Proper, prayerful response to bigotry

?Re: “No good man left” (Catholic Journal, May 19).

In the future, when any such blatant bigotry is perpetrated as described in Robert Lockwood’s column, I suggest that the bishop of the diocese call the faithful together, take a public stand and recite the four (sets of) mysteries of the Holy Rosary in atonement for the offenses against God and the Church.

We need to do more than “be outraged” by such bigotry, and it needs to be peaceful and prayerful.

Dorothy Buto, via email

Unsound reasoning

Re: “Gravity of missing Mass” (Perspectives, May 26)

I could not believe a letter that was published in a recent issue in which a writer actually stated that missing Mass on Sunday is a greater sin than murder.

His reasoning is that keeping holy the Sabbath is in the first three commandments, which he states are more important than the other seven because they deal directly with God, whereas the others deal with man’s relationship with other people.

Missing Mass, in this view, is an offense directly against God whereas murder is an offense against one of God’s creatures and therefore only indirectly against God. I would say that observing all Ten Commandments is an integral part of loving God.

How many people in the Bible, especially the Pharisees but also in the Old Testament,  probably observed every Sabbath without exercising charity toward others? Remember the parable of the Pharisee and the repentant tax collector.

A true Catholic view would recognize that murder IS directly an offense against God, since we are created in his image and likeness, and Jesus said that whatever we do for or to the least of these, we do to or for him.

Philip Kerler, Eagan, Minn.

Improving standards

Re: “Consumers play role in workplace injustices” (News Analysis, May 26).

First, as a lifelong industrial and transportation safety professional I’d like to say that it saddens me greatly that an industrial accident has killed so many people. My heart and prayers go out to their families.

I feel that this incident was caused by a combination of economic, human resource and safety management shortcomings, mostly the two latter. Fair, not necessarily competitive, wages for a particular geographic area with human resource standards will allow a worker a reasonable choice. Greater than 90 percent of industrial accidents can be prevented with adherence to known safety standards. The causes of the incident in Bangladesh were predictable and preventable. World economics push industrial sites to places where people are glad to get employment, even if the wage does not fill all their needs. When asked, professor emeritus of economics Charles K. Wilber said he did not know the best way to engage a company economically. I agree with him and say that the best approach is through human resource and safety standards.

Economic boycotts as the article suggest are not helpful to the workforce and are hard to implement because of the lack of credible information. Manufacturing is just moved to the next poverty area. 

Worker advocates would better spend their efforts encouraging fair human resources standards and good safety practices. Holding companies accountable for these standards and practices would be measurable and would better benefit workers. I suspect that there are companies in Bangladesh that do similar work with safer results.

 — Frederick C. Clark, Glenmoore, Pa.

Few born saints

Re: “There are better models of sanctity than Day” (Perspectives, May 19).

Jan Hicks takes issue with Dorothy Day being considered for canonization because she was a sinner.

Many saints were not born saints. St. Augustine comes to mind immediately. We all have to be saintly before we die. God still loves us.

Jeanne Amacher, Watertown, S.D.

Day’s lesson

Looking at Dorothy Day’s life, she would seem an unlikely candidate for veneration. But then again, David’s escapades with Bathsheba weren’t exactly kosher. St. Augustine’s mother did a lot of praying for her son, and St. Francis enjoyed the good life as the son of a rich merchant. God, it seems, uses life experiences as a background for learning and at times appears absurd in his choices of role models.

The message that I gain from these unlikely conversions is that we must be firm in our beliefs and always remain faithful to our Lord. Giving way to social pressures or current political correctness doesn’t make everything hunky-dory or acceptable. We can’t give up on prayer as a solution, even if it takes a very long time.

For almost 40 years my wife and I prayed for my oldest son to end his dependence on drugs and alcohol. One day he literally wandered into a small spiritual community that was in need of his gifts. For 12 years he lived in pain with an unknown heart disease and pain in his legs and arms. Accepting his plight, he helped many others accept their pain. I don’t believe my son is a saint, but I do believe that God answered our prayers. He died Jan. 11, 2013, and I believe he rests in peace, thanks to a God who doesn’t give up on us.

Les Johnson, Akron, Ohio