To Become Strong Again
Re “Litmus Tests Lead to Mediocre Politics and Voter Disengagement” (Our Take, 5/29): As a pro-life Democrat, I appreciate this editorial. I think the Democratic Party could become strong again if it would relent about abortion and not insist that all the people who call themselves Democrats be pro-choice without exception.
Learn to Listen
Re “The Strength of a Nation: Why Trump’s Budget is a Threat to Our National Security” by Leon E. Panetta (Last Take, 5/29): President Trump’s budget proposal is only a proposal. As we have seen, grassroots voters are now paying attention. Voices advocating for the common good are rising. We should learn from this crisis: Learn to listen to all voices; learn to acknowledge all pain; and learn to prioritize public spending based on the common good, not slogans and us-versus-them politics. Can we transcend bitter partisan politics and learn to listen, tolerate, and compromise with each other? Can we balance income for all without stopping economic growth? Can we promote liberty and trust people to develop their own consciences and manage their moral lives? Can we stop racism and nationalism and scapegoating? Can we learn how to grow past our own selfishness and greed to be concerned for one another and our communities?
Re “Did You Receive Support From Your Faith Community While You Were Experiencing Depression and/or Anxiety?” (Your Take, 5/29): Your article mentioned that people experiencing mental health problems should seek professional help from trained psychologists or psychiatrists. You were remiss in not including the professional work of clinical social workers. We are a vast group of trained therapists who are also in the field of mental health. I think it would be important to include our profession going forward.
Re “The Church and the L.G.B.T. Person,” by James Martin, S.J. (5/29): This was a very thoughtful article, but perhaps not provocative enough. The complexity of this issue is easier to digest when looked at through a pro-life prism. It is still complex, but in recognizing that God created all of us—and I mean all of us, with all our differences—we know where the answer must lie. We have to somehow navigate our way across that bridge that Father Martin describes. And it’s not easy. And pretending it’s easy will make it harder to cross that bridge. We are all required to lead responsible lives, whether we are born to privilege or otherwise.
My congratulations to America and Father James Martin for extending Christ's love to our gay brothers and sisters. Today’s young Catholics may be offering us the grace of acceptance of our gay disciples. We can follow their lead or we will lose them, to our eternal regret.
Edward J. Thompson
Re “The Problem of Violence in the Modern World” by J. J. Carney (5/29): It seems we do not help the problem of violence with our fascination with increasingly violent movies and games nor with the widespread distribution of automatic weapons and technical expertise (e.g., drones and cruise missiles) that kill indiscriminately and with devastating effect. We all learn to accept such proliferation of killing as just the numbing necessity of getting rid of those we have determined are the “bad guys.” In addition, the acceptance of collateral damages against women, children, the elderly and life-supporting infrastructure have become “necessary” to traumatize the surrounding civilization. There is now no mercy, no escape and utter annihilation as military and social strategy.