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placeholder January 4, 2016   •   VOL. 54, NO. 1   •   Oakland, CA
Letters from Readers
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Mean letters

I am saddened by the self-righteous note that is struck in many of the letters that have appeared in the Voice condemning homosexuality and anyone who gives support to homosexuals. In the Dec. 14 issue, one reader goes so far as to suggest that "we all know the answer" to the hypothetical question, "What would our Lord say?"

I challenge this reader to show us where in the New Testament Jesus makes any reference to homosexuality. On the other hand, He makes it abundantly clear that it is not for us to judge our brothers and sisters.

The wonderful parable of the Pharisee and the Publican reminds us that we should be concentrating on our own sins, rather than judging how others measure up.

Maureen Wesolowski

A choice?

Is homosexuality a choice? Science has proven it isn't. Is heterosexuality a choice? If it is, I wonder when William R. Delucchi (Forum, Dec. 14) decided to make that choice.

In his thinking, he could as easily have decided to be gay. As far as what our Lord did say about homosexual acts and lifestyle, I read the Bible and would want Rich Peterson (Forum, Dec. 14) to know he didn't say anything, so we all know that answer.

Mark Gotvald
Pleasant Hill

Bad Voice

I am appalled and angered by the letters you published from Rich Peterson and William R. Delucchi (Forum, Dec. 14). Although you insert a standard disclaimer regarding the letters you choose to publish, I do not think that absolves you from letting the voices of hate and rampant homophobia gain a platform for their lies and statements that are in direct opposition to the love for others that Jesus taught and reinforced by Pope Francis in this Year of Mercy.

I and others have noticed that this paper increasingly has provided Peterson and several others extra opportunities to promote their homophobic views and their criticisms of those good and faithful Catholics and hierarchy who recognize, along with the majority of Americans, that sexual orientation is not a life choice but God given and as the pope states "who are we to judge." As most people know, Delucchi's criticism of Cardinal Kasper, in addition to his use of debunked theories about changing orientation, are completely without merit. This venomous diatribe does not deserve publication in your paper that professes to "Let the Catholic Voice ... be spread in every diocese in every parish, in every association, in every family."

What you allow to be published is not the "Voice" of the good and faithful Catholics I know. I increasingly resent the fact that you charge my parish a sizeable fee, deducted from our donations, when you use it to promote hate filled and extreme right wing writing which targets good people created in God's image.

It is no wonder that so many of our adult children no longer practice their Catholic faith when they hear voices like those you give a regular platform to express what is in direct opposition to what they believe Jesus taught and they know to be true about themselves and other good people they love and respect.

Carolyn Priest
Walnut Creek

[Editor's note: We try to publish as many letters from our readers as possible. We do not censor letters based on left or right views. Letter writers are limited to four letters in a 12-month period.]

Same-sex study

William Delucchi (Forum, Dec. 14) avers homosexuality is a choice because it results in a behavior. If that is true, then heterosexuality is also a choice; it most certainly results in a behavior.

He glibly stated that Mark Regnerus, associate professor of Sociology, University of Texas, Austin, found children of parents in same sex relationships fare significantly worse than those of opposite sex parents. But Regenerus' study received almost $1 million in funding from anti-LGBT think tanks. Though Regnerus admits his study does not show what people say it does with regard to the "harms" of same-sex parenting, it continues to be peddled as "proof" that children are in danger in same-sex households.

In a 2012 interview with Focus on the Family, Regnerus said the foundation of his study is too weak to draw the conclusions many have made.

Regnerus' study was about unstable couples, possibly in sham marriages, who may have dabbled in same-sex relationships outside of their original marriage at a time when there was no recognition for same-sex couples anywhere in the country. The study's results have zero implication for conversations in 2015 about out, committed same-sex couples who are already raising children.

The American Psychological Association, as early as 2004 and again in 2005, stated that "same-sex couples are remarkably similar to heterosexual couples, and that parenting effectiveness and the adjustment, development and psychological well-being of children is unrelated to parental sexual orientation."

The American Academy of Pediatrics declared in 2002 and reaffirmed in 2009 that "a growing body of scientific literature demonstrates that children who grow up with one or two gay and/or lesbian parents fare as well in emotional, cognitive, social and sexual functioning as do children whose parents are heterosexual."

The American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry affirmed in 2013 that "[c]urrent research shows that children with gay and lesbian parents do not differ from children with heterosexual parents in their emotional development or in their relationships with peers and adults" and they are "not more likely than children of heterosexual parents to develop emotional or behavioral problems."

Regenerus and his supporters are obviously in a discredited minority.

Jim McCrea

Christian slaughter

In response to Clifford Wiesner (Forum, Dec. 14), though ISIS has killed far more Muslims than Christians, they are not discerning in choosing their victims. They hide behind their "faith" but don't practice anything resembling the peaceful principles of Islam.

Practicing Muslims do not support acts of terrorism. There has been a religious decree ("fatwa") that speaks directly AGAINST terrorism and suicide bombings, stating they have no place in Islam.

We aren't a Christian nation or a Muslim nation. We are a nation of Americans of different races and religions. Asking Lady Liberty to dim her shining light to card-carrying readers of the Quran is un-American. And to suggest Muslim refugees be "relocated" to Muslim countries sounds suspiciously like ethnic cleansing.

Children of our faith experienced terrorism at the hands of the Church. People they trusted preyed on them and they were further terrorized when the Church covered it up for years. Should we ban men from answering God's call?

I recently came upon an archived article in the Huffington Post (July 25, 2014) that stated: "People who perpetuate violence in the name of Islam are no more true to their faith than Christians who blow up abortion clinics."

Pope Francis spoke to us all when he visited the United States. He said that to defeat evil, you must not condone evil. ISIS feeds off of the divide of religion and uses it to attract radicals. Please don't subscribe to the rhetoric. As a nation, and more importantly, as people of Christ, we must fight and destroy ISIS. This cannot be accomplished by discriminating against good. It's as simple as, "one Nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all."

Joseph A. Maraccini

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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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