Telling It Like It Is

I have been a subscriber to the National Catholic Register for several years. I am a former Catholic school principal, teacher and parent. My husband and I are strong supporters of the Catholic Church — as Eucharistic ministers, Parish School of Religion (PSR) teachers (for over 30 years), Sunday collection counters, Home and School Association chairpersons, parish council representatives, etc.

It is so encouraging to me to read the Register and hear a national voice proclaiming the ideals of our faith and pointing out where, when and how others are succumbing to secular values. Thank you for telling it like it is, regardless of the consequences. You are serving to empower all of us who cling to our conservative, Catholic faith-based beliefs and practices. We need your support.

At St. Raphael Church in Bay Village, Ohio, our morning Mass and coffee group discusses the moral issues facing us today. The election results are God’s will. Now our question is: “How should we respond to the increased threat to our pro-life stance?” It is comforting to read your paper and to realize that there is a national voice that believes as we do and courageously shares unpopular opinions. 

How coincidental that we are just beginning Advent, a time when we wait for the coming of Our Lord! We are looking for the light, the hope to go forward. We cannot lose sight of our hope for what is right and good for one and all. I hope you will continue to lead the way for American Catholics.

May God bless you in your excellent work. Thank you for the National Catholic Register and the true Catholic perspective on the very important and complex issues of our day. Thank you for your leadership in support of our faith and the Church we love.

Stephanie West

Bay Village, Ohio

Balanced Insight

As a subscriber to the Register for many years, I must tell you how much I liked the editorial on Obama (“Hope for America: No. 1: The Pro-Life Majority,” Nov. 16). Thank you so much for the balanced insight.

Tony Cuseo

Delray Beach, Florida

Proportionate Reason?

I was a bit amazed by your editor’s note (Letters, Nov. 23). You state that “Obama is a civil, decent man with many excellent qualities.”
I’m wondering what your basis is: What can you point to in his record that would qualify your claim? I’m also wondering about your comparison of him to other U.S. leaders. You say, “If we want to withhold ‘civil’ and ‘decent’ from him because of his record and positions, then there is a list of others we need to withhold it from,” and you proceed with a list of government leaders and their sins.

I find your comparisons bereft of “proportionate reason.” Your comparison of Reagan’s signing the nation’s first no-fault divorce law is laughable compared to the abortion holocaust that Obama wants to perpetuate.

Your bashing of McCain is also off base. McCain supported embryonic stem-cell research on embryos otherwise destined to be killed. While this is wrong according to our Catholic belief, it again in no way compares to Obama’s record on life and his ambitious agenda.

You say, “Obama will be our president and deserves our respect.” There were those who said something similar a couple generations ago: “What can we do? He is Mein Führer.”

Tim Rohr

Agat, Guam

Editor’s note: Thanks for your thoughtful note.

Our point is that “civil and decent” are a kind of bottom-rung compliment we give to all sorts of leaders who have all kinds of heinous positions, from the slave-owning but great men who founded our nation to the leaders in our own day who get fundamental things wrong, like Tony Blair.

As to your comment about a führer: Remember, we live in a democracy, not a dictatorship. We have the power to change our nation’s laws and leadership by changing hearts. We must do so.

Our plea to pro-lifers is to take the high road. Charity always wins. Charity is not cowardice, and charity requires telling the truth in ways that will be heard. A relentless but fair opposition is the only way. Let’s thank God that we live in America. (See editorial, this page.)


The front-page story “Obama Order: Tax Money to Kill Embryos” (Nov. 30) by Mr. Spiering is both well-reported and engaging. Americans seem to be falling into the trap of believing that Obama won’t be that bad. Mr. Spiering shatters that illusion. Great article.

Christopher D. Smith
Washington, Virginia

In Our Hands

Regarding all the discussion about Catholic politicians, including “Daschle Appointment Worries Pro-Life Activists” (Dec. 7), I was thinking recently how absurd it will be when, in a couple of hundred years, people blame the Church for the current abortion holocaust (as they have blamed the Church in retrospect for everything else that has been wrong in recent history). They will base this, of course, on all the public figures in this country who have been instrumental in seeing that the murder of babies increases unfettered.  Of course, it will be the sons of these politicians who will make such a claim. But what should it matter to us anyway? These leaders are the exception, going against Church teaching, are they not? Everyone knows the Church is against abortion. 

Then I thought again. These politicians did not develop their views in a vacuum. Most went to Catholic schools and colleges; most have attended Mass quasi-regularly. Is it not just possible that they believe what they have heard and been taught? Is there anyone unaware of the state of Catholic teaching in Catholic universities (not to mention grammar and high schools)? Thus, has the Church not been instrumental in developing the culture of death? And what of the silence now as it goes forth? Should we be surprised when bishops speak out to defend life?  Should we not rather be scandalized when they don’t

And I think of Jesus’ quote to Pilate: “You would have no power over me if it had not been given to you from above. For this reason the one who handed me over to you has the greater sin” (John 19:11). I realize it is the children of God who hold the true power, and so, indeed, bear the greater guilt in handing over the babies for their slaughter.

The power is in our hands — and what do we do with it?

James Kurt

Not Surprising

Sadly, it is not the least bit surprising that Catholic College students are losing their religion, as found in the Cardinal Newman Society study (“Student View: Campus Life Not Catholic,” Nov. 23, and “Catholic Students Losing Their Religion,” Nov. 9). We continue to hear just how “un-Catholic” our “Catholic” universities really are when they continue to give prestigious awards to supporters of abortion, continue to invite pro-choice political candidates to commencement exercises, and continue to support what can only be termed pornographic theatrical productions — all in the name of a “liberal education.”

We must continue to pray, not only for the students, but for those educators in positions of administrative authority who will one day have to stand before God and give an account of all of the souls that they helped to lose.

Deacon Hank Schmalen

Sleepy Hollow, Illinois

New Abolitionists

“Life Issues Rejected” (Nov. 16) means we need a new strategy. Is it time for the pro-life movement to go on the offensive and work for constitutional amendments at the federal and state level which will recognize the personhood of the unborn? Remember that the Dred Scott ruling that said slaves were property was never reversed. It was not until the Constitution was amended that slavery was abolished throughout the land.

This leads me to another question: Is it time for the pro-life movement to re-brand itself as the new abolitionist movement? Words like pro-life and pro-choice hardly have meaning any more, especially when you had the Professor Kmiecs of the world arguing that Obama’s policies were pro-life and one of the pro-life movement’s slogans is “Choose life.”

Gerald T. Yeung
White Plains, New York

Economic Memory

Thank you for Carl Anderson’s step toward a needed “National Examination of Conscience” (Nov. 9). We should also note at least three other systemic ingredients in the disaster. First, the housing bubble was already set into play in the late 1970s when the federal government began basing credit worthiness on all (both) household incomes. Victimized families are among those who are now faulted for consumerism because they overreached in a family-hostile economic environment. Of course, the predatory lenders were on the spot, ever ready to serve. Second, we learned absolutely nothing from the 1997 economic crisis of Southeast Asia. And third, we have Alan Greenspan’s Senate testimony (Sept. 23). He believed so much in the ideology of the market that he could not imagine such an outcome. In addition to a moral compass, we need early and thankless attention to significant detail, the humility of memory and renewed imagination (rather than ideology). Without these, any “audacity of hope” will prove to be nothing more than a false hope in audacity.

Peter D. Beaulieu

Shoreline, Washington