What’s the source of NFP information?

I was very happy to see the In Focus section about Natural Family Planning (“NFP know-how,” July 22). It’s so important to spread the news about this. I showed the section to our two youngest sons — 22 and 25 years old — because it’s as important for men to have this information as it is for women.  

One son read the articles and, while he was impressed with what he read, he had a very reasonable criticism. He wanted to know what sources, studies, etc., the author used to make her points, but none were cited. He would feel more confident discussing this topic if he could specifically cite sources. His point is well-taken that citations should have been in the body of the articles. It would be a great service to many other readers, I’m sure. 

Lisa Hambidge, St. Paul, Minn.

Defense against evil

Re: “America, shooting massacres and the gun control debate” (Openers, Aug. 5). 

I believe that you have left out one key element, and that is the proclivity of people to commit evil, or aren’t Catholics supposed to believe that there is such a thing as evil any longer? 

I live in Pennsylvania, which is a “shall issue” state, which means that anyone who passes a background check can obtain a concealed carry permit and carry a concealed handgun. I have carried a weapon for many years in places where such is legal. I have never used my weapon on another person, nor ever wished that I could. 

What has not been discussed in the matter of James Holmes’ actions is his planning and forethought in the weeks and possibly months before he put his plans into action. I don’t think there is any sure way to defend against a person’s thoughts, or stopping same if that person carries those thoughts out. 

Robert C. Brown, via email

Right to protect

There is a lot to be said for the phrase, “When guns are outlawed, only outlaws will have guns.” The right to bear arms was put into the Bill of Rights to guarantee that people would have the right to protect themselves against tyranny, especially from the government. When we are now seeing (the first time in my lifetime) assaults by our government on our constitutional rights, I am considering the purchase of a gun myself.  

To say that gun control falls under the same guidelines as pro-life, in my opinion, is missing the entire point in why the “guarantee” was put into the Bill of Rights in the first place. When a deranged individual misuses a tool of destruction, it doesn’t automatically mean that the tool is at fault. He could just as easily have used knives or explosives, both of which are also very useful and should not be outlawed. 

Dan Brock, Marion, Ind.

Gun regulation needed

The comment was made by some gun rights people that if just one person had a gun in that theater, they might have been able to stop him. Unfortunately, this man was outfitted with protective armor that rivaled the police departments.  

Gun control must come from the government. And while not outlawing possession of certain types of weapons, for example, long rifles for hunting and handguns for target shooting, we must make registration more than a one-time deal, and have maybe a registry for police use so that these guns can be properly tracked.  

And make massacres like the Aurora, Colo., shooting automatically a federal crime, for which the death penalty might be an option. 

John Richardson, Muskegon, Mich.

In defense of Beck

Re: “Has America become a nation of heretics?” (News Analysis, Aug. 5). 

I take objection to Russell Shaw throwing Glenn Beck into the heap of “heresies” along with Oprah Winfrey, Dan Brown and Joel Osteen. 

Beck is a God-fearing, charitable and well-read individual who despises big government. He has recently interviewed some wonderful authors who can be of help to voters, particularly Catholic voters. 

Fran Holmes, via email

Missionary’s joy

Re: “Cardinal Dolan’s challenge to change our dullness to daring” (Openers, July 29). 

After reading Cardinal Timothy Dolan’s blog as you suggested, I’m convinced that we who believe must let our faith shine through us. A smile on my face, a reflection of God’s love, makes me approachable to share God’s love. That’s what a missionary is, one who is ready to share God’s love in word or action.  

Marilyn MacDonald, via email

No eclipse

Re: “An Eclipse of the Sun” (Pastoral Answers, July 29). 

The darkness at the Crucifixion cannot be attributed to normal laws of science. An eclipse of the sun occurs at the new moon; Passover always occurs at the full moon, when the earth is between the sun and the moon. The duration of full darkness in an eclipse is limited to a few minutes due to the orbital motions of earth and moon, and the earth’s rotation. 

To have a three hour eclipse during the full moon would require that God move the moon halfway around the earth and suspend the orbital and rotational motions. While He could do this, it seems a clunky way to do it. I expect more elegance in His actions.  

Joseph G. Kelley, Fountain Valley, Calif.