National Catholic Register


letters June 29, 2008

BY The Editors

June 29 - July 5, 2008 Issue | Posted 6/24/08 at 2:27 PM


Party Puts Its Faith in …

Regarding “DNC Response: Democrats Are People of Faith” (May 25):

Yes, the leadership of his party has faith in:

1. The non-humanness of unborn children who they have concluded may be murdered for the convenience of their parents or others (in the case of Sen. Obama and others of his persuasion, that contempt for human life is extended to children who, somehow, survive an abortion attempt);

2. That homosexual unions should be given the same status of traditional marriages as proven over thousands of years as the best base for any society;

3. That religious speech of words and symbols should be excluded from the public forums of court houses, schools, and political debate;

4. That there is no natural-law right to self-defense or to the ready means to enforce that right, and that it is better for the innocent to be raped, robbed and murdered than that they should protect themselves and have ready access to the means to do so;

5. That the natural differences between men and women are meaningless;

6. That all cultures, religions and philosophies have the same value to society and humane-human culture;

7. That the authority of the state should and must take precedence over that of parents as to education, moral upbringing and religious instruction of children;

8. That the methods of real science are of less importance than the current political theories of the DNC’s leadership; and

9. Too many other and like “articles of belief” to list here. But, all of them objectionable to real Catholics.

LJames Pawlak

West Allis, Wisconsin

Mistaken Positions

Regarding “DNC Response: Democrats Are People of Faith” (May 25):

John Kelly describes the Democratic Party as “outside the narrow-mindedness of the conservative culture war.”

It is precisely these types of condescending and patronizing comments (not too dissimilar from Obama’s “bitter, clinging to guns and religion” comments in San Francisco) that confirm the Democratic Party is, in fact, not respectful of faith and religion.

Not only that, but the Democrat Party directly opposes convicted people of faith on the primary moral issue of our day, abortion (as well as euthanasia, embryonic stem-cell research, and homosexual “marriage”), just as it was on the wrong side of slavery in 1860. I’m sure that Abraham Lincoln and his religious Republican followers were also looked upon as “narrow-minded” by many Democrats.

No matter how Democrat apologists such as Kelly try to spin it, the facts are:

1. The most recent Democratic Party Platform (2004) stated, “We stand proudly for a woman’s right to choose, consistent with Roe v. Wade.”

2. The vast majority of NARAL-endorsed politicians are Democrats.

3. The only way staunchly pro-abortion judges (such as Ruth Bader Ginsberg) get appointed to the Supreme Court is by Democratic presidents.

The final telling fact is that, in my state of California, the exit polling during the presidential primary voting showed that Democratic voters were almost 69% more likely to respond that they never attend religious services when compared to Republican voters (27% to 16% respectively).

Conversely, Republican voters were almost 45% more likely to respond that they attend religious services weekly or even more frequently (42% to 29% respectively).

Sadly, the mistaken positions of the Democratic Party on moral issues probably have a lot to do with this disproportionate share of non-believers in the party.

Our country would be in much better shape if the DNC’s Catholic Outreach Liaison would focus his attention on converting irreligious Democrats to religion rather than hoodwinking faithful Catholics to join the Democratic Party.

Patrick S. Simons

Laguna Hills, California

Bewildering Response

Regarding “DNC Response: Democrats Are People of Faith” (May 25):

John Kelly’s response to something written in April by Mark Stricherz left me with a sense of bewildered wonderment, not so much for what Kelly included in his reply as for what he failed to mention.

In his litany of the “core values of the Democratic Party,” Kelly made no mention of what K.D. Whitehead denounced in his 1972 book titled Respectable Killing, and what G.K. Chesterton condemned half a century earlier as “the mutilation of womanhood, and the massacre of men unborn.”

It logically followed that Mr. Kelly omitted even the slightest hint as to existence, let alone the relevance of the Declaration of Independence which declares the right to life to be an “unalienable” right, namely that it cannot be surrendered.

