Pertinent to “Division Over Iran Nuclear Deal: Must Catholics Back It?” (page one, Aug. 23 issue): The Iran nuclear negotiations started out as a process to rein in Iran’s nuclear ambitions because, among other reasons, Iran was a world sponsor of terrorism and wanted to destroy Israel. In an “Alice in Wonderland” outcome, the recently announced Iran nuclear deal achieves an outcome that is diametrically opposed to the original intentions. Sanctions against Iran that forced them to the negotiating table are being prematurely lifted. The so-called sanctions’ snap-back provisions are another bad aspect of the agreement. Once relieved, there is little likelihood of obtaining their pre-agreement force. By the premature lifting of sanctions, Iran can now generate significant cash for its weapons programs and promote even more terrorism. Not only will Iran have the ability to make nuclear bombs, but the agreement allows it, against the advice of U.S. military experts, to continue its intercontinental missile program. This was an unbelievable giveaway, which need not be given away, to a nation responsible for the deaths of thousands of our fighting men and women. The requirements of a good deal are further not satisfied. One is because “anywhere, anytime inspections” are not met. Instead, a relatively prolonged negotiating process and appeal regime have been established, and its implementation only slows down and may even stop any inspections. People opposed to this agreement should participate in the democratic process.
Two in Every City
Regarding “Pro-Life Centers Offer Cure for Planned Parenthood” (page one, Aug. 23 issue): I am very excited about the idea. It is definitely a hopeful alternative to abortion. It’s just wonderful and brilliant — just what is needed. I write this to see if you can continue to advise us about such centers and encourage franchises. I can’t afford one, but if I could, I would. There should be at least two in every city: one in a poor area and one in a rich area, and as many as possible in between! I would volunteer for them in whatever capacity I could. Glory to God, it’s a great idea. Thanks for passing on the info, and keep it coming.
As a new subscriber to the Register, and as an adopted person, I am disturbed by one of Rebecca Taylor’s arguments against surrogacy (“Surrogacy’s Incredibly Dark Side,” In Depth, Aug. 23 issue). While I certainly agree that surrogacy is morally suspect, to state that the intentional separation of the newborn from the only person she has ever known has long-term negative effects on the child inadvertently perpetuates negative stereotypes about adopted children. Surely the Church wishes to promote adoption in lieu of abortion. To imply that a child not raised by the birth mother is somehow irredeemably damaged is both false and detrimental to the cause of adoption. It may be true that there could be emotional effects on the infant in separating from the birth mother, but from personal experience, I can say that any such effects can be mitigated, and even far outweighed, by the presence of parents who are eager to welcome a child into their lives.
How hurtful to the adopted and to couples considering adoption to read, in a Catholic publication, that children of adoption are somehow damaged goods. Ideally, it may be in the best interest of all concerned for babies to be raised by their married birth parents, but not if those parents are incapable of providing a nurturing home. In that circumstance, what a beautiful, selfless gift for the mother to give to the baby and to the adoptive parents. Editors, please be careful to consider how the arguments set forth regarding one issue may unintentionally impact other important issues.
The editor responds: In the instance you are referring to, Rebecca Taylor wrote: “The intentional separation of the newborn from the only person she has ever known may have long-term negative effects” (italics added for emphasis). She clearly isn’t making a definitive statement, but it was not our intention to upset you or other readers who are adoptive children or parents. Adoption is a blessing for many.
I want to address the issue of the “Consistent Ethic of Life and Archbishop Cupich” that Father Raymond de Souza addressed (page one, Sept. 6 issue). Archbishop Blase Cupich is correct: We should be “no less appalled” by our collective indifference toward the social chaos and degradation that plays out every day in places we have long since discarded. The culture of death comes from this culture of indifference.
We might ask a mother to choose life, but what is our attitude toward single mothers on welfare, public assistance and Medicaid? How many of us look at her as a “deadbeat” or a symbol of immorality? The Church, of course, does much to care for the poor, the sick and the disabled. However, we often refer to the Church as a collective of dedicated people who can only treat the symptoms of the culture of indifference. Only the members of the Body of Christ can combat indifference by their own individual free wills.
