National Catholic Register

Opinion

Letters 01.15.12

BY The Editors

January 15-28, 2012 Issue | Posted 1/6/12 at 2:06 PM

 

‘Pretty’ vs. ‘Hot’

Regarding “The Death of Pretty” by Patrick Archbold (NCRegister.com, Dec. 21): I agreed, partially.

However, I have a couple things to say about it. I kept waiting while reading this article for the role of male projection to be addressed. The one line, “Of course men play a role in this as well,” was not enough. And the Olivia Newton John reference was a bit out of context. He may have hated Sandy’s outfit change, but he failed to acknowledge that throughout Grease Sandy attempted to remain pure and provide that image of innocence not in order to attract her man, but because it was true to who she was. It was only upon being rejected and mocked by Danny Zucco and his friends (both male and female) that she decided to change. And why did she change? In order to gain the affections of the guy who was embarrassed by her virtuous appearance (neither proud nor defensive of it).

So the question here is: Who is to blame, the men or the women? I will not be so bold as to assert and not back up claims against either feminists or misogynists (as Mr. Archbold did). Broadly, we can attribute this loss of pretty (which I both acknowledge and culturally agree with) to “society” or an alteration of “societal norms”; however, to assume the whole responsibly of such a change to one gender is irresponsible, inappropriate, poorly considered and ultimately and most damagingly misleading.

Mr. Archbold’s other notably broad unfounded statement was in reference to a man’s better characteristic behaviors being inspired by a woman’s portrayal of innocence and virtue. In spirit I will also make a broadly unfounded assumption and claim that female behavior is often influenced by what she intuits to be the object of her interest’s desires (Sandy being the perfect example). And here may I also go ahead and irresponsibly blame men for the behavior of women? Can I say females behave poorly because they are treated poorly, or should I say females are treated poorly because they behave poorly?

I do not think it is correct that we blame the impressionable young girls who seek “hotness,” as is assigned to them early on by the masculine social sex drive and as is culturally displayed across the social board from Monday night football commercials to Disney movies. In truth, the blame can be easily detected in our culture’s ramped-up concupiscence. A lack of spiritual guidance has affected all people in the modern world, both men and women. The real death that has occurred is the death of self-respect, as in one’s respect for one’s bodily and spiritual self, as creations under law. That little cultural trend has every young girl and boy seeking to become a member of the world’s sexually experienced nobility as they reach for their miniskirts or their Axe body spray.

Jackie Bosman

M.A. philosophy student

Franciscan University of Steubenville, Ohio

Presidential Hopefuls

Pertinent to your “Presidential Hopefuls” series:

With the 2012 presidential primary on the horizon, it’s time Americans examined the qualities of Willard “Mitt” Romney, the former governor of Massachusetts.

Romney has a coveted business record. He founded Bain Capital after graduating valedictorian at Brigham Young University and acquired an MBA and law degree simultaneously at Harvard University, graduating magna cum laude.

At Bain Capital, Romney successfully reorganized businesses that were faltering, such as Domino’s Pizza, Office Depot and Staples, which are now profitable and thriving.

Due to his fiscal prowess, Romney was tapped to save the 2002 U.S. Olympics and tackle a whopping $379-million debt. Romney closed the gap, resulting in a $100-million profit, shortly after Sept. 11, 2001, with no breach in security.

A proponent of supply-side economics, Romney was elected governor of Massachusetts to rectify a gargantuan debt of $3 billion. Again, “Iron Willard” met the challenge, eliminating a massive deficit through spending cuts without raising taxes. This is another example of numerous reasons I nicknamed Romney “Mr. Fix-It.”

In vetting other viable presidential candidates on the sanctity-of-life issue, I found that Newt Gingrich believes that human life does not begin at conception, but at “successful implantation.” [Editor’s note: Gingrich has since affirmed that life does indeed begin at conception.] Newt is on record supporting taxpayer funding of research that involves the destruction of human embryos.

While Romney’s position on life changed, so did Ronald Reagan’s. In 1967, Reagan signed the largest expansion of abortion rights as the governor of California and then changed his position when he understood the facts. When questioned about his switch, Reagan said: “Yes, I know I did. But I’ve given a lot of thought since to the matter. I now consider abortion to be murder.” Romney makes no apologies for his switch either. Romney’s record as governor is 100% pro-life.

When faced with the question of illegal immigration, Romney is for sealing the borders and upholding the rule of law. He has promised to nominate justices in the mold of Scalia, Thomas, Alito and Roberts.

Nancy Peek McGowan

Jacksonville, Florida


Presidential hopeful Michele Bachmann’s statement that life is the “watershed issue of our time” is profound and precisely correct. She is seeing clearly and, hopefully, she will be our next president. [Editor’s note: Bachmann dropped out of the race after a poor showing in the Iowa caucuses.]

As the gloomy economy dominates the discussion and debates by the president, the presidential candidates and the members of Congress and political parties, it seems we are losing sight of and failing to focus on the one real and most critical issue of our time. The catch phrase “It’s the economy, stupid” has resonated once again, but the issue that will destroy and cause collapse of our nation is abortion.

