Adoption Advocacy

I was very disappointed to read “It Is in Love That We Are Made” by Melinda Selmys (Sept. 7). As the privileged mother of four children who have joined our family through adoption, I was actually shocked to see the article in a Catholic paper.

Selmys wrote: “This is why parents — biological parents, both mother and father — are the best people to raise their own children.” I actually agree with this statement; however, what happens to the children whose birth parents can’t or won’t raise their children? Are they to be left to languish in an orphanage for the rest of their lives? If a young woman facing an unplanned pregnancy reads that quote, it might be just the nudge she needs to make the phone call to Planned Parenthood. How heartbreaking!

I am sure that my children do have many traits, likes and dislikes that are similar to their birth parents’ traits, likes and dislikes. But just because the children share these similarities, that does not diminish the fact that their birth parents could not parent them. And it does not mean the life they have had growing up adopted is any less meaningful, joyful and fulfilling than if they were in their biological families.

These 1950s adoption sentiments did a lot of damage to children and families who felt they had to hide the fact that adoption was how their family was formed.

If we are truly to be a pro-life community, then we need to be there after the precious child is spared from abortion. We cannot stop at the sidewalk of Planned Parenthood. There are far too many children in foster care in the United States, and too many children who are living in deplorable conditions around the world. Unfortunately, myths of adoption perpetuated by people with attitudes like those of this author don’t help.

Jennifer Dunlap

Milan, Michigan

The ‘Why’ Question

In your Aug. 24 editorial, “Platform Games,” you wrote: “Actually, from a scientific view it isn’t difficult to answer the question: Embryologists all agree that there is a new organism at conception, and that organism is human. Any theology that didn’t recognize this science would be unworthy of the name theology.” 

Unfortunately, in discussions of abortion, the scientific truth of when human life begins is rarely discussed. (Those who deny this truth are not informed enough to have an intelligent opinion on this issue.) 

It is not enough to ask candidates when they think a child has rights, but why they think a child has value or doesn’t have enough value to have rights at any given point in his or her development. The answers should be most revealing.

By the way, the reason I use the term “child” is because the 1979 edition of Black’s Law Dictionary defines “fetus” as “an unborn child.”

Beverly Thewes

Bloomfield Hills, Michigan

Anglican Response

Regarding Father Longenecker’s article “Anglican Agonies” (Aug. 17): As the wife of an Episcopal priest for almost 25 years, I have come to understand that the Anglican Communion and especially the Episcopal Church in the United States, has and always will deal with controversy. Some will leave the church and some will join the church because of our stand on homosexuality and the ordination of women and a multitude of issues we’ve dealt with throughout our history. 

I am convinced we will never agree on everything, and we will continue to argue over almost everything. Thanks be to God. We are a vital thinking, prayerful and wonderfully imperfect group of people. We are children of God, and we will survive.

Lorrie LaBranche   

Renton, Washington

Voting Morality

“Catholic” politicians who are Democrats support abortion (“Biden’s Legacy,” Sept. 7) and insist that judicial nominees must pass a pro-abortion litmus test. Barack Obama, who claims to be Christian, even voted for killing babies who survive botched abortions.

If your preferred candidate supported black slavery, you wouldn’t consider voting for him even if you liked his other views. Why, then, would you vote for him when he supports abortion and other intrinsic evils?

The “ends” do not constitute a “proportionate reason” to justify the evil “means” of voting for the candidate who most supports the intrinsic evils. To do so is material cooperation with evil.

We can, and must, vote for the candidate who will limit the intrinsic evils. This is why faithful Catholics must vote for McCain instead of Obama. Obama supports all of the intrinsic evils, while McCain favors only one of them. The Catechism of the Catholic Church obligates Catholics to vote: “Submission to authority and co-responsibility for the common good make it morally obligatory to pay taxes, to exercise the right to vote, and to defend one’s country” (No. 2240).

Moral principles, rational thought and sound logic are universal and color blind — or at least they should be.

