August 5, 2005

Letters to the Editor

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There were no published letters for this week, so here are the letters from two weeks ago:


There are many social justice issues that need to be addressed

I would like to applaud The Criterion for printing the editorial article by Tony Magliano on “Facing America’s faults” (Criterion, July 8, 2005).

I find that while many Catholics are very politically active when it comes to the issues of abortion and stem-cell research, these same folks are wearing blinders to other pressing social justice issues. Abortion and stem-cell research are certainly worthy of political action; the culture of death is pervasive in many other areas of our country, and the Church and its body needs to address these issues as well.

We have become a very fat society here in America, and “my country, right or wrong” cannot be a slogan that we as Catholics embrace. We are called to be peacemakers. We are called to serve the poor and needy. We are called to uphold social justice in the world.

-Deborah Barr-Cair, Indianapolis


Column was ‘eye-opening’

My congratulations and appreciation to Tony Magliano for his article “Facing America’s faults.” He said in an excellent way the very thoughts and ideals I and many of my friends have about our wonderful nation. So many Americans and many Catholics are so passionate and emotional about issues like keeping “under God” in the Pledge of Allegiance, displaying the Ten Commandments in public places, changing the Constitution to prohibit gay-marriage or changing the Constitution to ban flag burning.

But Mr. Magliano really opens our eyes when he says, “When unborn babies are killed legally, when corporate profit is more important than worker’s well-being, when making war is chosen over peacemaking, and when countless poor human beings are ignored, a society is sick.”

Perhaps we Catholics need to do more to try to heal this sick society.

-Gerard Burford, Indianapolis


Column didn’t tell the whole story about our society

I don’t know which is more disturbing: A supposedly Catholic writer who spews hatred about our great country and uses lie after lie to support his twisted views or a Catholic newspaper which gives space and credence to such a liar. I am writing about the shameful article by Tony Magliano in the July 8, 2005, issue of The Criterion.

It is one thing to think that there are imperfections in our society. It is another to lie about these imperfections to hoodwink people.

Magliano writes about “tax breaks for America’s wealthiest.” I don’t know who he means, but millions of Americans are in the same middle class as my wife and I. We work a combined total of 90 to 100 hours per week to provide for our three children. They go to Catholic schools (at full tuition). We don’t live extravagantly, drive fancy vehicles or take vacations. President Bush’s tax breaks two years ago gave us immediate relief, helping pay for tuition and medical bills. The reduced annual tax burden on us and millions of other families is real and substantial.

Furthermore, even if there were bigger breaks for the “wealthiest,” how many panhandlers do you know who will offer you a job? Job creation is a direct result of how much money an employer can afford to spend compared to how much they can make in profit.

Magliano writes about the alleged portion of the federal budget given to “poverty-reduction aid.” He fails to mention the billions of dollars given to foreign countries every year by our country. Additionally, individual gifts to other countries are large and aren’t counted in government figures. Magliano also ignores the fact that our country has given half a trillion dollars to Africa over the past 42 years. Is this not an example of “poverty-reduction aid to the world’s poorest people?”

Magliano libels the Wal-Mart company. There is not a shred of evidence anywhere to support what Magliano writes about it. It’s popular to hate people and companies that are more successful than we are, so maybe Magliano is just jealous of the fact that Wal-Mart employs thousands of people, pays millions in taxes each year, and makes your dollars and my dollars go a bit farther with their cheaper prices. That’s capitalism.

Magliano denigrates our brave men and women in the armed forces. He has forgotten that our country exists because of the bravery of our military soldiers. Our country began on a battlefield. Our country was reunited on a battlefield after a civil war. Our country helped save the world on battlefields. Magliano writes that money should not be spent protecting our country.

As for the current wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, the Iraqis killed were done so by their own people, not us. Magliano also fails to mention the millions of people murdered, mutilated and genitally tortured by Saddam Hussein in Iraq. Everyone who cares to look into the truth knows that we have improved living conditions in Iraq, improved healthcare, education, housing, nutrition, sanitation, transportation and more since we deposed Hussein.

Magliano lies about conditions in our great country. We do not “allow” anyone to exist in poverty. We spend billions of dollars each year to feed, clothe, house and educate our citizens. Many choose to not take advantage of such programs, and many choose to not try to better themselves.

Further, Magliano lies about the government’s responsibility for health insurance. Whatever statistic he cares to use, he writes from a position of government control over all people. He overlooks the fact that millions of Americans spend thousands of dollars each year to pay for health insurance. The trade-off: It means living without extravagances, sacrificing some aspects of one’s life, doing without some things. If Magliano cared about people, he would advocate a Christ-like attitude toward them: Teaching them how to do things for themselves (such as saving money to pay for health insurance) rather than our government just giving things (free health insurance) to them. People cannot learn that “Big Brother” does everything for them.

-Mark R. Gasper, Indianapolis


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