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May 23, 2016 | Volume 91 Number 15


Georgetown should not uphold abortion

Steve Neill’s May 9 column, “Slavery at Georgetown,” was hard to read. It is gut-wrenching to learn that a Jesuit institution of higher education could own plantations with slaves and sell them in such a callous manner.

The current administrators of Georgetown are right to denounce this episode in the university’s history. But before they get too self-righteous in their denunciation of their predecessors actions, they should examine their own policies concerning abortion and how close these policies conform to the moral teaching of the Church.

It is equally hard to read of the scandals Georgetown is perpetrating in this area. They are just as egregious as the slavery scandal.

Abortion and slavery both deny the humanity of certain individuals. Slavery treats human beings as property.

Abortion considers that fetuses are not human and are expendable. Abortion is the slavery of our time.

But Georgetown inconsistently deplores the slavery it practiced in the 1800s while at the same time it supports abortion today.

Georgetown invites pro-abortion speakers and awards honorary degrees to such people in defiance of the Bishops’ teaching prohibiting this practice. The university says it is committed to the free exchange of ideas, but apparently some students haven’t been exposed to the authentic Church teaching that abortion is a moral evil. They think abortion is a human right.

Georgetown is trying to make amends for its past record on slavery by renaming buildings and considering other means to recompense the descendants of these slaves. Due to the passage of time, such efforts may be largely symbolic.

A concrete action Georgetown could take would be to restore its Catholic identity and commit itself to be faithful to Church teaching.

In today’s environment of moral relativism, rather than cooperating with evil, Georgetown and its graduates should be a strong influence promoting Christian values in our society.

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Capitalism defended as being anti-poverty

In response to “Dorothy Day: Working For A Christian Moral Order” (April 25 issue), Day’s granddaughter described our country’s economy as “a failing capitalistic system that leads people to strive for profit and not social justice.”

Principles of capitalism are based on human nature, so they never need to be forced on a people. Participants benefit themselves by filling the needs of their fellow man at the best price.

It’s a win win. If they do not do the job, they lose; if they over charge, they lose.

It’s a voluntary system embraced by all who want to better their lives and are willing to work hard. It has been a magnet for those around the world who can lift themselves up, no matter their origin or status.

Other systems require force and people become servants of the State. We are on our way to this reality now, because interference and distortion of the market by crony capitalism, excessive crushing regulations and special tax treatments that pick winners who buy favors, squeezing out smaller, less “connected” competitors.

This is costing jobs, and growth in our economy, hurting working families and future generations.

Our young citizens who struggle have never experienced true capitalism, where incentives and opportunity abound, as in our history. It is easy to convince them that capitalism is a failure.

What is needed is a revival of free market capitalism — a return to the pure economic system that has lifted more people out of poverty than any in world history.

The young should be at the forefront of the effort to purge the corruption that has given capitalism a bad name, and restore our God-given right to the pursuit of happiness.

God’s will is to have each person’s unique gifts discovered and used to the fullest. Man’s opportunity to use his intellect and creativity in a free market system must be why God inspired this idea, among others, in our Founders.

It is easy to cancel The Catholic Virginian and give up on our Church. But we are the Church.

We can instead be thankful for this opportunity for dialogue. To be silent is to agree and enable a minority of misdirected problem solvers to dominate and destroy the hopes for a future with the freedom God has given us, and wills us to keep.

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Muslim faith pillar rebukes the Trinity

The March 28 issue of The Catholic Virginian had an article on St. Mary Star of the Sea School (Hampton) featuring a presentation of the Muslim culture and Islamic faith by Mr. Ahmad Yusuf.

In my Catholic women’s Bible study we have finished studying “Beginning Apologetics 9: How to Answer Muslims” by Father Frank Chacon and Jim Burnham. It talks about the five pillars of Islam and states specific passages from the Koran, the Islamic sacred book.

The first pillar is meant to rebuke Christians for believing in the Trinity which Muslims consider to be blasphemy.

I have learned that the similarities in our religions are great but the dissimilarities are even greater. Each pillar of the Koran’s teaching has many things that are not in the Catholic teaching.

One example: In the Koran it teaches that God made man superior to women and a woman’s testimony is only half of a man’s (Sura 2:282).

I wonder if in this 8th grade classroom questions were asked regarding the specifics of the Muslim religion?

It is true that in this Jubilee Year of Mercy, that we as Catholcis must open ourselves to dialogue with others including the Muslim religion.

Isn’t it also true that we should defend our Catholic faith and ask questions of other religions that clearly go against Catholic teachings? This is not hatred or intolerance.

I encourage all Catholics to to study the Muslim religion. Two excellent resources are the book “Beginning Apologetics 9: How to Answer Muslims” and Dr. Scott Hahn’s CD talk on the Muslim religion.

I hope you will print my letter so that other Catholics will have the opportunity to defend their faith.

Annette Parsons, Chief Administrator, Office of Catholic Educatio responds: Mr. Yusuf was invited to speak to the 8th grade students in their World History class to share his knowledge and lived experience as a Muslim. He is the parent of a current 7th grader. His wife is Christian and they have sent all three of their children to St. Mary’s and Peninsula Catholic High School over the past 23 years.

Throughout that time, both he and she have also been very supportive parents, appreciative of the outstanding faith-based education that their children have received in Catholic schools. Inviting Mr. Yusuf to speak provided a way to respond to the Holy Father’s persistent encouragement “to open us to even more fervent dialogue so that we might know and understand one another better” (n.23, Misericordiae Vultus).

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