In View

 SEND EUROPE YOUR POOR

Western Europeans sometimes enjoy delectatio morosa about the number of the “poor” in the United States. They conveniently ignore the even larger proportion of Western Europeans that are poor by U.S. standards.

Just how poor are the U.S. poor?

Of the just over 30 million Americans living “in poverty,” the U.S. Census Bureau reports, 38 percent own their own homes. Thirty-six thousand own homes worth over $300,000, and almost a half million own homes worth over $100,000. In addition:

• 62 percent of “poor” households in the U.S. own a car.

• 14 percent of “poor” households own two or more cars.

• Nearly half of all “poor” households have air conditioning.

• 31 percent of all “poor” households have microwave ovens.

• On average, American “poor” persons consume the same level of vitamins, minerals, and protein as middle-class persons do. (But poor children eat more meat and protein than middle-class children do.)

• Poor adults are more likely to be overweight than middle class adults.

According to a report from the Heritage Foundation, these are other facts to consider:

• The average “poor” American has a larger living space than the average Western European.

• “Poor” Americans eat more meat than Western Europeans.

• “Poor” Americans own more cars and dishwashers than the average Western European.

Further, Western Europeans usually do not know that in measuring “poverty” the U.S. Census Bureau ignores most welfare benefits and all assets of households. Of the $184 billion spent on welfare programs by the U.S. government (federal, state, and local) in 1988, for example, the Census Bureau counted only $27 billion as income for the poor; it did not count food stamps, public housing, and Medicaid (medical care for the poor). All the U.S. Census Bureau means by “poor” is an annual cash income under $12,675 for a non-farm family of four.

In the U.S., the largest (and fastest growing) bloc of the poor are female-headed households. Last year, over 60 percent of poor families with children were headed by single mothers, compared with only 28 percent in 1959.

Unlike Europe, the U.S. is still the chief haven for the poor people of the world. Every year, nearly one million poor persons come to this country as immigrants. Most immigrants to America do not intend to stay poor, and most exit from poverty quickly. Although virtually all Americans first came to this country poor, by 1990, 88 percent of Americans had escaped from poverty. This still leaves 12 percent for whom that task is not yet accomplished.

How long will it take Europe to do as well?

HELP FIGHT NORMALITY

The demands of the politically correct are becoming increasingly difficult to meet. Those concerned with “diversity” in the U.S. have apparently given up hope for reform and now cry instead for dramatic upheaval in the social firmament. Indeed, “diversity consultant” Donald Kao has condemned even normality as unacceptable. Kao argues that “if you are feeling comfortable or normal, then you are probably oppressing someone.” He predicts that “we probably won’t rid our society of racism until everyone strives to be abnormal.”

Deborah Stone, a feminist professor of law at Brandeis, takes demands for political correctitude one step further and insists on a revolution of male psychic capabilities. She explains that the “only just criterion” for sexual harassment is whether “the woman felt she had the freedom to resist.” Stone asks rhetorically, “Is that unfair to men? Are men supposed to be mind readers? Well, yes.”

CHANGE OF HEART

Thomas Monaghan, the founder of Domino’s Pizza, has abruptly decided to remain at the helm of his $1.2 billion business. Monaghan had stepped down from the presidency after experiencing a “spiritual reawakening” caused by reading C.S. Lewis’s Mere Christianity. Realizing his “sinful pride” in material accumulation, Monaghan began fasting on bread and water on Wednesdays and Fridays and selling off his collections of vintage automobiles and classic architecture. Thus far Monaghan has sold off three of his homes and plans on selling 30 of his cars, including a Bugatti bought for $13 million. As for Domino’s Pizza Inc., the hefty $1.2 billion price tag has so far deterred any potential buyers. Monaghan has taken this as a sign that “he must continue building and must continue in the pizza business.”

WINDS OF CHANGE

We hate to say we told you so, so let’s just say no one takes greater joy in the new-found peace in El Salvador than we do. It happened just as we said it would. Soviet, Cuban, and Nicaragua money and weapons stopped coming; the guerrillas went for the best deal they could; President Cristiani was reasonable and responsible. Finally, the heroic Salvadoran people can hope to live as they have repeatedly insisted at the ballot box they want to live— peacefully, democratically, with free markets and benign neighbors. The happy sight of jubilant Salvadorans in front of their cathedral could not have occurred without the crumbling of Marxist regimes in the Soviet Union, Cuba, and Nicaragua. That is why, as even the Washington Post admits, the United States’ perseverance was a crucial factor in the defeat of those who would have imposed an Ortega-style regime against the will of the people. We mourn the 75,000 said to have died in the Western hemisphere’s bloodiest civil war since Appomattox, as we hail another victory for peace and prosperity in Central America.

