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Missing the point
Why do we clap for the choir?
Why don't we also clap for the clergy who have carefully prepared the liturgy and a sermon?
Why don't we clap for the readers who have practiced so hard to make sure that the Word of the Lord reaches our hearts?
Why don't we clap for the Eucharistic ministers who have shared the Body and Blood of Christ?
Why don't we clap for the acolytes who have done their part to see that the action is orderly?
Why don't we clap for the Altar Society who made the surroundings so beautiful?
Why don't we clap for the ushers who do their part to help the parish survive financially?
Why don't we clap for the greeters who make us feel our church is our home?
Why don't we clap for the custodian who keeps the church neat and clean for liturgy?
Why do we clap for the choir?
Is it because they have put on a good show?
Is it because we are grateful that they do the singing and not us? Then we are missing the point of music in liturgy entirely.
We can do better
Interesting that J.A. Smith (Forum, Oct. 15) thinks liberals are not generous and are unwilling to do the "messy" hands-on type of charity. I actually have taken many homeless people off the street and offered hospitality for many years with the help of my liberal and conservative friends. Perhaps Smith has done even more and if so I admire him. At its best "liberal" means a generous spirit and a willingness to be open to the new. "Conservative" at its best means to conserve that which is good and true. Most of us are a little of each and it is really difficult to actually know the "mindset" of strangers.
Better to assume we are all trying to live lives that honor Our Lord, though we often fail. All of us could be one misfortune away from being dependent on the mercy of others. If all the government assistance programs were taken away most of us would not see much improvement in our own incomes but those in need would be devastated. People need to eat every day. Also those wonderful charities would be stretched beyond their capacity in spite of the generous nature of conservatives (and liberals). Countries that do not have a safety net for those in need have children, the elderly and the disabled begging on the streets. We can be better than that.
What a pleasure, to see the story of my Dad's involvement in Isabel and Joe Martinez's marriage (Voice, Oct. 15). It wasn't really a surprise, though, because that's the kind of person he was. And, since he died 23 years ago, my guess is that he's looking down from Heaven, smiling, because he was remembered!
Working class help
This is in response to the "State proposition" letter (Forum, Oct. 15).
In a perfect world, I think most people would agree that money should not influence the political process. Unfortunately, this is the world we live in and everyone should be given fair opportunity to be heard. The only people that stand to lose their voice if Proposition 32 passes are the working people!
The aforementioned letter included some very misleading information regarding Proposition 32. Here are the facts:
Corporations currently outspend unions 15 to 1. Although this proposition claims to stop corporations and unions from spending employee money, corporations do not use the method of paycheck deductions to fund political campaigns; they use their CEOs, CFOs and Board of Directors to pass along the checks to certain public figures to ensure their agenda. Their checks come from dividends and other means, rather than their own money.
Proposition 32's backers are billionaires and Super PACs with the sole purpose of stifling the voice of the working class in order to push for an agenda focused only on exploiting people for profit. Why are they backing Proposition 32? Because they will still be able to contribute as much as they want to get the candidates in office that will push their political agendas.
Union member contributions to PAC funds are voluntary, meaning a union member can opt in or out of the PAC paycheck deduction. The propaganda indicating otherwise is untrue.
If you want to live in a state where only corporations can fund campaigns, vote for Proposition 32 but if you want to live in a state where the voice of the working class is heard, vote no on Proposition 32.
Joseph A. Maraccini
Career, retirement issues
The cost of living is rising and the economy is declining. Yet, young people still invest in an education and a career; and older folks ponder retirement and living off investments.
Social Security benefits are now dependent on current payroll taxes and pension benefits are dependent on stock market values. Salaries, stock dividends, retirement benefits and tax revenues are all generated through business activity. Businesses generate $15 trillion, GDP, in goods and services each year; but, government taxation and borrowing takes $7.6 trillion, half of the profits. In the next few years health insurance and energy costs, a 55 percent Inheritance Tax and Tax-the-Rich policies will take the other half of the investment capital.
Yet, a government centered economy will not generate enough tax revenue to fund trillions of dollars in government services, programs and subsides or repay the trillions of dollars in college debt, pension obligations and the national debt. Government will default and creditors, the people who own the national debt, will size the assets (government backed mortgages and natural resources). Only free enterprise will grow the economy enough to pay for current services and future obligations. Career and retirement plans are dependent on limiting government and freeing enterprise.
The front page photo (Voice, Oct. 15) is very depressing. It is entitled 'Rebuilding Begins with Us' and shows a group picture of elderly spiritual leaders who appear to be very disinterested and bored with the installation proceedings. Each one seems to be thinking that he has better things to do. On the other hand, it proves to me the Church needs young, energetic leaders with new ideas that will return to the teaching and principals instituted 2,000 years ago.
J. Eric Salmon
Where is leadership?
In the ongoing assault on our Church, we hear nothing from the pulpits. Our priests remain silent and seem timid to marshal parishioners to enter the fray. Meanwhile, millions of Christians will go to the polls in November and, uninformed, vote for the demise of their church.
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