God’s Country — Let The Music Play!
Dear Editor: John Alexander’s article about spiritual country music songs (“God’s Country,” Nov. 7) really reverberated with me.
I’ve been a fan of country music for more than 40 years, at least ever since the summer of 1976 when I drove my ’73 Ford Maverick cross-country to California and back with three other seminarians (three of us are now priests). For most of the trip, the only music on the local radio stations in the Heartland and out West was what was then called “Country Western.” I discovered that they’re not all drinking, cheating, heartbreak, twangy songs.
While going through a particularly rough/tough time two years ago, receiving chemotherapy for lymphoma cancer (now, gratefully, in remission), listening to Contemporary Christian and Country Music was one thing that helped me through. The uplifting message of such songs like Zach Williams and Dolly Parton’s duet “There Was Jesus” can reassure one in times of desperation.
Indeed, when our mother, Rose, died last year, some of the lyrics to Brad Paisley and Dolly’s duet “When I Get Where I’m Going” were printed on her memorial card.
So let the Country Music play on!
Msgr. Steven Ferrari
Editor’s note: Msgr. Ferrari is the pastor of St. Teresa parish in Woodside.
One of the Greatest Tragedies in America
Dear Editor: One of the greatest tragedies in America today is the death of almost one million unborn babies every year by abortion. It is a sad commentary on America values when the murder of the unborn can be called a women’s right.
Abortion is just evil. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. said: “He who passively accepts evil is as much involved in it as he who helps to perpetrate it. He who accepts evil without protesting against it is really cooperating with it.”
Joe Biden says: “Reproductive rights are a constitutional right. And, in fact, every woman should have that right.”
How can anyone support the murder of an unborn baby and call it a constitutional right?
Broad Channel, Queens
A Lack of Understanding of Intrinsic Evil
Dear Editor: I was distressed when I read the letter from Ms. Bolton of Park Slope declaring that Joe Biden was pro-life (“There Are Many Pro-Life Issues to Consider,” Readers’ Forum, Oct. 17). It shows a lack of understanding of what pro-life issues are and where each candidate stands.
Unfortunately, too many Catholics have this same lack of understanding. First, she equates various implementation and policy issues with the intrinsic evil of abortion (Catholic doctrine).
She then mixes her opinions of the Trump administration with the facts of the previous administration. Trump did not fail to pay taxes and even the NY Times did not make that claim. The Times acknowledged that he legitimately followed the law.
Then she brought up the “cruel treatment of immigrants,” probably referring to the reports that illegal immigrants were put in cages, by the way, that were built by the Obama administration and Trump eventually put a stop to the practice.
Until COVID-19, income increased for most Americans, more for the lower-income folks than the rich. Under Trump poverty has decreased. America’s CO2 output has also decreased. And Trump is an avid supporter of religious freedom both here and abroad.
These pro-life issues far outweigh Biden’s avid pro-abortion, anti-Catholic and anti-religion stance (read their platform — they would subjugate religious belief to the secular government).
Ms. Bolton obviously believes in the seamless garment concept but does not understand the concept of negotiable and non-negotiable issues. She should review the concept and commentary about it, starting with Cardinal Bernadin’s statement in March 1984.
Visiting Saint Charbel’s Shrine, an Absolute joy
Dear Editor: In 2006 I had the absolute joy of my life by visiting Saint Charbel’s Shrine and Hermitage with Nabih Dergham while visiting Lebanon from the United States (“Amid Deadly Blast in Beirut, Lebanese Turn to Maronite Catholic Saint for Healing,” Aug. 8).
It was the most powerful day of my life. As I walked over to the stone wall of the hermitage and looked down, I will always feel confident to say that I saw Jesus walking up the mountain with several other men. I was not afraid but overcome by the gravity of the moment.
I am a Catholic and always believe things happen as they should. I feel that I was given that vision to carry me through sad times and help me to understand the true meaning of why we are here.
Lebanon is a beautiful country filled with beauty in every way and I was so blessed to take this journey with my friend. Thank you for making me feel so welcome.
I have always told my friends, if I could do one more thing before I die, It would be to go back to Saint Charbel Hermitage and spend the entire day just sitting on a bench.
A Good Experience on a Rainy Sunday
Dear Editor: My wife Eva and myself went out after church and decided to go out and vote early on the last day of early voting on Sunday, Nov. 1.
We went over to Creedmoor Psychiatric Hospital in Queens Village where they had early voting. We had thought, being it looked like about to rain, the lines would be shorter. We were wrong.
The line was long and more people were coming over to vote. And yet things were better run and the line was moving and we got through in about 45 minutes.
As we got to the entrance where we could vote, there were two police officers there and I said, “You, officers, are doing a good job.” One of the officers responded and said, “Too bad we don’t hear enough of your kind words.”
As we got to the poll clerk to get our voting forms and the clerk saw the “Vietnam Era Veteran” hat I had on, she said to me, “Thanks for your service.” And I said thank you.
All in all, it was a good experience on this rainy day.
Frederick R. Bedell Jr.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo and The COVID-19 Pandemic
Dear Editor: In defense of Gov. Andrew Cuomo, I can recall with gratitude his daily briefings as we lived and died in the worst times of the COVID-19. He stood up for science and NY State gained more control of the virus. The number of hospitalizations and deaths declined.
No Room at the Political Table
Dear Editor: Like Brian Browne, I remember fondly the kitchen table at which my three brothers and my parents and I shared meals and talked (“No Room at the Political Table,” Up Front & Personal, Oct. 24).
My father, a Republican active in politics, dithered right up to entering the voting booth and in the end marked his ballot for JFK.
Like Brian, I am dismayed that the Democratic Party has pushed abortion to the point where it has no restrictions. I, too, was comforted by the bygone “safe, legal, and rare” language.
When it comes to abortion, our Church leaders are not in alignment.
Biden is acting not as a promoter of abortion but as a realist who recognizes it as here to stay and does not want to criminalize it. Because of better access to affordable housing, food stamps, and health care, abortion rates go down during Democratic administrations.
Let us pray that that be the case in a Biden presidency.
Barbara McGillicuddy Bolton
We Are Headed for Difficult Times
Dear Editor: I did not support Joe Biden. I cast my vote for President Trump (“AP Projects Joe Biden as Winner of U.S. Presidential Race, President Trump Is Still Contesting the Results,” TheTablet.org, Nov. 7).
We are headed for difficult times because of a Democratic president who is clearly pro-abortion and promises free everything.
The middle class will take the brunt of it, and it is not fair.
As for Kamala Harris, she is a radical and will not make the country better.
I thank our president for whatever he did. Unfortunately, the virus did him in.
Please, pray for our country.