April 28, 2006

Letters to the Editor

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Circumventing the laws, pleading for amnesty is wrong

I say “Amen” to the April 21 letter to the editor in The Criterion concerning immigration.
I am 72 years old and have felt that I have practiced the Catholic faith faithfully. I do not believe that my religion requires me to believe in breaking laws of the land that are reasonable. I have no problem with people coming to this country legally and becoming citizens. There are ways to do so.
I do have problems with circumventing the laws and then pleading for amnesty and asking for special favors. (For example, if I am Spanish, teach me in Spanish. If I am German, teach me in German. Don’t teach me English and take away my heritage.)
Maybe we need immigration reform or review of the existing laws. I do not have an issue with the Church supporting these issues, but I do when I hear of Church leaders marching in protest for issues that openly support ignoring the laws of this country. (For example, amnesty for those that have openly disobeyed the law.)
I am a Catholic that has some different ideas than some of our leaders in the faith. I am not a blind follower.

- Loren Richards, Rushville


Troops deserve prayers for their civic loyalty

I believe a letter writer in the April 21 issue of The Criterion has failed to consider an important point in the argument that we should support our troops emotionally and spiritually, even if we disagree with war.
We, the people, elect our officials. These officials make the decision when to declare war, thus we, the people, by proxy, send our troops to the battlefield.
Our troops act on our behalf, for our protection. We may disagree with our politicians, but that doesn’t make us any less responsible for the physical, emotional, and spiritual welfare of the men and women that we, the people, send to conflicts.
Why? Because those same men and women, when they join the military, place their trust in “we, the people,” that we will not send them to war without cause. That is their oath, their promise, their commitment. They trust us to not betray them.
Therefore, even if you write your elected officials every week asking them to end this conflict swiftly, you still owe those troops your prayers and your thanks for their civic loyalty.

- Lisa Roever, Indianapolis


We are obligated to follow laws of our land

I read with interest the letter to the editor in the April 14 edition of The Criterion, and I couldn’t agree with the letter writer more.
I kept waiting for our bishops to come out in favor of obeying a duly constituted law of this country and, unfortunately, I am still waiting.
In a recent issue of The Criterion, our own bishop mentioned the illegality, but dismissed it as irrelevant. I, too, went to Catholic schools and was taught the same as the previous letter writer: It is a sin to break a valid, duly constituted law of our land.
What about those who are following the rules and are patiently waiting? What kind of message is being sent to them? Are we supposed to look to our clergy for help in learning what is right and what is wrong? What happened here?
Any reference to immigrants coming here before the implementation of our laws is immaterial to the argument. If there is no law, how can you break it?
If this were a Church law, would the reaction from our bishops be the same?
This is my country and, for all her problems and mistakes, there is no place better. Obviously, the illegals pouring across our borders feel the same.
Are the clergy in Mexico doing anything to promote better living conditions there? Are the clergy here helping them with that job? Facilities across this country are being stretched to the limits and beyond with illegals demanding and expecting assistance, and we are being asked to foot the bill for this.
How can someone with no Social Security number, being paid under the table as many are, be able to pay federal taxes? Would they really want to? People say the illegals pay taxes, but no one explains to me how this is being done and what taxes are really involved.
We either respect the laws of our country, or we pick and choose. If the latter, our bishops run the risk of getting the same response when they present a Church law with which we do not agree.
All valid laws come from God, and our obligation to follow them is the same.

- Barbara L. Maness, Vevay


Focus on important things at Sunday Mass

A letter writer says (letters to the editor) in the April 21 edition of The Criterion that people should dress appropriately for church.
When I am at church, I’m not people watching. I really do not care if the guy in another pew polished his shoes or not. I am there to celebrate Mass with my fellow believers, not to harp on their perceived attire shortcomings.
I would recommend that those that share the letter writer’s attitude look at some paintings of the Last Supper, including Da Vinci’s portrayal. Not only are Jesus and the Apostles not sporting a shirt and tie, they don’t even bother with socks.
My point is that I would hope God did not care what I wore to church last Sunday. If a homeless person decided to come to church, I would hope my congregation would not shun him and bar the door because he looked a little ragged.
Focus on the important things at church on Sundays, such as the message in the readings, the priest’s homily or the miracle of Communion.

- Daniel McGowan, Bloomington


Reader: It is wrong to denigrate our military

Evidentally, you don’t expect all of your letters to be “courteous and respectful, temperate in tone or well informed.”
For instance, a letter about the war conscience in the April 21 issue of The Criterion was anything but that.
I guess we should send our military and our police into harm’s way without any protection, since it is a mortal sin to defend oneself or others. Do the chaplains in the military tell the soldiers that they are committing mortal sin? I don’t think so.
I think it is more of a sin to denigrate our military and their families for their sacrifices. How would you feel if you had lost a loved one in the war, and someone said that they had committed mortal sin? That is as hurtful as the people who demonstrate at their funerals.
God bless our troops and keep them safe!

- M. Claudette Malloy, Indianapolis


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