Our Readers Respond-September 26, 2012

What if some don’t care?
Initially, it seems most people agree that we should not have a permanent underclass, and so we assume that the disagreement centers only on how we can achieve that goal.

Some, we know, believe entitlements and other subsides should be eliminated — a kind of sink or swim mentality. Others feel such assistance should not only be kept, but increased. Still others suggest that there should be a transition of assistance with the goal of funding programs and aid that strive to move all, except for the most fragile and infirm, toward self-sufficiency.

Within these choices, people of good will should be able to find some areas of compromise, and those who understand how a democracy functions should be willing to work together.

But what if there isn’t agreement on the basic premise? What if everyone does not really believe that there shouldn’t be a permanent underclass?

What if some subscribe to the theory that certain people should be willing to work difficult and strenuous jobs for menial pay that does not provide a living wage?

What if some feel that needed immigrant labor should be done, not by people with legitimate contracts and worker visas, but by people kept illegal and frightened of discovery?

What if some do not believe that everyone should have access to quality education and health care?

What if some do not feel that every community should be free from violence, danger, pollution and blighted conditions?

What if some believe other countries and their resources exist only for our benefit?
In fact, what if some people do not believe that God loves everyone equally and that everyone was created in the divine image and deserves to live in dignity?

Maybe we must first ask ourselves, “What is the premise behind the solutions we propose? What is the theology behind the way we allocate resources? What are the excuses we use to avoid following the clear call to love one another as I have loved you?”
Joan Delaney,

Do only Democrats care?
I became aggravated when I read a letter to the editor from an individual in Valley Stream, and could not understand your purpose in printing it. The writer  stated the following:
“Some Catholic Democrats agree that abortion is wrong …” FULL STOP. Catholics believe that life begins at conception. You either believe this or you don’t. You don’t get to call yourself Catholic if you do not oppose abortion.

“Life issues that include ending war and poverty, caring for the sick and aged, making capital punishment illegal, strengthening gun control and caring for the environment …”FULL STOP. Political parties may disagree on the means to address these issues, however the inference I am compelled to draw is that Republican Catholics are somehow less concerned with these issues and how best to balance them than Democratic Catholics. I vociferously resent and reject the inference which is indicative of a divisive attitude which is not helpful to either the Church or to changing and improving our world.

“Others may have observed that the Republican presidential nominee has changed his opinion on a number of issues …” FULL STOP. Surely this is not the exclusive domain of the Republican presidential candidate?

I don’t think I am asking too much with my expectation that The Long Island Catholic print letters that are edifying and supportive of our faith. Let the N.Y. Times concern themselves with appealing to the broader base of religions, atheists, etc. We are supposed to be, after all, Catholics first.
Gerard Buchko,

One-sided approach
William Keogan’s letter in the Sept. 12 issue presents a very one-sided approach to the election. What about the Democrats’ stand on unfettered abortion; asking taxpayers to pay for contraceptives; same sex marriage; freedom of religion; apparently throwing Israel under the bus; no major response on immigration or entitlements?

Anyone can write a one-sided letter. To be fair, consider both sides when voting.
James D. Tomlin, 

What happened to Life in the Spirit seminars?
Father Robert Lauder brought forth a very interesting reflection on the meaning of conversion in the Sept. 12 issue.

From his article: “ … a moral conversion would necessarily accompany a religious or spiritual conversion.”  “Christians are called … to fall more deeply in love with God … an ‘ongoing conversion.’”

 For so many adults in the 1990s at St. Margaret of Scotland Parish, Selden, we were drawn into deeper love with Christ and a spiritual conversion through a Life in the Spirit seminar. As a result many ministries sprang forth at our church, led by those of us whose hearts longed to draw others into the beauty of this spirit-filled life.

My question is, where did these seminars go? Why are they no longer available for my children who are now in their 20s? Those ministries which began in the 1990s at our parish are slowly dying out because those leaders have passed on or moved away and there is little fervor to maintain them today.
Catherine Silvia, LMSW,

We are helpless without prayer
Re. “He Who Prays Is Saved” (From the Pope, Aug. 8):

Do we not pray more or at all because God is so accessible — no tickets to buy, no standing in line, no presenting an ID, no busy signal, no automated message? God is always on call, always available, always ready to hear from us, always present. Does He make it easy for us to say, “Later,” “Tomorrow,” “Next week”? Maybe “never”?

Everyday we long and search for truth from our leaders. We receive half-truths, lies, spin. Our language is misused and abused. Words become weapons of manipulation. We are the targets, stressed and depressed. What can prayer do for us?

The Church provides us with the perfect prayer. The Mass gives us truth, the truth about Jesus. We are no longer targets. We are brothers and sisters, open to Jesus’ message of love, love from Him and love for Him. In giving our love we receive nourishment of heart, mind, and soul. We are uplifted and enlightened.

In today’s climate of insecurity and uncertainty, we ask, “What can we do?” With prayer we can be helpful, praying for ourselves and others. We can be hopeful, praying for God’s intercession. Without prayer we are helpless and hopeless. Prayer connects us to God, our beginning and our end.
Rosalie Monaco
East Rockaway