By OSV readers - OSV Newsweekly, 8/26/2012
Stringing it all together
Re: “Is the Higgs boson really the ‘God particle’?” (News Analysis, July 29).
Physicist Stephen M. Barr states in the article, “The Higgs particle has absolutely no theological or philosophical significance.” Hmmm! Perhaps yes, perhaps no.
With the discovery of the Higgs boson, all the sub-atomic particles of nature are finally accounted for. But what are they made of? We now find ourselves enmeshed in string theory, which posits that all these wonderful sub-particles are themselves tiny vibrating strands of energy called strings, each strand vibrating differently. String theory is the ultimate triumph of the particle physicists.
Indeed, string theory is an ingenious concept. However, no experiment has been designed to prove it, and physics is, after all, an experimental science. Actually, the theory is not testable. Keeping Barr’s quote above in mind, the question now before us is: Is string theory a theory of physics or a theory of philosophy/theology?
With strings, we are close to the beginning of things. And beyond, or before, strings what theology and philosophy have to say about creating a universe is as meaningful as anything science has come up with.
— Roy Hanu Hart, M.D. Alexandria, La.
Rituals aren’t Christian
I find it ironic that the headline on Page 7 of the Aug. 5 issue should read: “Has America become a nation of heretics?” when Page 3 of the same issue has American Indian rituals conducted on the feast day of Blessed Kateri Tekawitha.With all due respect to Native culture (I proudly claim some of the blood myself), the old religions of the Indian peoples were not Christian. Blessed Kateri readily embraced the true Faith and suffered much in doing so. God did not leave his American Indian children untended before the missionaries arrived, but to equate their old rituals and hold them in conjunction with Catholic teaching seems to question the depth of anyone’s Christianity.
—Tonette Skube, Bardstown, Ky.
Please allow me to correct a couple of points in “America, shooting massacres and the gun control debate” (Openers, Aug. 5).
John Norton quotes Father James Martin as writing, “Pro-life religious people need to consider how it might be made more difficult for people to procure weapons that are not designed for sport or hunting.” In fact, the rifle allegedly used by the alleged shooter in Aurora is functionally indistinguishable from common sport or hunting rifles, and is actually used in target competition and hunting. It is impossible to know what the designers had in mind for that rifle.
Father Martin is also quoted as writing, “So why not protest against largely unregulated suppliers of firearms?” In fact, all commercial transactions involving firearms, including (allegedly) those entered into by the alleged Aurora shooter, are highly regulated under federal, state and often municipal laws.
We certainly need to keep firearms out of the hands of psychopaths, as the alleged Aurora shooter appears to be. I do not know how this can be done in a free society, but I am willing to consider means to do so. However, the violence in our society will not be solved by taking largely symbolic and ineffective actions against the tools employed by evil and demented people.
— Richard F. Colarco, Colorado Springs, Colo.
A few observations on John Norton’s Aug. 5 column after the Aurora shooting.1. Norton makes the “OK Corral” argument in answer to the point of view that a patron with a handgun might have been able to end the massacre. This is the argument made against the shall-issue concealed carry movement over the years. With now more than half of the states allowing such carry, it is clear that the vast majority of permit holders carry responsibly and safely. 2. These sorts of incidents have occurred in various parts of the world over the last few years, often in locales with far stricter gun control than the United States. Gun control disarms people who obey the law, and this usually does not include criminals and lunatics.3. Father James Martin is extensively quoted, but what especially caught my eye was his swipe at “largely unregulated suppliers of firearms.” If Father Martin were to discuss this with a local firearms dealer, he might be disabused of this notion.4. The history of gun control is a history of people control, not crime control. In the light of recent attacks on the principle of religious liberty, perhaps Catholics ought to ponder this.
— Patrick J. Lally, Youngstown, Ohio
Don’t lump issues
Father Martin makes the common mistake of lumping something that has no intrinsic morality (guns) with something that is intrinsically evil (abortion). Certainly the life issues span many things, including guns, the death penalty, abortion and other issues. But the bishops have made it clear that abortion is evil by definition, and is never permitted in any circumstance. Using a gun, on the other hand, can often be an evil act, but may at times be permitted such as for self-defense, even if the unintended double effect is the loss of a life. So to lump guns together with abortion as if they ought be unequivocally banned is not a precise reflection of true Catholic thought.
Please note: Comments left online may be considered for publication in the Letters to the Editor section of OSV Newsweekly.
blog comments powered by Disqus
Catholic Faith Resources | For Catholic Parishes | Order OSV Products | RSS | Advertise | About Us | Contact Us | Jobs