Canyon State Crisis

I have been a subscriber to the Register for more than 40 years, and I read every issue from cover to cover. However, I was totally disgusted with your report on immigration (June 20 and July 4), and the photo of Presidents Obama and Calderon (of Mexico) was an insult.

We have a terrible problem here in Arizona, and our governor only tried to help because the federal government has done nothing about it for years. And Calderon, in his speech to Congress, had the nerve to say the Arizona law was unjust. Obama and the Democrats just clapped and agreed with him. Actually, this new law was watered down immediately, so it no longer has any meaning anyway.

Calderon just wants to get rid of the problem people in his own country, so we are getting more criminals here than poor people only looking for work. Mexico needs to start taking care of its own.

I just wish the bishops could come down to the border area and see how the illegals are trashing our beautiful Sonoran Desert and then view the many bodies of people who die trying to cross the harsh desert, are killed by robbers or die when packed 20 deep into a car that turns over on the freeway, sending many to local hospitals.

Our own citizens often are turned away at hospitals because all the beds are filled with illegals. Most of Arizona’s budget goes to take care of them, pay for the children to attend schools, and, in general, gives them more handouts than our own citizens get.

And I haven’t even mentioned the problem of drugs pouring over the border and the cartels killing their own people and threatening the Mexican police if they try to stop them. Or our Arizona ranchers being killed, their homes broken into, and their lands covered with trash.

The only real solution will be to, first, erect a foolproof barrier to keep everyone out. That will help eliminate all these terrible deaths. Only then can a path to citizenship or a worker program be discussed.

And please don’t ever print another photo of Obama in your paper. He is a disgrace to this nation.

Ann Corless

Green Valley, Arizona

Editorial Amen

Regarding your June 6 editorial “Let’s Publicize Abortion”:

In part, the fight against partial-birth abortion had some success because its gruesomeness was “publicized,” and even many “pro-choicers” were aghast at the procedure. A Catholic neighbor (retired, international traveler, well read and informed) once said to me, “I won’t believe that abortion is legal during all nine months of a pregnancy in America unless you prove it.”

I was surprised by his ignorance. It is very easy to google. Abortion in America is legal through all nine months, and that truth must be “publicized.”

When publicized, as with partial-birth abortion, support for abortion will soon begin to disappear.

Joe Marincel

Flower Mound, Texas

Paths to Legality

Regarding “Immigration: Sharing America’s Blessings” (July 4):

With respect to what the article calls the “main tenet of a reform plan,” which “would be a path to citizenship” for the 12 million undocumented persons in the country, there are a couple of problems with the “main tenet.” First, it will never make it through Congress. Second, it goes beyond any obligation to “accommodate migrants.”

I believe the Catholic bishops will have more influence backing more modest reform. Instead of a “path to citizenship,” [I propose] a path to a three-year work permit or visa that can be extended from year to year. This would put 10 million or more on the right side of the law.

Charles W. O’Connor, attorney at law

New Haven, Connecticut

Illegal Is as Illegal Does

In your July 4 issue, beneath a picture of protesters outside the Arizona state capital, the caption stated that Gov. Jan Brewer signed into law “an immigration bill that makes it a crime for immigrants to be in the state illegally.” The definition of a crime is an act that violates the law; hence, being in the state or country illegally would seem to be, by definition, a crime. Is it not?

I have two adopted daughters from Ethiopia, and they are here legally. If we don’t like our current laws, then it is up to the citizenry, through the legislature, to change them. Illegal means illegal, just as “This is my body” means “This is my body.” Our empathy toward immigrants, illegal and legal, does not negate the laws of the people. In fact, our empathy as a country is what has made us a melting pot.

Kudos to Jan Brewer for standing up to the law, a law justly formed by the people.

Mike Acheson

Port Angeles, Washington

Acedia Awareness

Regarding “Arcane Knowledge?” (Letters, July 4):

Did the letter writer read the same column on acedia that I did? I found Melinda Selmys’ article on the subject revealing, cogent and practical. That one of the seven deadly sins (acedia, aka sloth) can be so widely and terribly misunderstood speaks well for the “master of deceit.”

Acedia is so widespread that its name and character goes unknown and unaddressed by most of us. Many thanks to Ms. Selmys for her revealing identification and analysis of this most stealthy sin.

Deacon Peter Flatley

Carlsborg, Washington

Support for NFP-ers

Letter writer Joan Hosek (“Mandate NFP,” July 4) spoke about couples not spending “hundreds of dollars” for natural family planning classes. When I spoke to one of my son’s engaged classmates this May, she told me she had to spend $14 for each chart to record her cycles. Being a teacher for Natural Family Planning International, I thought: That’s unethical.

John and Sheila Kippley’s 40-year legacy of mission-mindedness has them allowing anyone to download a chart for free at their website They also permit use of their online book for any donation. Some of their site’s visitors have been unemployed for months.

I hope you can let your readers know about this apostolate. I bet Joan hopes some of our bishops are reading this good news as well.

Ann Craig, R.N.

Robstown, Texas

Bring Back Bracero?

Relevant to the Register’s Special Report on Immigration (June 20 and July 4):

Are certain Catholic clergy saying that different rules apply to Latin American illegal aliens vs. Vietnamese, Irish, Nigerians, Chinese, Germans or any others who are illegal aliens?

Whatever happened to the commandments “Thou shall not steal” and “Thou shall not bear false witness”? Are they saying that these laws and commandments do not apply to illegal Hispanic aliens?

I know people who have had their Social Security numbers stolen by illegal alien workers. Are you saying that this is justified? How are they different from the moneychangers in the Temple? This seems totally contrary to the teaching of the Catholic faith.

Note: Prior to 1964, the Bracero Program provided a means for Hispanic Americans to legally work in the United States. This avoided a large portion of the current illegal human trade we now experience. This program was canceled for political reasons.

Terry Hornback

Wichita, Kansas

The Register in School

I am a longtime subscriber and find your articles to be very informative in numerous ways. Register articles provide succinct summaries that are ideal as classroom supplements.

I teach a law and literature class that traces perceptions of justice as reflected through literature. One of the principle points I stress to my law students was reflected in your recent papal catechesis about St. Thomas Aquinas: “St. Thomas Aquinas: Harmony Between Faith and Reason” (June 20).

Justice is perceived as being absurd by authors like Kafka and Camus because they solely rely upon reason in their Platonic effort to understand the ineffable. Because they have lost faith in their post-enlightenment pursuit of reason, their efforts to grasp the concept of justice will always fall short. As taught by St. Thomas Aquinas, and stressed by Pope John Paul II in Fides et Ratio, faith and reason are not mutually exclusive. In fact, you cannot have one without the other.

Thank you for the great work that you do to promote Catholic culture and further intellectual tradition. The next generation of lawyers in my classes appreciate and benefit from your efforts. May the Holy Spirit continue to assist you in your efforts.

Hon. Daniel P. Ryan

Judge in residence

Ave Maria School of Law

Naples, Florida

Credit Due

It has been brought to our attention that the commentator who wrote “Where Are the Japanese Children?” (In Depth, May 9) submitted the same essay to another publication as well as the Register, and that the other publication ran the piece first. The Register does not reprint previously published material. Had we known about the writer’s unfortunate “double dip” — simultaneously selling work to two publishers, which out of charity we will assume was inadvertent in this case — we would have declined to accept the manuscript. Its original publisher, the New Oxford Review, ran it (albeit with different edits and headline) in February. We regret the oversight.