Stop the Spin on Sin
I must sound off about your article “The Other Church Abortion Teaching: Mercy” (Culture of Life, Aug. 24-30).
We must stop putting the spin in sin. The article states, “Unable to forgive herself for her role in the loss of her baby's life …” Aren't we allowing a misuse of words to pad what truly is? Abortion is not “loss.” I lose my keys. Abortion is murder. That is the truth. That is the sin without the spin or play on words. This woman did not “lose” her child, she murdered it. The article should read, “Unable to forgive herself for her role in the murder of her baby …” And that role was the major role. Let's not fool ourselves.
When are we, as a Church and as a community, going to stop spinning (even to ourselves), the severity and nature of abortion? I was disappointed to see that wording in the Register, but I hope that after this letter you will be more aware of it.
To repent of a sin one must understand the meaning of a sin and the severity of the sin. We must not lessen the severity of this sin — not even in articles that speak of mercy.
World Court = World State?
I question the wisdom of supporting the International Criminal Court, as Legionary Father Andrew McNair urged in his column, “Is the International Criminal Court a Step Forward?” (July 27-Aug. 9).
In support of his argument, Father McNair quoted Pope John Paul II, who favors the idea. “An offense against human rights is an offense against humanity itself,” the Pope wrote. “The duty of protecting these rights therefore extends beyond the geographical and political borders within which they are violated.”
This statement of the Holy Father, which represents a prudential judgment on his part and is therefore not binding upon Catholics, seems to run contrary to the ancient wisdom that man's best hope for justice in this world is representative, small-scale governments that grow up organically within geographical and political — and I would add religious and cultural — boundaries.
A call for a world court amounts to a call for a world state, and Aristotle warned, as did the Fathers of the Church, that a universal political state would result in universal tyranny. G.K. Chesterton took this warning quite to heart, and when asked how many people would make up a properly governed society, he answered, “About as many as are in this room.” His answer was a bit hyperbolic, perhaps, but implied ever so much more human proportions than does a single world government.
VIVIAN W. DUDRO
No to Marriage Amendment!
Editor's note: In a previous issue, we inadvertently cut a major point from this letter. We apologize and reprint the entire letter here.
Regarding your July 20 editorial (“Massachusetts' Marriage Mess”): I am in complete sympathy with the intentions of the Federal Marriage Amendment, but I question the strategy for various reasons.
In principle, the constitutional amendment strategy cedes too much to Justice Anthony Kennedy and his allies. It says, in effect, “Your interpretation of the Constitution is legally correct; we can overcome it only by amending the defect.”
The amendment strategy also allows legislators to wash their hands of leadership on the issue, saying they “support an amendment,” but meanwhile dithering perpetually over language (ask pro-lifers about the 30-year-old Human Life Amendment if you doubt this). Any congressman saying his strategy for opposing homosexual marriage is to support a constitutional amendment is telegraphing, “I won't be doing much about this issue.”
Furthermore, our Constitution was designed to be difficult to amend — that's how Phyllis Schlafly blocked the ERA. Theoretically, as few as 2% of the population, strategically placed, can block the will of a 98% majority. Does anyone doubt the incredibly mobilized “gay lobby” can muster the small margin of resistance necessary to defeat an amendment?
Your editorial is right that the question of homosexual marriage must be put to votes. But a better strategy would be to take the debate directly from the people through Congress to the courts using legislative measures. Two examples: In the 1800s, Americans vehemently opposed polygamy, yet constitutional amendments failed repeatedly to make it out of Congress. A series of federal laws — culminating in the Mann Act — succeeded in banning it. In that case, the Supreme Court was on the moral side.
But when it overreaches its authority, the Supreme Court can be effectively opposed. FDR's Congress understood this. As often as the Supreme Court struck down New Deal legislation, Congress — rather than succumbing to “robed masters” — passed successive pieces of legislation until it became clear to the court and the country that the will of the people was being thwarted.
Roosevelt refused to propose an amendment to allow the New Deal, saying, “Even if an amendment were passed, and even if in the years to come it were to be ratified, its meaning would depend upon the kind of justices who would be sitting on the Supreme Court bench. For an amendment, like the rest of the Constitution, is what the justices say it is rather than what its framers or you might hope it is.” The court had to back down or the people, acting through Congress, would have diluted judicial power through FDR's threatened court packing.
By design, constitutional amendments are the last step in the dialogue, not the first. To win a consensus on the issue, we need to put our efforts into a series of legislative steps defending marriage at the federal and state levels — and insist that our elected officials provide determined leadership. If we focus our energies on an amendment that will likely fail, we will give homosexual activists the claim they need to lock “gay marriage” into the Constitution forever.
Two Stories of Marriage
Regarding your “Marriage Symposium” (Aug. 24-30) and recent articles in the Register on legalizing same-sex unions:
For the last 40 years we have been witnessing a struggle between two concepts of marriage, two stories. The true idea is that marriage is an institution for procreation and rearing of children. Marriage is the beginning of a story about a family.
The other concept, an error about marriage, is an erotic fantasy known as “finding one's soul mate.” Marriage is mistakenly viewed as the end of a journey seeking the perfect sexual partner who will make one deliriously joyful. For soul mates, the wedding day is the end of a fairy tale.
As a result, cohabitation and hookups are all necessary stops on this fantasy journey. Children are the enemy of the cautious searcher. Therefore, the most important tools in the backpacks of wandering soul mates are contraception, abortion and a culture where abandoning children is at least tacitly accepted.
Same-sex marriage is a logical outcome. After all, how can we keep soul mates apart? How can we deny any soul mates their happy ending? The fact that same-sex couples will never procreate with each other will establish the disordered purposes of modern marriage.
As a society accepts same-sex marriage, the understanding of the traditional concept of marriage will become increasingly difficult. Finding that perfect soul mate can be an endless search. Cohabitation will be the norm. As women lose hope of finding a soul mate, single parenting will increase. Marriage will be set aside for religious fanatics and hopeless romantics (of all sexual orientations).
THERON C. BOWERS
Loving the Register
Our family loves the Register. Our teenagers (ages 13, 14 and 16) frequently read various articles after they've checked out Umbert and Baby Mugs.
Recently, you reported on Wal-Mart's terrible decision to include homosexuals as a group that cannot be “discriminated against” in the store's hiring policy. Also, the employee will be required to take “sensitivity training.” The day after I read this, I called the manager of my local Wal-Mart store. She was completely unaware of her company's decision. A few days later, it was apparently made public by the secular media.
Congratulations and thank you for your upto-the-minute reporting.