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 February 22, 2010   •   VOL. 48, NO. 4   •   Oakland, CA
Letters from Readers

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Hedy Epstein, an 85-year-old Holocaust survivor mentioned in the Jan. 11 story on the detention of some human rights workers in Cairo, Egypt, was mistakenly identified as being from Oakland. She is a resident of St. Louis, Missouri.

Higher standard of music

I respectfully disagree with Ray Galka’s (Forum, Jan. 11) characterization of the music ministry at the Cathedral of Christ the Light. While sincere, the tone of the letter was tempered badly, and I’m not sure of the intent.

Times have changed in the Catholic Church and we’re hearing it at the cathedral. Indeed, the cathedral’s new music director has brought a new and higher standard of music ministry to the cathedral.

Be you for or against the changes to liturgical music (including Gregorian chant), I believe that directing criticism, and especially public challenge, at our director is misplaced and unjustified. This quality of music was asked of our new director, and he deserves our support.

Also, please remember, the cathedral just hired its music director four months ago. This delay caused unfortunate expectations and made for a highly visible and painful transition. As a cathedral parishioner and choir member, I would appeal to you to remember our mission to Gather Good Together.

We have an amazing opportunity to glorify God and unite together as Catholics at the Cathedral of Christ the Light. Let’s continue to work toward realizing our faith and seeing it fulfilled in one another and applauding those efforts publicly.

Wylie Linquist

A hallmark of dissidence

I am continually blown away by the tone and the dissidence of the letters in your publication. As a convert who takes my faith seriously and who is grateful that I get to be a Catholic, I do not understand even printing such letters, let alone letting such letters go without some kind of correction/instruction into the truth of our faith.

Will you ever stand up for what the Church believes in or will you, as a diocesan paper, continue to let dissidence (another word for “disobedience”) be your hallmark?

I am currently a graduate student in theology and Scripture study with Augustine Institute’s Distance Education program, and I have read and studied in depth several Church documents and writings of the faithful. It would be nice to have this kind of instruction in our paper, instead of drivel written by dissidents, which only leads people away from the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church.

Suzanne Slupesky

Making moral judgments

Several letters in the Jan. 25 Reader’s Forum have incorrect views of what judgment means.

When the Lord forbade judging others, he was not condemning making judgments about peoples’ behavior. He often criticized the behavior of those who opposed him. Each of us has no choice but to make moral judgments about behavior, both of ourselves and of others. Otherwise how could we ever oppose evil?

If I see someone doing something clearly evil, I am obligated to make a judgment that what the person is doing is evil. What I cannot say is, “Therefore, that person is himself or herself evil.” To say or think this would be judging in the sense forbidden by the Lord.

It is mandatory for us to “love the sinner and hate the sin.”

But our Lord asks each of us to “Go and sin no more.” The very words Jesus spoke on the issue of sin seem to be forgotten when we discuss sin today. Each of us is called more especially to avoid sin.

For those fighting same sex attraction the call is to abstinence. Excellent resources like Courage are leading and succeeding in this area. So our call is to love the sinner, but hate the sin. Even if that means telling someone what they are doing is evil. Quite a simple concept when cooler heads prevail.

Louis Renner

Gratitude for Boys Choir

We wish to express deep gratitude to Steve Meyer, artistic director of the Golden Gate Boys Choir and Bellringers, for enhancing the Walk for Life Mass at St. Mary’s Cathedral in San Francisco last month. This impressive group of young men, under the direction of Mr. Meyer, helped to bring the nearly full cathedral into a solemn appreciation of God’s gift of the life that He has given us.

These skilled junior and senior high school boys skillfully rang and sang throughout the Mass. When the Master Singer group sang the song about how God sees the little children, I was moved to tears.

Our son, Christopher, has been a member of GGBC since the 5th grade and is now a sophomore at St Joseph Notre Dame High School in Alameda. It is as a result of his participation in the GGBC that we were exposed to the Roman Catholic Church.

