Wake Up, Educators

Regarding “Teachers Within NEA Fight for Life and Family” (Sept. 27): Thank you for the wake-up call. Professional Educators of Iowa board member Charlotte Hunkele was printed in Celebrate Life a few years ago. I am encouraged and hope you keep pounding on this issue because teachers all across the nation are ignorant and deceived. Professional Educators of Iowa will help you any way we can.

Jim Hawkins

State director

Professional Educators of Iowa

Windsor Heights, Iowa

Rotten Acorn

Regarding the Oct. 4 story “Acorn’s Fall?”: Why would the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops ever have given millions of dollars in the past to the left-wing advocacy group Acorn? This was a revelation in your story and very disappointing.

Groups that support one political party or the other should not be the recipient of any Church funds. Acorn’s past record of illegal activity and support of Democrat candidates speaks for itself.

Charles Moore

St. Louis, Missouri

The Mind of Man

Regarding “Lutheran No More” (Daily Blog, Sept. 26):

Did you ever ponder what is going on in the minds of our fellow citizens these days? Christians vote to allow active homosexuals to become clergy. Republicans put pro-choice, pro-gay rights, popular candidates up to try to get moderate/Democratic votes in a N.Y. district. A girl (some years back, actually) sues the Boy Scouts for only allowing boys. (She likes the boys’ program better than the Girl Scouts.’)

Decisions that completely ignore the principles and reasons for being in order to bring in more people or get something one wants — what does that say about a logical thinking process and a moral compass?

It is not that hard to lose one’s soul or one’s country.

Al Wunsch

The Villages, Florida

President’s Hostility

Regarding “View From the House” (Oct. 4): It is difficult, if not impossible, to accept President Obama’s allegation that if health-care reform becomes law, there will be no public funding of abortion within the proposal, implying either in the present or future.

Obama is the most radical pro-abortion chief executive our nation has ever had. His position is so extreme that as an Illinois state senator he voted twice against having medical individuals — on hand — during an abortion procedure so that if the unborn survived the abortion procedure every effort would be made to keep the baby alive.

Later, as a state senator, he also voted against the Born-Alive Infants Protection Act.

Obama’s hostile attitude toward the most innocent and defenseless of unborn children will — in time — be a profound blight on his political legacy.

Thomas E. Dennelly

Sayville, New York

Valuable Traditions

I read with interest the article “Church Awaits Word on Liturgical Reform” (Sept. 20).

I have to side with those who feel that many valuable things were lost in the haste to invoke change for change’s sake after the Second Vatican Council.

It makes me wonder whether there might also be some consideration for reinstating the valuable tradition of a pre-Communion fast, which has been whittled away little by little over the last 40 years. I have been to a number of Catholic events in recent years where a meal was served immediately before Mass, when it could just as easily have been right after Mass, and no one, least of all the priests, raised an eyebrow.

If breakfast is at 8 a.m., Mass is at 8:30, and the conference starts at 9, I am left with a choice of forgoing Communion or fasting (or at best snacking) until lunch.

Although there are some dioceses that continue to require a token one-hour fast, I would like to submit that a fast of one hour is no fast at all. How many of us can wake up at 6:45, be breakfasted and out the door by 7:30, and spend an hour on the commute to the office? If we don’t grab one last donut before we sit down at the desk at 8:30, would we say that we had fasted before work? For a fast to be a fast it should involve abstention from food that one would otherwise normally have eaten. That is not the case for any who finish their last bite of breakfast at 7:59 and make it to the 9 a.m. Mass.

In one of Pope John Paul II’s visits to Poland after the fall of Communism, he observed how rapidly consumerism was overwhelming the country, and he remarked something to the effect that “not everything that comes from the West is necessarily good.”

I think we could easily replace “from the West” with “from the post-Vatican II changes.”

Patrick Lahey

Krakow, Poland

Totalitarian Peace

Regarding the Nobel Peace Prize being awarded to President Barack Obama (“A Very Political Nobel Prize,” Daily Blog, Oct. 9):

God spoke through the Prophet Jeremiah in warning many centuries ago: “Peace, peace, they say, though there is no peace.”