When Pope Francis says that the Church should not be “obsessed” with abortion, he is not saying abortion is not important. He is saying that we are obsessed with a symptom of the culture of death rather than the disease. My suspicion is that we really don’t want to treat the disease because the treatment might require too much of us. We buy Apple products and ignore the assault on the dignity of human labor by Foxcom and the violations of freedom in China. We buy from retailers who use their leverage to decimate small businesses and treat workers like disposable commodities. In other words, we are indifferent to the assault on the human dignity in the name of profit. When the man with a hundredfold flock took the only lamb of another man, David was enraged. We are indifferent. If we really want to combat the culture of death, we need a “consistent ethic of life” that requires an end to the culture of indifference.
Bainbridge Island, Washington
The editor responds: Father De Souza explained it perfectly in his story: “Yet if abortion is clearly dominating the public debate — as in the case of the Planned Parenthood videos — to insist that other social issues also be discussed while at the same time not mentioning abortion when discussing those other issues invites the charge of inconsistency.”
Getting Away With Murder
Imagine a country where “freedom” is the byword and all life is cherished. Not so long ago, that country did exist, but the traditional concepts are no more, and neither is the country.
What country would kill its young? Only an uncivilized, barbaric country such as the United States. I remember Kent State, where, in 1970, four innocent children were shot down in cold blood. Then there was Waco and Janet Reno. But now we have a much, much greater abomination on our hands: Planned Parenthood and the contemporary massacre of the innocents.
Where and when did such an organization materialize? The videos depicting the horror and bloodshed of a late-term abortion, whereby the remnants of the aborted fetus are then systematically dismembered, so callously parted out so as to think that they are no more than pieces of garbage to be discarded (unless, that is, someone is willing to pay an extremely high price for the organs), is preposterous.
Who do these people think that they are? Are the videos depicting the savage systematic genocide not real? Are these individuals who are infected with such a high degree of lunacy so demented as to think that the average person is not horrified and disgusted with such a callous disregard of life displayed by these very same individuals? It calls to mind the 1940s, in the time of Hitler, whereby people like Josef Mengele were free to practice their barbaric experiments on hapless Jews, Gypsies and the disabled.
Roxboro, North Carolina
‘Eaglehood’ vs. Personhood
The Planned Parenthood videos raise an interesting question: What does America value? One thing is certain: Our country values the bald eagle.
In June of 1940, the Bald Eagle Protection Act was signed into law to stem the decline of the bald-eagle population. The act and the efforts of conservation groups saved the bald eagle from extinction.
What did this act do? It made it illegal to possess any part of a live or dead bald eagle, including an egg. This inclusion of the egg is insightful, because it demonstrates that our lawmakers inherently understood that a bald eagle egg contained a living and developing eagle (not a collection of tissue). The act offered the “unhatched” eagle protection. So, long before Roe v. Wade removed protections for unborn children, our government recognized the right to life, or “eaglehood,” of unborn eagles.
Why didn’t the Supreme Court recognize the “personhood” of an unborn child? Why wouldn’t they at least apply the standards of the Bald Eagle Protection Act to unborn children? Are unborn children not as important as unborn eagles? Would our government fund an organization that kills more than 300,000 “unhatched” bald eagles annually and sells their parts for research? Why can Planned Parenthood butcher unborn children and receive government funds?
What kind of culture protects unborn animals but doesn’t protect unborn children? How can supporters of abortion and Planned Parenthood logically answer these questions? They cannot, because abortion is an illogical and indefensible position. G.K. Chesterton said, “Wherever there is animal worship, there is human sacrifice.” Since 1973, more than 50 million children have been sacrificed through abortion. I hope that someday we will pass a Personhood Protection Act that protects unborn children like our government protects the bald eagle.
Regarding “Will the US Surprise the Pope?” (page one, Sept. 20 issue): Father Raymond J. De Souza writes most insightfully, powerfully and beautifully. I am very grateful to him for his articles. He always gives me excellent guidance.
Msgr. Frank McGrath
chaplain, Ave Maria School of Law