America: Two Views

Your editorial “Don't Be at a Loss for Words” (Sept. 23–29) contains an error. While advising Catholics to evangelize, you also tell them not to make the “mistake” of drawing dark comparisons between the terrorists and America's culture of death. That is impossible not to do.

This country was founded by God-fearing men who aimed — though not always accurately — to follow God's Commandments. Despite its many mistakes, America was a Christian nation, and God protected it so that in its darkest moments it did not fail. The last 60 years or so have seen this country turn from God and his laws and reject him, and his Son, in order to embrace a lifestyle of materialism, hedonism and death. As a result, America has lost favor with God, and he has apparently turned his face from us.

Which is not to say that he caused the attacks. He did not. Evil men did that in the exercise of their free will, but without God's protection, we are no longer able to stop such men. History has a long list of great nations that rejected God and his word, and fell as a result. Israel appears on that list several times. And now, apparently, so will America.

You are foolish to recommend that Catholics join in this orgy of flag-waving. More than 4,000 of our unborn babies are brutally killed in this country every day, and not only are there no patriotic demonstrations, or star-studded benefit concerts or memorial services, if a pro-life Catholic deigns to protest, he is threatened with jail. This country will not be saved by a missiledefense system, or the killing of Islamic fundamentalists, nor even the death of Osama bin Laden. America needs an awakening, a mass conversion from the gods of money and sex to the God of the Ten Commandments.

That is the message Catholics should be delivering. Waving the flag and singing “God Bless America” is the equivalent of going to the Roman arena and cheering for the lions.


Sheridan, Oregon

Thank you reminding pro-lifers not to make the mistake of comparing the culture of death to the terrorist attacks (“Don't Be at a Loss for Words,” Sept. 23–29).

Since Sept. 11, my e-mail bin and some Internet forums have been darkened by such comparisons made by well-meaning Christians. But, as pro-lifer Gary Bauer pointed out in an interview with Bill O'Reilly, now is not the time to be rubbing salt in America's wounds — no matter how unabashedly pro-life we are. Americans are deeply hurt and looking inward as never before. It is there that they should meet a message that is compassionate to their pain and more likely to lead them to the logical conclusion that they are hurting because of a hard reminder of the sanctity of human life.

Going on the offensive in this regard will do nothing to ease wounds and may generate an angry defensiveness that will ultimately turn people away from the Church and the pro-life message.


Edmond, Oklahoma

The Earth is Not Our Mother

“The main point of Christianity was this: that Nature is not our mother: Nature is our sister. We can be proud of her beauty, since we have the same father; but she has no authority over us; we have to admire, but not to imitate.”—G.K. Chesterton, Orthodoxy