While my wife will confirm that nothing gets me going as much as when the Mormons come to the door (well, maybe when the Jehovah’s Witnesses come), after much thought and study of each of the current presidential candidates, I am a firm supporter of Mitt Romney. Because of my prior diligence in arriving at this decision, I must take you to task for this article, “Romney’s Religion” (Dec. 16) and for your accompanying editorial, “Romney vs. JFK” (Dec. 16).
You have done a disservice to Catholic voters everywhere by focusing almost entirely on Romney’s religion to the exclusion of the overwhelming agreement between his social values and those held by faithful Catholics. In fact, we have more in common with the Mormon Mitt Romney than with the majority of politicians who profess to be Catholic.
There are only three leading major-party candidates, all Republicans whose social values coincide with ours. In addition to Romney, they are Fred Thompson, a member of the Church of Christ, and Mike Huckabee, a Baptist minister. I’m not sure about you, but the last time I checked, though we don’t disagree about the Holy Trinity, there’s a wide, wide gulf between these two Protestant denominations and the Catholic Church on a host of fundamental articles of faith, not to mention the fact that there is still no dearth of Baptist ministers who will preach against the Catholic Church when given the chance.
And we’ve all probably read the stories or know Protestants who go on missions to predominantly Catholic countries to “save souls.”
But none of this matters. What does matter is the position of each candidate on the primary non-negotiable social issues of our day such as abortion, embryonic stem-cell research, homosexual “marriage” and euthanasia.
Once a candidate passes that, we must assess each candidate a) on his merits of electability vs. the leading socially liberal candidates and b) on his experience and ability to manage our national ship of state — which is no small undertaking.
This is where Mitt Romney rises head and shoulders above the only two alternatives, Thompson and Huckabee.
Romney passes the social issue test, and has had significant and meaningful success in running large businesses, turning around the Salt Lake Olympics, and managing one of the more major states in Massachusetts. Neither Huckabee nor Thompson can say that, despite their belief in the Holy Trinity. And to top it off, Hillary and Obama can’t say it either.
Patrick S. Simons
Laguna Hills, California
Missteps on Mormonism
Your recent article on Mitt Romney, “Romney’s Religion” (Dec. 16) made some very untrue statements on the doctrines of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, most specifically your assertion that Mormons believe that “Christ failed in his project to found a Church.” This could not be farther from the truth.
Mormon doctrine teaches that Christ succeeded in founding a Church, but that that Church drifted into apostasy after the death of the apostles.
What happened in the 19th century was a restoration of the original Church, with apostolic authority re-given to men by the angelic ministrants Peter, James and John, the apostles who held the keys of the Kingdom in ancient days.
To use an analogy from Paul, consider the Church as the body of Christ. Mormons believe that the Church itself went through the same process as the literal body of Christ — it was formed by the power of God; it was killed through the wickedness of men; it was resurrected by the power of God. So it was with the Church. It was formed by the power of God, put to death by the wickedness of men, and resurrected by the power of God.
To make one further statement: Though Latter-day Saints make no apologies for their claim to divine authority and authenticity, it is also at the church’s doctrinal core not to persecute or belittle others for their beliefs. One of the church’s founding articles of faith states, “We claim the privilege of worshipping Almighty God according to the dictates of our own conscience, and allow all men the same privilege, let them worship how, where, or what they may.”
Los Angeles, California
Editor’s note: The Bible, Church Fathers and sacred Tradition all disagree with the assertions made by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
In the Gospel of Matthew (16:18), Christ said: “I say to you, you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my Church, and the gates of the netherworld shall not prevail against it.” Apostolic succession began with those words, and has continued to our day. Linus followed Peter, Cletus followed Linus, then Clement, then Evaristus … all the way down to Pope Benedict XVI in our day.
Evangelization in Prison
I’m writing to comment about the new postal rates, “Postal Hike” (Oct. 28):
This could potentially have a grave impact for me and many others in my position. I’m an inmate in a federal prison and we have no access to the Internet.
