February 10, 2012

Letters to the Editor

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When it comes to abortion, let’s change people’s minds and hearts through education

In the article on page 7 of the Feb. 3 issue of The Criterion (‘Pro-life work at United Nations is an uphill battle, speaker says’), in referring to the pro-life issue, Terre Haute attorney James Bopp Jr. said, “We have decisions to make this year on our elections.”

As one who has voted for only pro-life candidates in the past, I question why, in nearly 25 years of Republican presidents since Roe v. Wade, the party has not made a serious attempt to outlaw abortion.

Could it be that they are more interested in using the issue as a political weapon—one guaranteed to mobilize their base and get out the vote? It worked on me.

After 39 years, it seems obvious that our votes won’t change the law. Maybe the best strategy is to change people’s minds through education and alternate programs and options.

In 1980, Christianity Today magazine said, “Too narrow a front in battling for a moral crusade … could be disastrous. It could lead to the election of a moron who holds the right view on abortion.”

- Linda Cooper | Bloomington


When are Catholics going to wake up? When will our leaders give us clarity?

Catholics are rightfully outraged at President Barack Obama’s attempt to force Catholic and other institutions to provide contraception, abortifacients and sterilization procedures to their employees.

But those of us who actually looked at (then) Senator Obama’s record in 2008 before voting are not the least surprised. His extreme record on abortion was an easy sign for anyone willing to look.

An example? In 1999, Jill Stanek, a nurse at Christ Hospital in Chicago, blew the whistle on a vile practice that was going on. Later-term abortions were being performed, and some babies were actually surviving. The practice at the time was to literally throw these babies in the trash!

Stanek, shocked and appalled, described holding one of these infants for 45 minutes until he died. Stanek became a pro-life activist. She helped to pass a bill in Illinois called the “Born Alive Protection Act,” which requires hospitals to treat babies who survive abortion attempts.

Then state senator Obama voted against this protective measure at least three times, even giving speeches to defend his vote.

The ridiculous hysteria surrounding Obama’s campaign in 2008 covered this up, as it did many other indicators of how a President Obama would govern.

And now the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, which was extremely ineffective at that time providing little guidance and absolutely no clear information about Obama’s record, is up in arms over his decisions against the Church. We reap what we sow!

The Catholic websites that I have investigated are urging Catholics to contact our congressmen to overturn this law, which is clearly unconstitutional. This is an excellent idea, but what about President Obama?

Why aren’t we focusing on him? He could overturn this outrage that he caused with one signature. Catholics put him in office, and now we want our pro-life legislators to undo all of the damage. Does anyone see the irony here?

When are we Catholics going to wake up and stop rationalizing our votes for pro-abortion politicians? When are our leaders going to give us real clarity on the importance of this issue? Is anyone as frustrated as I am?

- Joyce Deitz | Richmond


Let us pray for religious freedom for our Church and for all churches in our country

I was happy to read that Pope Benedict XVI said to a group of American bishops on their ad limina visit that “there can be no doubt that a more consistent witness on the part of America’s Catholics to their deepest convictions would make a major contribution to the renewal of society as a whole.”

But, you say, “in other words, we laypeople aren’t doing all we could be doing to counteract the secularism that has overtaken our country.”

My question is: Where are the bishops? Where were they when Sen. Ted Kennedy, Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi, then Sen. Joe Biden and other very prominent and “Catholic” legislators think nothing of promoting legislation that backs abortion?

Where are the state of Maryland’s bishops when the “Catholic” governor, Martin O’Malley—as an article in in Feb. 3 issue of The Criterion stated—is sponsoring legislation to legalize same-sex marriage?

I have not heard of one prominent Catholic being excommunicated. What does it take?

How can anyone expect laity to even know what the Catholic Church teaches when we hardly ever hear anything from the pulpit on topics such as abortion and same-sex marriage?

If I heard right this week—that the Catholic Church in America has decided that for Catholic institutions, civil disobedience is better than submitting to the Health and Human Services’ mandate to offer health insurance that covers abortions, sterilizations and contraception—then I say “hooray.”

At least we are perhaps seeing some backbone and conviction that can be a beacon to the ordinary Catholic in the pew and society as a whole.

Let us pray for religious freedom for our Church and of all other Churches in our country.

- Barbara Renn | Henryville

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