We were raised Baptist and Lutheran and have been deeply involved in a Pentecostal church for the last 25 years. We are now in the process of being reconciled to what we now realize is the true Church, the Church that Jesus built upon St. Peter.

Thank you, Mr. Meyer and all past and present staff and board members, for 21 years of dedication in teaching young men liturgical music as well as patriotic and fun songs. Your work has played a huge part in bringing our family across the Tiber and home to Rome.

Drs. PJ and Michael Dobbins

Unfounded climate claims

So we now have not only Catholic leaders but the pope himself speaking as authorities on climate science and lobbying for controls on carbon emissions, especially in the “rich” countries.

Claims that climate change is accelerating are unfounded and self-serving to various groups of people who have a vested interest in promoting visions of catastrophe. There is general support for the assertion that the global averaged temperature anomaly [GATA] has increased about 1.5 degrees Fahrenheit since the middle of the 19th century.

However, the quality of the data is poor, and during the past dozen years, it has done little, even though annual global carbon emissions have increased more than 25 percent during this time.

None of this was predicted by the computer models that the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change [IPCC] used to make their dire predictions of rising temperatures, melting glaciers, rising sea levels, etc.

Since the relationship between carbon dioxide concentration and its effect on global temperature is logarithmic rather than linear, a doubling of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere would produce a temperature rise of about 2 degrees Fahrenheit. This is unlikely to be much to worry about.

The IGPCC model predicts much greater temperature increases because they assume that increases in carbon dioxide will produce increases in water vapor and clouds, which will amplify the effect. There are several papers that not only challenge this assumption but suggest clouds and aerosols [about which little is known] may cancel any effects produced by carbon dioxide.

Claims that glaciers are melting because of greenhouse gas emissions also are not supported by scientific evidence. Some 15,000 years ago, Yosemite Valley was filled with ice. During the subsequent warming period, all of the glacier melted, and human activity had nothing to do with this ice melting. Today, there are about 99 small glaciers in the Sierra, all of which are believed to have formed during the past 1,000 years.

Finally, in a recent paper published in “Nature,” researchers found an informative outcrop in coastal Tanzania where the Eocene – Oligocene transition is well preserved in assorted marine shells. The Antarctic ice sheet first appears in this “transition.” From a detailed analysis of the shells, they concluded the Antarctic ice sheet began with an atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration at least twice today’s level and possibly much more.

Since neither the pope nor other leaders of the Catholic Church have any understanding of physics or climate science, they would be well advised to keep silent on the matter.

Donald F. Anthrop
Professor Emeritus
Environmental Studies
San Jose State University

Illegal immigration is a crime

In response to The Voice story, “Marin teens struggle after parents’ deportation to Guatemala” (Jan. 11), I say that if the parents entered this country illegally, they committed a crime. They may not have committed a hideous act, but a crime was committed none the less.

When these parents made the choice to enter the U.S. illegally, they made a decision that they knew could some day hurt their family.

Yes, it is heartbreaking that the family was separated. I know we all want the best for our children and would do almost anything to make sure that their lives are better than ours. Does this make it o.k. to break the law?

Please do not say that I do not understand. I am a mother. I am half-Mexican (born in the U.S.). I work for Social Services and I see undocumented families all the time. I do understand.

I say to the Mejia’s daughter, stay in school, get a good education, make a good life for yourself and in 10 years bring your parents back, legally.

Gina Gonzales
Via email

Letters to the editor provide a forum for readers to engage in an open exchange of opinions and concerns in a climate of respect and civil discourse. The opinions expressed are those of the writers, and not necessarily of the Catholic Voice or the Diocese of Oakland. While a full spectrum of opinions will sometimes include those which dissent from Church teaching or contradict the natural moral law, it is hoped that this forum will help our readers to understand better others’ thinking on critical issues facing the Church at this time.

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