With the many publications switching over to Web-based only format for cost reason both for postal increases and cost of paper based printing, this will stop our ability to receive Catholic news and information.
I think for us to be able to read about our faith and perhaps find some inspiration to lead better lives than our past has great benefits for all. And let’s face it: My experience with Catholic evangelization in prison is a far cry from our Protestant brethren. My plea is for you to try and maintain your publication in print for the benefit of all of us that are in prison and I would like to see more Catholic prison ministries.
Gregory J. Marcinski
Otisville, New York
No Consensus on CO2
I would like to comment on an article in the Register of Nov. 25 titled “Faith in a Climate of Fear” by Melinda Selmys.
Great harm can come from government policies and actions based on false information, such as that used against DDT. This may also become true of the CO2 effect on global warming. It is a general belief via national news media that CO2 has a significant effect on global temperatures. (Note the “craze about global warming” as mentioned in the reference article.) This is demonstrably false as shown by scientific evidence. I will mention just two items among many.
A U.N. report on the CO2 effect presumes to declare that there is a consensus of scientists that believe that CO2 is harmful and may cause catastrophes on earth. This is also false: There is no consensus.
A survey taken about nine years ago from engineers and scientists, some nationally known figures, has resulted in about 18,000 of them that agree that there is no evidence that CO2 buildup has an effect or will effect the global climate. A recent extended survey has added about 5,000 more scientists that agree.
You cannot find this “politically incorrect” information in the national news media. (“Access to Energy” newsletter, Oregon Institute of Science and Medicine.)
I would like to add a note to say that the Al Gore movie An Inconvenient Truth was to be shown in all public secondary schools in the United Kingdom by the U.K. Dept. of Education. A British high court noted that it is not simply a science film but that it is a political film and that it must be accompanied by an explicit disclaimer that it is riddled with misleading exaggerations and factual errors.
Ed Wagner (retired nuclear engineer)
East Sandwich, Massachusetts
Regarding “This Compass Steers Kids Off Course” (Dec 16):
Although the Register’s coverage of Pullman’s movie The Golden Compass has been useful to concerned parents, I think there is little to fear from any anti-religious message taking hold in the minds of children who see it.
Today’s youth are immersed in a myriad of stories, video games and media activities. Given the Harry Potter experience, most parents seem thrilled that their children desire to read any book, regardless of its theme. In this environment, repeated warnings about a film’s content simply give it free publicity.
It is the flip-side of this issue that is vital. In your interview with author Pete Vere, he reminds parents of their responsibility regarding the influence of powerful stories on their children. For the power of these stories to work, however, they must be emphasized and told with passion.
The parables of Jesus, heroic tales of Moses and the prophets, classic tales from Poe and Dickens — these must be singled out for our children by our own interest in them.
Today there are thousands of stories blowing about like seeds in the wind. Parents should not fear a harvest of weeds if they select seeds of truth and, together with their children, plant them in the fertile ground of mind and shared experiences.
San Luis Obispo, California
I’m responding to the article on the Dec. 9 issue of the Register, titled, “It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Less Like Christmas.”
For some years now, Christianity and American values have been under attack, especially during Christmas, by such groups as the ACLU, people for the American Way, the Southern Poverty Law Center, arrogant judges in courts across our nation and by the liberal media who have their control outlets of power in newspapers, radio and television.
However, there is a booklet (Foundations of Freedom) that the American Center for the Defense of Law and Justice (aclj.org) has put out to help people know their rights. The number to call is (877) 989-2255. Also, Jay Sekulow, who is the chief counsel of the ACLJ, can be heard on radio from Monday to Friday on “Jay Sekulow Live” (800) 684-3110 and it also has a legal hot line (800) 296-4529.
Sister Maria Carmela Lara, OP
Menlo Park, California
The Dec. 23 issue incorrectly stated that the website for the Congregation of the Clergy is clerus.net. It is clerus.org.