Father Dwight Longenecker’s column, “9/11 and the Echo of Terror” (In Depth, Sept. 18 edition), was right on.
As many evidently need to be reminded, Islamic aggression in the Middle East and Europe is nothing new. It has a long historical pedigree. What stopped it were brave men who took up arms to defend the Catholic faith and Western civilization itself.
They had the full support of their Church, which had no second thoughts about the right of Catholics to defend themselves, their families and their homes. Although pacifism has never been the teaching of the Catholic Church, there are voices today that would like to see that change. In an age of resurgent Islamic expansionism, I can’t imagine a more foolhardy idea. But there are signs that it may be gaining traction in the Church.
In contrast to earlier centuries, the Catholic Church currently seems to limit itself to offering prayers and condolences for the growing list of its children who are being killed in the Middle East and elsewhere.
What has happened to its backbone? The heroes of past victories must be asking from their graves, “What are you waiting for?”
The old saying that those who are ignorant of history are condemned to repeat it seems to have a special relevance today.
F. Douglas Kneibert
Wages of Concupiscence
Relevant to “Missing More: Catholics and Political Life” (Commentary, Aug. 21 issue): Like our current times, St. Thomas More’s times were very morally turbulent in dealing with catastrophic religious issues, greatly testing one’s conscience formation.
Religiously traumatic moral crises swirled around such conflicts as Martin Luther and Church revolt; Henry VIII and Church revolt; Medici popes and Church revolt. St. Robert Bellarmine, who was born seven years after More’s martyrdom, and who was also as intellectually elite, noted that during the times shortly prior to St. Thomas More’s death, “There was in the Church almost no religion left.”
Why do people have so much trouble properly forming their consciences to conform with right reason and moral law? Is it because of concupiscence acquired by our initial ancestors in the Garden of Eden, when they fell from grace due to being tempted by a devil disguised in the form of a snake? What of concupiscence during Thomas More’s time — was it aggravated due to temptation brought upon by the revolution started by the Gutenberg printing press? What of concupiscence during our time, highlighted by moral issues at stake and soon to be affected by political decisions in November? Will it be influenced by a devil disguised in the form of an election ballot?
(’Round and ’round we go, where we stop nobody knows, but with enough pain, maybe we’ll change and eventually conform to God’s true expectations.)
Joseph T. Kenney
Fort Worth, Texas
Hillary Clinton has promised Planned Parenthood she would appoint three pro-abortion judges to the Supreme Court if elected president. What this means to the country is this: These judges, on average, will serve 15-25 years. They will view all cases through the eyes and conscience of a pro-abortion person.
Roe v. Wade was not based on what is written in the Constitution, and neither will future cases get constitutional approval.
This country’s morals and virtues are in a tailspin.
God the Creator has been dismissed, and relativism now rules. Truth is now something that floats. Whatever you think is true is true; no firm deposit of truth or natural law (God’s law) exists any longer.
A man is a man only if he thinks he is, and a woman is a woman only if she thinks she is — and the high court has upheld this. This way of thinking can lead to an idea of selecting who should and should not have personhood.
Historian Alexander Tytler, in the 1700s, wrote that democracies only last about 200 years, and then they begin to fall apart. The progression goes like this: bondage to spiritual faith; to great courage; to liberty; to abundance; to selfishness; to complacency; to apathy; to dependency; then back to bondage. He based this collapse on loose fiscal policy, which is always followed by dictatorship, then a monarchy.
Our once-great nation has replaced our moral fortitude and character with a socialist-relativism agenda that will bring about our moral and financial collapse. I am praying every day for my country and my children and grandchildren. God, please help us.
East Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania
Editor’s reply: By all means, we should fervently pray for Our Lady of America’s intercession for our country — at this contentious time and at all times.
As Catholics, we also cling to the belief that Christ promised us he would be with us always. His Church has survived every political system throughout history and will continue to do so. God always keeps his promises.