Dismay and Disappointment
Re “Unfortunate Tone,” by Rudy Lopez (Your Take, 11/27): It was with dismay and disappointment that I read a letter to the editor written by Mr. Rudy Lopez in reaction to an article that I recently wrote for America on Hispanic Catholics. Mr. Lopez claims that I use language and tone that “reinforces negative attitudes about immigrants as invading hordes who must now be tolerated to be better understood.” He would be surprised that I also find that language revolting. The problem is that Mr. Lopez seems to have read an entirely different article or simply failed to grasp the basic content of the piece. What I wrote argues exactly the opposite of what he claims I said. Whoever is familiar with my work knows where I stand on these matters.
I have no objection to criticism and debate (as an academic, that is part of what I do daily), but if anyone is going to offer a critical comment, it needs to be based on the facts in question and clear evidence that the article has been conscientiously read and analyzed. I regret that the editorial team at America did not hold the author of the letter accountable for this misrepresentation and gave him credence by actually allowing the comment to be in print. The conversation about Hispanic Catholicism in the United States deserves better.
Set a Local Limit
Re “Two Good Things Trapped in a Bad Tax Bill” (Our Take, 11/27): In much of California one would be hard-pressed to find a home with any kind of mortgage below $500,000. Here in a middle-class neighborhood in San Francisco, the house across the street just sold for $1.6 million. It is not the average homeowner who is driving up the prices. We should not be penalized for things that are so out of our control. If there is a limit on tax-deductible mortgages, it ought to be pegged somehow to local conditions.
Re “Mercy for Rosa María” (Our Take, 11/27): Please start a conversation about the rationalization on the part of border patrol agents—the “I was just doing my job” mentality when it comes to enforcement. We need to start a culture of consciously objecting to unjust orders.
I agree that the proposed tax code should not benefit only wealthy Americans. As a special education teacher (now retired) of students with brain damage, I made a decent salary, though I certainly was not rich. As a pro-life supporter, I not only oppose the violence of legal abortion, but capital punishment, and support stringent gun control laws. I also believe that our government should provide reasonable assistance to the millions of Americans in need. The tax code should promote adoption and not eliminate the adoption tax credit.
Risk and Magic
Re “In Prison, Writing is an Act of Redemption,” by Valerie Shultz (11/27): I love this article. I applaud what you are doing with the inmates, Ms. Schultz. I, too, recently joined a writer’s group at the library and am discovering the risk and magic of sharing myself with readers. It is helping me to find my voice. Thank you.
Re “Día de los Muertos,” by Gina Franco and Christopher Poore (11/27): This is my first Día de Los Muertos since my mom passed away in January. As much as I grieve, today reminds me of the eternal life she now enjoys. I know I will see her when I am called to that same reward.
I am quite moved by this article. I once took a journey to Mexico City, to the shrine of Our Lady in memory of my daughter. Later I traveled through other parts of the country. I have traveled in many countries, but my lasting memory in all my encounters was that of the dignity of the people of Mexico and their belief in something beyond self. Thank you for the reminder.