Can I tell you how excited I am to see "Emma, the Pope and the President" (May 3) on the front page? One big reason is that I am a nurse, and I took care of little Emma shortly after she was born and when she was beginning her brave walk with heart surgeries. I remember the family and their devotion to Emma as a baby. How exciting to see it in pro-life ways!
Regarding the May 10 letter "Umbert's Friend Cara," I understand that parents of children with Down syndrome are sensitive regarding others' reactions to their children. But I believe that Gary Cangemi's characterization of Cara's parents' reaction to their baby's diagnosis is fair.
Our friends, a Catholic couple, have surrounded their little girl with love, as have their older children. But when she was diagnosed, at birth, they did cry, as did we, their friends.
They have faced many problems over the years, including medical trials and the loss of former friendships. However, they tell me that most of the difficulties they initially feared have come to nothing. They love their daughter ... but initially, they did cry.
Oak Hill, Virginia
Dr. Dowling is concerned that children with Down syndrome are considered nothing more than a diagnosis or a set of symptoms. He is absolutely correct; in fact, such thinking is responsible for the tragedy of the abortion of 90% of children with Down syndrome. What is at issue here is lexicon. Parents of children with Down syndrome, like Dr. Dowling and myself, are advocating for the acceptance of our children in society by changing how we tell the world our child has Down syndrome or Trisomy 21 (this is actually the term I prefer). Gary used a standard term according to style books. In a book of stories about children with DS which I am compiling, I have to consciously set aside standard usage to advance this understanding. I'm certain if Mr. Cangemi knew that by saying "Down syndrome child" he was causing pain to parents, he would have used the expression "child with Down syndrome" — breaking with convention.
On Cara's parents having an adverse reaction to her diagnosis, I challenge Dr. Dowling to introduce me to anyone for whom the diagnosis of Trisomy 21 did not come as a shock. We never expect our child to have anomalies, and there is nearly always a period of adjustment to the diagnosis that we undergo, regardless of our state in life or religious faith. Accepting our children's diagnosis as a means of grace for them and our families is something which comes through prayer and experience, but rare indeed are the families for whom it comes spontaneously.
Gary, as a cartoonist with limited space for expressing a pro-life concept, tried to encapsulate the moment of discovery and a heartfelt reaction of the parents. This was a very big message to fit in such a framework. Perhaps in a follow-up cartoon he can show little Cara making Mommy and Daddy's hearts swell with pride as she grows into the center of their lives and surpasses dire predictions.
It's a Child, Mr. President
Regarding "What My Dad Knew That President Obama Doesn't" (April 26), I recently came across graphic abortion images on the Internet as I was doing a school project."
Before I saw these revealing pictures, I was not completely pro-life. I believed that the baby should only be aborted if the mother, baby or both were in danger of losing their lives, but now, I think abortion should not be considered at all.
The processes of abortion are heartbreaking. I think if these pictures were shown before abortions, it could stop a lot of them, because it is murder. Not many people want to be known as murderers, especially of a child. I know I wouldn't. It's really not a choice; it's a child.
Khrysin A. Samuels
Politicians' Choice of Issues
I read in the Register that Gov. Bill Richardson, D-New Mexico, recently reversed himself and now has signed into law the repeal of capital punishment in his state ("N.M. Legislature Praised," May 10).
Richardson, like so many other Roman Catholics who are publicly elected officials — usually with a liberal political orientation — increasingly oppose capital punishment while overwhelmingly supporting legal abortion, which is somewhat of a profound inconsistency!
Specifically, if it is morally wrong, for example, to execute the most hardened criminal found guilty of premeditated murder after a fair trial by a jury of his or her peers, what makes it morally right to legally kill any unborn child at any time during the nine months prior to birth, especially when his or her only crime was to be unwanted?
Thomas E. Dennelly
Sayville, New York
Jack and Jill Get Married
Regarding "Marriage in the Balance" (May 3), once upon a time in a land and time not too far away, Jack and Jill decided to get married. They went to get a license and had to prove that they were of legal age or had parental permission, weren't brother and sister or some other close blood relation, and had to have a blood test proving that they were free of STDs like syphilis. They were "in love" and wanted to commit to each other, so why did the state make them jump through all these hoops? Because being of opposite gender and nature being nature, it was more than likely that these two people would create a new human being.
At no time did Jack and Jill have to prove that they were "in love" — because the state didn't care. The state just wanted to be sure that the children probably born to this union would have a stable, healthy family unit to raise them to productive adulthood so that then the children could contribute to the welfare of the state.
Marriage exists to protect children born to that union of a man and a woman. And if children are not born to that union, then adoption gives those children a model of what it is to be a responsible adult male or female. Most children learn by example. What example of true femaleness could two males model for a young girl?
Marriage is not a badge of being "in love." Marriage is a statement to the world that a man and a woman are committing to stay together to raise any children they have to be functioning adults. If they happen to love one another, so much the better. I know: Divorce is all too easy to get and frequently happens, but that story is for another day.
San Diego, California
Next Catholic 'Showdown'
In the wake of "Notre Dame Set for Obama Showdown" (May 17), which Catholic university will be next in line to show defiance for our blessed Catholic faith? Who wants to be next to show Jesus Christ just what Catholic universities think of him and his commandments?
Be affirmed in your good faith, Catholic warriors. Our Lord is still with us, even though there are those who try to strike him down, smear his holy name, and spread vicious lies about him and his Church — not to mention poison young Catholics with lies and deceit which hurt their young souls.
He will not be mocked. Vengeance is his. We win in the end. All praise and glory and honor be to Our Lord and Savior, Christ the King! Keep marching Christian soldiers!
Back to America's Values
Speaking on the Holocaust last month, as reported in "Obama's Chilling Prophecy" (Daily Blog, April 24), President Obama said: "It is the grimmest of ironies that one of the most savage, barbaric acts of evil in history began in one of the most modernized societies of its time, where so many markers of human progress became tools of human depravity: science that can heal, used to kill; education that can enlighten, used to rationalize away basic moral impulses; the bureaucracy that sustains modern life, used as the machinery of mass death, a ruthless, chillingly efficient system where many were responsible for the killing, but few got actual blood on their hands." Someone should read that back to him. Do we not see the same pattern of evil happening in our very midst, in the most modernized of societies of today: America? In the name of human progress and science, approximately 1 1/2 million embryos and babies are systematically murdered each year through abortion. Under the banner of "equality," Americans have educated themselves to elevate the abomination of homosexuality to the level of a state sacrament through the adoption of same-sex "marriages." The governmental machinery entrusted with serving life and the common good has instead become a force of enslavement for the weakest and the defenseless. Values and norms that held societies together and drew people to higher ideals are now being laughed at and thrown overboard.
May God not allow us to drift any further into this desert of godlessness.
Decades of godless Supreme Court
decisions have created a culture of death in America. The retirement of U.S.
Supreme Court Justice David Souter ("Supreme Court Vacancy," Daily Blog, May 1)
is critical to all. Though Democrats are hoping for a younger liberal to
replace him, conservative Republicans are praying Souter's decision will
provide President Obama with the opportunity to rethink his personal
pragmatism, to forgo some of his party's policies and appoint a strictly
constructionalist judge who will help restore the country and its citizens to
the nation's founding Christian principles and values.
In this time of great moral upheaval, let us hope that President Obama will be moved by the grace of God, that he will hear the genuine voice of conscience and appoint someone to the Supreme Court worthy of upholding supreme values.