreaking price we are paying in Iraq continues?

Mary Beacom Bowers, Baltimore

Medical privacy still isn't protected

The Sun's article on the Senate's vote to bar discrimination based on the results of genetic testing ("Measure would bar use of information by insurers, employers," April 25) failed to address the key problem with personal medical information in America: Why do insurers, employers and others have access to the data in the first place?

A person's genetic test results, and all of his or her medical data, should not be available to anyone without the patient's consent.

One's employer should not even know he or she has had testing done, let alone know the results.

The sad fact is that the regulations under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, which were intended to extend patient privacy as we moved from a paper-based system of medical records to a digital system, are a sham.

HIPAA allows the routine release of personal health information without patient consent or knowledge, and even over a patient's objection.

If our data were kept private in the first place (in accordance with the centuries-old traditions of medical ethics), Congress would not need to pass a law to bar discrimination based on the results of genetic testing.

Janis G. Chester, Bethesda

The writer is president of the American Association of Practicing Psychiatrists.

Report invaded Schaefer's privacy

I was saddened and angered by the article in Saturday's paper by Laura Vozzella about former Gov. Donald Schaefer's forced move to the Charlestown Retirement Community ("Schaefer moves, reluctantly," April 26).

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