Do Not Stand Idly
Re “Standing with Our Jewish Brothers and Sisters” (Our Take, 3/20): I strongly applaud the determination and clarity of thought that define America’s editorial. The contemporary Catholic Church, in light of the awful history of Europe in the 1930s and 1940s, cannot stand idly by when anti-Semitism even threatens to emerge. Commitment to denouncing anti-Semitism ought not be extraordinary but must be the common, unsurprising position of all Christians.
One Applauds, Another Boos
Re “John Oliver Is Good for the Republic. Or Not.” by Zac Davis and Jake Martin (3/20): Quod ali cibus est aliis fuat acre venenum. One person applauds, another boos. One hears Mr. Oliver call out politicians for their patently false claims and facts. Another person hears an invalid intellectual argument along with mocking, bullying and silencing. But both groups claim Mr. Oliver’s opponents are intellectually and morally bankrupt. Citizens cry to Congress, “Can’t you put aside ideology and compromise for the good of the country?” But both want their side to prevail. Both claim God is on their side.
Not Pushing an Agenda
Mr. Oliver isn’t standing up to say, “Here is a novel idea: Trump is bad.” Instead, as the nation is being inundated by pro-Trump, conservative politics, Mr. Oliver is getting up to say, “Pump the brakes, here are some facts.” It appears Mr. Davis does not understand this, as most of his argument seems to hinge upon the suggestion that Mr. Oliver is pushing an agenda. Certainly, Mr. Oliver represents left-wing thinking, but his show is not its womb.
No Gamma Rays Required
In “Saints, Not Superheroes” (3/20), Robert Ellsberg provides an important caution for all of he faithful about how we view the women and men who lived lives of heroic virtue. It would be a mistake to view saints the same way we see mutants or aliens. But what about Batman, the self-made superhero? He is a man who transforms childhood trauma into a fight for justice with only brains and acrobatic training. Though his postmodern imaginings have been pretty dark, Batman may be a secularized saint who responds to darkness with a life of heroic virtue, no gamma rays required.
Jeffry Odell Korgen
Safety and Guidance
The lives of the saints, while useful as role models in many respects, also contain miracles and some personal behaviors that are maybe even dangerous to try to imitate. The psalms keep us in the communion of the saints by teaching us how we may develop the same temperament, thoughts, words and deeds that all the saints have cherished and spoken.
Re “San Diego’s Bishop McElroy Encourages Catholics To Be Hope-filled ‘Disruptors,’” by Jim McDermott, S.J. (3/20): Bishop Robert W. McElroy's voice is a clarion call to all Catholics who believe that the social justice dimensions of the Gospel and of church teaching have been neglected for far too long by our spiritual leaders.
Too often Catholics are told which evils they should avoid, but they are seldom instructed on how they can positively go about giving themselves to others. Christ was essentially a man for others. To follow him, we must become men and women for others also.
In Favor of the Poor
Bishop McElroy makes sense and is instructive about Christ’s message. I might not agree with every political position that he takes, but it is obvious that he thinks about what he says from a Catholic perspective. And it is refreshing to hear a U.S. bishop explicitly say something meaningful and contrary to the current political climate in favor of the poor, the undocumented and the worker.