Letters • August 24, 2020


Grateful for deterrence against nuclear war

Regarding “Hiroshima anniversary reminder: Abolish nuclear arms” (Catholic Virginian, July 27): I have known and worked with U.S. Navy sailors and officers throughout my adult life, including many Catholics, and like me, they would all prefer to live in a world without nuclear weapons; they are prepared for war but pray for peace.

Our beliefs are consistent with those of St. John Paul II during his referenced address to the UN, June 7, 1982:

“The teaching of the Catholic Church in this area has been clear and consistent. It has deplored the arms race, called nonetheless for mutual progressive and verifiable reduction of armaments as well as greater safeguards against possible misuse of these weapons. It has done so while urging that the independence, freedom and legitimate security of each and every nation be respected.”

The United States and its allies, including Israel, face real threats to our security from many quarters of the world, including nation states, and not only from nuclear weapons, but other weapons of mass destruction.

Not once have I heard or said that “it’s noble and just to threaten the incineration of every human being in targeted cities,” nor is this the position of the United States military and government; the use of this language by the writer is inflammatory and does not support a constructive discussion of the topic.

As a Catholic, I pray that all nations “shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks.” Until all in the world adhere to this, I am thankful that the U.S. Navy provides the 75-year effective deterrence against nuclear war the writer deplores. – Stephen Cady, Charlottesville

Without nuclear weapons US is weak, vulnerable

Re: “Hiroshima anniversary reminder: Abolish nuclear arms” (Catholic Virginian, July 27):

Do we want what Deacon Barrett suggested?

In 1958, I began a 15-month tour of duty at the Marine Corps Air Station in Iwakuni, Japan, just 40 miles south of Hiroshima.

While there, I learned that there was no discernable animosity against Americans for having dropped the nukes. The opposite, in fact; they were grateful that they were responsible for ending the war so quickly and with far fewer killed than had the war continued.

In 1965, I was assigned duty in Vietnam flying helicopters. I got to see firsthand the many injured and killed, both ours and the enemy, and often some of the civilian casualties.

When I returned in 1970, it was evident no progress had been made.

I did not want us to use nuclear weapons during Vietnam, rather fight to win! The same wish I have had for all the engagements since WWII.

I cannot think of a better way of avoiding being attacked, however, than to remain so strong that no one would dare risk the repercussions of doing so. That strength comes from our military personnel, equipment and weapons.

Having nuclear weapons is a major deterrent, and it would be a grave mistake to denuclearize. If we did so, we would become so weakened and vulnerable that our country would become a prime and easy target.

It might make sense if everyone in the world would denuclearize, but what do you think the chances of that ever happening would be? – Guy Larry Brown, LtCol. USMC (Ret.), Charlottesville

Questions writer’s sources on BLM

Re: “BLM incompatible with Catholicism” (Catholic Virginian, July 27): Mary Miele is not educated on BLM, and I doubt her understanding of Christianity. Her letter is a bunch of quotes found to serve her opinion. She has no idea what she is talking about, and this letter should not have been printed or titled “BLM incompatible with Catholicism.”

Her opinion of politics has nothing to do with Catholicism. She obviously doesn’t understand the issues and is probably not a person of color.

You should be more thoughtful on what you print. Her sources are questionable (The Real News?) and throwing in a Maya Angelou quote is worthless. What about the personal liberty and freedom of African Americans? – Betty Taylor, Richmond

Know before you kneel

In reference to Mary Miele’s letter (Catholic Virginian, July 27), I am so pleased to see someone has actually taken the time to investigate an organization before supporting the cause.

She is absolutely correct in her statement that the BLM Global Network Foundation is a Marxist group. It was founded by three Marxists — Patrice Cullors, Alicia Garza and Opal Tometi — who have openly stated that their goal is to destroy capitalism and what they perceive to be the “white supremacy” power structure in America.

Recent reporting by the Capital Research Center tells us that the BLM Global Network Foundation uses the slogan “Black Lives Matter” to recruit street demonstrators and also to solicit donations to which our American corporations give millions.

The foundation has been successful in raking in money while, at the same time, keeping its true political agenda hidden. The first steps in taking over a country is to destroy their monuments, their history and their constitution, and to promote division among people.

Destroy, destroy, destroy as you see in our cities now.

Please, before you kneel before anyone but God, know what you are kneeling for and to whom. – Rose LaTulipe, Virginia Beach

Offended by article

I am quite incensed to see the front page of The Catholic Virginian (Aug. 10), as I see the article titled “Prayer pilgrimage focuses on black lives, racial equality.” The article goes on to state Catholics’ support to the Black Lives Matter movement. I am very offended that you would have this article in your paper at all.

The Black Lives Matter movement is a Marxist organization bent on changing our constitutional government to that of a communist state. Communist countries do not at all get along well with the Catholic Church. Indeed, communist countries suffocate and extinguish the Catholic Church within the countries that communists control.

This article is an offense to every Catholic in Virginia, the United States and the world. I do not want to ever see an article portraying Black Lives Matter as a good organization, solely in place for the racial justice of black/ African-Americans because it is not; that is a farce.

All one needs to do is look at the violence and destruction, the killings that take place wherever Black Lives Matter activists protest. In Chicago, Portland, New York, Washington DC, the organization is not bent on anything good.

