I write to suggest a better way to eliminate poverty than that proposed by your editorial “Robbing Peter to Pay” (9/27). It’s time to change fundamentally the way our society approaches poverty. We should lobby Congress to rewrite the tax code so that tax money used for social welfare would be returned to the people who earned it. We need to let these people—through their God-given free will—decide how that money will be spent. The time has come to trust the Holy Spirit to guide our charitable actions, not the federal government.
Livonia, Mich.Thou Shalt Not Rewrite
I must say, in response to your current comment “The New Mass” (10/4), that I’m sorry, but it is not O.K. to rewrite the Bible. Not even a committee of bishops is authorized to do so. But that is what happened when the American English translation of the Latin Roman Missal was published after the Second Vatican Council. Your comment disapproves of the translation “for all” being changed to “for many.” But the original Greek word is polys, in Latin multis, in English many. After Vatican II the bishops made it “all.” That’s not a new translation; it’s a rewrite.
Shoreline, Wash.No Liberals Allowed
I wish the Catholic clergy here in South Carolina could read the review by John Coleman, S.J., of the PBS series “God in America” (10/11). Referring to James Davison Hunter’s To Change the World, Father Coleman says “Christians have opted for political strategies that equate the public with the political in ways harmful to both religion and politics.”
Since moving here from Michigan, I have tried to deepen my faith by taking Bible study classes in our parish. These experiences have been spoiled for me by facilitators who vilify liberals and plug the pro-life agenda at every opportunity. I often feel that Democrats and/or liberals are no longer welcome in the church. I thought Catholics were supposed to show concern and compassion for the poor, for illegal immigrants and for those unjustly oppressed. I thought we were supposed to care for the environment. All the emphasis on right-wing politics is driving many good people away.
Bluffon, S.C.Exactly Who Is Not Saved?
Your current comment “The New Mass” (10/4) reminded me that I was taught in Catholic school that Christ died for the sins of all men and women, not for “many.”
It appears that the new translation is heretical, since it implies exclusiveness by not adhering to the usage “all men.” Can Rome let us know for which men and women Christ did not die?
Edward J. Thompson
Farmingdale, N.Y.When Will We Know?
I was saddened to read your editorial “Israel’s Choice”(10/11). Benjamin Netanyahu is on record as saying that he stopped the Oslo accords and that America is something that can be easily moved. Your mention of the “contention by the Israeli pacifist group Peace Now that construction slowed but did not freeze completely during the moratorium” gives the impression that it is only one opinion; it is fact. Illegal construction continued unabated, while planning and gathering supplies for “legal” construction continued during the break in actual construction. According to the Geneva accords and U.N. resolutions, Israel’s very presence in the occupied territories, much less their colonizing efforts, is already illegal.
Reading your editorial, I am left with the impression that much of the difficulty with the present negotiations is the fault of the Palestinians, who delayed their entrance into the peace negotiations. And if the subjugation of the Palestinians “is beginning more and more to look like apartheid,” I am left wondering what criterion you would use to determine when it actually happened. The Palestinians are being deprived of their land while the world looks on, and the United States continues to give aid. Israel retaliates many times over for any aggression on the part of Palestinians, and Gaza has become a prison camp.
I find it tragic that our American media, including this fine publication, continue to paint the picture as a struggle between equals and ignore the egregious violations of international law on the part of the Israeli government.
Maurice Restivo, C.S.B.