The relevance is most appreciated when one recalls the words of Lewis Lehrman, the 1982 unsuccessful gubernatorial candidate in New York. “If there were ever any doubt that we are bound by it,” he wrote, “the Declaration is still put at the head of the statutes-at-large of the U.S. Code and described therein as organic law,” (The Human Life Review, Fall, 1986).

Tim Russert a few years ago tried three times, with spectacularly unsuccessful results, to get a Democratic presidential candidate to answer one simple question: When does human life begin?

The question is important at this juncture because in advocating abortion as well as the search for a replacement for “the traditional Western ethic,” the official journal of the California Medical Society candidly admitted to the “curious avoidance of the scientific fact, which everybody knows, that human life begins at conception,”(California Medicine, September, 1970).

Finally, in his sermon on the religious inspiration of Massachusetts law, which he preached at the Third Red Mass in New England in 1943, the late Cardinal John Wright reminded his distinguished congregation that “the rights of the unborn child are sacred to our state under a double title: They are the rights of a human, and of a human incapable of pleading his own right, and therefore with a greater claim, not a lesser, on the protection of the state as our fathers understood it,” (Resonare Christum, Volume I, Ignatius, 1985).

It would be gratifying to one day discover that the Catholic outreach liaison — of both major political parties — is not just a one-way street!

Bill Loughlin

Glendale, California

Tortured Catholicism

“DNC Response: Democrats Are People of Faith” (May 25) was a surprising read coming from the Register, unless it was a courtesy extended to DNC in response to Mark Stricherz’s comments in the April 6 issue.

If so, I would suggest some more obvious disclaimer or background on why the article appeared. I hope that John Kelly is not an NCR regular.

Still and all, John Kelly’s article was an incredible presentation of tortured Catholicism in action. He conveniently skips over such mundane non-Catholic planks in the Democratic platform as same-sex “marriage,” abortion and its non-support of Catholic education, to mention a few.

My understanding is that the outreach liaison is a group with nothing Catholic about it, other than its name.

If I am not mistaken, this is the very same group discredited more than once by the Catholic League.

The fact that the Democratic Party and the Outreach Liaison are able to dupe many Catholics is evidence of their duplicity. There are many Catholics indeed who have fond memories of Democrat organizations helping the working man and the immigrants, and looking out for the disadvantaged, and so they should.

Their support is a show of loyalty earned by grateful recipients of past help and support. Their support of the Democratic Party has not been gained and retained by the antics of today, which are an embarrassment to people of all faith.

The Catholic leaders in the Democratic Party clearly fall under the spotlight of papal admonitions that warn Catholic legislators about living up to their faith.

Kelly wants Catholics to be Democratic, but not at the expense of Democratic leaders being stand-up Catholics. If his leadership as liaison has furthered anything Catholic, I would like to know what that is.

As far as I can see, the liaison effort is one-way, a means of justifying and facilitating an anti-Catholic agenda by disseminating the type of misleading information found in the article.

Many times the programs in social welfare, education, medicine, and hospitalization are carried out at the expense of religion — stripping them of religious and Catholic morality.

The Church is not a social agency, and a social agency is not a church. But social works carried out by the faithful religious of all faiths, done in the name of God, especially Jesus, carry forward mystical as well as physical aid. 

Too often, social works systematically stripped of religious association are a poor and tortured example of Catholic identity and support, and threaten to destroy the charitable agencies of the Church and deny God’s participation in social areas.

In whose name are the works mentioned in Kelly’s article carried out? Do these programs result in protecting the unborn, safeguarding the sanctity of marriage, the integrity of family life, shield the young and old from unbridled violence and pornography, the protection of life in hospitals, laboratories, and in the womb, and lastly do these programs ensure that Catholics will not have to compromise the faith and endanger the salvation or all involved?

 Jim Murtaugh

Tuckahoe, New York