Debate Over Gun Control
Dear Editor: I’ve just read our good bishop’s latest venture “into the deep” on the debate over adoption of stricter gun controls in America, and I applaud his courage in saying what he does.
“Courage” because, at a time when the Sunday collection plate (not to mention weekly envelopes) barely covers expenses in many parishes, his forthright statement this week is likely to antagonize those “cafeteria Catholics” who may support the Church’s pro-life stance, but who are also for capital punishment and/or the right to own any kind of, and any number of, guns.
We must remember that Mother Church holds that the right to life extends from “the first moment of conception until natural death,” and that death from a gunshot wound is not a “natural” death.
So, Bravo! to our bishop.
Now, this also goes for the other half of the Church’s position: We can’t be for “the strongest anti-gun laws in the country,” and yet favor abortion “rights” too, as some in Albany seem to espouse.
Dear Editor: In spite of 90 percent of American citizens supporting common sense gun control legislation, all of the bills failed to pass in the Senate. So we still have no limit on the size of gun magazine clips, no ban on military-style assault weapons, not even an extension of background checks on gun buyers for purchases made at gun shows and over the Internet.
It defies common sense and rationality. Although four Republican Senators courageously voted in favor, and a handful of Democratic Senators voted against, the simple political calculus is that 90 percent of Democrats voted in favor of the legislation while 90 percent of Republicans did not. Again, in spite of the vast majority of Americans wanting them to pass the legislation.
Which begs the question, “Whose interests are most Republican legislators in Washington, D.C., representing?” Sadly, they are representing special interest groups – in this case, the NRA.
But this isn’t a debate on just any public policy issue. It’s about saving lives. If the horror of Newtown didn’t drive the point home with these Republican officials that it’s about saving our kids’ lives, then nothing will. Even a group of Newtown families meeting with these Senators could not get them to vote in favor of the citizens they are sworn to represent. Instead, these GOP legislators cowered in fear for their political lives, worried the NRA would target them at their next election.
I believe this should be a defining moment in the political lives of all Americans. A moment when each of us pays careful attention to the votes of our Senators and Congressmen and reassesses whom we’ve elected to represent us.
Form of Evangelization
Dear Editor: I am responding to an article by Father Robert Lauder in The Tablet titled “Reaching the Un-churched”(April 13.
Father Lauder talks about how people today are looking for intellectual and spiritual nourishment; the Holy Spirit is operating in their lives even if they do not know it. He poses the question: How can we help people get in touch with their own deeper questions? What about the people who don’t come to church to hear a homily or take a religious education course? How do we reach them?
This article caught my attention because we live in times in which most of us, if not all of us, have many struggles. We are bombarded with information on the Internet and in media of all kinds. What are we to believe? What is really true? Does life have meaning for me?
The list goes on and on. We see it in the struggles of our young people, in the numbers of people who no longer practice the faith of their youth, sadly in the increasing numbers of suicides.
There is an answer, and it is growing rapidly nationwide. Lighthouse Catholic Media makes available CD talks by the great Catholic speakers of our day for a nominal cost of $3 each in parishes and by means of the first ever Catholic “CD of the Month Club” to individuals. These talks are not only educational, but they are also inspiring and entertaining, covering a wide variety of topics.
As Catholics, we know that the Church Jesus founded has the answers to all of life’s struggles. Now there is an easy, effective way to articulate those answers, not only for ourselves but also to reach the un-churched. People buy the CDs, listen and then pass them on. Thousands of people have written to the Lighthouse website to say that a CD they listened to changed their life or brought them back to the Church. One listener recently wrote: “I beg you to continue this program.”
Lighthouse Catholic Media is looking for more people to join us in offering this program to parishes and individuals everywhere. We need both volunteers as well as paid, part-time account managers.
I am an account manager for Lighthouse Catholic Media. Please contact me at 631-848-7612 or e-mail me at email@example.com.
THERESA M. PIEKUT
Young Leadership on the Rise
Dear Editor: It was such a pleasure to see the young adults who were honored as Rising Stars in your last Tablet issue. It is so important to see younger adults as people who have taken their faith seriously and live it out well.
This is the essence of the Year of Faith and evangelism that our Holy Father had called for. So often our Catholic faith is perceived as something for the elderly. Our faith is a door of hope and peace for all people.
I have been blessed to know one of your honorees, Craig Tubiolo, for more than 30 years. He was a young child I knew in my first assignment here in Brooklyn. He grew up well as an excellent example of the joy and importance of our Catholic faith in our lives. He is a truly dedicated person to spreading his faith to his family and friends, not only by his work but also by all aspects of his personal life.
What a great example these younger adults are for the importance of our faith in our modern society! This is true evangelization. May God continue to bless them in their ministries and personal lives.
FATHER ARTHUR G. MINICHELLO