- The Washington Times - Wednesday, June 5, 2002

With Bishop Chane, it's the same old Spong

Your coverage of the investiture of the Rev. John B. Chane as bishop of the Episcopal diocese of Washington ("Episcopalians consecrate bishop with call to mix religion, politics," June 2, and "New Episcopal bishop voices liberal views," June 3), made me regret that I already had quit the Episcopal Church after 50 years. For after reading the predictably liberal sentiments voiced in his inaugural sermon, I wished that I could quit all over again.

I joined an Evangelical congregation after coming to the reluctant but firm conclusion that many of the clergy in the contemporary Episcopal Church are not really Christians. Simply put, they are thinly veiled secular humanists (i.e., focused on man, not God) who want to "do good" for humanity while getting paid for it and receiving a pension at the end of the day. But sincere Christians inspired by Scripture? Hardly.

When Washington's new Episcopal bishop calls the Resurrection "conjectural," as he did in March, devout Christians should know it is time to seek a greener pasture.


Riva, Md.

Harvard's renascent ROTC

Pat Collins' June 3 Op-Ed column in The Times paints an overly grim picture of the atmosphere for ROTC at Harvard University ("Harvard's Islamic embrace").

Although the Vietnam-era restrictions on ROTC remain in place, great progress has been made in the past year toward bring ROTC into the full life of the university. ROTC cadets at Harvard have gotten personal attention from Gen. Richard Myers, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, mentorship from the national security fellows at Harvard's Kennedy School of Government, and strong support from Harvard President Lawrence Summers, who will speak at the ROTC commissioning ceremony in Harvard Yard today. A pro-ROTC student group and large network of alumni and faculty ensure wide access to the university, and the Undergraduate Council has urged the Harvard administration to promote cooperation between the faculty and ROTC in giving courses at Harvard.

Harvard faculty member Elaine Kamarck once told me that when her son was applying to college several years ago, "I could not get him to apply anywhere north of the Mason-Dixon line. I remember him telling me that he didn't want to go anywhere where he would feel awkward in uniform."

That has changed dramatically. The ROTC cadets at Harvard are not demoralized. Rather, they are terrific young leaders who have shown great ingenuity in bringing about changes that are making Harvard the destination of choice for top-notch students doing ROTC training.


Assistant professor of neurosurgery

Harvard Medical School

Steering Committee member

and Web master

Advocates for Harvard ROTC


Excuse our chivalry

I would like to comment upon The Washington Times' editorial about female soldiers no longer being assigned to Army Reconnaissance, Surveillance and Target Acquisition units, which were to become fully operational next year ("A welcome reversal," May 30).

The editorial noted that "[a]ll of this is welcome news because it means less chance that female soldiers will be killed or wounded by enemy fire." Presumably, the writer of this editorial has no qualms over the fact that more male soldiers now may be killed or wounded by enemy fire.

It may be justifiable to exclude female soldiers from direct combat roles because they diminish combat effectiveness, but to imply that female life somehow is more valuable than male life represents the epitome of anti-male sexism.


Derwood, Md.

Hentoff's 'hysteria' unjustified

While we citizens must be ever on the alert for government attempts to limit the protections of the Bill of Rights, Nat Hentoff's June 3 Op-Ed column, "The End of Privacy," hysterically assumes that the FBI is champing at the bit to start abusing the provisions of the new Patriot Act. In doing so, he brushes aside the fact that the government still will not be able to conduct any surveillance or perform any searches without first obtaining a warrant from a judge and that the request for said warrant still must be based on probable cause. In other words, the Fourth Amendment has not been undermined.

If we expect to be protected from future terrorist attacks, the government must have the means to detect and thwart terrorist plots. So long as those means comport with our judicial system, the American system will remain healthy.


Columbia, Md.

Be nice to Bono

Steve Chapman's June 3 Op-Ed column, "A world in need of trade more than aid," gave a lopsided evaluation of Bono's remarks in Uganda, perhaps because he did not do his homework on the humanitarian rock singer. If Mr. Chapman had, he would know that Bono advocates a two-pronged approach to aiding poor countries, particularly in Africa, consisting of increased foreign aid and international trade.

It was my privilege to join a group of evangelicals who recently had a discussion time with Bono in the U.S. Senate. He told us about the debt-relief advocacy group he founded, DATA (Debt, Aid, Trade for Africa), and then he thoughtfully listened to the African experts among us. The very name of his organization of which he is the prime benefactor shows that Bono believes that poverty and disease cannot be solved by handouts alone. By choosing to quote Bono remarking solely on the positive role of foreign aid, Mr. Chapman does not give a balanced characterization of his noble aims.


Director of government affairs

Association of Christian Schools International


I was disappointed with your June 2 editorial on the trip to Africa of Treasury Secretary Paul H. O'Neill and the U2's Bono ("Africa's 'Odd Couple'"). Instead of sneeringly labeling Bono a "left-wing Irish rock star," could you not acknowledge that the guy is sincerely trying to help people who are suffering? If Bono expresses a worldview different from Mr. O'Neill's, so be it. At least he is prepared to help others, and there can't be anything wrong with that.



Explaining Bush's rhetorical turn around on Iraq

Mona Charen wonders why President Bush's rhetoric concerning Saddam Hussein has changed so dramatically in the nine months since September 11 ("Image shrinkage," Commentary, June 3). As Mrs. Charen points out, Mr. Bush has moved from a position of threatening Iraq with military action to a more measured stance concerning the 200,000 troops likely to be needed to overthrow Saddam.

The answer may be found in several recent intelligence failures concerning Pakistan's and North Korea's sudden advances in military capability. U.S. intelligence agencies were caught off-guard when in August 1997, North Korea tested a three-stage solid-rocket missile capable of carrying a nuclear warhead nearly 4,000 miles. Then in May 1998, Pakistan tested its first nuclear weapon again to the surprise of our intelligence community. Can we be sure Saddam Hussein is not hiding something under his sleeve that he might be forced to use if the United States seeks to destroy him?

Considering the intelligence mess Mr. Bush inherited from the previous administration, any reasonable person would be reluctant to place our troops in a theater as unstable as the Middle East without the protection of a capable theater missile defense. Perhaps Mr. Bush knows more than Mrs. Charen about the threats awaiting our troops should we invade Iraq.



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