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Letters to the Editor for 3/20

March 20, 2004

Non-voters not entitled to a voice



To the editor:

I am appalled and saddened by Tim Rowland's confession that he did not vote in the March 2 Maryland primary. Rowland's excuse was that his "party," which does not exist, gave him no options for voting. There are a few journalists who have admitted they do not vote because voting might mar their objectivity and credibility. However, Rowland made no such claim.

A columnist who writes about local issues, both political and educational, who did not even muster enough interest to vote in an election for school board candidates cannot be taken seriously. Is it that the primary seemed of too little importance? Does Rowland vote in the general election only? Or does he not vote at all? Readers of his column have a right to know.

Rowland complains and belittles people who voted for candidates who had dropped out of the board of election race, yet he admits he did not even vote. What right does he have to make fun of those who were at least doing their duty?

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From now on, I will totally discount anything Rowland has to say about politics and education since he did not even take the time to exercise his constitutional duty to vote. For me, he has forfeited all credibility and the right to complain about local issues.

Joan Johnson

Hagerstown

Slippery slope



To the editor:

Recently we've been hearing about gay marriage and whether it should be legalized and from what I've heard even many heterosexuals seem to be in a quandary about it. It seems quite evident that the majority in our nation, especially the younger set, can't discern between what's moral and what is not.

This is very disturbing because it indicates a lack of discipline and training in the home. As a nation we seem to be on a slippery slope and many seem to be in a moral twilight zone. The trend toward secularism even among religious folks has resulted in a watering down of biblical morals and so everyone is "doing their own thing," and now we have men and women demanding "the right" to be gay, plus other outrageous things.

Edgar M. Foltz Jr.

Greencastle, Pa.

Poor treatment causes disease



To the editor:

Diseases that begin in animals - like SARS, bird flu, and Mad Cow - have taken the world by storm in the past year. And they all have one thing in common: They stem from the horrible living conditions or the deadly food that's fed to these helpless creatures.

Animal protection groups had fought for a decade for passage of the Downed Animal Act, which would prevent sick and injured animals from being literally dragged into the slaughterhouses. But with an average of 200,000 ailing animals being dragged and bulldozed into slaughterhouses, the ranching, factory-farm, and food industries didn't want to give up a nickel of profits. Those who realized the implications to humans of a sick animal becoming part of the food chain were shouted down.

Finally, within a week of the confirmed case of Mad Cow, facing letters, and phone calls from the public, and under the lights of the media, the government imposed a ban on the slaughter and marketing of downed animals.

But is it too little, too late? Just think of all the other diseases we don't know about that are lurking in sick and abused animals. Two things are crystal clear: These diseases arise, without exception, because animals are being forced to live in unnatural and appalling conditions. And as long as we go on treating animals that way, the chickens will keep coming home to roost!

Vicki L. Bidle-Kelly

Middletown

History, misread



To the editor:

It appears that Dr. Martin Gallagher has become a victim of the misreading of American history and the mistaken interpretation of the Constitution. Apparently he would be surprised to learn that the United States was founded as a Christian nation, and the Founding Fathers where, by and large, men of deep Christian faith.

True, the word "God" doesn't appear in the Constitution or the Bill of Rights. It is necessary to realize that the purpose of the Constitution was to establish the rules to fulfill the promise of the Declaration of Independence which contains numerous references to God and his various attributes.

Relative to your reference to the mention of the word "religion" in the First Amendment clearly separating church and state, you have misconstrued the purpose of that statement just as has been done to justify the relentless assault on America's religious institutions and traditions by our educational system, the courts and throughout our popular culture. The phrase "make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof" clearly states the purpose of this phrase in the First Amendment -- to protect a religious people from the government - not to protect the government from a religious people.

George Rouzer

Chambersburg, Pa.

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