Magazine article U.S. Catholic


Magazine article U.S. Catholic


Article excerpt

Refrigerator wisdom

THIS MORNING I WAS BEMOANING A 45-MINUTE FLIGHT delay to a co-worker. Then I asked how her weekend went. She said her 22-year-old cousin was killed. A gunshot. Talk about putting things into proper perspective quickly. My petty complaint paled by comparison.

Kathy Coffey's article "What parents might learn from Littleton" in the August issue puts life into proper perspective. Wars fill churches. We'd be foolish to wait for yet another school assault before getting our perspectives straight.

I suggest we all wrestle a magnet from the fridge and post Coffey's five directives on that most frequently opened door in our homes, the place where we try to keep our kids in food--the refrigerator door. That way we won't forget them or ignore them or fail to practice them.

Her words are nourishment for the heart and soul. Her directives for parents toward children assume the proper perspective and they are timely--at least for those parents who still have their children to hug, listen to, and pray for. If we ignore these directions or fail to put them into practice, we run the risk of forgetting history--even the tragedy at Littleton--and of having to relive it.

Father Robert Pagliari, C.SS.R.

New York

What's good for the gander ...

Like most articles on the death penalty I've read, Kevin Doyle's article "No defense: A Catholic lawyer argues against the death penalty" in the August issue, dwells at length on racial disparities in executions while completely ignoring a far greater bias that permeates capital punishment in this country, namely gender bias. The death penalty is almost entirely a male-only punishment. A man convicted of homicide is more likely to be sentenced to death than a woman.

Not too long ago in Texas, a brother and sister were convicted of the same crime; not the same offense, or of similar crimes, but literally the same crime: Prosecutors first argued in the brother's trial that he had done the actual killing, she only assisted. Prosecutors then reversed their theory for her trial and said that she did the actual killing. Of course, he received the death penalty, she a prison sentence.

Mark Lesmeister

Pearland, Texas

Doyle's article should make many of us who claim to follow Christ very uncomfortable. I have in recent years become opposed to the death penalty for a number of reasons, one of which is the possibility of executing someone who is later proved to be innocent.

Alvera M. Sams

Findlay, Ohio

Keep it simple--share

The August Reader Survey, "Clearing out life's clutter isn't always so simple" by Heidi Schlumpf, is a good beginning. As members of God's big family we do need to simplify our lifestyles in order to be able to share resources with our less fortunate brothers and sisters everywhere. Justice is not being served when certain people and certain nations have an abundance of goods while many people, especially in Third World countries, have so little.

Pope Paul VI in his encyclical On the Development of Peoples challenges us when he states "no one has a right to superfluous things if his brothers and sisters lack essential things."

Father Thomas Moran, C.M.F.

Oak Park, Ill.

Misguided blame?

I am writing to take Kevin Clarke to task for his misrepresentation of the American people in the August Margin Notes, "Classified information." Apparently Clarke has the ability to judge the hearts and minds of men, and all he can see in the hearts of corporate America is racism. …

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