- The Washington Times - Monday, December 29, 2003

Abortion and the mother’s health

Maggie Gallagher, in “The campaign against children” (Sunday, Commentary) cited the deception of the Center forReproductiveRights (CRR).ShequotedRep. Christopher Smith, New Jersey Republican, who called the CRR “A Trojan Horse of deceit,” demonstrating “how abortion promotion groups are planning to push abortion here and abroad, not by direct argument, but by twisting words and definition.”

While abortion promoters are deceitfully campaigning against children, they also are campaigning against women, as evidenced in Minnesota, where the U.S. Health and Human Services Department developed a pamphlet for the state listing problems with abortion. The pamphlet includes the statement, “Some studies suggest that abortion increases the risk of breast cancer, while other studies suggest no increased risk.”

The Minneapolis Star Tribune quoted the head of the Minnesota Medical Association as saying, “Research overwhelmingly shows there is no link between abortion and breast cancer,” and the legislative director of the Minnesota American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, who said the pamphlet “is deliberately deceptive … with the goal of frightening the patient.”

However, through 1997,16 studies showed an increased risk of breast cancer from abortion and only one did not, disproving the physicians’ statements cited in the Star Tribune.

Abortion promoters continually demonstrate their disdain for the preborn and their mothers.


Silver Spring

Barriers in Bethlehem

Thank you for publishing “Barrier haunts holiday in Bethlehem” (Page 1, Thursday), concerning Israel’s wall of hate in the Holy Land.

If only all people were free to live and love and lead decent lives throughout the Holy Land.

If only all people were treated as equals with equal rights and equal freedoms.

If only Israel would embrace real democracy and real justice, rather than persecuting and imprisoning the native non-Jewish population.

We should be shocked and ashamed because our blind political support and generous contributions to Israel’s war coffers have enabled it to wander further and further away from fair and just laws.

Toxic thoughts, words and deeds are poisoning Israel from within. Bethlehem is not suffering because of the intifada. Bethlehem is being destroyed because Israel has no respect for moral and international law.


Mechanicsburg, Pa.

The Catholic Church’s tradition

When you write about electing a new pope, and cite cardinals as being left vs. right or liberal vs. moderate versus conservative, you are confusing the issues (Editorial, “Electing the next pope,” Dec. 23). When it comes to defining sexual morality, the Catholic Church has not varied its doctrine for 2,000 years. There is never any wiggle room. Sexual acts outside of traditional marriage are gravely wrong, whether done by heterosexuals or homosexuals.

Freedom and joy are discovered only in following the truth. Christ founded his church to proclaim his unvarying teachings. Maverick cardinals don’t stand a chance of being elected pope. The church does not change doctrine to suit the fads of the time, as was done by the Anglican Church at the Lambeth Conference in 1930 regarding artificial birth prevention.

Gradually, most Protestant denominations went along with the Anglicans, but never the Catholic Church. If something is 99 percent true, it is not true. The Catholic norm of belief is the Catechism of the Catholic Church, and it is based solidly on Holy Scripture and sacred tradition.


Vienna, Va.

Inalienable rights

Paul Craig Roberts is accurate in stating that the individual counts in our culture (“The human spirit … and greatest gift,” Commentary, Thursday). This respect for each person has its philosophical expression in the concept of man’s inalienable individual rights. It gives man possession of his life, his liberty, his pursuit of happiness. It is the most basic of the founding principles of our nation, enshrined in the Declaration of Independence, and the one that is indispensable in setting apart our society from other, mostly non-Western, cultures.

However, Mr. Roberts is mistaken when he claims that this exalted view of the individual flows out of the Christian tradition. For 1,700 years, Christian theology and philosophy made no mention of the concept of individual rights. This new insight into the status of man within society came with the advent of the Enlightenment and with its emphasis on the human mind, on rationality and on thought. The Enlightenment’s thinkers realized that reason is an essential ingredient in being man, that human survival is impossible without it and that it is a universal faculty of mankind. They also realized, however, that it resides exclusively in the individual. This new principle of individualism is what supports our society at its most fundamental level. It can be and is accepted by countless citizens who are non-Christians or atheists and yet count themselves as true Americans.

President Bush has stated repeatedly that our present struggle with Islamist terrorists is a struggle of ideas. We have to win over the hearts and minds of the Islamic world. It would be illusory to ask Muslims to become Christians. Our mission instead should be to bring to them and the world at large our concepts of individual right and individual liberty. Accepting these principles, the world can indeed live in harmony when coercion has been abandoned and man is free to follow peaceful pursuits. These principles also will lead logically to an appreciation of what true tolerance means — uncontaminated by modern relativistic, nihilistic and self-contradictory views of the term.

This rationality-based outlook on society will consequently be no threat to cultures with different religious faiths, including Islam. It has been demonstrated in our heterogeneous population for more than 200 years.


Alexandria, Va.

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