LETTERS

The Not-So-Great Communicant

What a pleasant surprise when I pulled my Register from the mailbox and saw, right there on the front page where it can't be missed: “A New Kennedy? A Catholic Candidate From Massachusetts Who Puts Politics Before Faith” (Feb. 15-21).

Tout de suite it was easy to tell this wasn't The New York Times, the Washington Post or the Boston Globe — where, if by a cosmic act of God such a piece were to run, it would be tucked away in some remote section, shrunken to five lines of obfuscation.

These so-called “Catholic” politicos need to be exposed — caught with their pants down, and that's exactly what “A New Kennedy?” does. Embarrassing, yes, therapeutic, yes, needed, yes. Big time!

It's just a fine piece of honest, timely journalism. I am grateful to you and the Register for publishing it.

AUBERT LEMRISE

Peru, Illinois

Politics Prevail

The separation of Church and state has no relevance to the actions of Catholic politicians (“A New Kennedy? A Catholic Candidate From Massachusetts Who Puts Politics Before Faith,” Feb. 15-21).

There is a difference between voting for a law and enforcing a law. Enforcing a law relates to Christ's teaching “render to Caesar the things that are Caesar's.” Voting for a law relates to Christ's teaching “render to God the things that are God's.”

When John Kerry and other Catholic politicians vote for abortion, they should be disciplined.

To regain respect of Catholics and non-Catholics, the Church must punish all offenders of Catholic teaching.

BARNEY ROSKOPP

Cincinnati

The View From Mars

In the letter titled “Contemplating the Cosmos” (Feb. 15-21), Dominican Father Pierre Conway appears to make three main points. First, he argues that there is no evidence that a transition from nonliving to living matter has ever occurred. It is true that there is no proof such a process ever occurred on Earth or on Mars. That is one of the reasons why we are sending probes to Mars. That is how the scientific process works. Judging by what we know about the composition of Mars and its history, Mars is one of the few places in the solar system where even the possibility of life exists.

If you believe God placed the building blocks of life on Earth as part of his plan to create and sustain life on this planet (or on Mars), then no proof that such a transition occurred is necessary. If we believe in an omnipotent God, we already know that living matter was created from nonliving matter. To argue otherwise is, first, contrary to what we are told in Genesis (where man is created from the dust of the earth) and, second, places an artificial and man-made restraint on the power of God. God is, of course, free to create as he sees fit.

Second, Father Conway suggests the real purpose of the mission may be to distract people from thinking about God. All scientific discoveries can be used to distract people from thinking about God, however. We always have the choice either to lose our faith because of science or to be energized by it.

Third, I agree fully with Father Conway's statement that the beginning of life necessarily requires “postulating a God.” If there is life elsewhere in the universe (not necessarily on Mars but elsewhere, perhaps many, many elsewheres) it is simply one more demonstration of the power, creativity, love and compassion of God.

All major scientific discoveries potentially represent a challenge to faith. If life is discovered in the universe, it will present another such challenge. There can be no conflict between science and faith, however. Both are of God. We have the choice to see these discoveries as proofs of the nonexistence of God or as further manifestations of God's great love for his creation.

DONN CALKINS

Wellington, Colorado

Dumbfounding Democrats

Thank you for the commentary “Where Have All the Pro-Life Democrats Gone?” by Mark Stricherz (Feb. 15-21). The political evolution of this party is sad but [undeniable]. Once thought to be the “party of the little guy,” it has become the “party of the radical left” as it champions an agenda for abortion, homosexual rights, secularization and socialism.

However, I beg to differ with Stricherz on his portrayal of Jimmy Carter as “ambiguously in favor of a national law to restrict abortion.” Carter was and is pro-abortion and in my view is far more radical than his Southern Christian charm portrays.

I was a national delegate to the 1976 Democratic Convention and was one of 22 to cast my vote for Ellen McCormack (the beautiful New York lady who challenged the party on its pro-abortion stand) in protest to Carter's support of the party platform, which, for the first time, spelled out its advocacy of abortion on demand.

Stricherz is right about one thing: Many of us gave up on the Democratic Party and jumped ship — just as Ronald Reagan (once a strong Democrat) did. Let us pray for all those candidates running for office and for the return of the Democratic Party to one that Catholics in good conscience can support.

MARY ANN KUHARSKI

Minneapolis