Help foster kids

A Nov. 18 article was titled “Foster kids can be school headache,” but it is the foster kids who have headaches because the system has failed them.

The article describes changes in policies and procedures that are expected to help, and I applaud the Department of Social Services, the schools and others involved in the foster care system for taking steps to make life better for these kids.

But it is possible to help many of these kids in a different way that will have a profound positive impact on their lives — adoption.

On average, there are around 500 children who are eligible for adoption in the care of the DSS at any time.

Most are not cute, cuddly infants. They are all ages up to 18. They may have been in foster care for years. They entered foster care because their birth families were unable or unwilling to care for them.

DSS makes adopting about as easy as it could be, especially if you adopt a child considered hard to place because of age or disability, or if you adopt siblings.

DSS workers will guide you through the qualification process with sensitivity and compassion. Many expenses incurred in a private adoption are subsidized by DSS.

Taking on one of these children is not for the faint-hearted do-gooder. Helping children cope with traumas they have suffered is frustrating.

But the rewards are great.

As the adoptive father of five children, I encourage people to contact the local DSS adoption office and explore whether this is a step they can take.

Samuel M. Moskow

Fidling Road

Charleston

From ‘ism’ to ‘ism’

Political correctness and name calling are getting out of hand. Just last week, Rep. Marcia Fudge, the new chairwoman of the Congressional Black Caucus, declared that Sens. John McCain and others were guilty of “clear sexism and racism” because they declared U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice “unqualified and untrustworthy” and promised to scuttle her nomination if President Obama nominates her to succeed Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

Sen. McCain should retort that Rep. Fudge is herself guilty of sexism and racism. And since he is older than Amb. Rice, he may as well toss in ageism as well.

Terry Williamson

Spalding Circle

Goose Creek

Pleasant memories

I commend Jennifer Berry Hawes on her Nov. 18 article titled “Sisters in service.”

My daughter, Drew, was born Jan. 4, 1986, in St. Francis Hospital on Calhoun Street.

I remember nuns in habits coming in and out of my hospital room with sweet words like “good night.”

In the morning, prayers were said over the loudspeaker. I thought we were in Heaven. This article brought back most pleasant memories.

June McKnight

Goblet Avenue

Mount Pleasant

Devious tactic

A staple method of denigrating an opponent is to miscast his positions to suit the argument you wish to advance.

A Nov. 7 letter to the editor from an Episcopal priest illustrates this strategy, which has been the core method of those opposing Bishop Mark Lawrence and the many parishes of the Diocese of South Carolina that have resisted the relentless and heavy-handed attempts of the national church to bring them to heel.

His letter, strewn with invective and misrepresentation, accuses Bishop Lawrence of everything he is not. This important theological disagreement is also a major power play, with the national church and the bishop’s opponents attempting to steer the discussion away from irrefutable points and fabricating abandonment charges that have never before been used.

The writer’s declaration that the church he loves “rests on a tripod: the creative tension between Scripture, tradition, and reason” is trendy ’70s psychobabble.

The church has always rested on the bedrock of the Trinity and Scripture. The writer equates those who believe in these basic concepts with terrorists and, in a curious turn, labels those who believe and desire to adhere to Scripture as schismatic.

At no time has Bishop Lawrence required any parish to give up an identity it wishes to hold dear. He has made every attempt to allow parishes to seek their own destiny, as evidenced by his issuance of quitclaim deeds to their property, removing the threat of any parish’s property being seized as an extortive measure either by the national church, which has exercised it many times, or the diocese, which has never exercised it.

Bishop Lawrence’s offense to the national church has been that he will not bow at its altar of denying Christianity, plain and simple. No accusations of subliminal anti-intellectuality can change that truth.

He refuses to be part of their move away from Christianity, and that is apparently unacceptable to them.

Wray Lemke

West Coleman Boulevard

Mount Pleasant

The spirit of play

After reading about the journey of the Goose Creek football player through multiple schools and foster homes, it appears to me that the S.C. High School League has forgotten its mission. They have no concern about further personal and social damage to this young man, who may have inadvertently ended Goose Creek High School’s very deserving chase to a second consecutive state football championship.

Let’s peek at another sports incident for perspective.

July 24, 1983, Yankee Stadium. George Brett hits a two-run homer to put his Kansas City Royals ahead late in the game.

The opposing manager, Billy Martin, goes to the umpire with Brett’s bat in hand. Baseball rules specify that the sticky substance, pine tar, was too far up the bat handle to be legal. Brett is called out. Kansas City protests the in-game ruling.

American League President Lee MacPhail overturns the umpire’s ruling because, in MacPhail’s words, “the spirit of the rules was not violated.” We can learn a lot about life from MacPhail’s long-forgotten words.

W. Thomas McQueeney

Mazzy Lane

Mount Pleasant