Government has too much authority over health care

Re: ‘Hard to swallow’ (Editorial, March 17) 

The health care situation is complex, but solutions could have been achieved without giving absolute authority to government, the control by which will create gravely serious assaults on individual human life for the expressed and deceitful purpose of the “greater good.” For example, expensive, life-saving procedures denied to older and disabled citizens to afford those resources for a greater number of children. How could one argue with that? Abortion mandated for population sustainability. Compassionate euthanasia becomes essential for the most efficient use of limited health care services. 

If the government rationing and discrimination of health care services is seen as a good by the Catholic Church, then we must be willing to admit that “the unalienable right to life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness endowed by our Creator” must give way to the “proper development of life,” as you quoted Blessed John XXIII , as “... the right to bodily integrity ... particularly food, clothing, shelter, medical care, rest, and finally, the necessary social services” which must necessarily be endowed (or not) by government. 

The government, then, becomes the absolute arbiter over the life, death and health of every individual from conception. God’s natural law becomes irrelevant. We await our unknown mandates and dictates, the next attack on religious liberty and individual sovereignty ... all for the greater good, of course.  

Diana Modic, Lexington, Ohio

Correct number

Re: “Military Assaults” (Letters to the Editor, March 31). 

I agree with Jerry Mazenko that putting women in combat positions is sheer lunacy, driven only by the current Department of Defense’s “political correctness” issue vs. combat effectiveness of the fighting units. That said, I think that “truthfulness” in his argument is the No. 1 requirement in all cases. His quote of “The DOD has all the figures. There were 19,000 sexual assaults in the military in 2011,” falls far outside of that requirement and does nothing but confuse the public. I have open on my computer the 84-page document that DOD provided to the U.S. Congress on this subject on April 12, 2012, and on Page 2 of the Executive Summary is the following information: “In FY11, the Military Services received a total of 3,192 reports of sexual assault involving Service members, which reflects a 1 percent increase in overall reporting from FY10.”  

While I agree that even one case is one case too many, I do not know where Mr. Mazenko got his information, but it was clearly very wrong!  

Brig. Gen. Al Brewster USMC (Ret), Frisco, Texas

Editor’s note: While it is true that military services received a total of 3,192 reports of sexual assault during fiscal year 2011, the Department of Defense believes assaults are vastly underreported. During a January 2012 news conference, Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta told reporters the DOD estimates the number of actual assaults is 19,000.

A joyful message

Re: “Not a clown show” (Letters to the Editor, March 24), about a photo of a priest, Father Humberto Alvarez celebrating a children’s liturgy in Mexico. 

If more of the faithful would look more closely at the Gospels, they would discover our Lord’s favorite pastime. He loved to sit and eat and tell stories with his friends. Jesus went to wedding parties and even changed a lot of water into a lot of wine. He enjoyed being with people and he loved kids, “let the children come to me.”  

I don’t know if all the faithful has noticed yet, but the pews are not always full anymore and many Catholic schools are closed or are closing. We are losing our children to a growing secular world that offers drugs, sex and no God. A culture of violence stalks our children and some are worried over Mickey Mouse and a squirt gun! 

Young people are starving all over this world and being sold into sex slavery, and Father Alverez has found a way to get them into sanctuary and expose them to a real, honest-to-goodness Savior! 

Yes, everyone, the Mass is most holy. It is a time for sacraments, the Eucharist and the Real Presence of Christ, but, most of all, it is our time to take Jesus into our self and to be like him. Jesus was exciting, not boring. He gave us a salvation of joy and happiness. 

Les Johnson, Akron, Ohio

Comfort of blessings

Re: “Giving blessings” (Pastoral Answers, Feb. 24). 

Recently, in Msgr. Charles Pope’s column, a sister asked if it was appropriate for laypeople to give blessings. I have fond memories of my late father making the sign of the cross on my forehead when I was growing up. I think this is a most loving practice. Not only does it help comfort children, but I think it teaches an important lesson. The Father loved us enough to create us, the Son loved us enough to live and die and save us, and the Holy Spirit gives us his many gifts.  

Tim Donovan, via email

Giving feedback

I want to applaud OSV and thank you for continuing to carry feedback from readers in the “Letters to the Editor.” One of the things that I think is expected of all decent human beings is that they be open to criticism and different viewpoints. Keep up the good work. 

Bill Banchy, Cincinnati, Ohio