Readers respond to Register articles.
A letter to the editor in the March 4 edition of the Register made some great points about gender, the roles of men and women in God’s plan, and the confusion that has developed due to left-wing ideology. I would suggest a concentration on one important element of this discussion that needs a little more emphasis. Since the growth of feminism in the 1960s and the insertion of a more radical element of that movement, it is apparent to me that the goal of radical feminism is eliminating the male figure, which, as a result, is adding much to the problem.
A feminist by the name of Irina Dunn once said: “A woman without a man is like a fish without a bicycle.” The radical left has demonized, marginalized and criticized the male, the role of the male and the importance of the male as a balance in a child’s life.
A father figure is lacking in today’s troubled poor neighborhoods, minority neighborhoods and in broken homes, but apparently this is not missed by the feminists because of their belief that a man is just no longer necessary. Young boys are not becoming men, and men are not becoming mature, as the new left relegates them to second-class citizens. You see it in the platform of the Democratic National Committee, the entertainment and film industry, sports and academia — all places that the left now dominates. And with it, gender studies, male guilt and self-identification are becoming the norm. And since the world of the far left is a Godless world, there is no need to have purpose, preparation or accountability.
Tale of the Tape
Last month, my son Luke had the honor of attending Oregon’s OMEA All-State Symphonic Band. Naturally, my wife and I were completely supportive of letting him go, as he had been practicing his clarinet all summer long. We immediately thanked God for granting our son such a beautiful talent and promptly wrote him a check for $300.
A few days later, he also asked if he could stay over at his friend’s house in Eugene after that. We were uneasy because we knew that that meant he would not be going to Mass at our home parish.
We ended up allowing Luke to go, granted that he went to Sunday Mass on his own. Little did we know that, at a high-school honor band, our son would encounter one of his greatest conflicts of faith.
At All-State, to keep people from sneaking out, the staff seal the hotel doors with a strip of tape. That way, if anyone opened the door, the tape would unstick, and in the morning, the staff would know if someone was causing trouble. And before the staff reapplied a new strip of tape every night, they would check and make sure every child was in his or her proper room.
All this would have been a streamlined process if my obedient son hadn’t mentioned to the staff before they left his room, “Sorry to bother you, but I just wanted to let you know that I need to go to Mass tomorrow, so I will need to break the tape around 6:00.”
When the housing director heard this, she was about to explode. “In all my years of leading the All-State conference,” she puffed, “I have never had to deal with a case like this!”
My son tried to explain that he was not up to trouble, and if they wanted to make sure, she could follow him. Luke would wake up at 5:30, get dressed and, at 6 sharp, he would break the tape and attend Mass at the Catholic church two blocks away. He would return at 7:00 just in time for breakfast — he would not miss a minute of rehearsal. But the housing director did not seem to listen to a word Luke said.
“I don’t care where you are going,” she snapped. “As long as you are under my direction, you may not leave these premises alone for whatever reason.”
“And if you do,” she continued, “I will send you home.” My son stood there in silent shock.
Granted, what would have been the right thing to do in that situation?
Looking back on it now, that housing director should have been fired for denying Luke the right to exercise his religion. She shouldn’t even have had the right to threaten his attendance for simply trying to going to Mass.
Do we really take religion that much for granted in our society today?
America has always preached itself to be a “melting pot of all cultures and faiths,” but it seems like America has turned into a “melting pot except for the ones that do not agree with one’s political opinion.”
Time to Apologize
Pertinent to “Pope Francis’ Extraordinary Apology” (Vatican, April 29 issue):
I read about the Pope’s apology to Chileans.
There is an allegation that centuries ago Portuguese soldiers threatened with swords the Hindus in the Konkan coast / Goa in India for effecting forced conversion to Christianity, and those who did not want to convert had to flee to other places.
In the context of the Syrian and Iraqi Catholic victims and refugees of the Islamic State, I think this may be an apt time for the Holy Church to reanalyze the historical event, state whether the Church had never approved it and apologize to the survivors of the atrocities, if any had been committed by some of the sons of the Church, even if it was not an approved act by the Church.
associate professor of physiology
Government Medical College
Kerala State, India
Respecting the Pope
In the May 13 edition of the Register, Father Raymond de Souza offered a review of Philip Lawler’s Lost Shepherd (Vatican, page 10).
I am not sure if Father de Souza’s intent was an all-out endorsement of this book.
I have not read the book, nor do I intend to.
Father de Souza calls the book helpful. My question is: In what way?
Father de Souza labels Lawler as a “veteran Catholic journalist of impeccable credentials.” If that is true, Lawler knowingly chose not to employ basic journalistic requirements in his attempt to discredit Pope Francis. He refers to interviews the Pope had with the aged Eugenio Scalfari, who himself apparently recalled his interviews with the Pope from memory, without notes or recordings, and whose accuracy has been questioned more than once.
Lawler himself fails to employ adequate citations and notes, yet he claims to know and present the true intent of Pope Francis’ statements. Shabby journalism and unreliable sources should always be treated with suspicion.
We are not robots. We have a duty to ask questions and seek truth always. We do not have the right to express opinion as truth. Neither do we have the right to present our own interpretation of the Pope’s writings or statements as being the mind or intention of the Pope.
We do, however, have a responsibility to respect the Pope, his office and his leadership. We do not get to judge the Pope — that is left to a higher authority. He does, however, warrant our prayers and support. Anything that does not unite ultimately divides.
Our Church receives plenty of dissent from the outside. We do not need to foster it within our own ranks.
- letters to the editor