It’s Only Logical
Since some of our political leaders, such as my senator, Jeanne Shaheen, have opposed the Supreme Court’s recent decision not to force Hobby Lobby to pay for abortifacients for its employees, I am writing to explain why millions of Americans consider that the Supreme Court, in this instance, has genuinely supported our constitutional rights.
The primary issue is that some contraceptives prevent implantation in the uterus but do not prevent conception (abortionno.org/birth-control/). The official Senate report that was prepared on Senate Bill 158 (The Human Life Bill), states: “Physicians, biologists and other scientists agree that conception marks the beginning of the life of a human being — a being that is alive and is a member of the human species. There is overwhelming agreement on this point in countless medical, biological and scientific writings” (NAAPC.org/why-life-begins-at-conception/).
Because life begins at conception (as science attests), logic indicates that drugs which destroy the life of a human person, even in its earliest stages, are immoral and inappropriately named “women’s health care.”
Sister Mary Rose Reddy, DMML
Rochester, New Hampshire
Regarding the problems cited in “Churching the ‘Unchurched’” by Jim Graves (Culture of Life, June 1 issue), I suggest that 40-50 years of bias implicit in “separation of church and state” has done irreparable damage. A separation of synagogues, mosques, temples, etc. wasn’t deemed necessary by our founders.
Our Founding Fathers did not presume to have authority over God or that which belongs to God; and logic dictates you cannot have a “separation” of two things unless they have first been united.
Some background is necessary: The 16th-century Protestant Reformation caused religious conflict. To alleviate tensions, The Peace of Augsburg (1555) stipulated political entities should “establish either Lutheranism or Roman Catholicism as a ‘religious monopoly’” (a church-and-state alliance).
The Augsburg principle was brought to America by the colonists — with most of the 13 autonomous colonies establishing a Christian denomination. It wasn’t satisfactory because the monopolies didn’t allow religious freedom; some of the denominations were not considered equal.
The conflict and inequality probably account for the disparaging remarks about religion made by statesmen at the time, including Thomas Jefferson and James Madison, who otherwise respected religion and its practice.
The colonists wanted “freedom of religion.”
During the War for Independence, the alliances between the colonies and their established religions were de-established. Under Jefferson’s inspiration, Virginia was first. It was called “separation of church and state” because the colonies were new “states” independent of England, and all the denominations were Christian (church). It took place before the Constitution and Bill of Rights were written.
Separation of church and state belong to colonial history. They’re out of context in the new Constitution and new nation. The First Amendment is as Thomas Jefferson stated, “a wall” of separation.
Underestimating the authors of the Constitution is corrupting truth and justice.
Open a dictionary and diagram the parts of speech in “an establishment of religion.” The indefinite article “an” does not fix the identity of the “noun,” establishment (“noun” — not “verb”). Therefore, “an establishment” of religion presupposes “any and every identity” of religion — Islamic mosque, Jewish hospital, Catholic mission, Buddhist orphanage, etc.
It’s called “freedom of religion.” Unless specified, religion includes pluralistic belief.
More Reason for Hope
Regarding “Healing After Miscarriage: Couples Find Hope in Faith After Losing a Child” (Culture of Life, June 29 issue):
It is well known that women who are expecting a child have to be careful about what they eat or drink during pregnancy, because whatever they consume affects the child in the womb.
It seems to me that Catholic women who have suffered a miscarriage have all the more reason for joyful hope if they received holy Communion during the time they were pregnant — because whatever they consume affects the child in the womb.
Brother Bernard Mary, MFVA
Four Said ‘No’
We all need to be concerned about the close vote in the Supreme Court’s recent favorable decision in the Hobby Lobby case. Certainly, it is a win for the protection of religious liberty, but our concern needs to be the fact that four of the nine justices voted against the decision.
Elections have consequences, and in the case of a presidential election, the winning candidate is given the authority to select justices during his/her term of office. Therefore, it is imperative that we vote our consciences and our convictions. If we fail to do so, we risk losing our religious liberty.
We also need to be concerned about the rise of moral relativism in our society, even among Catholics, some of whom might say, “Well, I wouldn’t do it, but it is legal; and so who am I to say if others choose to do it?”
Our focus must be to pray and work to build a society that promotes respect for all human life from conception until natural death, respects and defends traditional marriage (between one man and one woman) and whose members are determined to elect only those candidates who respect our principles and our religious liberty.
Being a practicing Catholic does not just require our attending Mass every Sunday or Saturday vigil. We must take our faith into the marketplace and into the voting booth. We must be committed to doing our best to reverse the decline of moral values in our present culture. Abortion has been legal in our country for the past 41 years. And, sadly, assisted suicide is also legal in some states, as is same-sex “marriage.”
We must not assume the attitude that “as long as something is legal it is fine if others choose to participate in these behaviors as long as we don’t ourselves.” The reality is: We cannot stop them, but what we can and must do is make a sincere effort to promote our pro-life, pro-family values and pray to God for the conversion of those who disagree with our principles.
Jill A. White
Hamilton, New Jersey
Guide to Healing
Relative to “Healing After Miscarriage” (Culture of Life, June 29 issue):
Thank you for the article about what couples can do following a miscarriage.
When my wife and I went through this experience, we were lost and unsure of how to face this loss. We avoided sharing our sorrow with each other and with family and friends. And we did not look for consolation from our parish priest. This shame and anguish over losing a child never left our hearts. I do wish I had read such an article years ago. It would have truly helped guide us toward some kind of healing.
Freedom to Serve
Thank you for your lovely article, “Why We Serve: Religious Freedom and Catholic Service for the Poor” (NCRegister.com, July 3).
Just this past weekend, there was an ad for the Little Sisters of the Poor in our parish bulletin.
Patricia (last name withheld)
North St. Louis County, Missouri
Due to an editing error, a letter to the editor from Anne Burns of Cos Cob, Conn. (“Excellent Issue”), in the Register’s May 18 edition stated she was “introduced to the dialogue of the Mass.” The letter should have stated “the Dialogue Mass (Missa Dialogata).” In addition, in “Beyond Blindness” (July 13 issue), the photo credit should have included the writer, Sue Groves. The Register regrets the errors.
Our July 13 Culture of Life section featured a factoid on the Spanish model-turned-religious Sister Olalla Oliveros of the Order of St. Michael. We weren’t able to acquire a photo at press time, but were for this issue, courtesy of her religious order. (Sister Olalla is pictured second from right.)