August 16, 2013

Letters to the Editor

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No letters were printed this week; here are the letters from last week:

When it comes to education, let us follow Christ and put our children first

Regarding the implementation of Common Core in our schools, I contacted Rep. Randy Frye in our state legislature on July 22 and was told by his office that Common Core has been suspended for at least a year until further deliberation can be done on this statewide.

I was also informed that, statewide, only the lower classes—kindergarten through second grade—have seen any implementation of Common Core, and they will be allowed to continue because of financial concerns.

However, all other classes have no implementation scheduled statewide. The “Be Our Guest” column and accompanying graphic in The Criterion in the July 19 issue leads one to believe otherwise in our archdiocese.

I would suggest we not be so quick to embrace a totally new teaching system that had no teachers involved in its beginnings, and has the backing of few teachers across the country. Can we not lead in putting our children first instead of being so quick to compromise?

May I also suggest we follow Christ, realize we will have crosses to bear and that standing for what is right, not what is expedient, is part of that?

- Barbara L. Maness | Vevay


Recent issue helps us remain focused on God, be faithful Catholics

The July 5 issue of The Criterion had many worthy writings, and I especially have taken notes on Father Ryan McCarthy’s comments regarding the “Big Court’s” rulings on the Defense of Marriage Act and Proposition 8. He is the first writer that I know of to express the link between contraception and same-sex marriage.

Archbishop Joseph W. Tobin was wise to point out that the institution of marriage existed prior to any form of government, and that the rulings would result in more confusion.

Still, another remarkable “Be Our Guest” column was written by Leslie Lynch. Her comments regarding religious freedom reveal a dynamic personality tempered by mystery. Her response to spotty instruction and anti-Catholic sentiment sent her in search of what the Church teaches and why. Is there any chance of putting her on your staff?

We Catholics are being shoved into an ominous future that is not of our making. However, The Criterion’s coverage of the increased hostility to the faith helps to strengthen us, and helps us to remain focused on God and be faithful to the religion founded by him.

Keep praising God.

- Kathleen Naghdi | Indianapolis


What is the key to combating racism? Recognizing it in ourselves, reader says

The shooting of Treyvon Martin and trial verdict have aroused strong reactions in whites and blacks.

An issue affecting both communities involves attitudes toward race.

On CNN, two members of the jury said that race had “no bearing” on their decision. I submit this cannot be true. Racial attitudes are always at work, even in casual encounters between whites and blacks.

President Barack Obama told us, from personal experience, that attitudes involving race are ever-present though invisible. Black males can arouse suspicion just by going into a department store or venturing into a mostly white neighborhood.

Whites growing up in America, including me, are subject to attitudes, assumptions and thought patterns concerning race that are unconscious.

The jury members are sure that racially biased attitudes played no role in their decision. They are honest when they say that because these attitudes are unconscious.

White liberals, many of whom decried the verdict, are quick to assume racist attitudes in “other people”—people on the jury, people in the South, etc. while denying those attitudes within themselves.

This denial is most unfortunate because racist inclinations are most insidious when unacknowledged within ourselves.

Racist inclinations exist in both whites and blacks. The difference is that the privileged position of most whites means they are invisible to them.

When any of us are asked if we are tainted by racist inclinations, myself included, we had all better raise our hands and admit that we are contaminated by subtle and often unrecognized racism to one degree or another. One key to combating racism is for us all to recognize its elements within ourselves.

- Gilbert Marsh | Bloomington


SAM program is still active and available at St. Christopher Parish in Indianapolis

In reference to the May 31 story in The Criterion concerning the Substance Addiction Ministry (SAM) program in the Archdiocese of Indianapolis, St. Christopher Parish in Indianapolis has been an active core member of SAM since Deacon Bill Jones and the-late Father Larry Voelker started this amazing ministry in this area.

Two members of St. Christopher’s SAM ministry were on the April 29 panel discussing how to start SAM at the session led by Deacon Jones and Erik Vagenius, who created a substance abuse ministry program in the Diocsee of Palm Beach, Florida.

The substance addiction ministry program is still active and available at St. Christopher Parish.

- Norine Chastain | Indianapolis

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