February 14, 2020

Letters to the Editor

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President Trump fails to respect life in many ways, Criterion readers say

We came away with much different impressions after reading the article on page 1 in the Jan. 31 edition of The Criterion titled “President Trump tells March for Life crowd he welcomes their commitment to all children,” and the subsequent letter to the editor in the Feb. 7 issue of The Criterion, criticizing the editorial written by Mike Krokos in the Jan. 31 issue that “their [The Criterion’s] apparent bias against him [President Donald J. Trump] has clouded their [The Criterion’s] judgment.”

The letter writer describes President Trump as “the most pro-life president in history.” Our opinion is that The Criterion should have never put the Jan. 31 article about President Trump “front and center” on page 1 where the president proclaimed himself as being “the most pro-life president in history.” Our perception is that the content of the front page article and the newspaper’s editorial drifted toward an endorsement of President Trump rather than a “bias” against him.

How the letter writer can state that “President Trump has been the most pro-life president in history” is a position that cannot be defended. It is our impression that President Trump “hijacked” the March for Life and turned it into a political rally to suit and further his own political interests. President Trump stated that, “We’re here for a very simple reason: to defend the right for every child, born and unborn, to fulfill their God-given potential.” Not too many years ago, Donald Trump proclaimed himself to be “pro-choice.” However, people do change positions, so we extend that same courtesy to President Trump.

He may be anti-abortion at this time, but the president is not pro-life and does not “respect life” when he orders the separation of families at the southern border, and puts children in chain-link enclosures inside border facilities while subjecting them to emotional and psychological abuse that will last a lifetime.

The president is not pro-life when he does not do as Jesus said to “welcome the stranger” and imposes a ban on Muslims.  The president is not pro-life when he incites violence with his white nationalist remarks, openly mocks individuals with disabilities, disrespects women, spews racist slurs about some countries, re-institutes executions at the federal level, and most recently created a spectacle, severely criticizing and mocking others for being people of faith at the National Prayer Breakfast in Washington.

An excerpt from Archbishop Charles C. Thompson’s homily during a Mass before the Jan. 22 Indiana March for Life provides a much broader description of the meaning of pro-life: “We cannot be authentic advocates and defenders of the dignity of life for the unborn if we do not evidence respect for the dignity of those with whom we live, work, encounter and even disagree with in this life. Each and every human being is created in the image of God.”

The president may say he is anti-abortion at this time, but he is not pro-life.

- David and Judy Harpenau | Columbus

Reader: Letter writer correct in assessment of newspaper’s bias

The letter to the editor in the Feb. 7 issue (“The Criterion must put its bias against President Trump aside, reader says”) could not have been any more straightforward and spot on. I totally agree with him.

For too long, myself and many other Catholics who still take the time to read, but not write to The Criterion, have seen the left-leaning, liberal progressivism taint the messages printed in The Criterion. It’s sad.

I myself teeter on cancelling the reception of this weekly sounding board. The letter writer’s message has kept me from doing so this week. Now it’s up to the staff of The Criterion to hold my interest moving forward. 

- Rich Deering | Indianapolis

Like Jesus, The Criterion teaches us to love our world and be good stewards

I seldom write letters to the editor, but the letter in the Feb. 7 issue of The Criterion requires a response.

As a Catholic, I am pro-life—all aspects of life. As such, I dispute the claim that President Donald J. Trump is truly pro-life. I think he rarely cares about life. He cares about being re-elected.

If he cared about life, would he deny refuge to people fleeing violence or starvation in their own country? Would he cut food stamps, prevent reasonable gun safety laws, pass tax laws that favor the wealthy, deny climate change which threatens the lives of millions, or gut the Environmental Protection Agency as to spew toxic waste that causes cancer?

As a physician, I have delivered new life,

sat with the dying, worked in a soup kitchen, delivered furniture through our Society of St. Vincent de Paul. All of these things have taught the true meaning of life with all the dignity that God gave it.

The Criterion is not biased. It teaches us what Jesus taught: to love our world and be good stewards of it.

I don’t see much of that love in Mr. Trump.

- Dr. Howard C. Deitsch | Richmond

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