I was deeply saddened and disappointed to see the editorial The Elections and Abortion (9/16), in which you practically anoint and endorse Al Gore, even though he is blatantly anti-life. By that I mean that he is passionately pro-abortion.
I was very sorry to see you use the expression pro-choice. That’s what the pro-abortion side calls itwe don’t. And sorrier still to read your line, It will not be useful to discuss candidates in strictly black and white terms as pro-choice or pro-life. Why not? Is there anything redeeming about being pro-abortion as far as the Catholic Church and other clear-thinking denominations and faiths are concerned?
I agree wholeheartedly that a pro-life stand must include a commitment to abolish the death penalty and all offenses against the sanctity of life, but I am afraid you have contributed to the obfuscation of this issue rather than its clarification. I really expected more from your fine, Catholic, Jesuit magazine.
To paraphrase your last line in the editorial, I pray that you may be inspired to rethink the abortion question again.
(Rev.) John E. Hart
Change of Heart
You are fooling yourself when you think Al Gore might have a change of heart on the abortion question (9/16). His recent pronouncements on the RU-486 approval indicate this. And even if he does have a conversion, he may have already made pro-choice appointments to the Supreme Court, where we run the risk of having the rights of the unborn denied and forgotten forever. As for the question of electing a pro-life candidate who defends the death penalty or advocates harsh welfare reforms, these are policy matters that can be and have been successfully fought at the state level.
The final institutionalization of abortion would be a dangerous precedent for the acceptance of other immoral principles, such as physician-assisted suicide, with which we are faced here in Maine in the coming election. This question will eventually find its way up to the Supreme Court, where it will more likely be acceptable to pro-choice justices than to those who are pro-life. There is a thin line between physician-approved suicide and euthanasia. Acceptance of euthanasia could lead to eugenics, and so on. We need to nip the culture of death in the bud by keeping pro-choice justices off the Supreme Court. At the same time, of course, we need to continue to promote the church’s social agenda at all levels of government.
Francis J. Murray
In the editorial on The Elections and Abortions (9/16), I found the final line of the editorial weak in comparison to an otherwise well-written column. The hope is held out to us that if Al Gore becomes the 43rd president, he may rethink his position on the abortion question. Despite Mr. Gore’s frequent turnabouts on substantial issues over the years, including aspects of the abortion issue, I believe he has locked himself into an unchangeable position regarding all matters pertaining to abortion. As a candidate for president, he has stated his pro-choice stance frequently and adamantly.
I hold little hope for any change on the Gore-Lieberman position regarding pro-choice and abortion. I also pray that I am wrong.
Joseph Zuschmidt, O.S.F.S.
High Point, N.C.
Prayer and Contemplation
Your editorial should have been named Vote for Gore instead of The Elections and Abortion (9/16). When the editorial said that maybe Al Gore may be inspired to rethink his position on abortion, I really had to laugh. Are you guys so naïve? He’s not going to change his mind one whit.
I am not for capital punishment, not because I don’t believe that in most cases the death row prisoner is deserving of that punishment, but rather because I believe that life is, in fact, the purview of God alone and that every human being should be allowed exactly the amount of time that God gives them to discover him, up to the last second. But having said that, the Catholic Church does allow capital punishment in cases of extreme gravity in order to preserve the common good of society. If I had to choose between the 1.5 million aborted children and the death row inmates, well it’s a no-brainer!
So get a grip. I know that what Al Gore is espousing doesn’t sound too bad for the poor, but I don’t believe that the federal government is necessarily the best vehicle to help the poor. I’m still banking on people’s hearts to turn to the needs of those so much less fortunate. I’m banking on prayer and contemplation!
Let There Be Light
Ed Stoops (Letters, 9/30) wonders, Why aren’t our bishops’ statements touted and available free, not only on the Internet but also in racks at the back of every American church? I have been wondering why all bishops don’t make their diocesan newspapers, which regularly report on business statements, available to every registered Catholic by virtue of membership? Some do, but by no means all. Yet diocesan newspapers are the most readily available resource for informing and teaching (evangelizing) Catholics, many of whom do not go to church regularly. What better way for bishops to teach and stay in touch with their flocks than by a weekly mailing of their very own newspaper, which carries a serialized version of the church’s interesting, richly varied and ongoing story? Diocesan newspapers are probably the most underutilized, ready-made resource in the church’s possession. Yes, let’s hear our bishops, but likewise, let the bishops make it possible by taking the bushel off the light!
Joseph C. Sturycz
Unfair to God
The theologian Eileen Flynn charges God with being capricious if God created humans with a sexual orientation destined to be a source of frustration (9/30). God isn’t and didn’t. All God did was create the fundamentals and circumstances and opportunities for life. Then life spins out of its own variations. In each species of plant or animal it’s a crapshoot how things will turn out. The ones that work, make it; those that don’t, don’t, with the almosts in between until they too do or don’t. For example, God didn’t destine two little girls now in England to be joined at the tummy and share one heart and liver. It just happened that way.
It’s the luck of the genetic draw how this connects with that within a huge number of possibilities. But to posit God as the designer of same-sex orientation or siamese twins is unfair to God, to the author’s students and to the readers of a magazine of this caliber. I’m even tempted to rejoin that God isn’t a divine Santa sitting in a celestial workshop, whose angelic elves assemble designer genes under his direction. but I won’t.
(Rev.) Robert J. Thorsen