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Letters to the editor

January 23, 2004

Miracles of Jesus can all be verified


To the editor:

I would like to address Bernard F. Murphy's letter from Oct. 13. I was struck by his position that: "The consequence of most religious instruction is that people come to believe that their religion is better than other religions. This is, of course, a ridiculous notion because all religions are based on supernatural beings and events that cannot be verified."

First of all, the consequence of my religious instruction is that I've obtained forgiveness for my sin and eternal life through faith in the death of Jesus Christ on the cross as payment for my sin penalty. What Jesus Christ taught is that He is the only way, only truth and only life. No one can come to the father, except through him.

That may seem a little narrow to Murphy, who seems to think that all religions are created equal and evil. For Jesus Christ to give up what he did - his throne in heaven - to come to earth and allow the very beings he created to torture him, beat him, spit on him and drive spikes through his hands and feet was far from narrow.

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Secondly, Murphy said that all religions are based on supernatural beings and events that cannot be verified. Yes, God is a supernatural being. And, yes, Christianity is based on following his instruction. However, the miracles, the death and the resurrection of Jesus Christ are all historically verifiable, which leads me to believe that his claim to be God must be true. No one else in history rose from the dead of their own accord. Or changed lives for the better, as Jesus Christ has.

Murphy objected to a letter that said our country is suffering because of a lack of prayer and Bible reading in schools. This country was founded on Christian principles.

Therefore, if we were allowed to pray in school, then no one should be surprised or offended by a prayer offered to God the father, God the son, and God the Holy Spirit or verses read from his word, the Bible.

If I went to a country that was founded on Hindu, Muslim or Buddhist principles, I wouldn't be surprised by a prayer offered to their gods. I think it's high time for America to return to the principles on which she was founded, otherwise we might as well stop singing "God bless America" and prepare soon for his coming judgment.

Dianne Glaze
Hagerstown




Centers should remain an option


To the editor:

Regarding Laura Ernde's Jan. 18 article, "Center is Facing Closure:"

The article was balanced and well-written. However, I would like to point out that, while it is true that federal regulations (Code of Federal Regulations, Olmstead Decision) and state regulations (Code of Maryland Regulations) require that the mentally retarded live in the least restrictive environment possible, this is an incomplete statement.

These regulations are always accompanied by a qualifying phrase, along the lines of:

Least restrictive environment possible, "consistent with the welfare and safety of the individual."

Also, the individual (or via their parent/guardian) must be clearly given the choice between living in, e.g., a group home, or in a state residential center (SRC) such as Potomac Center. Placement cannot (legally) be done unless freely chosen. Choice is a civil and constitutional right.

These two very important qualifications are sometimes not mentioned by those who push for de-institutionalization of all residents.

To put it another way, the law holds that, notwithstanding the "least restrictive environment" clause, an individual with mental retardation cannot (legally) be placed in a group home or transferred out of an SRC unless the two above criteria - safety and welfare and freedom of choice - are met.

On the basis of my experience, I believe it is essential for the welfare and safety of certain medically fragile individuals with severe mental retardation to always have the option of living in a modern, well-equipped care facility such as Potomac Center.

It should not require a miracle to keep these centers open and available. It's the legal and moral thing to do.

Dr. Robert C. Landes
Laurel, Del.




Population is a growing problem


To the editor:

Isn't it time to talk about sustainable communities rather than growth as being good?

When we have cut down the last tree on this planet and developed the last rich farmland, how are future generations going to live?

Many of our problems seem to be caused by our total inability to control our sexuality and fertility! Are we intelligent beings?

Catholic professor, Daniel C. Maguire, in his book "Sacred Choices" points out that in China there are free condoms in the drawers of hotels and motels. In this country we put Bibles. Maybe couples open them at the Song of Solomon, 1, 2 "O that you would kiss me with the kisses of your mouth."

The result is that the U.S. has the highest number of unplanned pregnancies, and therefore abortions, in the industrialized world.

The news recently reported that there is a high rate of HIV/AIDS among senior citizens in the U.S. due to Viagra. Why don't people know how to have safe sex? What is this going to cost the insurance companies or the American taxpayer?

What do the hundreds of thousands of kids in foster care cost the American taxpayer? Why do men impregnate women who don't want to be pregnant?

World population today is up from the 2 billion when I was born, to 6.3 billion and increasing by about 77 million every year. More people, more sewage, more pollutants and more garbage. Why do we continue to multiply?

Asphalt is the land's last crop.

Ruth M. Davis
Waynesboro, Pa.

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