Abortion is an evil of unimaginable proportions and is a scourge on our nation. This nation cannot endure if we continue to slaughter our own future citizens. Since made legal in 1973, abortion has taken the lives of more than 50 million babies, more than the population of some countries.

With the election of the next president and some members of Congress just months away, can Christians, especially Catholics, remain complacent or otherwise distracted from this issue? In the last presidential election, 53% of Catholics voted for a pro-abortion candidate. One must ask: How can this be, given Church teaching regarding abortion and the supporting of pro-abortion candidates? Abortion is a non-negotiable issue. (Others are euthanasia, embryonic stem-cell research, cloning and same-sex “marriage.”)

If we don’t get this one right, can anything be right with America again? One would hope that all bishops, priests and pastors begin now to profess with boldness and courage the teachings of the Catholic Church on these matters to prepare the hearts and minds of Catholics and other Christians so that they may vote with a well-informed conscience and a well-formed conscience.

Some argue that abortion should be settled by the states — a states-rights issue. The same case was made for slavery. But both of these are not states-rights issues, but civil-rights issues and, as such, are national concerns, and should reflect the value and dignity the nation places on every human being, born and unborn. If slavery was decided by the states, conceivably we could have today both slave and free states. Can anyone imagine America this way, and would we have become the great nation that we did become? Likewise, if the legality of abortion is decided by the states, both legal and illegal abortion could be the result. If abortion is morally wrong, it would be wrong wherever it is performed.

As Abraham Lincoln has said, “You do not have the right to do wrong.” The debate of when new human life begins is now over. It is settled science. Science has proved what theology has always taught: New human life begins at conception.

Frank Diorio

Lake Hopatcong, New Jersey

Religious Liberty

On page 3 of the Dec. 18 issue of the Register you have Bishop William Lori outlining the “New Game Plan for Religious Liberty.” On the same page you also have “Texas Showdown: First Amendment Case Could End Up in the High Court.”

In the El Paso, Texas, game plan you have a church filing suit against the state of Texas “defending the Church’s right to fully engage in the culture.” You have voters petitioning the city to overturn domestic-partner benefits. You have voters petitioning to recall the mayor on the wrong side of the issue. You can unite in your city and do it too.

Robert Strong

El Paso, Texas

Hitchens and God

Relative to “Still Praying for Christopher Hitchens” by Patrick Archbold (NCRegister.com, Dec. 16):

After a long battle with cancer of the esophagus, the hardened atheist, author of God Is Not Great, finally went to meet his omnipotent “Maker.” To the end, Hitchens held steadfast to that human pride that for many years made him a hero in the eyes of the world’s atheists. He was unable to find it in himself to reach down and acknowledge to all humanity — and most probably himself — the truth he knew about God before his time was up and God’s mercy ran out. He failed to heed the “voice of conscience” before it was too late. Herein lies a lesson for us all to “stay awake” (Mark 13:33).

When we tumble with the grip of dark forces and then start to defend our false obsessions and compulsions, we inevitably come to regard our conscience as an enemy. We then feel compelled to silence the “voice of conscience” — not just the one inside of us, but the one in other people, which can revive our own conscience with which we are at war.

Hitchens had a certain courage. But there is a different kind of courage, the kind that’s born in heaven. It’s not the courage of heroics or bravado, but the kind that you and I and God know about.

Paul Kokoski

Hamilton, Ontario

Moral and Successful

Regarding “Adult Stem-Cell Therapies Are the Future, Scientist Says” (Dec. 4):

Dr. Peter Hollands provided a number of reasons why the perfectly moral adult stem cells (ASCs) will treat and cure people of many diseases and the immoral embryonic stem cells obtained by killing an embryo — a several-day-old human being — will not. He pointed out thousands of people are treated successfully every year with adult stem cells, while no one has been cured with embryonic stem-cell treatments.

Researchers have tried using embryonic stem cells for treatments, which have ended in disaster for patients. Embryonic stem cells are very difficult and costly to obtain, while adult stem cells are easily obtained from many sources, such as: umbilical cords, placentas, bone marrow, fat, blood, organs such as the heart, and mother’s milk.

Many scientists engaged in embryonic stem-cell research claim that embryonic stem cells have the potential to develop into every different cell in the body while adult stem cells are limited in their application. But when cells were produced in a moral way that are the equivalent of embryonic stem cells, called induced pluripotent stem cells, many leading scientists switched to researching the easier and less costly type to produce induced pluripotent stem cells. But many, like lemmings, continue the same unproductive research.

The Catholic Church recently hosted a conference to promote the benefits of adult stem cells for humanity, which are largely unpublicized and censored in the secular media, which promotes and hypes the “potential” of the immoral embryonic stem-cell research.

So why are so many scientists still doing embryonic stem-cell research? No doubt there are many reasons: They have huge financial investments in embryonic stem-cell research, including billions of tax dollars, and many are hoping the investments will eventually pay off, in addition to financial investments. There have been huge investments of the reputations of many leading scientists, who will be extremely embarrassed when embryonic stem-cell research collapses. There are those who promote abortion who want embryonic stem-cell research to be hugely successful so embryos will never be protected. And there are those who despise the Church’s teaching, not recognizing that what the Church teaches ultimately comes from God and is always the best for the well-being of mankind.

John Naughton

Silver Spring, Maryland