Over a half-page of the Jan. 6, Register was devoted to an ad from the “Sisters Witness Against War,” which stated that they were “Impelled by the Spirit of God ‘You shall not kill’” (Exodus 20:13).
But had the Spirit of God impelled them to continue reading the Bible, the sisters would have read that God also said that “when a man kills another after maliciously scheming to do so, you must take him — even from my altar — and put him to death” (Exodus 21:14).
After all, the ruler “does not bear the sword without purpose” (Romans 13:14). As for Our Lord, he praised military officers and, on the cross, promised paradise to the felon who confessed the justice of the death penalty.
The Catechism of the Catholic Church states that “legitimate defense can be not only a right but a grave duty for one who is responsible for the lives of others,” which is why “the Church does not exclude recourse to the death penalty” (No. 2265, 2267).
Cardinal Ratzinger, the future Pope Benedict XVI, reminded the archbishop of Washington before the 2004 US elections, “There may be a legitimate diversity of opinion even among Catholics about waging war and applying the death penalty, but not however with regard to abortion and euthanasia.”
I wonder if the Spirit of God also impelled the “Sisters Witness Against War” to speak out against the war against the unborn.
In response to a letter written to the editor in the Dec. 16 issue, “Scholastic Betrayal,” I too am disappointed with the quality of books that it has to offer.
In light of this, can you as the Register, provide us loyal readers/parents with some alternative Catholic book companies that would be willing to come to school book fairs and represent sound Catholic teaching, fiction, morals and virtues in their selection of books?
Editor’s Note: We would direct readers to our advertisers. We select book advertisers based on their suitability — and the more our readers shop with them, the better we all are.
In the Register, we have an occasional book feature called “Children’s Book Picks.” Look for it on the Culture of Life page.
Our sister publication, Faith & Family magazine features a picture book in each issue and a list of books and other recommendable Catholic media for children by age groups — and adults, as well.
Roe’s Rotten Fruit
Relevant to “The Culture of Death Will End” (Jan. 20):
In 1973, Roe v. Wade determined that the unborn are not persons, have no constitutional rights, and can be killed for convenience.
The pro-life movement, developing in opposition to this affront to morality, humanity and justice, warned of the Pandora’s Box threatening human life, which was thus opened.
In 1974, Father Paul Marx, founder of Human Life International, warned in a brochure, “The Mercy Killers,” that “zealousness in death promotion” was already under way.
He exposed the connection linking abortion, euthanasia and population control.
He noted clever slogans employed to desensitize people, and make abortion and euthanasia acceptable. “Right to choose,” “reproductive rights,” “right to die,” “right to control one’s destiny”: All sound so positive yet obviously inspired by the father of all lies — the devil himself.
What has evolved in this 35-year culture of death? More than 40 million unborn babies murdered (many by methods so barbaric they wouldn’t be used on animals), babies’ body parts and embryonic stem cells from the tiny victims sold at significant profit, for questionable, illusory experiments.
And along the human continuum of life, the chronically ill, severely disabled and frail elderly, are now being euthanized for convenience.
Hospices, once providing places for peaceful death with dignity, often withhold basic necessities of food and water to hasten death (sometimes ensuring better condition of transplant organs).
Now another movement has joined euthanasia: “palliative care,” originally formed to protect the right to life (now infiltrated by the culture of death).
Its adherents would deny personhood, thus human rights, to embryos, fetuses, newborns and those in vegetative states (i.e. Terri Schiavo), the cognitively impaired (Alzheimer’s patients), etc. All would be denied any right to life.
Euthanasia, assisted suicide, deliberate starvation and dehydration have joined abortion as fruits of the poisoned tree of Roe v. Wade.
Edwina and Gene Cosgriff
Staten Island, New York
In a recent NCR editorial (“Romney vs. JFK,” Dec. 16), you cited President John F. Kennedy — speaking to Protestant ministers in Houston — during his bid to become president in 1960.
Sadly, Kennedy used the term “absolute” in response to a question from a member in the audience in which he had been asked about his understanding as to the relationship between church and state.
In using the term “absolute,” Kennedy expressed a view that is closer to the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) understanding than it is to the view of our Founding Fathers.
Presumably, believing that the ACLU sees itself as the self-appointed guardian of religious freedom within our nation, it further sees no inconsistency when the same ACLU legally supports the members of the American Nazi Party and the Ku Klux Klan in using public property to spew their venom.
This graphic inconsistency should blow one’s mind.
It is thoroughly repugnant when the ACLU legally supports such hate-mongers in their use of public property, while legally opposing both Christians and Jews doing likewise with Christmas and the Festival of Lights, for example.
The phrase “separation of church and state” was coined by Thomas Jefferson in a letter to a Danbury, Conn., Baptist minister, who was at the time living under an established church (Congregationalist).
It was to prevent established churches such as this one in Connecticut on the part of the federal government (and later, under the 14th Amendment to include both state and local governments that James Madison introduced the religious freedom clause to the first congress, who approved it and then to various states legislatures who ratified it).
From an historical viewpoint, Jefferson never believed that the separation of church and state meant the secular interpretation which the ACLU has consistently given it.
Clearly, once again the ACLU’s view of Jefferson’s phrase has no basis in fact in our nation’s history.
Thomas E. Dennelly
West Islip, New York
Relevant to “The March for Life” (Jan.13):
This year, as we mark the 35th anniversary of Roe vs. Wade, the Supreme Court decision that gave us abortion on demand, I am deeply saddened and disturbed by two events that recently occurred in Jersey City.
On Oct. 16, 2007, Caritas Academy celebrated the first anniversary of the establishment of its school by honoring New Jersey Senate President Richard Codey, a staunch advocate of embryonic stem-cell research. And, this month, St. Peter’s College provided a venue for pro-abortion presidential candidate Barack Obama to speak on behalf of his candidacy.
I would like to have presumed that the policy of both of these Catholic educational institutions would have been to teach their students the Catholic position regarding respect for all human life from conception to natural death.
However, sadly, I cannot draw that conclusion.
An authentic education in the Catholic faith cannot occur by simply providing lessons taken from textbooks.
It must be accompanied by the genuine support of those who teach and administrate in these institutions. They need to be committed to providing a good example to the students who have been entrusted to them.
As a parent of six children, all of whom attended Catholic grammar, secondary and university schools, I am deeply concerned about the current status of our so-called Catholic institutions.
Our Holy Father and our bishops teach us that abortion is a non-negotiable issue; it can never be defended. There is no legitimate reason, or I should say excuse, that officials in either of these schools can give to defend their actions.
I pray they will mend their ways.
Jill A. White
Hamilton, New Jersey
We neglected to include key contact information in a couple of stories recently.
In our story about paying down debt for seminarians (“Safety Net,” Jan. 6), we included website but not phone contact information. No postal address is given in the organization’s promotional materials online.
The Archdiocese of Detroit’s Fisherman’s Fund can be reached at:
• (313) 883-8779,
• AODonline.com (type “seminary” into the search block).
Also, Tim Drake’s page-one story “Family Friendly Flicks” (Jan. 13) about a family friendly “Netflix” type service neglected to give its web address:
That organization lists no other contact information.