I have a different perspective from the letters in "Catholic voters and the election" [Letters, Oct. 18].
Pope Benedict XVI clearly addressed "non-negotiable" Catholic values starting with the sanctity of life. The Declaration of Independence identifies Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness as unalienable Rights.
Life always comes first because without life you can’t have anything else. Some question when life begins. Psalm 139:13-14 proclaims that "you knit me together in my mother’s womb."
Science says at the moment of conception that an embryo has a genome and DNA structure separate and distinct from the mother’s. "Reproductive rights," to me, is a euphemism for what abortion is: the taking of a human life. Issues like the economy, immigration, health care, etc. may seem paramount in the election, but to me they are not equal in weight with the issue of abortion. More than 60 million abortions have been performed since Roe v. Wade — more than the combat deaths in all of our wars added together.
I believe that voting for a candidate who is an abortion rights advocate is one more thing Catholics must account for in the Last Judgment.
I heartily applaud Dorothy Piscitelli’s letter noting some of President Donald Trump’s deficits.
I attended Catholic elementary school, where I learned about something called free will. I went to church every Sunday until a priest said to vote for President Donald Trump because the candidate opposed abortion. Nothing else matters? Trump used to be a Democrat. Reports say he cheated on his wife, but no one seems to remember that. One has free will to choose abortion or not. I do not force everyone to practice Catholicism. Your god will judge you when you die.
Oh, and if men got pregnant, I believe abortion rights would become the 28th Amendment.
Let’s get better at political discourse
In "It’s best if we keep our politics private", Bob Brody despairs that politics is intruding on his games and asks his pals, "Can we just play basketball?" He argues, "Politics is a deeply personal matter." I could not disagree more.
The choices we make in the voting booth affect whether our neighbors will have enough to eat, good schools, affordable health care or an inhabitable planet. In a democracy, it is our duty to have deliberative discussions, based on reliable data, to inform our decisions at the ballot box. Sure, civil discourse is in short supply these days, with 280 characters and angry cable news hosts. All the more reason why Brody — and all of us — need to carve out more time for discussions with our associates.
These conversations need ground rules: All are there to listen, understand, suspend judgment, focus on facts, and stick it out in the hopes of discovering common ground. Philosopher John Dewey said, "A democracy is more than a form of government; it is primarily a mode of associated living, of conjoint communicated experience." Rather than suspend political discussion, we need to get better at it — on our block, at the water cooler, and, yes, on the basketball court.
Andrea S. Libresco,
Thank you, Bob Brody, for your concise and thoughtful op-ed. I work with people on both sides of the aisle and have found it increasingly difficult to separate my feelings for them from their politics. I care very much for them and will take your essay to heart, reprint it and hand it out to many of them. Thank you for putting into words a lot of what I’ve been feeling lately.
On Trump, Biden and immunity
President Donald Trump’s claims of immunity to the coronavirus are the height of demagoguery. First, after claiming the virus is a hoax and will magically disappear, and his own refusal to adhere to social distancing guidelines or mask wearing, he himself comes down with the virus. Then, after receiving an experimental combination of treatments which virtually nobody else in the country can get, he is apparently cured in less than a week (while other mere mortals must wait at least two weeks to get better). In the meantime, details of his medical treatment are kept almost as secretive as his tax returns, lending an even larger specter of mystery to the situation, including whether he had even tested negative; and all this amid a contentious election cycle that is widely thought to be a referendum on his handling of the pandemic. So was he really sick, or was this just a political stunt to show how "superior" he is to the other candidate?
Robert M. Saunders,
As I reminisce about my grammar school years in the early 1960s, I recall a session where each student was asked what they aspired to be. Roles were more defined then, and every boy wanted to be an astronaut or president. After almost four years of this current administration, I have thought carefully about what standard has been set for our country and its children. Today, it is possible to become president of the United States if you are a cheat, liar, fraud, sexual predator, bully, racist, failure, coward, arrogant, conceited or if you have been unfaithful to multiple spouses. This bottom-shelf standard is in stark contrast to the hope and promise that was realized when President Barack Obama first took the oath of office. What a sad turn of events. Please keep this thought fresh in your mind when you vote, as your vote is not only for who will become our president but also what standard and message you will send to the youth of America.
It’s time to reflect on the words "and to the Republic for which it stands." Countries such as Venezuela, Argentina, Cuba, Brazil, Colombia, and on and on, all were and still are socialist semi-democracies. I believe this is the direction that Bernie Sanders, Joe Biden, Kamala Harris and the left-wing Democratic socialists are trying to take this country. To me, Newsday should understand that socialism was never a friend to the news media. I say you will also lose your protective rights. Socialism may be, for a short time, good for some, but I believe in time it’s a destroyer of its supposed good for all. Even the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics turned to capitalism and a democratic republic approach for survival. "We the People" are more intelligent than to be hoodwinked into believing that a Sanders-Biden-Harris new way of government is better for this country. Don’t be deceived by their words or promises that they believe is for the good of humanity. Resolve to investigate exactly what the socialistic way of life encompasses. Only then, I believe, can you understand what you should be voting for.
Newsday should be reporting the news and facts to its subscribers. I find the recent editorial board’s endorsement of Joe Biden for president concerning. To me, we don’t need more opinions, but we do need more facts.