Letters to Editor - bLetters

We welcome your opinion on public issues, in either of two ways. You can submit a letter to the editor for possible publication in the printed edition. The Virginian-Pilot welcomes letters to the editor on all topics, although concise letters (150 words or less) on public issues will receive priority. Letters may be edited for length, style and clarity and writers are limited to one published letter every month. Please add your name, city, street address and daytime telephone number for confirmation.

The other way is to comment on the published letters in this blog. In this online forum, you can comment as much as you want by using the comment box at the end of each entry.

By e-mail: letters@pilotonline.com

By mail: Letters to the editor - P.O. Box 449 - Norfolk, VA 23501-0449

By fax: (757) 446-2051

Stop the hitting

Re 'No one to protect them' (front page, March 23): The persistence of the problem of child deaths should make us realize that we are looking at the problem the wrong way. We cannot contain the problem by regulating the normal practice of hitting and using violence against children.

As a community, we must support and publicize a new normal that says, 'It is never OK to hit a child.' This is the motto chosen by In Support of Children, a student organization at Old Dominion University. Ever since the 2006 torture, starvation and beating death of Nixzmary Brown in New York City, the group has held vigils to honor children killed by their supposed caretakers. The vigil supports the idea that if we don't stop the gateway behavior of hitting, we cannot stop the killing.

Some parents or caretakers may refrain from hitting their children because they fear intervention by social services agencies. But other parents, citing their parental responsibility and rights, will continue to injure children 'for their own good.'

Some child development specialists and even some religions support causing pain to children. It is certainly part of most of our personal experiences, and we draw on those experiences to determine how we should treat our children.

Everyone who interacts with children, from parents and social workers to educators and health professionals, should make the words 'It's never OK to hit a child' one of their tools. If we truly believe that children have a right to physical integrity and human dignity, and, if we act on those beliefs, then we have a chance to reduce the killing and abandonment of our children.

Lucien X. Lombardo

Are we getting what we deserve?

Since the age of Aquarius, and the hippies, our nation has become increasingly secular. There has been an emphasis on separation of church and state. We are/have lost our morals. Without the Christian religion, we have no institution to teach virtue. We have been warned by the Founding Fathers that our Constitution is dependent on a virtuous people. The Founding Fathers bought Christian Bibles to be used in schools to teach reading and virtue.

We bemoan 13 dead children. But, shredding in the womb more than one million of one’s offspring is not a sign of civilization. When it happened and later read about, in past history, it was thought barbaric. We have lost reverence for life. What else should we expect? We may be getting what we deserve.

Wrong Again

Our country was founded as the first to enshrine a legal separation of church and state and many of our nation's founders were not religionists. They were neo-classisists and enlightenment philosophers -- you seem to have missed the enlightenment. Also, religion is not necessary to the teaching or holding of morality. Most of the non-believers I've met have far more "moral virtue" than many clinging to bronze age religions. The basis of morality is empathy. You could benefit by more of it based on your posts thus far.

A tool for teaching.

Mr. Markowitz,

I’m inclined to believe that modern children learn their morality based on civil law. If a behavior is punished, it must be wrong. They avoid behavior that may bring them a criminal record, get expelled from school, get fired from their job, or some such thing. Such things as murder, killing, assault, lying under oath, stealing, cheating (on income tax), all such thing may be viewed immoral since they are punishable by civil law. But there is so much more to morality than that. In modern minds, behavior that is not punished by the law, must then be moral.

Far too many modern children are promiscuous sexually which is not viewed as immoral since it is not punishable by civil law. But that does totally eliminate consequences of illicit sex. In comes abortion; an immoral act. And so it is with divorce, single motherhood, nudity. Homosexuality. High rates of illegitimacy, a source of crime, poverty, disease.

Mr. Markowitz, I realize that you have a closed mind. A closed mind has reached its limits and can no longer increase in wisdom. I bother to respond to your comments as a way to give other readers another point of view, another side to the story. Thank you for helping me in promulgating the wisdom of age. Many younger more open minds may be learning from our discussions. To me, you are a tool to teaching. BTW, I am a retired teacher.

Modern children

learn their values the way children always have -- from their parents and peers. Admittedly, TV and video games not the best influence. Children are no more sexually promiscuous than they ever were unless they have been abused. They may be dressed more promiscuously due to fashions being promoted and poor parental judgement but that is another matter. Also, children no doubt benefit for more parenting time but that would require being able to support a family on one paycheck so the other parent can spend more time parenting. That's why authentic family values support living wages.

Parents and peers? Are you kidding?

Mr. Markowitz,

This is truly a cute one. You say that “Modern children learn their values the way children always have -- from their parents and peers.” Maybe that's why we are in trouble. Let’s look at that.

We have high rates of illegitimacy and single-motherhood. Does 73% ring a bell? If the mother is a teenager herself, how does she teach her children values? How many mothers have live-in boyfriend/s? This is what this topic is all about, child abuse with some children abused and killed by the mother’s boyfriend.

We have high rate of divorce, perhaps 50% of marriages. This is not the way to teach children values.

Peers? Come on. You’re kidding, aren’t you? It is they who widely use cell phones to broadcast nude picture of themselves. Public nudity is not values nor is it civilized. Drunkenness? It is what kids learn from their peers. Drugs? Another thing kids learn from peers.

Living wage? Most people live above their means. No matter the level of wage, it is never going to be enough. Once, people lived in tarpaper shacks and aspired for a living wage. Today, a poor American on welfare lives better than the richest men in most villages of the world. Yet, the socialist is still not satisfied with the wage. Even George Washington, nor the richest man in the country, had no indoor plumbing. Human wants are insatiable. There will “always” be someone richer than somebody else. And this is one time when we can use the word ALWAYS.


Being a full-time mom with all its responsibilities has become a rarity in our greedy, selfish society without any lasting values. The competition for one's neighbors' standard of living has become so fierce, infants are turned over to daycare centers to "bond with." If they "act up" at home or in daycare, they are put on Ritalin or whatever else works.

Nowadays full-time moms are referred to as "part-time moms." Maybe working moms have a value system that puts their children on the bottom of their priority list. But noooo, let the infants and toddlers play with the latest toys to keep them occupied so they won't bother parents who don't even have time for each other.

It is all about GREED.

More likely

it's about paying the bills and eating given the stagnation of wages and the deterioration of their buying power. If both parents have to work, parenting suffers.

"Without the Christian religion, we have no institution to teach

"Without the Christian religion, we have no institution to teach virtue"

Jane certainly does a good job of denigrating the Jewish faith.

Children of Abraham

Aloyhim (yawhew): Thou shalt love your neighbor as thyself. (Leviticus:19-18).

Allah: Pray to Allah, the Compassionate and the Merciful: first Muslim prayer.

God (good, gut): Thou shall love your neighbor as yourself (Mark 12:31).

Whoever prays and worships (and you can only do one thing at a time), prays to the same GOD.

Miss Jane does not know what she is talking about and she certainly does not practice it. 'nuf said to her.

For now, that's history

Mr. Bailey,

Perhaps you wish to ignore that up to 1960, and the advent of the hippie, America was 90% Christian. America became great under the influence of Christianity, whether you and your ilk like it or not. That ‘s unadulterated history. You may wish to rewrite it someday.

that jane just loves to call names

instead of the civil discourse type debate jane earlier talked about.

Neat segue that you try to avoid your denigration of the Jewish faith.

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.
Please note: Threaded comments work best if you view the oldest comments first.
Daily Deal |  | Promote your business