Letters October 19, 2008


How can people fall into “Voter Traps” (Oct. 5)? I remember when being Catholics meant we were supposed to stand in unity for something, when we were a force for morality in society.

We stood against sexual laxity and immodest clothing, against the contraceptive mentality that devalues children and exalts materialism, and against abortion as the slaughter of innocents. We weren’t perfect, and as individuals we sometimes failed, but we weren’t virtually indistinguishable from the rest of society as we are now.

We still have a chance to regain something of what being a Christian in a pagan culture means, to be the countercultural movement that the early Church was. The difference in the presidential candidates on abortion couldn’t be sharper. If we choose a president who will appoint judges to the Supreme Court and other courts and allow millions more children to die, are we worthy of the name Christian?

Eric Retzlaff

Rotterdam, New York

No Comparison

How can some Catholic voters basically ignore 50 million aborted babies? It’s easy — put your faith only in mainstream media sources, blogs, activists, politicians, etc. (“Voter Traps,” Oct. 5).

In one week I encountered three individuals, all supposedly “Catholic,” who parroted the same comment: We shouldn’t be too concerned about abortion; the killing of children in war is worse.

This is bizarre logic. Note: The same media outlets that promote this are also spewing out anti-American smears. No one wants war, but there are times it is justified to free others from oppression. The total number of war casualties combined from all the wars the U.S. has fought, while certainly tragic, cannot be compared to the routine killing in abortion mills.

The truth is: A soldier prays he won’t have to kill to defend his life or others. Abortion is planned killing and for profit. There is no comparison.

Let’s put an end to this outrageous argument once and for all. If every Catholic would follow Church (God’s) teaching on voting, we could easily defeat the anti-life forces.  Until then, we need to pray daily that all the deception surrounding the abortion issue will be dispelled.

Satan is the father of lies, and “choice” is the most devious of lies.

Helen Bressler

Belle Plaine, Minnesota

Multiple Issues

It is simply ludicrous and false to state that the upcoming election is a one-issue election (“Voter Traps,” Oct. 5). There are many significant issues facing the American people as Election Day 2008 nears.

 Next to the abortion issue, there is the immorality of the war in Iraq, the immorality of the excessive profits being made by the oil companies, the immorality of Wall Street and financial institutions driving the American economy into the ground, and the immorality of no health insurance for the poor. These are all examples of issues that need to be addressed by the next administration.

I don’t believe people should be told whom to vote for. I don’t believe bishops have the right to withhold Communion from politicians (without obvious impediments). Let he who is without sin cast the first stone.

Constitutionally and scripturally there is supposed to be separation of church and state. Why has separation of church and state been thrown out the window by your editorial writer as the election nears?

Joseph P. Nolan

Waterbury, Connecticut

Editor’s note: While always treating the right to life as the pre-eminent issue, our election coverage has focused on several other issues. The editorial “McCain and Obama on ‘Catholic’ Issues” lists the candidates’ records on abortion, school choice, immigration and the Iraq War. Our election 2008 news coverage has included health care, torture, school choice, marriage, suicide, the financial crisis, Down syndrome legislation, abstinence, the “newly needy,” and same-sex adoption.

But don’t get the wrong idea. Catholics can’t support a candidate who believes that some people don’t have the right to life, no matter what other issues they get right.

Answer to Abortion

Palin opposes abortion (“Palin the Pro-Lifer,” Sept. 21)! Reverend John Hagee is also strongly against abortion. Would you want him as president?

I also oppose abortion. Current abortion rates are too high, both in countries where it is legal and in those where it is criminal, just as they were too high here before 1973. I wish circumstances were such that no one would view abortion as a feasible option, but I also oppose Balkanization of abortion access by overturning Roe v. Wade. Making women drive to another state to get a safe and legal abortion makes little sense. But a Constitutional amendment outlawing abortion in all states would mean those who could afford to travel to Canada or the Caribbean would have safe abortions, while the poor would turn to ugly and dangerous “home remedy” abortions. However, a Constitutional amendment on abortion is preferable to packing the Supreme Court with radical Neocon justices opposing Roe, whose real missions are to abet corporate greed.

While making abortion a crime could stop some abortions, the best answer is to improve conditions that make the choice to abort tempting. Fight the perceived need for abortion by improving education, by establishing economic justice for those who believe they cannot afford a child, by reestablishing a prosperous middle class, by providing ready access to health care for all children and mothers, regardless of income or insurance status. These are social ideals the Republicans oppose, while giving lip service to opposing legal abortion. Republicans will never do anything substantive about making abortion criminal because they would cease to win elections without having abortion to oppose. Abortion numbers will not recede until hearts and minds are changed, and our society is both more just and more compassionate towards poor and middle-class families.

Jon Densford

Memphis, Tennessee

Editor’s note: You’re right that Republicans haven’t done all they can with regard to abortion, and helping women is the necessary first step to ending abortion (though we’re not sure government is the answer. “There is no ordering of the state so just that it can eliminate the need for a service of love,” as Pope Benedict XVI put it).

But we are struck by how replacing the words “slavery” and “enslave” for “abortion” and “abort” renders your argument to be pretty much the one Douglas used against Lincoln. And replacing “abortion” and “abort” with “sell drugs” and “use drugs” makes it exactly the one drug legalizers use. And so on with “polluting” and “selling cigarettes to kids” and “drunk driving.”

In each of these cases, we know that changing the law isn’t sufficient to change behavior, but that it is also necessary to change the law.

Bailout Aftermath

Our nation made unconscionable mortgage investments (“From Gordon Gekko to Investing With a Conscience,” Oct. 5), and has reacted in fear. Our Congress told us that the $700 billion bailout plan for Wall Street must be passed.

The long-term effects of this bailout bill will cross the line of capitalism and put our country on the slippery slope of socialism. The passage of the bill only puts off some of the pain, which is the result of greed and corruption, enabled by a lack of regulation. The resulting pain will severely damage, if not destroy, our economy and our country.

Joel Fago

Sierra Vista, Arizona

Financial Facts

In “From Gordon Gekko to Investing With a Conscience,” from Oct. 5, I was hoping to learn something about how it happened.

We need to know: What did the federal government do, and who in the federal government did it, that caused, or partly caused, or contributed, to these mortgages being obtained by those ill-qualified buyers? We need facts, not just opinions.

Bill Oliver

Atlanta, Georgia

Subtle Catholicism

I have to disagree with Matt McMenaman’s letter (“Catholic Hero? Not to Me,” Oct. 5), regarding the Hellboy movie piece, “Even Superheroes Need Superheroes” (Sept. 14). 

I, too, became intrigued and rented Hellboy. I even read some of the comic books. Although I wouldn’t call the movie or the comics “Catholic” per se, they do have Catholic elements and sentiments in them. The main idea is that H.B. is not only fighting evil outside of himself, but he is also striving to combat evil within himself. 

In a very secular world, I’d rather see subtle Catholicism than none at all. And when it comes to reaching the average American young person, sometimes it’s easier to subtly woo them from unexpected places than try to get them to watch or read obvious religious material. 

But that’s just my opinion.

Madeline Moody

Concord, California


An article in the Oct. 5 issue (“Candidates Differ on Vouchers,” page one) quoted Alliance for School Choice spokesman Andrew Campanella as saying that 17 states have implemented successful voucher programs or education tax credits. In fact, there are 17 programs implemented by 11 states. The Register regrets the error.