National Catholic Register


Letters 07.27.2008

BY The Editors

July 27-August 9, 2008 Issue | Posted 7/22/08 at 12:41 PM


Obama? Why Not?

I found your editorial, “Catholics and Obama” (July 13), extraordinarily wrongheaded: “Obama will bring us nationalized medicine.” I hope so; it hasn’t hurt the veterans, elderly and disabled (Medicare or Medicaid) who have nationalized medicine.

It hasn’t hurt the people of Ireland, Italy, Spain, Portugal, Canada and elsewhere. Of course, rational choices must be made to allocate health expenditure.

It is a choice whether to give a liver to a 90-year-old or a 14-year-old. The expenditure on each would be vastly different, even though ethically, life is as precious to both.

As a Catholic, I will continue to support Obama. To me justice, liberty and equality make much greater claims on my conscience and the common good than homosexual “marriage,” abortion, artificial contraception and any other of the sexually obsessed issues that so exercise a celibate clergy.

I find the reasoning that they are intrinsically evil and against natural law only an authoritarian proclamation of specious logic.

Are people knowingly committing intrinsic evils if they are following their consciences? Are Jews and non-Catholic Christians evil for following their consciences when they have ethically and morally, under the most rigorous inquiry, come to the opposite position of our celibate clergy?

For a celibate clergy to proclaim a wife is morally wrong to have her philandering husband put on a condom before sex, to me, is counting devils on a pin head; it is the unreal consequence of the silly and obnoxious use of “natural,” as if celibacy or taking a chance on acquiring HIV or riding in an airplane were natural.

Both McCain and Obama have openly, unequivocally declared themselves “pro-choice.” I believe your editorial, following Father Neuhaus’ strict Republican agita, is just as far-out in the real world.

Michael O’Neill

Wainscott, New York

Obama? No Way

Regarding “Catholics and Obama” (July 13):

Many pundits assert the Catholic vote will determine the next president. Despite the discourse at “Roman Catholics for Obama,” I cannot understand how Catholics could vote for a man whose negatives are so antithetical to Catholic, Christian Truth.

He embraces relativism and its dismal fallout without compunction.

He opposed lifting the ban on partial-birth abortion, a gruesome atrocity where full-term infants die as their skulls implode sans brain.

How a Catholic with an informed conscience could vote for one lacking the courage to condemn this evil abomination eludes me.

Obama moves in a world totally oblivious to the greatest civil rights issue of our times. Can such a candidate be taken seriously?

The late Pope John Paul II said, “A nation that kills its own children has no future.” This includes a nation that supposedly holds as self-evident the unalienable rights to “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”

Jim Connolly

Tampa, Florida

Tomorrow’s Hate Crime

The Register is to be commended for its recent coverage of the same-sex “marriage” issue, especially since the California Supreme Court’s decision in favor of same-sex “marriage” was handed down on May 15.

This is surely an important issue as so well spelled out by Jennifer Roback Morse’s op-ed piece (“Same-Sex ‘Marriage’ and the Persecution of Civil Society,” June 8). Today’s same-sex “marriage” debate is important precisely because it becomes tomorrow’s hate-crime debate, and this despite religious freedoms guaranteed by our nation’s Constitution and the absolute inviolability of conscience.

The arguments set forth by advocates of same-sex “marriage” boil down, really, to three things: bad metaphysics, terrible ontology, and complete ignorance of Pope John Paul II’s theology of the body.

Father Wade L.J. Menzes, CPM

Fathers of Mercy

Auburn, Kentucky

Et Tu, Doug?

Regarding “A Response to Doug Kmiec” (July 13):

I am truly saddened by the news that Doug Kmiec has endorsed Barack Obama. I have known Mr. Kmiec for several years and have heard him speak to several different groups.

He also taught religion to my second grandson at Our Lady of Malibu parish. Because Mr. Kmiec is so admired, he will lead others into error.

I remember Doug telling us that just because something is legal, it does not necessarily make it moral.

How could such a man be so blinded by the words of Barack Obama that he cannot see the clear pro-death record of that man? Does Obama have such power to mesmerize?

The warnings from the Bible that even the elect will be deceived make me wonder how soon our blessed Lord will come again. Surely, if the Doug Kmiecs of this world are being deceived, it can’t be far off.

Agnes Peterson

Malibu, California

Human Rights for All

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

There is no doubt that the Democratic Party strives for the common good of society in many areas. The problem is that it excludes unborn children from its definition of society. This is by no means a first. Hitler’s Nazi Party excluded Jews from the common good and the Confederate States did it to black slaves. No matter what good things these governments may have done, they are condemned in the light of history because they denied the most basic of human rights to large segments of their populations.

The Catholic Church teaches that we are to love all who are made in the image and likeness of God, including babies in the womb. If the Democratic Party controls the federal government in 2009, the door will be slammed shut on any hope of stopping the slaughter of millions of pre-born American babies each year.

Mr. Kelly talks about the corporal works of mercy. There is no one more naked than the mangled baby lying on the abortionist’s table, none thirstier than the innocent child burned by saline in her mother’s womb.

On judgment day, how will Catholics, who should know better, account for their failures to defend the most helpless among us? “Then he will answer them, ‘Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to me.’” (Matthew 25:45).

Gerald T. Yeung
White Plains, New York

Enrolling in the Scapular

I am writing in regard to the article, “The Brown Scapular Still Sanctifies Souls” (July 13):

It was a very interesting, however incomplete, article. So what was missing? There were several references to “enrolling” in the scapular, but no information on how to enroll, or where or why. In the ’70s and ’80s, each scapular came with information and “How tos.” Nowadays, such information is lacking altogether. Please print the missing details in your next possible edition. 

Lucille Moran

Cudahy, Wisconsin

Editor’s Note: is our new sister website. Click there on “Resources” for information about enrolling in the scapular.

Words, Words, Words

The article, “Battle Over a Single Word,” on names was very good (June 29). And connected with the names is a legal protection in each case. Abortion is legally protected by the right to privacy. Pornography is legally protected by freedom of speech, which includes artistic expression. Homosexual “marriage” will come about through the principle of non-discrimination.

In order for non-discrimination to apply, marriage will have to be redefined. Hence the importance of the name, but what will it now mean?

Of the three issues, homosexual “marriage” is on the shakiest ground. When the Supreme Court threw out the sodomy laws in 10 states, it basically said that no positive law could be made against homosexual persons but it made no mention of discrimination.

None of the state constitutions prohibit discrimination. Non discrimination came about in 1964 through the Civil Rights Act.

Federal law does not consider sexual orientation to be a protected category like race and ethnicity.

A number of states do include sexual orientation in their own civil rights laws, but the categories under which one may not discriminate do not include contracts. And marriage is a contract.

Leave it to activist judges to create an answer out of whole cloth, but if they were honest, then “gay marriage” would be a non-starter. “Gay marriage” is really an irrational concept if one is talking of natural marriage.

The kind of sexual activity that homosexual persons engage in cannot naturally lead to procreation. So in all honesty and fairness, they simply do not qualify for this particular state-sanctioned contract.

Their exclusion from the institution of marriage is not a matter of discrimination.

Paul A. Trouve
New Jersey

Van Fan?

Regarding “St. Dominic’s Preview” (June 8):

OK, who’s the Van Morrison fan on your staff? I was delighted to see this allusion on Page 1, but I’m guessing that very few Register readers caught it. Good for you for your wit and taste in music!

Steve Petrica

Bethesda, Maryland