Re “Politicians Fail the Country by Applying Religious Tests” (Our Take, 2/4): When it comes to the religious value of opposing abortion, I do not believe one can just compartmentalize oneself. The same for cases about refugees or capital punishment or torture (if it were ever to be legal again). Requiring a judge to resign from a religious organization is religious discrimination. Even questioning someone on their religious beliefs is, if they swear to uphold the laws and the Constitution.
A Public Issue
Re “Don’t You Buy Me a Mercedes-Benz” (Our Take, 2/4): We need to see car usage not as a personal problem but as a public issue—of infrastructure, tax revenue and long-term solutions. Yes, effective public transit will cost a lot, but so did the interstate highway system. In the end, as a nation we need a Christian effort of will that does not ask, “What is in it for me?” but “What is in it for us and those who come after us?”
Paul J. Marasa
Re “Death Toll Remains High for World’s Migrant People,” by Kevin Clarke (2/4): In the end, it is wrong to force countries to take in migrants they are ill-equipped to handle. I am not saying countries should ignore the situation, but the United Nations should do more to provide humanitarian aid and stabilize the countries these migrants are running away from.
A Courageous Article
Re “The Reality of Racism,” by Rachel Lu (2/4): Ms. Lu, your willingness to turn around and take a careful look at yourself inspires me to turn around and look carefully at myself. You inspire hope that even in our fearfully polarized society, there may yet be constructive dialogue. This is a great gift. Thank you for this courageous article and for nurturing the love that shines through it.
A Place to Learn
Re “Catholic Schools Reimagined,” by Betsy Shirley (2/4): I think it is a great idea that many charter schools are choosing to offer religious meetings and education after school with private funds. This takes the pressure off schools while still there is a place after school for students to learn and share in their faith that is privately funded. It would be even better if they allowed different faiths the opportunity to privately fund lectures and religious sharing groups after school so kids could visit various spaces and learn about different faiths and religions.
White Responsibility for Racism
Re “Enduring Pain,” by Anonymous (2/4): Until white folks are willing to accept responsibility for slavery, racism will continue to be rampant in these United States. And it is rampant, and it is as much my fault as anyone’s. Every time a white person fails to call out and confront racism in its many forms, it is our collective fault.
Re “Richard Rodriguez Will Not Fit Into Your Categories,” by Olga Segura (2/4): My favorite piece by Richard Rodriguez is “Oh, Ireland.” It is a paean to the Irish nuns and priests who guided and influenced him through childhood. I have always loved it because it reminds me of my own childhood in West Harlem in a diverse community that started proportionally, though not predominantly, as Irish.
Nowhere to Go
Re “Pro-life Priorities for the U.S. Supreme Court and Beyond” (Our Take, 1/21): The priority given to judicial appointments in the political agenda is absurd. Republicans put the party agenda first and the moral decision second, and the Democrats require a pro-choice litmus test. As a former Democrat of Bronx Irish vintage and a pro-lifer by conviction who resents the Democrat litmus test, I have nowhere to go. I will vote for credentials, character and country, not a party, in voting for candidates.