Setting record straight on Occupy

There are two comments that need to be made regarding the column “Occupy Wall Street through the lens of Catholic principles” (Dec. 4) and a follow-up “letter to the editor” appearing in the Dec. 25 issue. 

The first is that corporations do not pay taxes. Taxation to a corporation is a “cost of doing business” just as are the cost of raw materials, wages and employee perks. Corporations collect taxes from those that purchase their goods and services as part of the price of those goods and services. They then remand those monies to the government as the government dictates. Imposing taxation upon businesses is merely an obtuse way for governments to tax consumers without appearing to do so. At least state and local sales taxes are up front about where that additional consumer cost is going. 

The second relates to this whole business of “inequality.” There will never be perfect equality in the distribution of talent, skill, acumen, intelligence, energy, etc. What should be strived for is as great an opportunity as possible for each person to use what God gives them to improve their own lives, their family’s lives and the lives of those around them that need and deserve it. Governments are neither charitable (because they have no soul) nor altruistic (because they are not selfless). Only humans can, and should, address “inequalities” as God gives them to perceive them. After all, when Jesus asks us at the end of life to account for what we did for the least of his brethren, a response of “I paid my taxes to the government” probably won’t be the requisite answer. 

So much of what is seen in the Occupy movement appears to be envy of what someone else has, whether by effort or chance. This certainly does not comport with the Tenth Commandment. 

Milton B. Mantler, Gurley, Ala.

Mass rates

Re “Northeast faithful losing connection to Church” (Jan. 8): 

Another reason is that many people have moved from the Northeast to our state, North Carolina. Parishes are bursting at the seams here, with not enough priests to handle the influx. Raleigh, Charlotte, Apex and Wilmington are prime examples. We love having the new blood, the great traditions and the wonderful brothers and sisters from up North! Y’all come on down! 

Perhaps we could move some priests from the consolidated parishes to the South to assist our hard-working priests? 

Heather Latham, Wilmington, N.C.

Fair’s fair

Re “In conscience debate, who’s stepping on whose toes?” (Jan. 1): 

Here’s a question for supporters of the proposed Health and Human Services guidelines for health care plans: If you are really interested in the religious liberty of individuals, do you believe a Catholic working at a public hospital has the right that his particular beliefs be addressed in the company health plan? 

David Werning, via email

‘Zip ’em'

In the Dec. 25 issue, there was a quote made by Xavier basketball player Tu Holloway (“That’s our motto: Zip ’em up. And that’s what we just did to them”) made after the Dec. 10 brawl at the end of the “Cross Town Shoot-out” with University of Cincinnati. As a Catholic Christian and as a Cincinnatian, I was dismayed by the attitudes of the players from Xavier (or as we call it here in town “X”) because Xavier University is Jesuit. 

The attitude seems to be “win at all costs” instead of “love thy neighbor.” 

Maybe Holloway isn’t Catholic and doesn’t take religion classes, but he still should learn sportsmanship and the correct attitude for life in general from the professors and fellow students there. Instead, Xavier is known as a “party school” and for its sports program. 

I’m not saying UC students weren’t at fault, too, but that school is secular. The UC students and coach had the better attitude after the game. They couldn’t stop apologizing and the penalties were harsh while the Xavier students still wanted to lay blame, and their penalties were slight (Holloway is the star player and got a one-game suspension while UC’s star player got a six-game suspension.) 

Maybe it’s time to hold the president of Xavier University responsible for the attitudes of the entire campus and what these young people learn by following the attitudes of others. 

Nancy Sonneman, Dillonvale, Ohio

Get a job

Re “Should Catholics support a flat tax proposal?” (News Analysis, Dec. 11): 

We MUST provide for our elderly, our disabled and our children. We cannot do that if we are providing for those that COULD work if they chose to but cannot find a job they want to do. 

I live in a rural area. The closest “big” town is more than two hours away. In between there are hundreds of jobs that cannot be filled because the employers — like Digikey — cannot find people willing to “work.” Many of these require only a high school education, and are full time with health insurance and full benefits. 

The article quotes Catholic social teaching expert Stephen Schneck talking about the common good. In my opinion, “the common good” is that everyone who can work is working — not living off taxpayers while they wait for the job “in their field.” 

Hazel Kliner, Warroad, Minn.