National Catholic Register

Opinion

Letters 01.04.2009

BY The Editors

January 4-10, 2009 Issue | Posted 12/19/08 at 3:53 PM

 

Unite

As you have pointed out in your “Hope for America” editorials, perhaps the presidential election of 2008 did not turn out the way some of your readers had hoped and prayed it would. Well, maybe we should all follow the example of the Republican candidate, John McCain. That good soldier and loyal patriot referred to Barack Obama as “my president” in his concession speech. Besides, bitterness and divisiveness are not the hallmarks of the followers of Christ.

May we all unite with President-elect Obama and pray that God gives him the strength and the courage, the vision and the heart to lead all Americans.

Things are not going to change overnight. And Mr. Obama is not going to solve all of our problems for us. No leader or government is capable of doing that.

But may Obama lead and inspire us as individuals and as a nation to do all that we can to solve our problems. May we have the wisdom and common sense to make the right decisions, decisions that will lead to a future that is strong, secure and beautiful for all Americans — all with God’s help — together with justice and joy. Yes!

And come Inauguration Day 2009, may Obama and God plant 1,000 flowers in the soul of America — tall, fragrant flowers. Indeed, beautiful blossoms of hope and peace.

James Nagle

Lyndhurst, Ohio


Argument Remedy

The Register’s editorial “Hope for America: No. 2: The Marriage Majority” (Nov. 23) spoke to an issue that has caused me much anxiety: the dearth of solid modern arguments in defense of marriage.

I’m not convinced that many people reject gay “marriage” purely out of prejudice or the “icky” factor that you mention, but I have yet to hear a lucid argument against gay “marriage” that resonates with modern minds.

I hope the paper’s “Clip and Share” initiative will remedy that. Better yet, give me a “click and send” version.

Alberto Mora

Cold Spring, New York


Keep Praying

Ever since mid-October when it became obvious Obama would win the election, we have prayed that he will become pro-life, given his policy plans (“Abortion President?” Nov. 23, “Obama Order: Tax Money to Kill Embryos,” Nov. 30 and “Daschle Appointment Worries Pro-Life Activists,” Dec. 7).

He appears to be a devoted, faithful husband, father and Christian — with one major flaw.

Would that fault be remedied by Jan. 20! We dare not stop hoping and praying for the pro-life cause.

John E. Schlapkohl

Sugar Island, Michigan


Beyond Me

I am disgusted with the U.S. national election! How Catholics could vote for Sen. Obama, the most pro-abortion nominee in history, is beyond me, no matter what good he hopes to accomplish (“White House Dad and Fatherhood,” Dec. 14).

Some of the blame, ironically, should lie with the Catholic publications’ editors and their constant drumbeat about the so-called “unjustness” of the war in Iraq (even though we had already won the war and have been involved in nation-building), and with the so-called “torture” of enemy combatants (even though none ever died, lost an extremity, eyes, etc.). Discomfort and humiliation are not “torture.”

So all of you who fussed over these issues, you helped sway the U.S. population to vote against these policies (which were to be carried on by Sen. McCain) and vote for Obama (who wants to cut and run immediately).

Just for the record, my state of North Carolina went for Obama by 14,000 votes (out of 4 million cast) only because the Libertarian Party was able to garner a measly 25,000 votes, votes that for the most part would have gone to the GOP. Shame on Libertarians!

Daniel Barton

Fayetteville, North Carolina


Cards for Life

In light of “‘Team of Rivals’ Unite on Abortion” (Dec. 14), this year, consider overwhelming Planned Parenthood with beautiful Christmas cards depicting the Child Jesus and Mary. Surely God can touch hearts through the tender display of motherly affection.

I have done this for several years, and this year, I gave my phone number and e-mail and asked if anyone at Planned Parenthood knew of a baby I might adopt. If a lot of people could also do this, they would see that these babies are indeed wanted. If you do get a call, contact your local Catholic Charities, pregnancy help center or adoption agency for help.

This hasn’t been tried yet, and a flood of mail might soften hearts.

