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letters to the editor 7/30/00

July 28, 2000

Letters to the Editor 7/30



Christians' rights in no real danger



To the editor:

I'd like to respond to the letter in the July 14 edition by Susan Lopez captioned "Let God in." She says she was told the reason God is "not welcome" in public areas is that it would offend some people. She was told wrong. Government and other publicly funded institutions are not allowed to endorse any religion. Posting the Ten Commandments on a courthouse wall would be no more appropriate than a plaque with the words "There is no God but Allah, and Mohammad is his prophet."

All citizens, regardless of their religion (or lack thereof) pay taxes, send their children to school, and expect justice in courts. To see an endorsement of a religion to which they don't belong posted in a public facility says, "You don't belong here."

Lopez says that Christians are becoming "second class citizens." How so? By not being allowed to lead other people's children in prayer? By not giving Protestant versions of Christianity the government seal of approval? By not being allowed to censor books, movies, or school curricula according to their beliefs? By not being allowed to use tax dollars to send their kids to religious schools? Would she mind if government vouchers sent kids to schools run by the Nation of Islam? Or Hindus? Or pagans? Could happen.

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She wonders what happened to "freedom of speech." The ACLU is defending it every day, and they defend Christians too. They took the case of a man who was denied unemployment benefits because he would not take a job that required working on Sunday (They won). Usually, a Christian's rights are in no danger in this country. But those rights do not extend to imposing their beliefs on everybody else.

Robin Ward

Hagerstown

Cheaper fuels: Only the educated can formulate them



To the editor:

On July 9, you printed a letter by Harold E. Winn decrying the cost of fuel, especially oil products.

Winn's solution to the problem is that "we can eliminate the need for all petroleum products" and "they can develop a fuel that can be made out of renewable products." Unfortunately he does not name "we" or "they."

I suggest that Winn give up on "we" and "they" because, as he states, they are "stonewalling." Rather, I suggest that he enroll in H.C.C. for two years of chemistry and one year each of physics, thermodynamics and machine design. Thus armed, he can bypass the stonewall and be on his way to fame and fortune.

Robert P. Molten

Hagerstown

Allergic? Beware



To the editor:

I am writing in the hope that this letter will save someone from the unpleasantness of the experience I had recently. On Saturday, June 18, my family and I went to a local restaurant for an early Father's Day celebration.

The meal was rather good and the desert bar looked great. Although I have always had allergies to peanuts, my guard was down that day as I began to enjoy delicious piece of chocolate cake.

There were no apparent nuts and the white icing appeared innocent enough.

Just one bite was all it took though to cause the anaphylactic reaction to begin. Fortunately a family member warned me not to eat any more of the cake because it had a distinct taste of peanuts. But that one small bite was enough to ruin the evening.

The rest of the night was a struggle with nausea, swelling of the soft membranes in the throat and a rash.

I am one of the lucky ones. Nut allergies for some people are much more devastating. The really frustrating aspect of the whole event was determining just what was in the cake that caused the reaction.

The person who prepared the cake was honest and open they had not put nuts into the cake or icing. Hmm. but upon close reflection may have used peanut oil in the mix for the cooking oil ingredient.

Strange as it may seem the oil of nuts can be just as deadly to those with nut allergies.

FDA regulations require food producers to label products with warnings for peanuts and peanut products. The only thing restaurants, ball parks, church socials and back yard picnics require is common sense.

Those of us with food allergies are sensible enough to avoid things that obviously contain nuts, or whatever we are allergic to. It is the innocent, really tempting foods that are the danger.

In that case we must rely on the integrity of those who prepare the food to either not use products that are known allergens, or label the food.

For example restaurants have included the phrase "peanut oilmay have been used to prepare the food" on their menu. A small card placed with the covered dish telling of nuts and such things is always well received. And at that backyard picnic just holler it out, "nuts in this one" - we'll love you forever.

Ruth Anne Callaham

Smithsburg

Please help us raise some cash for wheelchair van



To the editor:

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