February 3, 2006

Letters to the Editor

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Writer owes apology for judgmental column

To say that I read Cynthia Dewes’ highly judgmental column about childless marriages in disbelief in the Jan. 20 issue of The Criterion is putting it mildly.

The column was bad enough in its judgmental aspect. Although Cynthia Dewes may not have titled it, “It’s a terrible thing to be childless,” that alone was a heartless headline for the article. And as I read through it, nowhere did I see an exception for couples that have no children in spite of their yearning for them. Certainly it is clear that the column was meant for couples that could have children.

However, I suspect that those that cannot have children read the column feeling depressed nonetheless.

I must reveal, for those that read this comment thinking I must have an ax to grind, that is not the case. My wife and I have been richly blessed with seven children and 22 grandchildren.

However, I do believe that Dewes owes an apology to the couples she wrote about in crass judgment, and also to the couples I mentioned that are childless in spite of their yearning for them, for not indicating they were not being included in her judgment.

-David G. Rinck, West Harrison

Driving legislation sends wrong message

In the Jan. 20 issue of The Criterion, Rep. Mike Murphy openly encouraged the breaking of laws by people illegally entering our country.

There are proper channels to legally enter the United States but, in my opinion, Murphy has written legislation to encourage and sanction criminal activity.

The phrase “illegal alien” is not a personal attack on any person of any heritage or nationality, but rather an accurate description of someone who has broken our country’s laws in order to come to America, live here and receive the bounteous gifts of this great country. Murphy ignores these laws, and ignores the history of our country’s immigrant population.

Once upon a time, people left their homelands in Europe, Asia, Central and South America to come to the “new world.” When those people left their homelands, they came to America with only one guarantee—the promise of freedom. Murphy mentions that “we are a country of immigrants,” but fails to mention how this took place or what was required of our ancestors. 

When people left their native homelands to come to America, there were no guarantees of free food, free housing, free education, free healthcare or even a job.  They came here with just their determination, and their faith in God and their faith in their fellow humans. They did so legally and had to endure examinations and scrutinization upon arrival here. They may have entered via Ellis Island, and they sometimes had their names changed by officials there. But these immigrants came here legally, and were able to adapt to the great melting pot that is America. My maternal ancestors emigrated from Ireland, and had to adapt to the “new world” and became legal citizens.

We are living in a time of war, and in a time of record government spending on social programs to help disadvantaged people with free food, free housing, free education and free healthcare (WIC, food stamps, public housing, public assistance, public schools, Medicare, Medicaid, walk-in acceptance of everyone at hospital emergency rooms—I could go on). 

Christians who obey Christ’s teachings want those who receive such gifts to do so from a legal standpoint.  To accept—or offer—them illegally is theft.

Christians who obey Christ’s teachings are not opposed to anyone, regardless of whether they may “look different or speak a different language.”

Rather, we welcome everyone, regardless of appearance or color or language—as long as they, too, obey the law. Christ did not advocate breaking the law or stealing from one another.

I urge Murphy to learn more about the history of our country, and about the teachings of Christ. We can only hope and pray that he will then advocate legislation protecting all Americans by making those who receive her gifts first become Americans.

-Mark Gasper, Indianapolis


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