Letters to the editor - Part 2

November 30, 2003

Powell wrong on abortion

To the editor:

In a letter to the editor on Nov. 23, Allan Powell demonstrated the rejection of a higher moral authority from the left. In his letter, Powell attacks our president and Congress for the passage of the ban on partial-birth abortion, which, according to Powell, is an invasion of personal choice.

Using the excuse of "personal choice" somehow makes it acceptable to kill a baby. I am sure if you would ask the Beltway sniper, he would tell you that he was merely exercising "personal choice" when they went on his killing spree.

But our legal system helps us draw the line with which personal choices are acceptable and which are not. A system which, no doubt to the dismay of Powell and his liberal pals, finds its roots in the Ten Commandments. The sixth commandment, thou shalt not kill (murder), is the basis for the value of human life. There is no coincidence that throughout history, societies that tend to value human life have been more prosperous.


Powell ends his article by accusing the Republican leadership of our country of using the abortion ban as a vote-,buying scheme from the so-called "religious right." Powell must certainly know that the Republicans don't need to buy conservative votes. They are just seeing the big picture and realize that our country is in danger when the value of human life is reduced. When in doubt, choose life. Just ask Gov. Jeb Bush.

Congratulations to our Republican leadership for their value of life. I can only hope that they don't stop with partial-birth abortion, but continue the fight to end all killings of unborn babies.

Dan Rinehart

Mayor was not off base

To the editor:

I can hear the wails already: "Mayor Breichner is an intolerant homophobe!" etc., etc. Kudos to the mayor for actually taking a controversial stance. Well, it's really only controversial to the sort of folks whose express purpose in life is to look for reasons to be offended. They forget that free speech means no one has the right NOT to be offended.

While I'm at it, the mayor's analogies were accurate as well. Hagerstown, I think it is safe to assume, would not want to be known as the host city for the "Miss Ku Klux Klan Wet Sheet 2003" event or the "Miss Hobo With Teeth 2003" pageant either.

Freedom of association would hold that any event of this sort could be held in Hagerstown as they are private affairs. Those of us who would be offended would be free to protest this turn of events, but not to interfere. In turn, the right of any citizen, elected official or not, to express disapproval of this or that behavior must likewise be respected by the opposing party.

It's strange how those of us with common sense and a little bit of civics education know this, but the professionaly offended do not. Daniel Rotkiske, the owner of the Miss Gay America Pageants, makes statements that provide a perfect example of this phenomenon.

He states that the mayor should be more "respectful" to the gay community. The mayor may be, and most likely is, respectful toward any gay person he knows, as are most people. I'm respectful of people I know who are fond of too much drink.

That doesn't mean I'd be jumping for joy at the prospect of a "2003 Intoxication Parade" full of shirtless fat guys sweating and puking their way through town.

Furthermore, Rotkiske engages in a bit of a red herring by saying that the gay community contributes to the local and national economies. That is undoubtedly true, but it has nothing to do with the event he wishes to hold here. I'm sure KKK members contribute a good bit to the economy as well - hopefully not in Hagerstown - but that doesn't mean a Klan rally is to be celebrated.

Finally, Rotkiske falls into the very trap he has set for the mayor: stereotyping. How would Rotkiske know a hobo couldn't pony up $3,000 for a gown? How many hobos does he know? Maybe many hobos are simply eccentric folks with reasonable amounts of money who just like riding trains. The point is that while the latter is probably not the case, don't use judgmentalism as a tool if you're arguing against it.

In any case, I really hope the hobo lobby gets its act together. Insensitive statements from intolerant types like Rotkiske are simply horrible.

Doug Walker

Dear Mayor: Go with Chanel

To the editor:

After eons of orbiting mean-spirited streets of the neutron star that is Hagerstown, I achieved escape velocity and have been loath to return.

But I would endure again the crushing gravity of your hobophobic alleys if only Mayor Breichner had the good sense to wear a $3,000 gown - or any dress at all.

Jeffrey T. Phillips
Chestertown, Md.

Comments in poor taste

To the editor:

I am deeply saddened by the ignorance and bigotry Mayor William Breichner has shown in his interview with The Herald-Mail. As a representative of our community, he should carry an unbiased opinion and not have his judgment clouded by sexuality, race, gender or anything, for that matter.

His relation of homosexuals and female impersonators to hobos and the Ku Klux Klan is completely uncalled for. An event of this size would generate hundreds of participants and patrons. This event could have a good economic impact on our city by increasing tourism and retail sales, to say the least. I have not only attended but competed in events of this type at both local establishments and not once has there been a problem of any sort.

If this is the message he wishes to convey to the people, then I will pray for him in hopes that he might become enlightened and educated.

I will make sure my voice is heard as to my disapproval of his views.

A public apology is in order, and that so-called "clarification" on Saturday was nowhere close to what is due.

Kyle Kramer

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