Say no to Pepco's latest rate hike request

Re: "Montgomery County wants vote on Pepco rate hike," Jan. 2

Pepco desires another undeserved and unwarranted rate increase. However, Pepco's response to several storms this past summer showed just how unprepared it was. This was indicative of how Pepco continues to fail the public during times that require a timely and efficient restoration of service. Pepco customers deserve better service.

The lack of information updates from Pepco in the past has been appalling. To tell the public and news media that it could take up to a week or longer to restore service to 90 percent of its customers reflects inefficiency and a lack of care.

The Public Service Commission should deny Pepco another rate increase until management changes are made and service drastically improves.

-- Al Eisner

Silver Spring

No room for religious exemptions in our law

Re: "Sotomayor punts on religious freedom, for now," Editorial, Dec. 31

In the "heads I win, tails you lose" world of modern conservatism, The Washington Examiner laments that Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor turned down Hobby Lobby's request for an emergency injunction against Obamacare's requirement that employers cover abortifacient drugs. But conservatives use the same rationale against activist liberals.

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The special discriminatory exemption businesses like Hobby Lobby seek would bulldoze the high wall of separation between church and state by placing church doctrine above commercial regulation. Profit-making businesses want all the advantages of federal protection, but not all of the concomitant burdens.

It is a stain on our republic that our government still allows religious exemptions for all manner of things such as gender discrimination, which our society has come to reject. The exemption suggests that these odious practices are morally righteous, even though our laws proscribe them, because the institutions we most closely associate with morality practice them.

Our houses of worship and our legislatures seem not to understand that the 14th Amendment's equal protection overrides the 1st Amendment whenever the two conflict. Contrary to Sotomayor's appellate ruling, our government has long sat in judgment of matters of faith and doctrine in the matter of conscientious-objector applications for exemption from military combat.

Would The Examiner have our government do otherwise here?

-- Dino Drudi


'Private' abortions should not be publicly financed

Re: "Abortion fosters widespread indifference toward life," Dec. 30, and "Abortion restrictions are unconstitutional," From Readers, Jan. 2

With reference to the letters of Dr. Grazia Mangano Ragazzi and Edd Doerr on the perennial abortion debate, the Bible most likely does not address the subject because abortion was never practiced or even thought of in those ancient times.

Regardless of the legality of abortion, Dr. Ragazzi is at least correct to say that the practice of abortion cheapens human life and diminishes moral respect for it. Not everything that is legal to do is automatically wise to do.

Lying is also protected by the First Amendment. But getting a general public reputation for being a liar, and thus engendering popular distrust for one's word, may cause a great deal of personal inconvenience when trying to negotiate contracts involving mutual trust.

Roe v. Wade was argued before the U.S. Supreme Court on basis of privacy. Therefore, no public tax monies should be used to finance it. I will make a deal with all the pro-abortion feminists among us: I will take my hands off their bodies if they take their hands out of my bank account.

-- Lawrence K. Marsh