Church teaching on marijuana needs consistency

Re: “Panel group warns of marijuana’s dangers” (News Analysis, Aug. 10).

At age 15, any recreational drug is illegal and addictive. No disrespect to Geoff Bennett, but marijuana has a very distinctive smell that, like tobacco, gets into everything. He would have known from the beginning what his daughter was doing.

I also had to laugh at little at the Church teaching inset. Although I believe it is true that one should not corrupt one’s body and/or mind with such things, how many church summer festivals have some type of a beer and wine tent (not to mention another addiction: gambling) with smoking areas?

Joe Negrich, Toledo, Ohio

As a senior citizen, I can’t figure out why people in their 50s and 60s still smoke marijuana. Why do people cling to a habit from their youth that is of no real benefit to them?

Instead of smoking marijuana, shouldn’t older people be seeking union with God, which creates a far better feeling than any temporary pleasure can offer?

Seeking the kingdom of heaven is where it’s at!

Craig Galik, Duquesne, Pennsylvania

Teaching on unions

Re: “Catholics back unions after court decision” (News Analysis, Aug. 3).

We are the parents of a 50-year-old, multiply impaired son. We care for him in our home. The State of Michigan, through the Medicaid system, provides a monthly “adult home help” payment, which the IRS has declared as household income for tax purposes. This Medicaid payment was also subject to Service Employees International Union dues, taken off the top. These dues for this phantom representation of families in our situation are what were disallowed by the Supreme Court.

I believe it is absurd for the Catholic legal scholars and Catholic social teaching proponents to assert that this home health care worker’s case could weaken, even destroy unions. Our Catholic experts need some exposure to real-life situations to temper their academic viewpoint.

Charles J. Lemont, Shelby Township, Michigan

Children not refugees

Re: “Open arms for migrants” (Letters to the Editor, Aug. 3).

To call this a refugee problem is incorrect unless you want to change the legal, international definition of the word. According to the 1951 Refugee Convention, a refugee is someone who is afraid of being persecuted based on at least one of five grounds: race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group or political opinion. I fail to see how these children fit into any of those categories.

Christians help those in need, as we should, but not at the cost of the safety and well-being of citizens of our own country; not at the cost of those patiently following our immigration laws and waiting their turn; not at the cost of ignoring international law. Hold the home countries of these children responsible. Refuse foreign aid until they start cleaning up their corruption.

Barbara L. Maness, Vevay, Indiana

Keep quiet in church

Re: “A welcome reform” (Guest column, July 27).

I enjoyed reading J.D. Mullane’s column about the new parish initiative to greet parishioners in the parking lot and offer a friendly word or a helpful hand when needed. I take exception, however, to the idea of extending this into the church. A Catholic church is home to a tabernacle where Jesus Christ is present — body, blood, soul and divinity. Mullane suggests that it is arrogant not to greet our fellow Catholics in the pews and exchange pleasantries, something that can easily be done in the narthex as we arrive or when we leave the church. What could be more arrogant than to be in the presence of the King of kings and not give him our undivided attention?

Many arrive at Mass a little early, not to find a good parking place but to spend a few minutes in one-on-one time with the Lord. Similarly, at the end of Mass, some are still completing their prayers of thanksgiving after receiving holy Communion. We can show our consideration for these brothers and sisters in Christ by reserving our visiting until we leave the church.

Maureen Hannon Sager, Countryside, Illinois
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