Essayist’s conclusion on ending war is off base

Russell Shaw’s “Are we condemned to endless war?” (Essay, Oct. 9) asks the right question and leads us to the wrong answer. 

An international body of some sort is in place right now. It’s called the United Nations, and it’s a proven failure. What’s that definition of insanity we hear so much about? 

Of course, we do have an international body to attempt to keep the peace, one that works in fits and starts because it is an imperfect world. When it does its work of evangelization, it can keep a semblance of real peace, but never perfect peace, which can only be realized at the Second Coming.  

Shaw’s contention that “no serious person promises an end” to our endless wars indicates he has been tied to the mainstream media too closely. I would suggest he listen to Ron Paul, and see that he is being ignored because he does offer a real — not a perfect — solution. Quoting the pope has always been dicey business. It is often taken out of context, and any comment he might make outside of the Chair of Peter, while deserving attention, is just an opinion. 

Robert M. Bird, Kenai, Alaska

Pro-life language

John Norton wrote the following sentence: “After all, for every unborn child who might have ended up like Steve Jobs ‘that’ has been killed by abortion, there may be an equal number like Osama bin Laden” (Openers, Oct. 23). 

I have noticed more than once that pro-life people use “that” to refer to aborted babies. We should all be using the proper “who” to signify that the baby is a person, not a “that.” 

Leo M. Roach Jr., Rhinebeck, N.Y. 

Eat your spinach

Robert Lockwood hit a home run with “Our Popeye moment” (Catholic Journal, Oct. 9). I believe Father John Direen, pastor of St. Joseph the Worker Parish in Berkeley, Calif., does eat his spinach. The presidents of Notre Dame and Georgetown should have eaten theirs.

An overwhelming number of Catholics voted to elect Barack Obama. In return, he strikes a broadside at the Church at any occasion.  

Elsie Arbach, Gettysburg, S.D.

Plenty of gaps

Re: “Could Catholic parishes fill the welfare gap?” (News Analysis, Oct. 23).  

The reality is that already there are significant gaps and cracks for people to fall through. Too many people, even churchgoing Catholics, think that “there are programs for such people,” or ask questions like, “Are there homeless people in our town?” We have a lot to do just to cover the gaps already there. God help us if more develop. And yet the apostles told St. Paul to be mindful of the poor. Do we follow this advice and example? 

— Herbert de Launay, Natchitoches, La.

Case for merriment

What a delight to read “Infusing faith with a bit of fun” (In Focus, Sept. 25).  

A pioneer in reviving the joy that permeates Christianity are the folks at the Fellowship of Merry Christians and their bimonthly publication, The Joyful Noiseletter.  

Let us bring back the joy to our faith, which seems to have been lost in the shuffle. 

Father Taras Miles, Belfield, N.D.

Great are the needs

Re: “No handouts” (Letters to the Editor, Oct. 9). 

Having been on the receiving end of government help, I am always amazed at the ignorance, cruelty and hatred of the people who claim to be Catholic. The truth is that the need is so great that realistically it is impossible to solve the problems and needs of so many without government assistance. When I hear words from others that minimize the pain, sufferings and hopelessness of other human beings, I do not expect them from those who follow Jesus. 

Marybeth Kaminski, Ventura, Calif. 

Other pro-life issues

While I agree with our Church’s stand against abortion, I am very disappointed that there is little, if any, public denouncing by our priests or bishops of a nondefensive, pre-emptive invasion of another country that takes many thousands of innocent lives AFTER birth. It also seems that many politicians (and clergy) who condemn abortion have no qualms about the propriety of capital punishment.  

Edwin Christie, Viroqua, Wis.

Pro-death penalty

Re: “A matter of dignity” (God Lives, Oct. 9). 

My husband and I are outspokenly pro-life Catholics activists — we are at Planned Parenthood three mornings a week, watching hundreds of women going in, or being forced in, to kill their babies — who do not want to see the death penalty abolished. 

Roe v. Wade/Doe v. Bolton became the law of the land in 1973. It was about that time that we first heard some of the liberal members of the Catholic Church (and many others) begin to tell us how wrong the death penalty is. “We need to be more compassionate” they would say. But where is the compassion for the murdered babies and their grieving mothers? 

Yes, occasionally an innocent person is wrongly executed. You solve that problem by giving the accused a good lawyer and by better police work. The death penalty is necessary now, and will still be necessary if and when abortion is again illegal. Murder cries to heaven for vengeance and justice must prevail. 

Sarah Brunn, Pittsburgh, Pa.