National Catholic Register

Opinion

Letters 06.21.2009

BY The Editors

June 21-27, 2009 Issue | Posted 6/12/09 at 1:37 PM

 

30 Years for Life

Cathy Lynn Grossman’s blog for USA Today on common ground (“What Common Ground?” Register’s Daily Blog, May 31) is just another attempt to paint the pro-lifers as extremists unwilling to engage in efforts to reduce abortions. Pro-lifers are stuck with our cold hearts and dogma. The pro-abortionists are being presented as the reasonable and caring folks.

Nothing could be further from the truth. Pro-lifers have been trying to help pregnant women, promote adoptions, and save the babies for 30 years now.

The president said the two sides should be working together on these things. Do they really believe what they are saying? That the pro-life cause hasn’t been doing these things for the last 30 years? The pro-abortionists have done nothing except promote abortion by making it easier to procure one and by increasing the number of unintended pregnancies through the promotion of “safe sex,” which then increases the number of abortions that are “necessary.”

The abortion president has turned the tables on us.

Ann Roth

Chesapeake, Virginia


Pro-Lifers and George Tiller

Regarding the unfortunate case of the death of Dr. George Tiller (“The Shooting of George Tiller,” June 14): No pro-life Christian would dream of killing him or anyone; that’s why they are pro-life. They believe that only God has the right to take and give life. Unlike pro-abortion or pro-choice  people, Christians believe the end never justifies the means and murder can never be  justified, no matter how “good a cause” the  pro-choice people feel justifies the murder.

Christians condemn the sin, not the sinner.

Ed Smetana

Arlington Heights, Illinois


Slippery Slope

In reading the May 31 Register, I began to reminisce about the “slippery slope” that some said we were heading down after the introduction of the pill in 1960. Some “amusingly” speculated that this would lead to a whole new mindset regarding respect for human life. In the early 1970s, the Supreme Court — not content with interpreting law, but intent on making law — decided women had the right to kill their unborn children. With access to contraceptives and abortion in place to “prevent” unplanned pregnancies and discontented relationships, the number of unplanned pregnancies soared, as did the divorce rate.

Then same-sex relations became “popular,” and along came AIDS and determined opposition to the foundational building block of society: committed marriage and the family. Other popular movements began to encourage killing those who are elderly and infirm (Hemlock Society and euthanasia), and many began supporting starving to death people who cannot care for themselves (e.g. Terri Schiavo).

Most recently, there is legislation being introduced that says it is more wrong to murder some people than other people (see “Bill: It’s Who You Kill That Matters”), which puts us further down the path of people playing God. In the same issue, we hear about proposed legislation that mandates that medical professionals, under penalty of law, must provide services that are designed specifically to end human life (“Protecting the Right to Say ‘No’”), regardless of the moral convictions of the medical provider.

Jesus told us that with God “all things are possible” (Matthew 19:26); I’m sure this includes overcoming a culture of death, which by its very nature is incapable of sustaining itself.

May we all continue to work for and pray for the triumph of life, laying aside every encumbrance and persevering in running the race which lies ahead with our eyes fixed on Jesus.

Glen Ernstmann

Raytown, Missouri


Truth vs. Relativism

“Where Is the Middle Ground?” was asked in the Register (June 7). President Obama confidently purports to know.

If I remember correctly, President Obama is around 47 years old. So his conscience was formed during the 1960s, ’70s and ’80s — a time in our American history and culture when “relativism” took deep root in many circles of thinking; it’s the idea that “absolute” truth could not be discovered or that it did not even exist.

Having President Obama begin with a premise of relativism can only result in having each side publicly state its case with passion and conviction and not reduce the differing views to caricature. Each side is “okay” as long as one is not distorted by the other and common ground is sought and promoted.

This worldview was given the label of “dictatorship of relativism” by Pope Benedict XVI during the late, great Pope John Paul II’s funeral homily in 2005.

Truth is revealed, absolute and cannot be compromised: Truth is not an opinion. Jesus and his words are truth. Before his ascension into heaven, he promised to send the apostles the Holy Spirit, who would continue to lead them in the truth because there was much more to know — which they could not bear at that present moment.

