November 14, 2008

Bishops cross the line with political intrusion

Regarding the article "Bishops pledge to press Obama on abortion stance" (Nov. 12), the Catholic bishops lost their moral credibility years ago because of their criminal deceit and cover-up of the Catholic clergy sex scandal. Their behavior enabled sexual perverts within the clergy to prey upon innocent young children.

During the presidential campaign, Catholic bishops contributed to spreading a divisive atmosphere in our nation around the candidacy of Sens. Barack Obama and Joe Biden. The bishop of the Scranton, Pa., Diocese has openly suggested that Mr. Biden should be prevented from receiving Holy Communion.

I would prefer to see the bishops work toward establishing programs to help women and children out of poverty, thereby offering viable alternatives to abortion. Too many children today are living below the poverty level in substandard homes without a father. Why not work and pray to give those children alive today the same protections as the unborn?

Instead of working and praying to unite our country, the Catholic bishops are only interested in spreading their religious agenda. This is un-American. What happened to separation of church and state?

Stephanie Arthur Town, Landenberg, Pa.

Regarding "Bishops pledge to press Obama on abortion stance" (Nov. 12), it seems to me that the Catholic Church is crossing the bounds of separation of church and state when it involves itself in politics. If it wants to pursue its ideology, that is fine. It is, after all, a free country. However, when it crosses the line between church and state, it needs to forgo its tax-exempt status. You can't have it both ways.

Arlene Gordon, Baltimore

Irresponsible report on cause of autism

With winter fast approaching, and accordingly fewer hours of outside playtime for Baltimore's youths, "Children in rainy areas may develop disorder" (You and Your Health, Nov. 10) carried a dangerous message to its readers. After implicating everything from "wet weather" to TV and video watching to vitamin D deficiencies as potential causes of autism, it is proposed that our children are unprotected against exposure to an insidious catalyst for the disorder, rooted either in a toxic indoor environment or a shortage of some mysterious salutary outdoor agent.

Given the current scientific understanding of autism, this message is cursory, and communicating it in this manner is irresponsible.

Autism is one condition in a wide spectrum of related developmental disorders. Although the cause of autism is unknown and highly debated within the scientific community, it is thought to be the result of complex interactions between a variety of genetic, neurological and environmental factors.

With so many questions left to answer in the study of autism, propagating superficial messages concerning its cause does not do justice to the body of research investigating the condition, or correctly represent current knowledge of the disorder.

More important, such messages may plant the seeds of unnecessary worry in the minds of parents across the city.

Jenna Riis, Baltimore

Install barrier to make Bel Air Bypass safer

After the tragic head-on collision Friday on the Bel Air Bypass ("2 die, 4 hurt in rush-hour crash on Bel Air Bypass," Nov. 8), I think we need to ask our highway planners: Why doesn't this obviously dangerous section of highway have a Jersey wall to physically separate oncoming traffic?

This would be an inexpensive and effective fix. During rush hour, this section of the road between Route 24 and Rock Spring Road feels a little bit like playing Russian roulette. Let's fix it before another life is needlessly lost.

James Horchner, Pylesville

Market, not conspiracy, explains gas prices' fall

During the summer months, when gas prices were on the rise, we were told by many on the left that these increases were solely due to President Bush's being in the hip pocket of Big Oil. People who understood the forces of the market on gas prices tried to explain, but to no avail.

Now the price of gas is falling. I guess we should assume that President Bush and Big Oil decided they had made enough money.

Kenneth Gingery, Millsboro, Del.

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