- The Washington Times - Thursday, February 9, 2006

Friedan’s retraction

Suzanne Fields (“Contempt for the radical troublemakers,” Op-Ed, yesterday) writes that in “The Feminine Mystique,” Betty Friedan inappropriately “describ[ed] the suburban housewife as living in a ‘comfortable concentration camp.’ ”

To her credit, Mrs. Friedan later publicly retracted that comparison. In her autobiography, “Life So Far,” Mrs. Friedan wrote: “I got carried away, and wrote the one chapter in ‘The Feminine Mystique’ I now regret, ‘The Comfortable Concentration Camp’… I am ashamed of that analogy… The American suburb was no concentration camp. That analogy, it seems to me now, was an insult.”

Betty Friedan had the courage to admit she was wrong. That is more than one can say for the many pundits, politicians and celebrities who never think twice about comparing their opponents to Adolf Hitler.

RAFAEL MEDOFF

Director

David S. Wyman Institute for

Holocaust Studies

Melrose Park, Pa.

Different Latin liturgies

The recent article “Latin returning to Mass” (Culture, et cetera, Jan. 31) was an informative report on the revival of ecclesiastical Latin in the Catholic Diocese of Arlington. Readers may be interested to know that Mel Gibson exclusively attends the pre-Second Vatican Council service said in Latin. There is an enormous difference between the pre- and post-Vatican II liturgies, no matter what language is spoken.

In its essence, the old Mass, heard regularly by Mr. Gibson and millions of other traditional Catholics, is more reverential and focuses on the centrality of the Eucharist to Catholic faith. The new service, even with a rare priest who will say it in Latin, minimizes the importance of sacrifice to focus instead on the notion of communalcelebration.The fundamentals are as different as a funeral and a hip-hop concert.

Sadly, the current bishop of Arlington, Paul S. Loverde, bans the pre-Vatican II Latin Mass from being said publicly in his diocese by priests under his command. A Northern Virginian, such as this writer, must either attend an independent Catholic church in Vienna or flee to the District, of all places, each Sunday and holy day to hear the Mass at St. Mary, Mother of God Church in Chinatown.

I appreciate the renewed interest in the Latin language, particularly on an ecclesiastical level, but merely saying the Vatican II service in Latin does little to address the modernist novelties of Communion in the hand, laymen acting in clerical roles, hideously designed churches and sappy music that come with the Novus Ordo, or New Order, of the Mass.

It is not enough to put lipstick on a pig. Bishop Loverde should respect the will of the current and previous popes, not to mention hundreds of popes before them, and allow the pre-Vatican II traditional Latin Mass to be said without punishment by any priest who chooses to do so in the Diocese of Arlington.

KENNETH J. WOLFE

Alexandria

Reform at the U.N.

Sen. Richard Lugar’s articulation of 10 key priorities for U.N. reform was a welcome contribution to the reform debate. Much progress has been made to strengthen the United Nations for the challenges of the 21st century. More work needs to be done. Mr. Lugar has helped define a yardstick to measure progress.

The United Nations has made progress on several of Mr. Lugar’s 10 priorities. For example, the organization created an ethics office to implement a new, stronger whistleblower policy and a revised financial disclosure policy.

It has conducted thorough investigations of the allegations of abuse by certain peacekeepers and procurement operations. The United Nations has strengthened its Office of Internal Oversight Services (OIOS) by providing additional resources for investigations. A review is under way of U.N. mandates that are more than five years old; it is expected to be published later this month.

In addition to Mr. Lugar’s suggestions, the United Nations recently implemented other major reform goals. It established a Peacebuilding Commission to help ensure the peace after U.N. peacekeepers pull out and a Democracy Fund to help promote the development of democratic institutions globally. The Bush administration actively promulgated both funds.

There certainly is more work to be done to complete U.N. reform. It will be important, for example, for the United States and other member states to conclude negotiations on a strong, effective Human Rights Council in the coming weeks or months. The United States has helped foster some progress on this in recent weeks.

In the days and weeks ahead, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and her team also will need to engage in constructive, creative diplomacy to forge consensus among member states about specific managerial and organizational strengthening measures at the United Nations. Mr. Lugar’s vision is a constructive articulation of this working agenda.

DEBORAH DERRICK

Executive director

Better World Campaign

Washington

Steele due credit for fewer auto thefts

We who live in Prince George’s County are well aware of the reduction in car thefts. We owe a debt of gratitude to the leadership of Lt. Gov. Michael Steele. In the article “Auto thefts down in PG county” (Metropolitan, Saturday), nothing was said about Mr. Steele’s pledge to reduce car thefts — a major initiative when he took office.

Thanks to his work with the Governor’s Office of Crime Control and Prevention, the Prince George’s County Police Department has received $300,000 of state funding in 2006 alone.

Thank you, Mr. Steele, for calling attention to this issue and focusing our state resources and taxpayer money on initiatives that truly are making a difference in our everyday lives

DOT PRINCIPE

Upper Marlboro

Voting rights in Maryland

Maryland Democrats lost the governorship at the ballot box, lost the ability to derail strict constructionists nominated to the Supreme Court and are losing the battle for the hearts and minds of the people of Maryland.

By their own admission, Maryland Delegates Salima Siler Marriott and Jill P. Carter, Baltimore Democrats, state that the only reason to restore voting rights for thousands of felons this year is to oust Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr., a Republican seeking re-election (“Liberals push to give vote tofelons,”Metropolitan, Wednesday).

Is this a sound reason to do away with a law that serves as a deterrent to crime? The Maryland Democratic Party is so morally bankrupt that it must endorse a measure to change a law with the hope of getting the votes of a constituency of convicted murderers, rapists and armed robbers.

However, if Maryland Democrats get their way, and they probably will, who is to say felons will not vote Republican or not bother to vote at all? Be careful, Maryland Democrats — you might get what you ask for, and you might wind up shooting yourselves in the foot in the process.

LORRAINE RYAN

Berwyn Heights

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