National Catholic Register

Opinion

Letters 11.23.2008

BY The Editors

November 23-29, 2008 Issue | Posted 11/18/08 at 11:40 AM

 

Thank You, Register

How did Americans, about 70 million of whom are Catholic, elect the most pro-abortion, left-wing, inexperienced senator to the highest office of the greatest nation on earth?

Crisis-pregnancy centers like the one I direct are trembling: Can we continue to reach out to women considering abortion? Will we be allowed to discuss abortion’s physical, emotional and spiritual effects on women? Or will we be limited to distributing diapers, formula and baby clothes?

Apparently, more than half of American Catholics didn’t get the memo. While one-third of our bishops made strong public statements about the need to make  the right to life for the unborn paramount when considering for whom to vote, the other two-thirds did not. While many individual priests (Father Pavone of Priests for Life being a shining example) explained the repercussions of voting for a pro-abortion candidate, many others were silent. While many lay Catholic pro-life organizations and individuals worked overtime to get the message out, so many other Catholics were afraid to talk to their fellow parishioners who plastered Obama stickers on their cars and planted Obama signs on their lawns.

The Register, on the other hand, was front and center with regard to this election. Issue after issue contained front-page stories about the candidates’ differences with regard to their pro-life or pro-abortion records, what they planned to do as president regarding the life issues, and what kind of Supreme Court justices they would appoint. No one subscribing to the Register had an excuse to be uninformed on this most important of elections. 

Thank you, Register, for coming through for the pro-life cause. While we mourn this great loss, let us resolve to make sure that before the next election the other 54% of Catholics get the pro-life memo.

Laura Nelson
Executive Director
WomanCare Services

Berwyn, Illinois


Confused

In your blog post “Our President,” you wrote: “... we always liked Obama ... It’s a day to say to Obama and his supporters: Congratulations.”

Huh? I’m confused. Is this the Register or the Reporter?

As a longtime subscriber who has always admired the Register for its faithfulness to the teachings of the Church, I admit that I was taken aback by Hoopes’ “out of the closet for Obama” style of editorial. I am just now regaining my composure, having come to grips with the fact that those 35 years of pro-life legislation will soon be written away by Obama with one stroke of the pen — and my favorite Catholic newspaper informs me they have always liked this guy.
To be quite frank with you, I’m wondering if I like the Register anymore and whether I should continue my subscription.

I know, I know: “Love the sinner and hate the sin.” And I abide by Christ’s philosophy. But I sure hate the fact that the next resident of the White House will soon be unapologetically promoting the sins I hate the most.

Vince Michalak

St. Charles, Missouri


Time for Mourning

In response to your blog post “Our President,” the sad reality is that Barack Obama would not be president-elect if it were not for an army of poorly catechized American Catholics marching to the polls with their ill-formed consciences in tow. But could we really expect more from American Catholics, 70% of whom don’t attend Sunday Mass? Many of these “Obama Catholics” don’t believe in the Real Presence, contracept at the same rate as the rest of the country, thumb their noses at the sacrament of reconciliation, and consider the life issue to be equivalent to taxes and health care.

I was proud of the American bishops, who published “Faithful Citizenship” and made clear the Church’s teaching that the life issue supersedes all other issues and that a vote for a pro-abortion candidate is cooperation with moral evil. Too bad most Catholics don’t care what the Church teaches and practice their own brand of Catholicism.

No, Mr. Hoopes, this is not a time to celebrate Obama’s exciting achievement — unless you consider setting back the pro-life movement by decades exciting. This is a time for mourning: a time to mourn that the most liberal and anti-life politician in America is now president-elect, a time to mourn the loss the Catholic Church’s influence in shaping values and promoting truth. It’s a time to beg for God’s mercy, that he will preserve our fragile democracy from the threat of socialism, terrorism and the anti-life majority in the government.

Gary T. Giorgio

Wadsworth, Ohio


‘Decent’?

I really liked your editorial “Hope for America” (Nov. 16), and I think it hits many important points that disappointed pro-lifers need to keep in mind. However, I would like to know what you meant by “decent.”

I checked the definition of “decent” in Webster’s, and it means “conforming to standards ... of morality.” While I think it is very important to respect our president and not judge him, for he is a fallen human being like the rest of us, I object to the use of the word “decent” when this is a man who supports abortion and the abandonment/killing of the victims of botched abortions.

If you take the word “decent” to mean “moral,” we come across many other issues of which I am sure we are both aware. How can you use the word “decent” when you are conscious of what this man stands for?

Adam Harlan

New Haven, Connecticut


Editor’s note: The Register has never wavered and will never waver from our support for the right to life.

Our point in the editorial was that voices of reason need to avoid marginalizing ourselves at this critical time. Barack Obama will be our president and deserves our respect.

Many people who are pro-life voted for Obama. We need to educate them — but they probably won’t listen to us if we’re polarized by rage and if we disrespect the president.

In fact, we know they won’t. Anti-Bush activists found that out the hard way. They were convinced he was a Hitler who was going to institute another police state, so they said so, over and over again, destroying their credibility and losing the next election for their efforts.

So, tactically, we think the best thing to do is to argue strenuously, unapologetically and insistently about the importance of the right to life, and to expose and oppose whatever policies compromise it. But otherwise, to the extent we can, we should share people’s good will toward the man who is our president. That keeps lines of communication open.

Obama is a civil, decent man with many excellent qualities.

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: those founding fathers who owned slaves, those Civil War generals who introduced “total war” to America, Harry Truman, who ordered the dropping of the atomic bomb (an act condemned unequivocally by popes, the Second Vatican Council, the Catechism of the Catholic Church and Archbishop Fulton Sheen), and Ronald Reagan, who as governor of California signed the nation’s first “no-fault divorce” law.

These were men who were civil, decent and in some cases, great.

We can at least afford Obama the consideration we gave John McCain. He is a decent man, even though his record wasn’t always. He voted to take money withheld from our paychecks and send it to doctors to use it to kill human beings in science experiments. He voted to kill the marriage amendment in the Senate without so much as a debate. He snatched defeat from the jaws of victory against Bush’s pro-life judges (many of them Catholics) as the leader of the “Gang of 14.” Yet, we were magnanimous with him. Obama deserves the same.

Even the unabashedly partisan “Powerline” blog had some great advice about the election. It began: “Pray that President Obama achieves greatness in office. Our overriding concern must always be the country we love, not the success of a party or an ideology.”

It continued: “Don’t assume that Obama is always wrong. Judge all of his positions on the merits.”

But, knowing that there will be much to oppose in the Obama administration, it continued:

Be loyal in your opposition.

Be patient in your opposition.

Be persistent in your opposition.

Be fair in your opposition.

And, our favorite one: “Secede” from the mainstream media by turning it off — and support alternative media that gets the truth out, instead. The Register plans to be just such a vehicle, bringing you the truth — and the relentless, but fair, opposition.


Character Assassination

“Palin, for Posterity” (Nov. 2) underlines a deep problem in our society. While the recent election has shown how much we have grown as a nation as regards race, it has also shown how much we have degenerated as a culture. This election has shown us that we have put aside the tragic ways of 1968 only to pick up a more terrible form of assassination: that of character.

This new and popular form of attacking others is not only un-Christian, it is inhuman. The worst part about it is that our culture is now addicted to reading and speaking about calumny, slander and defamation. It is a cancer that is eating the heart and soul out of our society, which is a Christian culture based on truth, justice and respect for our fellow citizens. Can any nation continue with such a sickness? Now more than ever, we must take up Christ’s commandment “to love one another” (John 13:35).

Brother Brenner LeCompte, LC

Cheshire, Connecticut