In business, pyramid doesn’t have to mean scheme

Re: “Are multi-level marketing companies pyramid schemes” (Finances, March 2).

Regarding Phil Lenahan’s piece, I would like to suggest that it is the wrong question regarding this particular business organizational structure that is often also referred to as network marketing. In reality, all business organizational and sales “structures” are pyramid (schemes). A pyramid is also the structure of just about every hierarchy, government and military, etc. The suggested problem with such a scheme as multi-level marketing has nothing to do with its structure being a pyramid, but has everything to do with its integrity. It is the same with every business; a good business has integrity and value, a bad business does not.

Tom Doyle, El Paso, Texas

Catholic responsibility

Re: “Correcting cohabiters” (Pastoral Answers, March 16).

We all know the spiritual works of mercy state we are to admonish the sinner. The Catechism of the Catholic Church states clearly that if we don’t we have a “responsibility for sins committed by others when we cooperate in them: by not disclosing or not hindering them when we have an obligation to do so” (No. 1868).

Dan Borrell, Scottsdale, Ariz.

God made families

Re: “Surviving the bombs” (Spectator, March 16).

With our pope being named Francis, I’m surprised Church history hasn’t been tweaked a bit about our shortage of priests. Pope Innocent III and St. Francis handled that 800 years ago when his holiness asked Francis to start an order for married people and, viola!, Francis began a third order. God made man a wife — a family. All priests don’t have to marry; we already, though, have a program that could be adapted, the deaconate! I say to our Holy Father Francis, if we need more priests, start an order for married men. Even our God has a son!

Les Johnson, Akron, Ohio

Turn the other cheek

Re: “Church strikes back” (Cover, Feb. 23).

What a disappointment to see the front page of the Feb. 23 issue. I would hope that I would never again see in your newspaper a statement like “Church strikes back.” On that same Sunday, the Gospel reading from Mt 5:38-48 gave us the directive from our divine teacher stating thus: “Offer no resistance to one who is evil ... Turn the other cheek.” Many in Catholic media fail in their recommendations to fight evil. They seem to have forgotten what happened on Good Friday. I subscribe to OSV and give out eight subscriptions at Christmas each year. I admire the Christian restraint your articles regularly have. God bless you in your work for God.

Msgr. William J.J. O’Donnell, Warminster, Pa.

Editor's response to this letter

Stand your ground

Re: “Shooting down civility” (Spectator, March 2).

In his column, Greg Erlandson displays the same ignorance of the stand your ground law that was seen in the Trayvon Martin case. George Zimmerman was found to have a reasonable belief that he was about to sustain death or serious bodily harm. In this situation, the jury found that he acted in legitimate self-defense in shooting Trayvon Martin. The Florida stand your ground law had no role in this case, as retreat by George Zimmerman was not possible because Trayvon Martin was on top of him. The stand your ground laws also played no role in the shootings in the movie theater, nor those of the teens in the SUV. In these cases the victims of the assault were the ones killed. The question regarding the various states’ stand your ground laws is simple: Should a citizen have a duty to retreat in the face of an aggressor intent on doing him bodily harm, or should he be able to stand his ground and legally defend himself with proportional force? 

Francis D. O’Brien, Marietta, Ga.


Re: “No Small piece of history at Alabama’s Ave Maria Grotto” (Feature, March 9).

Founded by the monks in 1891, the school at the Benedictine monastery in Cullman, Ala., is open and thriving. We regret the error.