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placeholder February 18, 2013   •   VOL. 51, NO. 4   •   Oakland, CA
Letters from Readers
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Avoid "life" propaganda

In presenting its case against abortion, the Walk for Life should refrain from distorted and disgusting propaganda. By trotting out a woman who claims she was forcibly sterilized, the group implies that "pro-choice" advocates favor this immoral practice.

I have never encountered any support for sterilization among pro-choice organizations and individual pro-choice advocates. In fact, the vast majority of pro-choice supporters favor the same human-rights and social-justice values preached by the Church herself.

The speakers at the rally also sound self-righteous in their almost boastful public declarations that they have undertaken the obviously difficult task of caring for disabled children that others might have aborted. Public flaunting of good works was criticized by Jesus, who warned us not to let the left hand do what the right hand is doing, let alone speechifying about it. These "pro-life" parents may enjoy the God-given strength and economic means to bear such burdens, but let's face it: Millions of families are not so fortunate, and to demand that they be forced to bear them is unspeakably arrogant.

Bob Schildgen
Berkeley




True support of teaching

Who is more in line with Catholic teachings? A person who advocates the right to life and protection of the unborn, who believes in the right to religious freedom and the sanctity of marriage between a man and a woman, or one who voted against saving the life of aborted third-trimester fetuses that are aborted alive, who supports pro-gay marriage ballot measures, who wants to force religious organizations and companies with Christian owners to pay for contraception and abortions and wants religious freedom subject to government rules?

President Obama just saying he is a Christian doesn't attribute any support for Catholic morality to him. In both of his books, "Dreams From My Father" and "The Audacity of Hope," Obama said he spent time in both Muslim and Catholic schools while living in Indonesia. In a TV interview and as reported in The Daily Caller, author Ed Klein reported Obama's Chicago pastor of 20 years, Jeremiah Wright, said, "I made it easy for him to come to an understanding of who Jesus Christ is and not feel that he was turning his back on his Islamic friends and his Islamic traditions and his understanding of Islam."

Gerald Mercola
Pleasanton




Mandate violates freedom

As a physician, I prescribe pills and perform surgery for various diseases. However, I do not consider the normal, healthy female reproductive organs and pregnancy as diseases. Therefore, I do not prescribe pills or perform surgery that renders the female reproductive organs temporarily or permanently sterile.

Moreover, in 2005, the World Health Organization classified the birth control pill as a Class 1 carcinogen for causing breast cancer. In this light, the birth control pill, which attacks the normal, healthy reproductive system and increases the risks for breast cancer, heart disease and blood clots, should not be considered health care.

Therefore, as with any non-health care product, such as cigarettes, which are also a Class 1 carcinogen, birth control pills should be paid for by the consumer, not by a health plan and certainly not with tax dollars.

Moreover, governments should never impose a mandate for contraceptive coverage as part of a health plan that violates the moral conscience of an individual or any religious charitable institution. The current Health and Human Services mandate violates the principles of religious freedom established by the Constitution of the United States.

Thomas Lenz, MD
Clayton




The Catholic vote

We American Catholics are unbelievably naive. The federal government is busy limiting our religious freedoms and the ordinary Catholic acts like he/she doesn't care. The administration is playing word games to trick us into believing they are making concessions in their attempt to force us to provide contraceptive devices and "morning after" (abortion-inducing) pills opposed by Church teaching.

Regardless of your personal beliefs regarding contraception and abortion you must recognize that this is opening the door to government control of our religious freedom of action. Some extreme examples; if successful here, they could prohibit youngsters below the age of 21 from taking a sip of sacramental wine to protect their health from the threat of alcoholism, or surveillance cameras in the confessional to guard against sexual abuse or force priests to reveal the content of confessions to protect society from criminals.

Think I am overstating this? I never thought the government would tell us what size soda we can purchase, what kind of grocery bags, electric light bulbs, etc. we can use, spy type drones in our skies, the kind of health insurance we must purchase, etc.

The restrictions and government controls grow almost daily and will continue until we rise up and tell them to stop. Wake up — write your congressman/woman and senator and tell them to stop this interference in our freedoms. Contact your friends in other dioceses and ask them to send a letter similar to this to their diocesan paper. Catholics are one of the largest voting groups in the country, act like it, please.

Cliff Wiesner
Concord




Book again popular

An old Catholic book is reemerging as a popular read. "The Mystical City of God" (abridged) by Venerable Mary of Agreda, a 17th Century nun, is finding itself in discussion groups.

It is the Life of The Blessed Virgin Mary as revealed to the nun. Over the years it has been banned and restored. However, in 1949 it received the Imprimatur of the Church.

Mary McMahon
Livermore




Pope's resignation

I give Pope Benedict XVI great credit for his deciding to step down as Chief Shepherd of the Church. It takes great humility and trust in God to take such an action, to realize that God's will is revealed in the "signs of the times," not just in dreams, in structures or in positions. It takes great faith to recognize when one is no longer able to do well the task assigned.

Perhaps this, more than any other act Benedict has taken, will go down in the history of the Church as the time when the papacy joined the Church in recognizing the "signs of the times" when it applied to oneself.

Rev. Dan Danielson
Piedmont

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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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