Offended by Obama

I write to express my commendation of Archbishop Chaput’s courage in withstanding the deception of the group calling itself Roman Catholics for Obama (“Archbishop Challenges ‘Roman Catholics for Obama,’” June 8). In spite of their protests to the contrary, the archbishop is quite correct in reprimanding them for their inaccurate presentation of the Catholic teaching on life issues.

In reality, the group is neither more nor less than a front organization for NARAL Pro-Choice America. In a desperate attempt to ensnare Reagan Democrats, many of whom are Catholics, this organization was formed as an exercise in propaganda. Its ineptness is only exceeded by its dishonesty.

No true Catholic can give support to those who ardently champion abortion. For abortion is not one issue among many. It is the defining issue of our time. Those who defend the killing of innocent children in the womb can be trusted in nothing — least of all the general welfare.

Let us have no dishonesty here. Those who work to elect pro-abortion politicians are entirely cooperating with evil. And evil — let there be no mistake about it — is no plaything. It consumes those who trifle with it.

Father Gary Sumpter

St. Patrick’s Church

Scotia, California

As Sen. McCain pointed out recently, Sen. Obama voted against the appointment of John Roberts as the chief justice of the United States, fearing Roberts might put restrictions on abortion. The National Journal named Obama “the most liberal” of all U.S. senators. He has a 100% voting record with Planned Parenthood and NARAL Pro-Choice America.

In the Illinois Senate, Obama chaired the committee that killed the 2003 version of a bill that would save the lives of babies born alive after a failed abortion. He also opposed the ban on partial-birth abortion.

During a New Hampshire debate, Obama said it was okay for a second grade teacher to read a story about two princes falling in love, adding that he had talked about same-sex “marriage” with his own young daughters.

All this is how he votes. But the media is delighted by him — and doesn’t mention his far-left record. The debates indicated that he is not very smart, and that, as president, he would be a weapon of our worst radicals.

Dan Lyons

Bloomsbury, New Jersey

Obama? Absolutely Not

I was astonished at the response of Michael O’Neill (“Obama? Why Not?” July 27). Not the fact that he is supporting Obama, but the fact that he calls himself Catholic is what startles me. Mr. O’Neill speaks of “justice, liberty and equality” making greater claims on his conscience “than homosexual ‘marriage,’ abortion, artificial contraception, and any other of the sexually obsessed issues that so exercise a celibate clergy.”

First of all, how can he not see that abortion is the greatest abuse of “justice, liberty and equality” that our nation has ever seen — even worse than slavery is the murder of countless unborn children. Justice would demand that the unborn future generation is given birth before being put to death; liberty demands that the unborn have the freedom to live and equality certainly demands that unborn people have the same right to life as those human beings who are allowing or promoting their murder. Putting abortion down as something opposed by “an authoritarian proclamation of specious logic” seems to be desperate and contradictory on the part of Mr. O’Neill.

The other issues of homosexual “marriage” and contraception appear to be, sadly, only the griping of a discontented, dissentive “Catholic.” Catholics should defend their priests who give up (yes, “natural”) pleasures of this world to serve a mission and calling of a higher good spoken of by Christ and by the great apostle Paul.

I hope that Mr. O’Neill can come to understand the falsehood of his proclamations concerning the celibate clergy, and also, that he will see the real danger of an adamantly anti-“justice, liberty and equality” (passed off as “pro-choice”) candidate such as Obama.

Amy Waddle

Lincoln, Nebraska

The Real Presence

Many of us have read various opinions about professor PZ Myers’ desecration of a consecrated host (“Remember the Real Enemy,” Aug. 17). If we truly believe that Jesus is present in the form of bread, how does that make us feel when someone desecrates the Eucharist? Most often, I think, we would react with anger and shock.

But if we step back and think about Mr. Myers’ action, we realize that he cannot harm Our Lord. He only demonstrates his anger and frustration about something he cannot grasp or understand. Herein is the challenge for us to face. Ask yourself, “Do I really understand what is taking place when I receive the holy Eucharist?” We profess to truly believe that Jesus is before us in that consecrated host. He has told us, “I am the bread of life,” and by this truth, is reaching out to embrace us and draw us into his mystical body. His embrace is so joyful and overwhelming that it defies description. Only our spirit can truly feel the holy presence of the Lord. We are not robots following the crowd to receive a wafer of just bread — but are devout believers of Jesus’ real presence in the holy Eucharist.

