Constructive ideas should trump whining

Re: “Catholic experts weigh in on Obamacare woes” (News Analysis, Dec. 15).

I love OSV and so was very sad to read the article on the Affordable Care Act. I hope you’re not going the way of the “whiney world.” I think there’s already been plenty of whining about “Obamacare” all together. The health care system in this country is broken! I totally affirm that abortion cannot be supported by Catholics. I suggest we consider it an opportunity for a sort of martyrdom to avoid insurance that does support abortion. Check your current policies, everyone.

So how about some constructive ideas for folks who’ve enjoyed nice policies all their life, how are they going to help those without? I’d like to remind one and all that a poorly paid health care worker or food service worker is not allowed to work full time, cannot afford to take time off, certainly has no paid sick time, has no family doctor, may be sick but will still try to smile as they see to your needs.

There’s joy in sacrifice, maybe; never in whining.

Valerie Sifleet, via email

Justified criticism?

Re: “Do not speak ill of the dead” (Letters to the Editor, Dec. 8).

The letter of Father John Vincent, OSC, grabbed my attention. I do a lot of writing, and I do criticize persons the likes of Lenin, Stalin, Hitler, et al., who are dead.

How can I speak nothing but good about such people?

E.J. Kalinowski, Portland, Conn.

Scottish churches

Re: “How independent Scotland could affect local Church” (News Analysis, Dec. 8).

In the article about Scottish independence vote the writer speaks of the Episcopalian Church of Scotland. The Church of Scotland is Presbyterian, and when the queen is in Scotland she is a member and head of same. The Episcopal Church of Scotland is a different group, and in communion with the (Anglican) Church of England.

Father Jack Tench, Episcopal priest, via email

Why Sister Prejean?

Re: “Riding the wave of God’s grace” (Faith, Dec. 8).

I have been a subscriber to OSV for many years now. Many times I have read articles that I felt got my dander up, but weren’t so bad that I had to contact you.

The Dec. 8, 2013, article about the death penalty by Sister Prejean was the one that upset me the most. It was not the death penalty issue that bothered me, which I am for in extreme cases, but the idea of OSV giving space to a radical nun who is an ultra-feminist and disagrees with many Church teachings such as abortion and woman’s ordination, etc.

The article makes her appear as a saint. Her true colors are different.

— Donald J. Wagner, Plymouth, Minn

Editor’s Note: Sister Prejean makes her pro-life position clear in a 2006 blog post in which she wrote:

“My stance on abortion is a matter of public record. I stand morally opposed to killing: war, executions, killing of the old and demented, the killing of children, unborn and born. As I have stated publicly many times, I stand squarely within the framework of ‘the seamless garment’ ethic of life. I believe that all of life is sacred and must be protected, especially in the vulnerable stages at the beginning of life and its end.”

We chose to run the article by Sister Prejean because of the unique way she was able to portray community religious life with her words.

The Iraqi threat

Re: “Iraq inaccuracies” (Letters to the Editor, Dec. 15). Geoff Gray’s letter stated that “Iraq posed no threat to USA, did not have weapons of mass destruction and had no ties to al-Qaeda.” He added that our “unprovoked war of aggression killed millions.” In 1990, Iraq invaded and seized Kuwait, and we went to war to expel Saddam Hussein. The cease fire signed by us and Saddam stipulated that any violations of the cease fire would allow us to resume hostilities. Saddam’s military regularly fired anti-aircraft missiles against our planes patrolling the southern and northern no-fly zones. His embassy people in Prague met with al-Qaeda operatives, according to Czech intelligence. Saddam was paying the Palestinians [up to] $50,000 for every successful suicide mission against Israel, which Israel was threatening to go to war against Iraq over. This could have caused another general Israel vs. Arab war in the Middle East.

Russian intelligence informed us that Saddam was planning a major terror attack against the U.S. These all sound like threats to the United States and our interests to me. As to weapons of mass destruction, Saddam claimed he got rid of them all. Yet, in our troops’ invasion into Baghdad in 2003, we encountered a half-dozen IEDs made of Sarin-Chem-agent-filled artillery shells. Two years later, we captured a cache of 500 cannisters of Sarin-Chem agent. Sounds like WMDs to me.

Iraqi Gen. Georges Sada later admitted in his book that on the eve of the American invasion, to his knowledge, all WMDs were shipped to Syria — thus admitting they had them. The figure of “millions killed” is leftist propaganda, as the U.S. bent over backward to only target military and strategic elements, avoiding civilians as much as possible.

Dan Barton, Fayetteville, N.C.