Tea party encourages individuals to be brothers' keepers

I read "Is the tea part at odds with Catholic teaching?" (News Analysis, Oct. 17) with interest and care. I was hoping for a deeper probe into the movement through Catholic lenses. The movement resonates with me. 

From California, as a banker, I have seen the American public pile on debt for more than a decade. Many have made careless errors: at the government level; at banks; at investing companies and among investors. It led to leveraging consumer households. Similarly, municipalities, states and the federal government expanded beyond sustainable levels. Consumers have gotten the message and are shedding assets and liabilities. The federal government has spent TARP money to postpone the severe adjustment state and local governments have to make. This phase is starting to kick in and will become more severe in 2011.  

My question is this: As Catholics, do we wish the central government to carry out works of charity? Or would we rather have our citizens taxed less and encourage individuals and private institutions to perform charitable works? The tea party folks I speak with would rather keep more of their own money and practice charity in pursuit of individual salvation. The desire to go back to founding principles and the Constitution is that it will remove government from many pursuits it should not be engaged in. They don’t want the government to be our brothers’ keeper. I wish that Scott Alessi had dug a little deeper. 

—Richard Gooden, via email 

Accuracy, please 

It is very difficult to find articles on Catholic teaching in the mass media, and it is really disappointing to find such a poor piece of news analysis as Scott Alessi’s article about the tea party. Alessi posits his article on the basic belief that the tea party is radical and controversial.  

Alessi’s article indicates that he would be very satisfied with the “politics of good intentions” and is not bothered much by results. A basic question to ask is when is it right for a government to cut benefits to people who have paid for them (Medicare recipients) to benefit others (Medicaid recipients) and all the while obfuscate the facts about the health care reform bill. 

In the future, please provide us with honest and accurate reporting that actually reflects Catholic teaching. 

— F.A. Ritchey, Kailua, Hawaii

Big government bad 

In the era when Barack Obama and his cronies are launching an unprecedented anti-Christian agenda in their “health care,” demolishing freedoms and ruining the country financially by overspending, the writers are pondering whether some tea party activists “may be too insensitive socially.” It is unfortunate that essentially the entire Catholic press in America is at the service of the leftists with increasingly international and Muslim inspirations. Stephen Schneck’s faith in the big government is a sad example of being brainwashed by the liberals and never having lived under communism. 

— Radomysl Twardowski, Bismarck, N.D.

No common ground 

“Sides seek common ground on abortion issues” (News Analysis, Oct. 31) shows how both sides of the abortion “debate” will never find common ground. 

Pro-life people realize that all life is precious and that abortion is murder. Those who advocate for abortion know that it is the taking of human life, but believe it’s the mother’s right to do it. 

This is not a political battle or a culture war; it is a spiritual fight that pits the Lord of Light against the Prince of Darkness. It is a result of the anti-life mentality that permeates our society.  

Legalized abortion will end when enough Rosaries are said, when enough people fast, and when we, as a society, return to the virtues of modesty, purity, faithfulness and chastity. Until then, we will have to pray for those who support the killing of children in the womb. 

— Anita Gill, Monrovia, Md.

Fulfillment of promise 

I thoroughly enjoyed “Radical Witness” (Fall Vocations Section, Oct. 3). 

As the Franciscan order grew, many friars wanted St. Francis to relax his strict rule of total poverty and to allow them to own property and to live a less rigorously penitential life. However, St. Francis would have none of it. As he brought his concern over the future of the order to the Lord in prayer, God assured him that he would always maintain a remnant who would remain faithful to the radical witness of holy poverty to which St. Francis and St. Clare had pledged themselves. 

The Franciscan Brothers Minor are surely one fulfillment of God’s promise; the Little Sisters of the Lamb are another.  

— Margret Meyer, Jacksonville, Fla.

Proper recognition 

Re “Rekindled debate over religious habits and their benefits” (Openers, Oct. 17): 

I wear a veil [and am] glad to be recognized as a religious sister.  

— Sister Gilmary Speirs, IHM, Scranton, Pa.


The story “Making the most of your time” (In Focus, Nov. 7) should have stated that Marshall Cook, author of “Time Management: A Catholic Approach,” reported on research on stress levels in mice, not that he conducted it.