Mr. Myers has unwittingly awakened us to the greatest treasure we have in our faith: the holy Eucharist. Now, we can receive Communion with a new vitality and reverence for Our Lord Jesus Christ.

James B. Muir

Sequim, Washington

Cohabitation Consequences

I’d like to add a thought to Father John Flynn’s article, “Recent Studies Reveal Perils of Cohabitation” (July 20).

There may be a new “inbreeding,” and it is relevant to the divorce rate in couples who cohabitate before marriage. There is, in all of us, a group of genes designated the MHC (major histocompatability complex). The MHC is the control center of our immune system and also appears to play a major role in the release of pheromones, subtle odors that differ in every person.

In a 1995 study conducted by Swiss biologist Claus Wedekind, a group of female college students smelled T-shirts that had been worn by male students for two nights without deodorant, cologne or scented soap. Overwhelmingly, the women preferred the odors of men with MHCs dissimilar to their own. But there was a significant exception: Women taking oral contraceptives chose MHCs that were like their own. Studies by P.S. Santos in 2005 and Christine Garver-Apgar in 2006 showed similar results.

The attraction of women, via olfaction, to men with different MHCs, has different survival benefits. The more diverse the MHC of parents, the broader and stronger will be the immune system of the offspring.

In today’s society, when couples meet and cohabitate, the women are generally taking oral contraceptives. If a couple marries, the woman will generally discontinue her contraceptives to become pregnant. It is then that she may come to awareness, consciously or unconsciously, that something is wrong. A diminishment in the pheromone-based attraction to her husband may even bring estrangement and possibly divorce. Meanwhile, the children, who have inbred MHCs, may have increased susceptibility to infection and perhaps other disorders from a constricted MHC.

The fallout from MHC “inbreeding” is considerable and merits more research. Herd immunity can be lost by a narrowing of the MHC, making whole populations prone to epidemics. There is even a remote possibility that the narrowed MHC contributes to autism, a disorder that has grown apace with our cohabitation and oral contraceptive culture. The MHC, besides ordering our immune system, provides a “signature,” an identity on all our cells, which is important for their interactions. This signature will be less varied in children of parents with closely related MHCs. As the major deficit in autism is in social interaction, it is tempting to connect the diminished capacity of the child’s cells to interact to the diminished capacity of the child to interact.

More research is needed to determine more clearly the effects of cohabitation combined with the suppression of a woman’s fertility.

Hugh McGrath Jr., MD

Metairie, Louisiana

Detrimental Divorce

The prevalence of divorce among Catholics is a serious problem. Many Catholics feel that, in cases of extreme unhappiness, divorce is an acceptable solution (“Kids First, Always,” May 11).

However, there is no such thing as a Catholic divorce. Catholics, as a whole, seem to be quite ignorant of the Church’s teaching on divorce or separation. If it is necessary that a couple live separately, they should realize that the marriage is still valid — and must be open to the possibility of reconciliation. Many Catholics who separate or divorce do not even consider this possibility, and often, hope to find another person to fill the void. But divorced Catholics are not free to date as if they might remarry.

The effects of divorce are very cruel to the children and other family members. Marriage is a difficult vocation, but making it too easy to revoke one’s sacred promises causes more problems. If a study was conducted on the root causes of the social ills of depression, dishonesty, crime, poverty and addiction, I believe divorce would be discovered to be the prime culprit.

Connie Derrick

Fairview, Tennessee

I note that you have adopted a policy of putting the word “marriage” in quotes whenever the topic is same-sex “marriage.”

When can we expect you to extend this policy to “marriages” before justices of the peace, “marriages” by non-Christian ministers (such as the neo-pagans who recreate the Celtic “handfasting” ceremony), and “marriages” by purported Christians who have obtained a civil divorce and re-“married” illicitly? All of these “marriages” are nonsacramental and unrecognized by the Church.

As a child survivor of a civil divorce, re-“marriage” by both parents, an abusive stepmother worthy of “Cinderella” and a thermonuclear DEFCON 1 child custody battle in which we four children were used as pawns, I can assure you that divorces rend the fabric of society every bit as much as you say same-sex “marriage” will.

Matt Leachman

Iowa Park, Texas