February 11, 2022

Letters to the Editor

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Garvey’s column offered very balanced perspective, reader says

Thank you for the John Garvey opinion piece on “COVID-19 and scientism” in the Jan 28 issue of The Criterion. He wrote from a very balanced perspective. It is ironic—or maybe not—that the two letters below his on that same page were salient examples of the scientism he warned about.

Seems to me one of the letter writers was using the COVID-shaming that Garvey mentioned about three quarters of the way down in his column.

And the second letter writer, who seems to think that the truth, facts and science surrounding COVID-19 are a settled matter, insinuates that anyone who is waiting for more data, has had their moral compass compromised.

Perhaps, as Garvey suggests, using science instead scientism, the best we can say is, “It’s complicated.”

- Bonnie Hicks | Columbus

Reader: Criterion editors fall short, spread COVID-19 misinformation

John Garvey’s column “COVID-19 and scientism” should have caused concern for the editors of The Criterion.

It claims puzzlement about the apparent political divide regarding how to treat COVID-19, yet it proceeds to blame the “secular left” for unfair treatment of anti-vaxxers, climate change deniers, and others, who do not “follow the science.”

The column conjures the term “scientism” to describe some sort of quasi-religious mindset belonging to “the creed defined by the experts.” Huh?

The column seems to suggest science is some sort of cult. Aside from its science aversion, the column dangerously ignores the fact that nearly 900,000 Americans have perished from the virus, the fact that Pope Francis has called receiving the vaccine an “act of love” and a “moral obligation,” the fact that the Vatican requires its employees to be vaccinated, and the fact that the pope recently called upon Catholic news media to be vigilant about COVID misinformation.

The column falls short of the basic standard to which the editors of

The Criterion should aspire, and which its readers deserve.

- David J. Dreyer | Indianapolis

Column highlights divisions caused by COVID perspectives and beliefs

Thank you for publishing the column by John Garvey, president of the Catholic University of America in Washington, titled “COVID-19 and scientism.” It highlights the divisions caused by our various perspectives and beliefs, not only with public health policy, but also with climate change, gender identity and abortion as well.

Because science is never settled but ever open to new discoveries, it strikes me as dangerous when any expert will not engage in discussions with those equally qualified to give a second opinion.

Because of censorship, many have not heard of early treatment methods for COVID, the potential dangers of giving a gene-altering drug to healthy individuals, and the psychological and social harm to children caused by wearing masks, to name just a few.

Perhaps God is allowing this time of confusion and fear to call us back to him.  Scripture tells us, “Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul; rather, be afraid of the one who can destroy both soul and body in Gehenna” (Mt 10:28).

- Lucy Bedwell | Indianapolis

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