August 15, 2014

Letters to the Editor

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We must bring God back into schools and public places, writer says

During these past months, there have been many murders, domestic violence incidents and various other crimes in our city, including the murder and shooting of police officers.

It seems to be baffling and shocking to our public officials and many of our citizens. Why are you surprised?

When parents no longer teach their children about God or right from wrong, and the very mention of God is forbidden in schools and other public places, what do you expect?

No amount of money to pour into the public coffers to expand so-called education will solve the problem, no matter how many “geniuses” you produce.

Believe it or not, there is a loving God in our midst. Since we think we know it all and don’t need God, he has backed off at our request to let us do what we want. We are now reaping the consequences. Congratulations on our great failure.

Another contributing factor is pouring out of Hollywood with all the violent movies, pornography and other filthy programs with no restraints. With all these evils, the greatest sin of all is the killing of unborn babies.

How long do you think God will tolerate all of these evils? Where are the parents? Where are the ministers, priests and other religious leaders to speak out and teach about God and morality to the children and their adult congregations?

Until God is brought back and laws are enacted according to his laws, you are wasting your time, and there are consequences.

- Ruth Grannan | Indianapolis


In Mideast conflict, Israel is trying to protect itself from extinction

In his Aug. 8 “Be our Guest” column in The Criterion, writer Stephen Kent makes an impassioned plea to end the Hamas-Israeli conflict, but fails to mention several pertinent facts:

  1. This recent escalation of a longstanding conflict started when Hamas kidnapped and murdered three innocent Israeli teenagers.
  2. Hamas is a terrorist group whose official charter calls for the annihilation of Israel. Israel is constantly under siege in the Mideast, and has the right and obligation to defend itself.
  3. Hamas has admitted to using civilians as human shields. This leads directly to the deaths of their own people. It also has been shown that Hamas stores weapons in schools, mosques and hospitals (the ones that are bombed).
  4. The materials that the terrorists have used to build the tunnels into Israel were made from materials that Israel provided to Palestinians for the expressed purposes of building schools and housing (a humanitarian cause).

Kent says, “the cavalier disregard of life by both sides for their insignificant purposes is truly astounding.”

What is more astounding is that he could assign a moral equivalency to the purposes and actions of the brutal terrorist group Hamas, and Israel, a country trying to protect itself from extinction.

- Dr. Stephen O’Neil | Indianapolis


Church must lead the way in treatment of gays and lesbians

I am continuously troubled and disheartened by the mixed messages being sent to gay and lesbian people from the Catholic Church, especially since I think people of other faiths often follow our Church’s lead on this issue.

In the July 25 issue of The Criterion, you published an article about the U.S bishops’ opposition to President Barack Obama’s executive order prohibiting the firing of gays, lesbians, bisexual and transgender people by the U.S. government and federal contractors.

The article mentions four bishops whose blog addressed their opposition to the order because it did not include a religious exemption. Why? So Catholic organizations could pursue federal contracts while remaining free to fire people because they are gay?

I pray for those bishops and others among our leadership who seem to have forgotten the Catholic Church’s teaching in the Catechism of the Catholic Church that gay people must be “accepted with respect, compassion, and sensitivity” (#2358). The teaching goes on to explain that discrimination should be avoided.

I thank The Criterion for publishing this section of the catechism in its Aug. 8 issue as a sidebar to its story on the film The Third Way, and for reminding all of us that the dignity of our gay brothers and sisters is to be respected.

I believe strongly that this includes the right to work, and urge reconsideration by our Catholic leaders on their opposition to the Employment Non-Discrimination Act and other measures that would protect gay people from discrimination in hiring.

- Therese Plotz | Indianapolis

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