I find it appalling that Obama would be awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.

Obama supports institutionalized and systematic murder through embryonic stem-cell research and abortion. He supports homosexuality, which thwarts the natural generation of life. Since being sworn in as president, he has stockpiled his administration with “culture of death” advocates — one of whom is a registered communist.

He rigorously supports a winless war in Afghanistan, has taken over — in dictatorial fashion — major American banks and the car industry, and is trying to introduce socialized health care with death panels that encourage euthanasia. Only recently he snubbed the Dalai Lama and proclaimed that the U.S. is no longer a Christian nation.

In short, Obama has been installing a totalitarian form of government in the United States and promoting it throughout the world. For this he is given an award for peace.

Obama’s winning the peace prize shows these prizes are political, not governed by the principles of credibility, values and morals.

Paul Kokoski

Hamilton, Ontario

Reason to Disbelieve

The only thing to say and do about Obama’s Peace Prize is nothing. Ignore it. The Nobel organization prostituted itself years ago at the altar of liberal political expediency with some earlier Peace Prize selections. It has added another reason to believe it has continued to deteriorate into a propaganda piece for the enemies of freedom and democracy.

Act as if it doesn’t exist.

Pete Weisenberger


Catholic or ‘Catholic’

Relevant to “Cardinal Newman Society: Boston College Required to Provide Contraceptives” (Daily Blog, Oct. 9): Loyola Marymount is also “required” to provide contraception for faculty and staff — plus domestic partner benefits. So, by California law, is Thomas Aquinas College. Except TAC doesn’t. That’s because TAC is a Catholic school. LMU isn’t, except nominally. So it goes.

Professor Jim Hanink

Loyola Marymount

Los Angeles, California

Sharing the Wealth

Relevant to Melinda Selmys’ postmodernism series:

A local paper had a report: “Smash Mouth helps smash suicide stigma in Barrington” [Illinois]. Barrington is one of the richest blue-blood areas in the U.S., yet four students from the high school took their lives in the last two years. The Smash Mouth event was “to lead to a healthier environment and encourage discussion.”

The lesson that needs to be realized: Humans are hardwired to share and give away excess wealth; as we see, there are many nouveaux riches, actors, sports figures and music icons who, through drugs, were looking for happiness in all the wrong places and could not adjust to their new wealth.

The role models like Bono, Bill Gates, Eunice Kennedy Shriver, Mother Teresa and St. Francis found that the only money you can take with you when you die is what you give away — and they all seemed happy.

Ed Smetana

Arlington Heights, Illinois

Holy Nuns

For the second week there is news of the commencing apostolic visitation for vowed religious (“Religious Q and A,” Oct. 4; “Asked to Chip In,” Oct. 11). I must confess that I am very happy to see it happening, and I hope that at the end there will be some news of the findings similar to what there is on Catholic colleges.

For some years now, almost all the dealings I have had with various orders of nuns, with the sterling exception of the Sisters of Life, have left me wondering about the holiness and faithfulness of these women. They have seemed to me to have a women’s lib agenda and fall into what has been described as “cafeteria Catholicism,” not faithful to the magisterium in every way.

There are various retreats offered from time to time that are led by nuns, and after attending one led by nuns of the aforementioned type, I am leery to attend any more.

It is sad that I am put off of by what might be a wonderful, enriching experience because of the faithful ones being tarred by the same brush as the unfaithful ones in my mind.

Perhaps even worse, I have a young friend who seeks to join a religious order and is visiting many orders. There have been some so liberal that my friend says that if she had visited them first, she would give up entirely the idea of becoming a nun, so discouraged would she be about what it is to be a vowed religious.

All this is to say that I long for God’s people to be holy:

First the priests, because if holy priests do not lead the people, how can they be holy?

Second, holy brothers and sisters who give example by their lives.

Lastly, holy laypeople, faithful witnesses to God’s love for all.

Barbara Levich
Seattle, Washington


In a recent education article, Merrimack College was identified as being in New Hampshire; it is in Massachusetts. The Register regrets the error.