Paul W. Rosenthal

Augusta, Georgia

Adding to the Confusion

The author of “Catholic Confusion” in the Aug. 24 letters wrote that “confusion still reigns among many Catholics,” caused by those who “distort the true meaning of the Catholic Church’s position on abortion.”

Unfortunately, the Catholic News Service (CNS) is adding to the confusion by shading the extremism of the pro-abortion Democrat presidential and vice-presidential candidates. I note three of many examples.

In “Biden on Obama Ticket: A Catholic With Mixed Record on Church Issues” from Aug. 23, CNS reports, “But he’s [Sen. Biden] no darling of the ‘pro-choice’ view, either, earning a score of 36% once from NARAL Pro-Choice America for his votes on their select issues.”

Only his 2003 grade was cited. His grade for 2004, 2005 and 2006 was 100%, and it was 75% in 2007. In addition, Sen. Biden has diligently worked to preserve Roe v. Wade, voting against the confirmation of pro-life Supreme Court nominees Robert Bork, John Roberts and Samuel Alito.

On Aug. 29, CNS’ “Obama Invokes American Spirit, Echoes ‘Faithful Citizenship’ Themes” related, “Obama said that, while people may disagree on whether abortion should remain legal or not, ‘surely we can agree on reducing the number of unwanted pregnancies in this country.’”

But CNS did not say Obama has promised Planned Parenthood that passing the Freedom of Choice Act will be his highest priority. A new, excellent U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ ad says that act promotes abortions and will not reduce them.

And in the news service’s article, “Some Protesters Raise Abortion Issue Outside Democratic Convention,” from Aug. 28, the following was reported: “Prior to the federal act, the state of Illinois attempted to pass similar legislation, but as a state senator Obama opposed the act in 2001 and 2002 and had a hand in defeating it in 2003. Obama later said he supported the federal legislation, which included a stipulation that it would not be used to undermine Roe v. Wade, and would have backed the state proposals if they’d had that stipulation.”

But left unsaid was the fact that Obama defeated a bill in the Illinois Senate that was substantially identical to the federal bill. When confronted with the documentary proof by National Right to Life, he said they were “lying,” when it was he who was misrepresenting his barbaric actions.

CNS reports, which are used in many Catholic papers, should provide the whole truth and reinforce the bishops’ teachings.

John Naughton

Silver Spring, Maryland

Pray for Enlightenment

In response to the letters of Michael O’Neill (“Obama? Why Not?” July 27) and Dan Biezad (“Moral vs. Civic Duty,” Aug. 10), we must remember that from 1960 to the present time, many Catholics have been erroneously indoctrinated by dissenting Catholics. Catholics who support Obama are only mimicking what they were taught: relativism without proper intellectual formation. They are ignorant of the Church’s teachings.

True followers of Christ see Christ in every person. Let us not unjustly criticize these “Obama Catholics.” They are victims of a half century of overt dissension. We ought to pray for their enlightenment prior to November.

There is a fierce struggle between Christian and secular culture. A reading of the Letter of James will help us choose.

Peter Hahn

Hampshire, Illinois

Protecting Families

In the letter, “Restoring the Family” (Aug. 24), Donna Dawkins expressed heartbreak over the demise of the black family, and she sees the restoration of the black family as a priority for our society. Ms. Dawkins is correct.

Right to Life of Montgomery County, Md., produced a pamphlet in 2005 that gives statistics on the disproportionate number of abortions by black women. Also noted are Planned Parenthood’s decades-long attacks on black families, which have resulted in 70% of black children being born to single parents. Single-parent, especially fatherless, families are subject to much higher rates of social pathology: abortion, abuse of women and children, criminal behavior, poverty, school dropouts, STDs and teen pregnancy. These families suffer social and educational discrimination, which results in lifelong economic discrimination.

The pamphlet offers resources for pregnant women, and it calls for an end to the federal funding of Planned Parenthood. The final message is a statement by Alveda King, the niece of Martin Luther King Jr. Sidewalk counselors find it to be an effective witness tool. This free pamphlet is available by calling (301) 770-LIFE.

Bernard McLoughlin

Rockville, Maryland