Mary Ann Heerschap

Mt. Solon, Virginia


Cultural Culprits

In the article “Priest Faces Excommunication” (Dec. 14), Bishop Cordileone made a great point when he noted that “what is at fault here is a tendency to see the Church as a secular institution.”

In my opinion, relativism and the failure of our world to recognize the supernatural dimension in life are the two biggest culprits in robbing our culture of truth. Until we see that reality has two dimensions — the human and the supernatural — there will be confusion.

This one point says so much, and I hope that others will recognize it and bow to the wisdom of Holy Mother Church, which is deeply rooted in the truth of Christ Jesus.

Sally Steger

New Orleans, Louisiana


School of the Americas

The Dec. 14 article concerning Father Roy Bourgeois facing excommunication (“Priest Faces Excommunication”) states that he started the School of the Americas. This U.S. facility originated in Panama to combat communism in Latin America and South America.

Some people believe the facility trains terrorists who kill Catholic clergy and nuns. The government’s side of the issue is that they do not train terrorists to kill priests. As we all know, terrorists have taken classes at military places in the U.S. and used their own and our techniques in terrorist activity.

This priest is probably one of the 10,000 persons who demonstrate against the facility and attempted to break down the fence and enter. Perhaps this priest founded the anti-SOA, which demonstrates against the School of the Americas.

Thanks for your great paper.

Pat Novak

Torrington, Wyoming

Editor’s note: One word was missing: Roy Bourgeois started the School of Americas Watch. The story has been corrected online.


Right but Wrong

It is sad to be right for the wrong reason. Such is the situation of Scott Hahn and Benjamin Wiker, authors of Answering the New Atheism (“Advent Reading: Scientist’s Sneer” by John Grondelski, Dec. 7).

If there were only one perfect deal in bridge, the probability of being dealt it is the probability of every other deal. Based on the numerical value of probability, one may judge himself “really, really, really lucky” to receive the perfect deal, but it would be illogical to conclude that it is likely that “somebody stacked the deck.” That conclusion flows from the nonlogical argument, ad/pro hominem.

Yet, according to the book review, Hahn and Wiker present the perfect deal analogy and the ad/pro hominem conclusion of stacking the deck as an important and presumably logical argument in refuting the claim of Richard Dawkins that life is due to chance.

The probability of every deal is the same as every other deal. Therefore, we cannot use the value of probability to decide whether any deal was or was not an instance of randomness/chance.

The reason the perfect deal unnerves us, prompting us to identify it as not an instance of randomness, but to suspect human interference, is our limited intelligence.

There are 1067.9 different sequences/deals of a deck of cards. If we had the intellectual capacity to recognize every one of them individually, then the perfect deal would appear to us to be what it is, namely, equally probable as every other deal.

We would recognize that probability is no basis for suspicion of human interference in randomizing the deck in the instance of the perfect deal or in the instance of every other deal. Hopefully, we would have no inclination to propose a nonlogical, ad/pro hominem conclusion.

It is sad that in the debate over life and chance, the right side is right so often for the wrong reasons.

Robert E. Drury

Geneva, New York


The Good and Bad

The Register provides a much-needed service in Steven Greydanus’ movie reviews. He points out good movies (as in Horton Hears a Who!), but we also need him to point out what is bad in movies. His review of Madagascar 2 (“From Poor Taste to Propaganda,” Nov. 9) for example, hardly mentions what is obvious to any informed Catholic: It is basically a piece of gay propaganda. I counted four running homosexual themes, with a few other sex fetishes for good measure, in the movie.

A Catholic cannot watch this kind of movie in good conscience, and Greydanus needs to accurately report what is in the movie for Catholic readers. Movies like Madagascar 2 are one of the reasons we are fighting a losing battle here in California over gay “marriage.” Please help us promote the good and avoid the evil!

Father Joseph Illo

Modesto, California

Steven Greydanus responds: I’m gratified by Father Illo’s generally appreciative comments, but somewhat mystified that he feels I “hardly mentioned” what is in fact the major theme of my Madagascar 2 review. Nearly the whole second half of the review — more than 450 words in a 1,000-odd word piece — is devoted to the movie’s subversive sexual themes.