Your Aug. 15 editorial about the firing and partial reinstatement of professor Kenneth Howell for teaching the official Catholic position on homosexuality at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (“No Right to Remain Silent”) should be an eye-opener to Catholics about the increasingly bold gay-lesbian power hold on America.

While variously numbered at between 2% to 3% of the population, “gay-lesbian power” draws many tens of millions of fellow travelers from two main sources.

First, a huge source of power is the pro-abortion movement that co-ops with all anti-natural law sex morality choices, which in effect produces the pro-same-sex “marriage,” pro-artificial contraception, pro-fornication, pro-adultery movements and so on and on.

Secondly, the homosexual movement has exploited the term “tendency,” as used in “homosexual tendency,” to produce “tendency” by psychosuggestion in young developing children and to produce fertile recruitment ground. Here, active homosexuals cleverly use the “attention of affection.” Thus, their numbers of sympathizers ever increase. Even grade schools now cringe at ever denying gay-lesbian sensitivity and tolerance studies.

Frank Strelchun, Ph.D.

Canaan, Connecticut

May the Monks Prosper

Thank you for this wonderful story (“A Brand-New Medieval Monastery … in Wyoming?” NCRegister.com). The monks of Wyoming are brilliant communicators; for years, my family and I have been receiving letters from Father Daniel Mary and information about the growth of this community. I’m not even sure how we originally got on their list. But witnessing the dedication of this community has inspired us to pray for them and donate when we can.

Thank the Lord for religious with so much confidence in their mission that they basically insist on attention for their vision and devotion from believers who experience grace as a result of this relationship.

May God give them strength to continue a determined evangelization and to succeed in their goals.

Eleanor Kennelly Gaetan

Washington, D.C.

TOB & Humanae Vitae

The article entitled “Theology (of the Body) 101” (Aug. 15) includes discussion of the controversy regarding the method of teaching the theology of the body; and concern is expressed that this teaching can be given a “hyper-sexualized approach.”

Pope John Paul II tells us “the two become one flesh” in “not only the ‘body,’ but also the ‘incarnate’ communion of persons.” Our teaching of the theology of the body must show us the way “the two become one flesh” in the body and blood of Christ.

To “provide the biblical basis” for this sacred theology of the body, there is need for the Church to develop the teaching of Humanae Vitae.

Ruth Kavanaugh

Kalamazoo, Michigan

Sensual Society

The Aug. 1-14 issue had an article titled “Supreme Court Backs Homosexuals Against Christians.” In that article, Howard Friedman was quoted as saying, “The science isn’t there yet to rule that being gay is based on biology.”

But biology by itself is not a legitimate argument for normality. Children are born with Down syndrome and other congenital anomalies that are too numerous to mention. These are not normal. We are also born with inherited tendencies that are not “normal.” By what stretch of the imagination does anyone think that being born with a tendency toward homosexuality would make it normal?

The push for the normalization of homosexuality and the accompanying push for homosexual “marriage” are irrational. They are the symptoms of a society that is dominated by the sensate level of the human conscious. It is most certainly not the intellect and will that are dominant in this issue. Society as a whole seems to be exhibiting a destructive emotional immaturity that is even more prevalent in the push for the normalization of heterosexual promiscuity.

The proper attitude toward those with the problem of homosexuality, or for that matter any other problem, is one of caring, compassion, concern and love. The enabling that is going on in our society is not constructive.

Beverly Thewes

Bloomfield Hills, Michigan

Harvard Surprises

Regarding “From Harvard to the Convent” (NCRegister.com):

What an encouraging article about an institution I had thought was at the forefront of everything liberal! I’m glad even Harvard sees so many religious vocations coming from it.

And I think the insight which Mary Anne Marks gives about people’s expectations of people in a habit or collar is very telling. Perhaps another key as to why the religious orders that have a traditional habit not only draw people to their charism for a vocation, but even for general life guidance; something to think on for those orders considering returning to their traditional habits.

Thanks for a good article.

Tracy Spenst

Langdon, North Dakota

The Newman Effect

Relevant to “The English Cardinal, the German Pope and the Universal Call” (Sept. 12): To this day Cardinal John Henry Newman’s writings can be found in many high school and college curriculums.

For me, an 11-year-old fifth-grader in the year 1937, it was a name that often meant an hour after school copying over and over his classic essay: “The Definition of a Gentleman.”

Sister Denis, our teacher, was a disciplinarian of the first order; having us copy “The Definition of a Gentleman” over and over was one of her pet disciplines. Being of a pesky nature, I was often sentenced to it.

There was no point in hurrying the task, for as soon as you finished, you had to start over again. It was one long hour with Cardinal Newman, who at that pre-adolescent time of my life was just an obscure name.

Incredible, that after 73 years, I can still recall the first line of the cardinal’s essay: “A gentleman is one who never inflicts pain.” I think if my puerile mind could have better understood what I was writing, I would have been happier with it.

Little did I realize that the many times I copied “Definition of a Gentleman” I was in the presence of someone peering over my shoulder — a saint!

Aubert J. Lemrise

Peru, Illinois

Who’s Intolerant Here?

Regarding “Why Catholic Teaching on Homosexuality Isn’t Bigoted” (Sept. 12 issue and NCRegister.com):

It’s amazing how about 2% of the population (estimated number of homosexuals) can so dominate the national agenda to the point where presumably educated judges come under their sway.

Who actually is intolerant? Civilized people have had heterosexual marriage for thousands of years. In ancient pagan Rome, prospective married couples had to sign a document promising to try to have children. Was it intolerant to exclude those who could not sign the document?Today, activist homosexuals, abetted by misguided judges and politicians, attack this institution. The defenders are called intolerant. It’s the game of “Give me what I want or I’ll call you bad names.” Some courts and politicians, and the frightened media, accept this demand because it is framed as a right.

Raymond Peringer

Toronto, Ontario

Keep the Families Together

In response to the letter from Mary Shacklock Ryan in the July 18 issue (“Half the Story”): I would like to offer still another viewpoint regarding the illegal immigrants here in this country. First of all, my husband was a legal immigrant and obtained his citizenship while serving in the U.S. Air Force for 10 years.

Both my husband and I belong to the detention ministry. For many years we have visited the juveniles ages 13 to 18 who are locked up. They are very respectful and appreciative of our time. It has been a very rewarding experience to be able to prepare them to receive the sacraments. They are eager to learn and are good kids who are victims of the circumstances into which they were born.

The majority of these boys are from a one-parent home or live with a grandmother or other relative. Drugs, alcohol, guns, violence, killings are frequently a part of their daily lives. Some do not know who their father is or see him infrequently or he may be in prison. Many of the young boys are fathers themselves: One young boy, age 16, had three children with different mothers. Most are gang members and have a very difficult and sad situations in which they live. They are recruited as young as 12 years old. It is not uncommon for them to be unable to read, since they drop out of school. Some as young as 14 have told me they live on the streets or with friends because of the situation in the home.

The family structure has been destroyed. If workers were provided with jobs and adequate wages, there would be no need to leave their countries and start new families in a foreign land. But, unfortunately, that has not happened, and we are faced with the results. I believe our Church and government should focus more on trying to keep the families together in their own countries and work for social justice.

I do not have a solution to this complex problem, but the millions of dollars spent on welfare, schooling, medical bills and maintaining jails for illegal immigrants would be better served in trying to avoid their need to leave their countries in the first place.

Frances M. Saenz

Thousand Oaks, California