Letters to the Editor

Church didn't invent Biblical restrictions on taking of human life

Political leaders and media commentators have largely welcomed the apparent rejection of the Catholic Church in Ireland as evidenced, they say, by referenda results. In reality, however, the rejection they cite is not simply of the Catholic Church. The Catholic Church did not invent the Biblical restrictions on the taking of innocent human life. Nor did it invent restrictions on giving free licence to sexual behaviour or novel interpretations of the sacrament of marriage.

Such restrictions are certainly not Catholic inventions nor indeed solely Christian precepts since they are also bedrock teachings of Islam, Judaism, Buddhism, Hindu and other religions.

We therefore, in Ireland, seem to have decided that the word of our ‘progressive’ politicians  and liberal media pundits is to be honoured as equivalent, or better informed than the word of God. Politicians and commentators however, ceaselessly quote the Catholic clerical scandals and abject shameful failure of a limited number of Catholic clergy but ignore completely the dedication  and genuine piety of many thousands of Irish nuns, brothers and priests at home and across the world over centuries. Thousands of lives across many generations were saved and improved by dedicated Irish clerics providing care, education and health services at a time when state welfare provision simply did not exist.

Atheist progressives of course recognise no God so have little concern and probably no little pleasure in witnessing the rejection of  basic Christian teachings as regards to the sanctity of human life from conception to natural death.

Others on the other hand who claim to be Christian (of Catholic and other heritage) reach for the cloak of ‘compassion’ as a justification for promoting an assumed right to choose to take human life simply because its existence is considered to be somehow problematic. 

These compassionate, progressive, atheist and neo-Christian thinkers will no doubt be again exhorting us to normalise even more legalised taking of human life  as they embark on yet another ‘journey’. 

Euthanasia is the next destination they have in mind for us all. ‘Compassionate’ euthanasia of course. Why does the compassion of these politicians and writers invariably involve the taking of human life before its allotted time?

From whom do the politicians get their authority? The sad news is – ‘we the people’.

We have freely chosen to reject, not the Catholic Church as many gleeful commentators have it, but simple Christian teachings. On compassionate grounds, basic Christian teachings will not be allowed to interfere with our progressive human decisions.

BJ TURBETT
Strabane, Co Tyrone

 

IFA right to resist pressure to pull out of Israel match

The Irish Football Association is right to  resist pressure to pull out of the match with Israel in September. Four points are very  revealing: 1. In Israel a Jewish outgoing president was jailed – by an Arab judge – and the acting president was another Arab (who had also volunteered to make the army his career) – is that apartheid?

2. The  Arab minority in Israel are not liable to conscription but many (especially Bedouin Arabs) volunteer for not only the police but  also for the defence forces, and risk life and limb to defend all their people from the ongoing threat of suicide-bombs or rockets from Hamas and other Ji-hadi terrorist gangs,

3. Not only do all citizens  (Arab or Jew) have the vote in Israel but their unique electoral system is PR on a national basis – you vote for a party list – any party getting only 3.25 per cent of the vote nationally gets a minimum of four of the 120 seats in parliament. And Arabs are members of not only Arab parties but also of mainly Jewish parties.

4.  Egypt (with nearly 10 times more people than Israel) maintains the exact  same border security as does Israel with Gaza on their shared border  – the Egyptian border fence is also designed to stop Hamas shipping weapons into Gaza, Hamas who are armed with rockets by Iran, and who are both committed to wipe Israel out. Hamas defines itself as a branch of the ‘Muslim Brotherhood’ who have – once again – been outlawed by Egypt.

Odd that Sinn Féin never talk  of any boycott of Iran  – where gay men are hanged from Cranes in public (in Israel Arab or Jewish gays can parade freely – but never in Gaza) or any boycott of North Korea, where many are held in slave-labour camps, but only of tiny Israel – the only Jewish state on earth.

Did peace finally come to Northern Ireland from boycott or rather only from abandoning violence and accepting what Senator George Mitchell called ‘parity of esteem?

TOM CAREW
Ranelagh, Dublin 6

 

A la carte comments a bit harsh

The article about  ‘a la carte Catholics’ (June 8) is a bit hard on them. At the Lord’s Last Supper at which Catholics believe the Sacramental Eucharist was given to us, among those present [by invitation] were the following: two guests who had wanted to burn people’s houses down for refusing them hospitality; a guest who said he would never let Jesus down but did –  three times before the night was out – another who may have been a revolutionary; another who told the police and military where Jesus was going after supper so He could be arrested, getting  a bribe for his trouble, and a guest belonging to a group of people generally despised because there was so much financial corruption among them. Sounds like His guests were a bit a la carte. But look how well they turned out afterwards.

Perhaps even poor Judas – remember the Irish saying about God’s love being restored between the saddle and the ground?

And you never know, if sacramental guests appreciate the a la carte they may get to like the whole menu later.

Don’t be too hard on us – why not let’s discuss the whole menu together sometime?

DESMOND WILSON
Belfast BT12

 

Post-Catholic Ireland

Sinn Féin have said they do not want ‘Rome Rule’ here, with Mary Lou McDonald stating Catholic laws no longer apply. If an Ulster Protestant or loyalist said what SF are saying, it would be ‘bigotry’, but today the world is upside down, and some Catholic/nationalist people are considering a DUP vote. In Eire, one in five people are not born in the Republic, so those waiting for a so-called united Ireland need to tell us what type of land the 32-county state will be.
If we are in a multi-cultural post-Catholic country, what is the vision for Irish unity? Some republicans and sectarian head counters see demographic birth rates as a reason to be cheerful, from Brian Feeney to Jim Gibney, from Fionnuala O Connor to Denis Bradley – but what is their vision of a so-called united Ireland? 

Ironically, SF are now trying to make Ulster more like England on social and moral issues. The world has gone a little crazy and some republicans need to elaborate on their economic and social unity plan. 

PAUL GREEN
Whitehouse, Co Antrim 

 

Sick and tired of naysayers

I am sick and tired with all those writing to The Irish News and phoning radio programmes about the result of the referendum which took place in the Republic. The people voted in overwhelming numbers  to amend Article 8 of the Irish Constitution.  They used their democratic right to do so.

I have only two words to say to those naysayers – free will.

TONY CARROLL
Newry, Co Down 

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