To: (Multiple email addresses may be specified by separating them with a comma)
BY The Editors
As a new subscriber, I spend Sunday
afternoons reading the Register and writing to my congressmen and president.
Your articles about life issues always spur me on to write!
I know that President Obama and my
representatives do not read my short letters, but someone does, and maybe they
will be influenced.
Back to Natural Law
Regarding the Daily Blog post
“Benedict’s African Triumph” (March 20): While few would compare Pope Benedict
XVI to John Lennon, their methods of saving humanity are in some sense similar.
In the 1960s, John Lennon
pushed for peace with his anti-war sign “WAR IS OVER! — if you want it.”
His message was meant to convey the simple fact that peace is merely a matter
of the people willing it.
Obviously, the fact that most
nations and individuals are today at war with one another — both on the
battlefields and in the court rooms — indicates that few people really want
peace. Posing as peaceniks, what they really want is their own individual
“rights,” regardless of the consequences this may have for others.
This same kind of selfish freedom
that has historically prevented peace also stands in the way of abolishing the
AIDS virus. AIDS can be eradicated tomorrow if, as the Pope suggests, people
were simply willing to exercise a little self-restraint and practice
abstinence and marital fidelity.
Barring this refusal to submit
oneself to the natural law, no amount of money or mass influx of condoms to
various nations will stop the spread of the deadly virus.
On the contrary, it will only
aggravate the problem, just as the fictitious kind of individual “rights” we
have all championed since the ’60s has led to a mass proliferation of war
Pope Paul VI rightly predicted back
in 1968 that failure to follow the dictates of natural law on contraception
would lead to a lowering of moral standards, a rise in infidelity and
promiscuity, a lessening of respect for women, and government-enforced
limitations on population.
Ours is a time of continual movement
which often leads to restlessness, with the risk of “doing for the sake of
doing.” We must resist this temptation by trying “to be” before trying “to do.”
Regarding “Anti-Church CT: Good
News/Bad News” (Daily Blog, March 10): What I find really troubling about this
is that these two legislators feel secure enough in being re-elected that they
are willing to make such a frontal assault on freedom of religion and the First
Amendment. What does this say about how their constituents regard freedom of
religion and constitutional rights?
CEO, Human Life of
No Double Effect
I have read Dr. Miller’s letter
(“Extremely Insightful,” March 15) with great interest. I agree that Dr.
DeMarco’s column was insightful. I also agree with many of the points in Dr.
Miller’s letter. I do not, however, agree with her use of the principle of
“double effect” as a means to an end. The principle of double effect involves
an “unintended” consequence of an action. The more typical clinical scenario is
the terminally ill patient who is suffering with pain who is administered a
medicine to control pain and unintentionally dies as a result of this medicine.
This “unintended” consequence (death) is looked upon in retrospect, only after
the action (pain management) is administered. The “pure” intent of the
procedure (pain control) was to relieve the pain, not the resultant death. More
often than not, the “unintended” consequence is avoided and the patient’s pain
is relieved without death.
This may sound like semantics, but I
think the beauty is in the “pure intent.” In the case of the frozen embryo,
there is not a second possibility to thawing. Death would be the “only”
possible result; therefore, “double effect” could not be applied.
Thawing and death may indeed be the
only way to “unconditionally respect” this human being, but double effect is
not the argument in favor of that. This may be the very reason we are in “a
situation of injustice which in fact cannot be resolved” (Dignitas
Personae, The Dignity of the Person).
I have always argued that “location”
is the only difference between the frozen embryo and the child in the uterus. I
argue simply that once the new human being is conceived all that is needed is
“growth and development.”
So, now I wonder: Why shouldn’t the
frozen embryo, even though it is “conceived illicitly,” be given that same
right to life as the “naturally conceived” human being?
Some of my answer is stated
perfectly in Donum Vitae (The Gift of Life): “Thus the
fruit of human generation, from the first moment of its existence, that is to
say, from the moment the zygote has formed, demands the unconditional respect
that is morally due to the human being in his bodily and spiritual totality.
The human being is to be respected and treated as a person from the moment of conception;
and, therefore, from that same moment his rights as a person must be
recognized, among which in the first place is the inviolable right of every
innocent human being to life.”
Fallen-Away Son Returns
In response to the “Fallen-Away
After School” letter (March 15): I have never fully renounced God or his
existence, but my journey through Catholic grade school, secular high school,
and then Jesuit university left me at the mercy of popular culture, just like
Since my parents left my catechism
teaching to the world, the views of the world were instilled in me. I was at
the mercy of the school of relativism, where your faith is right for you and my
faith is right for me, regardless of the differences. I had learned to pick and
choose what parts of the Church’s teachings I would follow, only because I
agreed with them, and leave the rest.
was blessed to go on a trip to Fatima, Portugal, with the woman who is now my
wife. We were just friends at the time, but I knew I had found someone very,
very special in her, and I was intent on marrying her.
was, and still is, a devout Catholic who saw me as the lost soul I was and
began instructing me in the Catholic faith.
was frustrated and anxious about this whole trip. As I walked up to the church,
I told God, “If I really should pray to Mary and be devout to her and this is
all part of your plan for us in the Church, then ring the church bells as I
got closer and closer to the church with nothing happening, and I was feeling
more and more certain that I was right and they were all wrong. Finally, in my
smugness, I crossed under the lintel of the door, and, immediately, the bells
started to ring! I felt that God was showing himself to me personally, and I
have been blessed with many more daily miracles in my life since then, but this was the
point of my conversion back to the Church. Since then, I have immersed myself
into learning the faith.
now have a newborn baby boy with my amazing wife, and we are determined to
teach him the faith as best we can, with the leadership of the Church and the
resources of the Bible and the Catechism, through the grace of God. I will pray
for you and your son as you embark on the difficult and uncertain road ahead.
Eleanor Donlon’s article (“The Abortion Story,” March 1) accurately describe
the status of the pro-life movement’s effort to fight the abortion issue as Mr.
Irwin says (“Life’s ‘Story,’” Letters, March 15)? On the contrary, Donlon was
referring only to one category: literature. But the failure of literature to
fight abortion is not the only “battlefront” of the pro-life movement.
example, abortion rates have dropped by 30% from 1981 to 2005 because of the
passage of such laws as the Hyde Amendment defunding federal payment for
abortion. States’ laws regarding parental consent and informed consent, among
other restrictions, have also provided for reduction in abortions, especially
vital but often overlooked element of the pro-life movement is the 36-year
involvement of pregnancy-resource centers throughout the United States.
centers are staffed by people who are helping many women distressed by
pregnancy to mobilize their personal resources and those of their communities.
These centers provide face-to-face, free, factual information regarding
pregnancy, adoption and many necessary aids, along with ultrasounds and baby
and maternity clothing. As statistics have shown, abortions are down through
the steadfast efforts of many who wish to be a real friend to the pregnant
woman and her baby.
Cloud Shadows Nominee” (March 22) was great, noteworthy and very well
written, but honestly, I am so tired of seeing President Obama’s face on
the front page of almost every U.S. newspaper close to five times a week.
am beginning to feel like even Christian journalism is getting sucked into this
“Obamamania.” It would be nice to see someone or something else on the
front page of the Register rather than Obama. Since his election, he has made
your front page on numerous occasions.
In my opinion, “California Reviews
Prop. 8” in the same issue was just as noteworthy as Obama’s nomination of Gov.