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BY Tom Hoopes
Lives in the Balance
We commend the National Catholic
Register and Paul Kengor for quite correctly pointing out that George W. Bush
deserves full credit for the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (“Bush
Quietly Saved a Million African Lives,” Aug. 9). Better known as Pepfar, the
first three years of this $15 billion program truly revolutionized the
treatment of HIV and AIDS, particularly in Africa. It brought life and hope to
those who before faced death and despair. Over 2 million people have received
life-saving medical treatment as a result of Pepfar.
The legacy that President Bush
started in 2003 is continuing. Last year, Congress reauthorized Pepfar for
another five years, calling for expenditures of $48 billion during that time.
Learning from the first three years, Congress also improved the program, better
integrating its work with the treatment of other diseases and into the
health-care systems of affected countries.
To keep this admirable legacy
intact, we at Catholic Relief Services urge that you tell your representatives
in Congress to make sure Pepfar is fully funded in the coming years, even as
our country faces tough economic decisions. Millions of lives depend on that.
We cannot let these people down.
Regarding “Benedict on Health Care”
The “health-care reform” bill
targets the unborn, the very sick and our senior citizens. Father Frank Pavone
of Priests for Life has called it the Freedom of Choice Act in disguise. He
also said: “The ‘health-care reform’ bills being finalized in Congress will set
off a chain reaction that will result in a massive expansion of abortion!
That’s because, unless Congress explicitly states that abortion is excluded, it
will be regarded as ‘an essential benefit’ for Americans.”
Senior citizens and the very sick of
all ages will be harmed, or die, because of rationing. That’s how the framers
of the bill intend to save money.
We need to scrap the current
“health-care reform” bill and do something else, such as allowing Medicaid as a
temporary measure for folks who have lost their jobs, and giving Americans the
right to purchase health insurance from any state in the union, which would
make insurance companies more competitive, thereby reducing costs. We really
can’t trust the government to control our health care.
Let’s keep calling, writing and/or
visiting our representatives to tell them we don’t want this “health-care
More importantly, we should pray
every day for an end to abortion, euthanasia and neglect (through rationing).
De Souza on Kennedy
Father Raymond J. de Souza’s
comments and summary of “Edward Kennedy’s Catholic Legacy” (Sept. 6) may well
stand as a bright light when a debate is held on what is the most important
role an authentic Catholic citizen should assume if he or she decides to enter
F. Whalen Sr.
180 Degrees of Separation
When abortion began escalating as a
controversial issue in the late 1960s, I wrote a letter to Sen. Ted Kennedy, D-Mass.,
and respectfully inquired as to his view.
Kennedy responded in a letter, dated
Aug. 3, 1971, with the following comment (which was included in the Register’s
Sept. 6 editorial, “A Tale of Two Kennedys”): “... t is my personal feeling
that the legislation of abortion on demand is not in accordance with the value
which our civilization places on human life. Wanted or unwanted, I believe that
human life, even at its earlier stages, has certain rights which must be
recognized — the right to be born, the right to love, the right to grow old.”
By 1980, Kennedy began to abandon
his position on the legal protection for unborn children and became a prime
mover in the pro-abortion movement. In fact, Kennedy received shortly
afterwards an award for his political efforts from the National Association for
the Repeal of Abortion Laws.
In addition, Kennedy also gave his
full support for embryonic stem-cell research, along with the same-sex
“marriage” proposal, while opposing the Defense of Marriage Act.
Finally, what is most disturbing is
the fact that Kennedy never gave voters any specific reason for his 180-degree
flip-flop on such an important moral issue as abortion.
Sayville, New York
The Tyranny of ‘Reform’
Nineteen Democrats recently asked
President Obama not to sign any bill that
doesn’t explicitly exclude “abortion from the scope of any government-defined
or subsidized health insurance plan” or any bill that allows a federal health
board to “recommend abortion services be included under covered benefits or as
part of a benefits package.” Obama never responded, and the Democrat majority
in the House has struck down every amendment that would include such language.
