To: (Multiple email addresses may be specified by separating them with a comma)
BY The Editors
Like Mary Ann Kuharski (“No More
No-Tell Hotels,” Oct. 25), I’ve noticed a disturbing trend: Christian
ministries booking reservations and scheduling banquets, conferences, etc. at
hotels that carry pay-per-view porn! People who visit pornography sites, via
Internet, phone sex lines or the relatively anonymous pay-per-view porn movie
channels, quickly become desensitized and then addicted to this prurient
So, what can a Christian do to fight
against this rising tide of immorality?
For starters, be more aware of the
subtle ways you are aiding and abetting the pornography industry. Don’t do
business with any business that profits from pornography. All it takes is one
question to management: “Do you carry pay-per-view porn?” Most will answer, “We
have ‘adult movies,’ but you can put a block on your television.” How does that
help protect you from the serial porn viewer in the adjacent room? We are all
called to be our brother’s keeper.
Tea and Protest
Regarding “Tea-Party Catholics”
(Nov. 1): I am having a hard time seeing just what the concern is about
Catholics participating in a legal, respectful forum in order to express our
concerns about the threats to American liberties by the current administration.
I attended one such event in my area and was pleased to see that pro-life views
As Catholic Americans, we need to
take advantage of these opportunities to express concerns about the way our
Christian culture is being threatened: for example, by health-care legislation
that seeks to promote abortion and impose government authority over health-care
These are serious matters, and I
applaud our bishops and faithful Catholics who are willing to respectfully
speak out on these matters, whether at “tea parties” or other forums. I see no
contradiction between attending these events and practicing our Catholic faith.
I recently read an article by Rich
Daly in your Sept. 20 edition entitled “Home-Invasion Threat: ‘Voluntary’
Visitation Program Draws Family Fire.” The article said that home-visitation
“programs have functioned with a variety of purposes, but they are frequently
touted as a way to prevent child abuse and neglect by parents.”
I have never heard of such programs.
The article did not say how they work. For example, who initiates a
request for such a visitation, and why? Where can I find out more information
My family and relatives have never
requested anyone to visit our homes to check on child abuse.
Why would anyone voluntarily do that? What am I missing
here? Are visitation programs just for people receiving government aid?
I am certain that most people
are not in favor of any unnecessary government intrusion into their lives.
I am not criticizing Daly’s article. I just want some additional information on
how these programs work before I share any concerns with my congressional
representatives. Can you or your correspondent help? Thank you.
Swartz Creek, Michigan
Daly responds: The programs generally function at the county level
and operate through state and county funding.
People are referred into the
programs by a number of sources: public health services, welfare offices and
private health-care providers, for instance. They are usually voluntary. The
main danger exists in the fact that all of these employees are “mandated
reporters,” which means they are required to report the vaguest concerns of
abuse or neglect (which regularly includes such “offenses” as a nonfunctioning
stove) and that initiates involvement of often aggressive child protective
services agencies that have permanently removed many children for violations
many would see as minor (two different color shoes on a child).
Mandated reporters also receive
blanket immunity under all state and federal CPS laws for filing what many
families see as fabricated or vindictive reports.
The income for the agencies or
private contractor companies that employ these home-visitation workers also
will depend on their ongoing presence in people’s homes once they start coming.
This gives an incentive for them to use their considerable coercive power to
intimidate parents to remain in the “voluntary” program.
Little is known about the specific
experiences of families in these programs because of privacy concerns for the
families; however, researchers have found that at least one program resulted in
a greatly increased number of reports to CPS agencies compared to families in a
control group (i.e. you are more likely to be reported for neglect if a
mandated reporter is in your home observing you for months and years at a time;
the programs generally try to retain the family from birth until the youngest
child is 6 years old).
The provision in the Democratic
health-care overhaul bill (it is in all of them) would create the first
federal-funding stream for these programs.
These programs are described as
being for low-income people in need of help. However, that was the same
justification used to create a federally funded national CPS system 30 years
ago that has evolved to become squarely focused on middle-class families. In
fact, the academic advocates for these programs emphasize that all families
could benefit from home visitations, regardless of income. And at least one
prominent research psychiatrist told me he wished it could be mandatory for all
families to submit to home visitation, but he doubted there would ever be
enough tax dollars to support that.
I must speak up to give direct
evidence to support what has already been voiced by Michelle Krystofik in her
recent letter to the editor (“Post-Abortion,” Nov. 1).
Without a doubt, Rachel’s Vineyard
retreats absolutely help those men who attend, whether they come alone or as
the male half of a couple. I know this from personal experience.
Having attended my first retreat in
November 2007 and my second in June 2009, that one as a step toward joining the
Rachel’s Vineyard team here in Oregon, I can tell you that my growth and
healing experiences during both retreats were gifts from the Father to a man
who failed as a father. Men who have been affected by abortion need
healing, too. The difficulty is whether we men are willing to acknowledge our need.
In my case, it took 32 years before God led me to finally understand the true
impact of my actions that resulted in the abortion of my only biological child.
Having also experienced the “Healing
a Father’s Heart” program, I can testify that it is also a wonderful program
for healing. In structure, it differs from a Rachel’s Vineyard weekend in
that its duration is 10 to 12 weeks and in its structure in that it is
presented to a male-only group. I value the experiences gained during “Healing
a Father’s Heart,” as they allowed us to grow in our understanding of God’s
presence in our lives and especially his forgiveness.
Men, in closing, there are quite a
few programs available to us to aid our recovery from the trauma we do
experience related to abortion. Please don’t think that you are the only one
out there — and don’t think that you can go it alone. Seek out a program in
On the truth about love and
philosophy and the Donald DeMarco commentary in the Nov. 1 issue (“Without
Truth There Is No Love — and Vice Versa”), many students have difficulty not in
loving the truth, but rather in loving philosophy because its truths are
sometimes so complex or just plain difficult to understand.
Having been a student of DeMarco’s
for several different philosophy/theology courses at Holy Apostles College and
Seminary, I can attest that DeMarco has the ability to make philosophy
understandable, relevant and, yes, interesting.
Regarding “Anglican Return?” (Nov.
1): I commend the Pope for making it easier for disaffected Anglicans who feel
their church has become too liberal to convert to Roman Catholicism.
Radical Anglicans who support women
bishops and the evil of homosexuality [homosexual acts] misinterpret the Bible
and are guided by a false sense of freedom. They seek not God, but their own
selfish desires of power and lust.
Freedom does not rest in one’s ability to do as one pleases: “Ye shall be as
gods.” This promise is quite clearly behind modernity’s radical demand for
freedom. Such anarchical freedom does not redeem, but makes man a miscarried
creature, a pointless being.
Those who live like this very soon
clash with others who want to live the same way. The inevitable consequence of
this selfish concept of freedom is violence and the mutual destruction of
freedom and life. This is the direction in which the worldwide Anglican
Communion is now headed.
Sadly, some people want to
measure the truth of the faith by modern society’s standards. They mistakenly
believe that divine revelation must adapt itself to the current mentality in
order to be credible, instead of the current mentality converting in the light
that comes to us from on high. The result is a stripping of the Redeemer of Man
of his radical uniqueness, and classifying him as someone who can be managed
Traditionalists should take heart:
They are always welcome back to the fullness of truth that resides, with
all its pristine beauty and splendor, inside the Catholic Church.
I encourage Anglican traditionalists
and others, including atheists and dissenting Catholics, tossed about by the
waves of false doctrines, to climb aboard the Barque of Peter, for it will be
their only safe haven in these troubling times.