Letters to the Editor

Letters to the Editor Week of November 25, 2023

In Support of Israel 

Dear Editor: Thanksgiving is here once again, a time to give thanks for family, friends, and the great blessing of having been born in America, where you can worship where you want and pretty much decide your own destiny according to your work ethic to get there. 

But that freedom, precious as it is and guaranteed by the First Amendment to the Constitution, can be terribly abused as we’ve seen in the streets of our own city lately. 

The masses of people suppor ting the Palestinian cause are either naive or just plain unaware of the history of the region. Hamas and Hezbollah control Gaza with the blessing of Iran and their mission has always been the complete destruction of Israel. 

The inhumanity of these terrorist groups are war crimes of the highest order and should be a top priority of the U.N. The hatred for Israel, a truly democratic country seeking to live free, must be addressed from our college campuses to the streets of our city. 

On Thanksgiving, display the American flag in love and gratitude for your great blessing! 

Thomas and Constance Dowd 

Oakland Gardens

Father Lauder’s column on ‘Dead Man Walking’ 

Dear Editor: Father Lauder always writes interesting columns and reviews, and I am so delighted to read his review of the opera “Dead Man Walking” based on the book of experiences of Sister Helen Prejean (“ ‘Dead Man Walking’ at the Metropolitan Opera House,” Nov. 11). 

As a high school Catholic social justice teacher in a Josephite school, we cover the death penalty, and I have shown the film to students throughout the years. 

Fortunately, I saw the adver tisement for the opera in The Tablet in time to see it! I too am constantly looking for theology in all things and the opera was a very moving experience. To be at Lincoln Center and sit among all the performers and audience members who probably believe in the same message, evoked such emotion. I do not think there was a dry eye in the audience. 

Sometimes I do not even like to discuss what I teach because of the reaction I often receive outside Church or teaching circles. 

I constantly feel as if I am on the defensive. Once in a conversation about the death penalty, someone kept asking me, “You mean you teach that the death penalty is wrong? That’s terrible.” 

Reading Father Lauder’s article reminded me of Sister Helen Prejean and her important ministry, the powerful opera performance, Pope Francis’ teaching on the death penalty, and the Church in general. 

Here is a perfect example of why I choose to do what I do, why I believe what I believe, and that one of the beauties of the Catholic faith is that there is always hope and room for a conversion of heart. 

Joyce Mennona 

Craryville, New York

The Dangers of Pushing Equity 

Dear Editor: As we witness the sad state of affairs our world finds itself in, I cannot help but to point out the dangers of so-called “equity” as the new battle cry from the pulpit to college campuses. 

Equity as it is being promoted has nothing to do with fair treatment. On the contrary, it views the world from the myopic lens of someone’s circumstances. 

Equity is not new though it’s being cultivated as the new buzz word. The concept is also not new. It is a socialist form of discontent seeing the world as anyone with more as the oppressor and anyone with less as the oppressed. It fosters hate and discontent by those who seek prosperity as being oppressors. 

The push that is being churned out in many college campuses by people who call themselves “professors” sow the seeds of disharmony and portray a society as only oppressed and oppressor. 

You can’t have progress through equity. Mankind’s inherent desire to achieve should not be denigrated by people who view existence in this light, the unintended consequences of which such failed experiments in socialism produced a dystopian society of mediocrity. 

Are we to have equity in sports, business, academics? This road is a slippery slope to be avoided. God gave us all different skills, talents, and even circumstances to use in our time in this world. Compassion and fair treatment should always be held as the highest grace. 

Let us all as Christians do everything in our power to foster a community of giving, but forced to give in the name of equity is a grave mistake that leads to resentment and hate eventually, justifying one taking away from another who they perceive as having more. 

Jesus gave us these words: “Love your neighbor as yourself,” not force your neighbors to give you what they have or be labeled the oppressor. 

Carl Battista 

Babylon, New York