So if we want to know the truth of the matter, as history unfolds, we need to be listening to and following the magisterium of the Church, not the “dictatorship of relativism.”

Patricia Strang

St. Cloud, Minnesota 


‘Seamless Garment’ Logic?

In Brother Terrence Lauerman’s letter to the editor (“Pro-Life ‘Seamless Garment,’” May 31) concerning the “rabid Catholic uproar about President Obama speaking at Notre Dame,” he takes an uncharitable delight in calling out our good bishops for shunning President Obama while not having spoken up when President Bush spoke at the college.

Not only does Brother Terrence reveal a shocking lack of respect and charity, but he also distorts the truth. No one at any time said we should “shun” the president. The uproar was not over the president merely speaking at Notre Dame — but his being awarded a doctor of laws degree, giving approval to all he has done and is trying to do.

 Brother Terrence also made a great deal of hay over Cardinal Bernardin’s “seamless garment” concept. But in an interview with the Register in 1988, Cardinal Bernardin made a distinction in the life issues, as you reported in “Bernardin vs. Obama” (Daily Blog, May 31):

“I don’t see how you can subscribe to the consistent ethic and then vote for someone who feels that abortion is a basic right of the individual.” He went on to say, “I know that some people on the left, if I may use that label, have used the consistent ethic to give the impression that the abortion issue is not all that important anymore, that you should be against abortion in a general way but that there are more important issues, so don’t hold anybody’s feet to the fire just on abortion. That’s a misuse of the consistent ethic, and I deplore it.”

There is absolutely no comparison with President Obama’s active support and encouragement of abortion without limits (not just “tolerance” of it, as Brother Terrence wrote) and President Bush’s support of capital punishment, which didn’t do anything to actually increase the numbers of executions taking place. And it hardly needs stating that the numbers of executions of adults who have committed heinous crimes simply cannot compare with the millions of innocent children aborted.

The most glaring lack of logic in Brother Lauerman’s letter is that he spews out much vitriol against the bishops because they didn’t shun President Bush, but if the good brother was as much a supporter of the “seamless garment” idea as he claims to be, then the disgust he obviously felt over President Bush’s speaking at Notre Dame should be even greater in the current situation.

Celine McCoy

Birmingham, Alabama


No Compromise

Abortion is not an opinion or a different view on a certain way of committing homicide. It is a fact of truth and cannot be shoved in the closet or diluted by placing it on an equal footing with other problems in life.

Your reader Mr. Riely (“Responding to Notre Dame,” June 7) engages in a popular “Catholic” argument designed to water down the issue of abortion. Whenever I see this, I can be very certain that the author has a problem with the absolute nature of Catholic teaching, natural law and the Ten Commandments. Homicide is either justifiable or not, and abortion cannot be labeled justifiable homicide.

The Church has done far too little to dispel this worse-than-false argument, unfortunately, under the umbrella that we want to “dialogue” with supporters of abortion. It is no more possible to do so than to tone down the issue of child abuse or human slavery.

Let us say it bluntly and clearly, as Mr. Obama said himself: There is no compromise with abortion. Mr. Obama has gained the power to open the floodgates of abortion, and he is clearly taking action to do so. If the Church lets him get away with it, we are guiltier than Mr. Obama — for we know far better.

Michael J. Donnelly

Hamilton, New Jersey


Discovery of ‘Ida’

As a college student majoring in science and a firm believer in the theory of evolution, I was worried when I first saw the article “‘Missing Link’?” (June 7). 

You can imagine my relief when, after reading the article through, I found it was not trying to bash evolution.  I must applaud the Register for the very fair and balanced approach that it took concerning both the theory of evolution in general and the discovery of the fossil known as “Ida” in particular. Although I believe creationism to be a pseudoscience, I thought it was good, in fact very American, to give equal time to both sides of the Darwin debate in the article.

It is important for Catholics to weigh the evidence for both views and come to their own conclusions. I believe that anyone looking with an open mind will find the evidence for evolution to be thoroughly convincing and not at all in conflict with the Catholic faith. The discovery of “Ida” is very exciting and is another piece in the complex puzzle of human origins.

Thomas Salerno

Oyster Bay, New York