I am 20 years old, a former head of a Rock For Life chapter, and a man who is totally pro-life.
In the past few issues, I've been noticing the sad disunity of the pro-life organizations and movements — namely, Judie Brown and others, who have their own bones to pick with the National Right to Life organization. I find this disheartening, for we must be together in this fight to save the unborn. A kingdom divided against itself cannot [stand]. This kingdom is the culture of life, which we are fighting for. This petty bickering is distracting us from the real job of saving unborn lives.
I'd ask Judie Brown, and any others who share her opinions, to pray for our president rather than judge him before he decides on pro-life issues. It's all too obvious whom she and others voted for last year, a so-called prolife/Catholic candidate whose own views and party positions differ from that of the Church and, most of all, the Holy Father.
They voted for a man who on national TV has voiced his disagreement with the Pope and faithful Catholic bishops. Bush is not perfect but neither was that man. That man also almost gave this all-too-close last election to pro-abortion candidates.
Let us pray for unity, let us pray for our president, and let us pray for the end of the culture of death.
TIM SCHLENZ JR. Middletown, Virginia
Storing Up Treaures
Several of the comments quoted in your June 24-30 article on the Ave Maria Catholic Values Fund (“Domino's Founder's Fund Throws Good Money After Good”) shed some light on the attitudes toward principled investing that prevail in the Catholic community and help explain why most Catholics don't extend their religious convictions to their personal investments.
Many, no doubt, find the concept appealing but may share Msgr. William Smith's concern that the moral aspects of investing in mutual funds are “enormously complicated.”
I would argue that the choice between investing in a portfolio of companies selected without regard for their compliance with Catholic teaching and a portfolio which excludes companies that violate Church principles is simple, not complicated. The issue is whether you want to try to do the right thing or not bother.
The monsignor properly observes that merely labeling a fund Catholic doesn't make it so, but determining whether a particular fund does, in fact, adhere to Catholic values need not be so “very, very difficult to pin .. down,” as he suggests. The investment policies of Catholic mutual funds in general, and certainly of the Ave Maria Catholic Values Fund, are clear and unambiguous. The exclusion of companies directly involved in abortion, pornography and other anti-family practices results in portfolios that are very different from those of secular funds. They reveal just how far from the real world is Phil Lenahan's hypothetical 100-stock portfolio, which includes a single “limited” deviation from Catholic teaching.
Consumers should definitely be careful about funds that claim they can take the sin out of the marketplace, as Msgr. Smith warns. As portfolio managers, however, the Ave Maria Catholic Values Fund can provide concerned Catholics with an investment choice to which they are entitled.
GREGG D. WATKINS Bloomfield Hills, Michigan
The writer is portfolio manger of the Ave Maria Catholic Values Fund.
Joan on Film
Your Weekly Video Picks of July 29-Aug. 4 included a video titled Joan the Maid. I am a devotee of St. Joan of Arc and thought I had seen every movie and video made about her, but this is one I have never seen. Could you tell me how I could procure a copy of it?
MSGR. MYRON J. PLESKAC Lincoln, Nebraska
Editor's Note: You should be able to get a copy of the two-tape set from the major online sellers of books and videos (such as amazon.com and barnesandnoble.com) or by special order at most video stores.
Social Justice vs. Socialism In “Ten Years Later, the Key to Free Society is Still Culture” (July 8-14), Greg Beabout is correct when he states that Centesimus Annus denounces socialism and “teaches us that the primary task of working for social justice lies at the level of the human heart and involves promoting the culture of life.” However, he is misleading in claiming that “socialism is all but gone from the world scene after 1989.”
There is and has been a creeping socialism in the United States since the 1930s. Our current culture is to give to the government through taxes the power to be the definers and administers of social justice. Moreover, the government wants to usurp our responsibility and let the government take care of it. The government — as a remote bureaucracy — does not have the human heart to promote the culture of life.
For example, more than 60% of Catholic Charities funds come from the government. That is creeping socialism and certainly not in keeping with Centesimus Annus. It depicts a culture of socialism rather than a culture that lies at the level of the human heart.
TOM McGINN Fountain Hills, Arizona
Remarkably Misguided Register?
Your reply to the letter “Remarkably Misguided Pro-Life Men” July 22-28 could be taken as simply “passing the buck.” However, it seems to me to be “spin” to say “Judge us for what we say we believe on our editorial page, not for the articles we print on the other pages.”
With Ken Brinkman, I say, “Shame on you!”
JEANETTE MASCHMANN St. Louis
Editor's Note: Many letter-writers have pointed out to us that some of the self-professed liberal men who were recognized by the Feminists for Life as pro-life have been high-profile supporters of pro-abortion candidates. We agree that this is an inconsistent position on their part. The Register is adamant about the incompatibility of pro-life views and pro-abortion votes. We ran the story because we thought it would be helpful for readers to know that even avid political “liberals” recognize that killing the unborn is wrong. The organization did not praise these men's choice of candidates — only their affirmation of unborn life.
Pax Christi on Shaky Ground The statement which Pax Christi makes on its Web site about abortion is filled with nothing but Planned Parenthood's continuing lies about pro-lifers (“Pax Christi's Pro-Abortion Speaker Stopped by University,” July 15-21).
A case in point is the statement by Pax Christi that “Women are too often criminalized or condemned by those committed to the unborn …”
The people with Pax Christi must never associate with anyone who has worked in a pro-life crisis pregnancy center, for if they had, they'd know that statement to be an outright lie. And, if any of them actually came down to earth and worked with groups such as Rachel's Vineyard, the Elliot Institute or Life Dynamics, they'd know that there are many pro-life groups that work hard to help women overcome the many physical and emotional traumas that their abortions caused them and regain a sense of dignity in their own eyes through the mercy of God's forgiveness.
Is this what they mean by common ground? What kind of common ground are they talking about when it comes to abortion? Do they mean it's OK to abort some babies and not others? Do they mean it's OK to create a human life in a petri dish so long as you kill it for its stem cells? What do they mean?
And, if they are willing to look for common ground on abortion, why stop there? Why not find common ground on euthanasia? Or maybe the death penalty?
Pax Christi makes grandiose statements about a “seamless garment” in their opposition to “not only abortion, but also the death penalty, war, the nuclear-arms race and anything that threatens life,” and they “reject the claim of any individual, any group or organization, any nation to the ‘right’ to destroy human life, whether singly or as entire populations.”
Do they mean that no one has the right to defend themselves from attack? I think Pax Christi's “Seamless Garment” has a few holes in it.
JOHN M. CRAVEN New Orleans