You should not at all portray BLM as something good for our nation, for our society, for our state or for our faith. – Timothy Richardt, Virginia Beach

Do research on BLM

In “Prayer pilgrimage focuses on black lives, racial equality” (Catholic Virginian, Aug. 10), a pilgrimage participant stated: “We wanted to convey the message that there are Catholics who stand with the Black Lives Matter movement.” But I wonder if they, or other BLM supporters, have done any research on what this organization really stands for.

No one with a moral conscience questions that black lives matter and that is because all lives matter; we are all children of God, made in his image and likeness. However, BLM is a revolutionary movement with stated goals that would greatly harm blacks.

Two of the three founders, Alicia Garza and Patrisse Cullors, are self-avowed Marxists. The BLM website details, among other goals, “disrupting the Western-prescribed nuclear family” and abolishing police departments, the prison system and free-market capitalism; there is much more, and all of it is worrisome.

The breakdown of the nuclear family in the black community since the 1960s is viewed by many social scientists as the leading cause of black poverty and social dysfunction. Presently, according to Shelby Steele, Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institute, nearly 75% of black children are born into single- parent homes. Yet BLM wants to encourage more of the same? Defunding police departments will hurt poor and minority communities the most. And abolishing the prison system?

Instead of decrying alleged endemic racism, why not work toward helping blacks improve their own lives by encouraging marriage and strong families (a role best suited to black pastors) and by supporting school choice so parents can choose the best school for their children. The message of victimology does not help the black community! – Delia Laux, Charlottesville

It’s time ‘to tend’

The Prayer Pilgrimage for Black Lives and Racial Equity (Catholic Virginian, Aug. 10) wasn’t my first local pilgrimage; however, it was the first one where Catholic clergy participated in a tri-city event. Their voices not only led us in prayer, but also called us to participate in social justice actions to rectify the systemic injustices shared by our Black brothers and sisters.

Catholic Social Justice action, not just words, is needed in order for the Catholic Church to fulfill the charge of Jesus in John 21:15-17: “Feed my lambs. … Tend my sheep. … Feed my sheep.”

Our Church has done a phenomenal job of feeding. Yet, from my personal experience of living with the disease of alcoholism, I know that following the charge “to tend” is minimal — perhaps because some life issues are not yet understood by the Church.

But today’s issue is about our black family and the need is racial equity; it is one that we, as a Church, can understand and work to achieve. Catholic social justice teaching found in the “Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church” guides us on this path. Pope Pius XII (1939-1958) in one of his Christmas homilies reflected on a “new social order guided by morality and law and focusing on justice and peace.” The time to tend is now! – Barbara Older, Virginia Beach

Lord would welcome us even without masks

It is absolutely disgusting that you published the comic on wearing masks (Catholic Virginian, Aug. 10). You show a lack of Christian heart by agreeing to that thinking.

But maybe this highlights more the secular thinking that has overtaken the Church. The Bible speaks pretty harshly to lukewarm Christians, which is something we should all take seriously.

Please explain to me how a business that has a sign “no shoes, no service” is anywhere related to a Church of the Living God. I’m confident that the Lord would welcome us into his arms no matter what we are wearing.

Yes, this is something a private business can do, but a church is not a private business. Many who are choosing to not wear masks have to spend their dollar wisely at stores that will accept them, but the Church is called to be open for all.

The fact that the Catholic Church and many of its members are setting a high bar and strict standards for entry should be something that weighs on everyone’s minds. To send people away from Christ has eternal ramifications.

“Do not model your behavior on the contemporary world, but let the renewing of your minds transform you, so that you may discern for yourselves what is the will of God — what is good and acceptable and mature” (Rom 12:2). – Liz Wetzel, Barboursville

Where’s call to protect holy images?

Although the reports of statues being desecrated made it to The Catholic Virginian, there was nothing in either recent issue about President Trump’s “Executive Order on Protecting American Monuments, Memorials, and Statues and Combating Recent Criminal Violence” issued on June 26, which specifically reiterated U.S. policy to prosecute, under applicable federal law, those destroying “…religious property, including attacking, removing, or defacing depictions of Jesus or other religious figures or religious art work.”

We hear a great deal from the pulpits about climate change, immigration and other public square issues. It appears when Bishop Robert D. Barron, speaking for the majority of the bishops, said “that’s the laity’s job!” to protect holy images, he must have meant a Protestant president. – Olivia Tautkus, Gloucester

Stem evil with prayer

The greatest tragedy of the nightly violence is the soul-damage to the participants. While there are the professional wreckers, trained Marxists and anarchists, the majority are young people. The shrieking of curses, arson and demolition, attempted maiming and murder — voilà — the city now has a new criminal class. They go home in the early morning hours, sleep all day and prepare to riot all night, while the seeds of disintegration sprout in their personalities.

Observers think, “This is demonic.” Yes, it is, and we can stem the evil with prayer. As you watch the mayhem, keep murmuring, “From the snares of Satan, Jesus deliver us,” and “Virgin most powerful, pray for us.”

Or, take these words from the prophet Isaiah to heart: “Whoever walks righteously and speaks honestly, who spurns what is gained by oppression, Who waves off contact with a bribe, stops his ears so as not to hear of bloodshed, who closes his eyes so as not to look on evil — that one shall dwell on the heights, with fortresses of rock for stronghold, food and drink in steady supply” Isaiah 33:15-16.

Let’s add 15 minutes of prayer to our day, while omitting 15 minutes of bad news. Do I hear an Amen? – Antoinette Cleary, Chesterfield

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