Here, Walker expresses the widely held assumption that gay men are hypersexual people who are constantly on the prowl, looking to convert people to homosexuality and engage in homosexual acts.
People are certainly entitled to believe whatever they want and have a right to speak their minds. More importantly, though, is how speech translates into behavior and how one deals with his or her own feelings of homophobia or bigotry on a daily basis.
Not all people may act negatively on these feelings, but some people react to these feelings with hostility and violence, and no person should be subjected to this. And people should, by law, be protected from this. I do not think, as Walker argues, there is a "gay agenda" looking to criminalize speech and force people to approve of them, because I don't think gay people are organized enough and lack the power to have such a movement.
Walker's arguments only serve to tell gay people to stay in the closet because "I don't want to feel uncomfortable around you" and the propagation of these ideas will only further isolate and increase discrimination against gay men and women in this country.
I hope that people like Walker and those who share his views will continue to be introspective and examine their beliefs and behave positively in response to their feelings.
Ancient precedent for abolishing death penalty
To the editor:
I encourage the Maryland legislature to repeal the death penalty in this session. I believe that the death penalty gives the government's blessing to the idea that killing people is an acceptable way to solve problems.
I want specifically to address the issue of the Bible and the death penalty. It is true that the Old Testament/Hebrew scriptures sanction the death penalty for a number of crimes - including cursing one's parents.
The law also states that an execution can only be carried out on the testimony of two or three witnesses. It was then, and is now, rare for a murder to take place in the presence of two or three credible witnesses, and it is unclear whether executions were common in ancient Israel. We do know that by the second century B.C., executions were rarely carried out by Jewish authorities. Of course the Old Testament also describes numerous instances in which the life of a murderer is spared, e.g., Cain, Moses and David.
The New Testament/Greek scriptures have nothing good to say about the death penalty. Jesus, of course, was executed, as were Stephen and James. Jesus intervened to prevent the execution of a woman caught in adultery, and explicitly rejected the formula of "an eye for an eye." The early Church opposed the death penalty, only changing its view when it acquired political power after the conversion of Constantine.
Today the death penalty is opposed not only by the Catholic Church, but by most Protestant denominations and many national Jewish organizations. Religious faith need not stand in the way of ending the death penalty.
Bill would help society reclaim a little dignity
To the editor:
Kudos to the bill being presented by Del. Leroy Myers about the display of body parts being attached to the hitches of trucks, and other anatomical expressions that are being perverted on vehicles.
To have a bull walking around a field is one thing, but lowering yourself to hang genitals from the rear of your truck or breasts on the hood of your car, in my humble opinion, seems to border on weird, twisted and immature.
How much further will human dignity decline before we recover a sense of decency?
And how degrading it is for a man to pull up behind one of these trucks with his children in the car, or wife, and be forced to explain why some people just don't have a sense of what is decent and presentable.
What would have been considered foolish and lacking in decency 20 years ago is now paraded as funny or cool?
Let's see some real men step forward and demand a stop to such nonsense. Count me as one.