Letters to the Editor - March 7

March 07, 2012

The religious, through the years, have done much harm

To the editor:

The question posed by Judith Eardley, “Who did the harm, the religious or the irreligious?” is easy to answer.

The Crusades were nothing more than Christian military expeditions to recapture the Holy Land. At the time of the Fourth Crusade, it was Pope Innocent III who persuaded the French nobility to participate. Though the reason behind the Crusades might have been highly righteous, they brought death, disease and starvation.

Cromwell — known as the architect of the English Church — seized properties belonging to monasteries and demanded total obedience to the new religion, after persuading King Henry VIII to break with Rome. He crushed the Protestant revolt in Ireland, and Elizabeth I executed bishops and priests in her determination to rid England of the Protestants. In Spain, the very Catholic Queen Isabella and her husband, Ferdinand, burned alive the Jews who did not want to repudiate their faith. In France, the Huguenots — who followed the teachings of Calvin — were persecuted by the very Catholic king, with religious wars lasting 30 years, culminating in the Saint Bartholomew Massacre.

In 1898, the men who wrongly prosecuted and convicted a Jewish army officer, Alfred Dreyfus, were members of a very Catholic army. Only the press redressed the injustice with the famous “J’accuse.” When Vichy France came into existence after the 1940 debacle, who rounded the French Jews and sent them to the German extermination camps? The government imposed by the Germans, not elected, and headed by the very senile and very Catholic Maréchal Pétain.

“Atheist” simply describes “one who does not believe in God.” Looking at the way so many who believe in God behave, I will side with the atheists who are ethical because it is the right way to be and not because they are threatened with hell if they do not. No one “decided that religion was evil,” only that it is private. The respect for “God, country, family and one another” comes from parents teaching their children to so behave.

Now we can see that the religious have done more harm to religion than those who pray privately and do not try to foist upon others their own beliefs.

Jeanne Jacobs

State Sen. Shank can’t have it both ways

To the editor:

State Sen. Chris Shank, you can’t have it both ways. It is professed by the right wing of the Republican Party that government stands in the way of business growth. Their mantra is small government and less government regulation.  Yet as reported in The Herald-Mail (Feb. 25), you presented a bill that would place burdensome hurdles in the form of more bureaucracy before businesses, such as Maryland Solar LLC, can get their start.

The State Department of General Services said the additional oversight you propose would add more bureaucracy and “could, in effect, postpone a project for nearly a year.” Similarly, the state Department of Natural Resources wrote a letter of opposition stating that the new process “would add unnecessary administrative burden and delay on the existing open bidding process for leasing state property for renewable energy resources.”

Sen. Shank, is government red tape just in the eye of the beholder? Is your bill just another example of political hypocrisy? 

Randy Changuris

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