July 31 the Energy and Commerce Committee passed the Capps amendment, which,
while appearing to prohibit the abortion mandate in the health-care overhaul,
actually calls for a public plan to cover abortions and mandates that at least
one abortion-covering plan be available in every U.S. region. The Capps
amendment strikes down conscience protections established by the Hyde
Amendment. Absent ironclad quarantines that re-establish the Hyde protections,
Obama’s so-called health-care reform will force Americans to fund the murder of
the innocent child in the womb.
the 17th-century Cromwellian conquest of Ireland until 1829, Catholics in Great
Britain were forced by the state to contribute money to the Protestant Church
of England. That a state had the power to impose this tyranny on men, denying
them their God-given right of freedom of conscience, was a major reason our
Founding Fathers rose up against the British crown. My opposition to the forced
funding of the murder of the innocent child in the womb is a matter of
of Obama’s first acts was the repeal, by executive order, of conscience
protections for health-care workers who refuse to participate in abortions or
other health activities that violate their consciences. Obama’s and the
Democrat majority’s intent to tithe Americans to fund their cult of death is
The Gene Game
I don’t understand why some people
buy into the “gay gene” myth. It seems to me
that that is as ludicrous as saying there is a “killing gene” we inherited from
Cain, and, therefore, we can rationalize killing other humans, especially those
not yet born. Or how about an “alcoholic gene” or a “smoking gene,” so,
therefore, we have no control and are not responsible for our actions? Maybe
the word “addiction” is more appropriate in those cases.
isn’t the best proof that there is no such “gene” the fact that homosexuals can
be cured, changed if they want to be? A 90% cure rate has been repeatedly
demonstrated by those groups who truly care about homosexuals. That’s
considerably better than alcoholics or smokers.
results would hardly be possible if there were a “homosexual gene,” would
there? It seems like people who promote the “gay gene” deception must hate
homosexuals, who live a miserable life and die 33 years younger than normal heterosexuals.
Would they treat alcoholics or smokers the same way?
Cause vs. Predisposition
“‘Gay Gene’ Myth” letter (Aug. 23) stated that “many homosexuals have common
physical characteristics.” While the writer is correct, this does not mean
there is a genetic cause for homosexuality. It does show, however, there can be
a genetic-predisposition factor correlated to homosexuality.
does genetic predisposition differ from genetic cause? This question was
answered by Dr. Richard Fitzgibbons, a noted psychiatrist and member of the
Catholic Medical Association. Fitzgibbons stated that, among the many
homosexuals he had treated, one of the most common factors was poor hand-eye
coordination. Poor hand-eye coordination often leads to problems for young boys
in playing certain sports, such as baseball and football, which require good
hand-eye coordination. This problem, unfortunately, can lead to peer-bonding
problems for young boys. Fathers should not ridicule such sons, but rather
emphasize that being good at sports is not what being a good man is all about.
as height is a “genetic predisposition” for being a basketball player — a 6’6”
fellow is more apt to play basketball than a 5’6” guy — one cannot conclude
that height causes one to play basketball; but it does predispose
one for that activity.
Frank J. Russo Jr.
Port Washington, New York
recent article “Scientists Outing ‘Gay Gene’ Myth” (July 26) caught my eye because
I just finished reading a book that hits on exactly the same point (and so much
more). Any readers interested in that article might also pick up Melinda
Selmys’ Sexual Authenticity (OSV, 2009). She quotes much of the same
research as your article regarding the question of whether or not homosexuality
is biologically determined, but, more than that, she offers her own intimate
and honest reflections on this delicate topic and how it can be
approached with genuine compassion yet without compromising the truth about the
her most insightful conclusions is the conviction that, by promoting the myth
of biological gayness, the gay movement has actually done a great and
multifaceted disservice to those who struggle with same-sex attractions.
book is somewhat quirky and not all readers will find its quirks as amusing as
I did, but its examinations are careful and refreshingly honest and
its insights spot on, as any Register reader would expect of Register columnist