NAGGED TO DEATH

As Russia fills with cries for higher vodka production, news comes from the bibulous Finns that nagging by new-fangled puritans is hazardous to your health. In the largest such study ever conducted (or perhaps, inflicted), doctors in Finland spent 15 years studying 1,200 executives thought to be at risk of heart attacks. For the first five years, one-half were left alone to enjoy the alcohol-rich, cholesterol-laden diets of normal men; the other half were forced to exercise, to lessen their intake of alcohol and tobacco, to decrease their enjoyment of sugar, saturated fats, and cholesterol, and to take cholesterol-lowering drugs. These poor wretches also had to endure “close medical supervision,” for which read nagging.

The effects were quick and startling: after five years the modern, nagged men were dying off twice as fast as the old-fashioned men; after 15 years, 67 modern ascetics had died, compared to 32 men who ate, drank, and were merry. Fatal heart attacks revealed a similar pattern: 34 to 14. The salient finding? Taking drugs to, lower your cholesterol may be dangerous; not only did members of the drug-taking group suffer more heart attacks, they also died more often from suicide, accidents, and violence. (Honest scientists have speculated before that lowering cholesterol affects brain chemicals that incline one to violence, which is why low-cholesterol diets may be especially risky for children.) The medical director of the British Heart Foundation bluntly declares, “at the moment there is no proof that anti-cholesterol diets or drugs lower mortality.” As a rebuke to the body-crazed therapeutic mentality, however, we prefer the wise old couplet, Man please thy Maker and be merry,/ And for this world give not a cherry.

SOLOMONIC SINEAD

“The world faces difficult and horrendous problems— war, famine, disease, poverty and injustice. We could ask scientists and scholars what to do, or pray to God, or study them ourselves and try to discern solutions, but fortunately we don’t have to do any of that because there’s a bald girl in Dublin who has all the answers.”

—P.J. O’Rourke on Sinead O’Connor

FAMILY TIES

An inescapable trend in American television has been an increasing emphasis on the family, particularly among sitcoms. Irving Kristol argues that this stems from a reaction to attacks made on the family over the past decades by proponents of sexual liberation. As the problems created by “liberation” have become more evident, the family has regained some respectability, and television now seeks to make certain amends.

One cannot help but notice in today’s “family programs” a strong emphasis on the love shared by the family members, usually portrayed through frequent, sentimental gestures like hugs, kisses, and “I love you’s.” Such affection seems to provide the sole bond that holds these families together through even the most tumultuous 30-minute episodes. Even in moments of castigation, the love of the parents is overwhelming, and the child never fails to understand and return this love.

While this portrayal of the American family provides a very agreeable image, and while examples of such familial love can indeed be moving, Kristol argues that this approach fails to recognize the most essential principle of the family; by overemphasizing displays of affection, television obscures the family’s true foundation—absolute commitment. Certainly children do require tenderness from their parents, but such adoration alone will prove inadequate to make a family endure. An unbreakable family bond must derive from something higher; it must flow from an awesome sense of piety towards the “authors of one’s being.” Such piety is itself a form of love, but it is a love directed towards those things greater and beyond one’s self—in stark contrast to the egocentric affections (“I love you because you’re so nice to me”) which animate the families on television.

The sentimental love displayed by these TV families arises from the kindness and consideration which the family members unceasingly display towards one another. Television thus wraps a “feel good” aura around the family and asks the viewer to believe that this group will be held together by a magical bond produced by saccharine affection and unstinting kindness. The briefest of reflection on actual families renders this dream absurd.

Modern society, Kristol notes, has become uncomfortable with the notions of natural piety and natural authority that undergird a healthy family. After all, “to take them seriously is inherently ‘traditional,’ and this could lead to—well, a conservative predisposition, God forbid.” At the same time, though, society cannot ignore the virtues of the unbroken family. In its attempts to resuscitate that institution without natural authority and piety, our culture is trying “desperately to recreate the family as a life-long love affair. Alas,” Kristol concludes, “life-long love affairs are even rarer than life-long marriages.”

Dean M. Carignan

WHAT’S IN A NAME

Catholic, Protestant, and Orthodox alike claim the name of Christian, first used at Antioch (Acts 11) for the disciples—the believers—who accepted the teaching of the Apostles. It did not mean nice people, moral when convenient; it meant believers. But believers in what? That Jesus was a good man, preaching a beautiful but impossible system of morality? Or perhaps a prophet like Isaiah? No: they were believers that Jesus was the Christ (hence Christian), the Son of God, God made flesh.

How can we define in the fewest possible words what a Christian is and, if different, what a Catholic is? It is, of course, true that to define is to limit; but not to define is to blur, to make meaningless. A dog is a dog and not a cat. Clear, firm limits to dogdom. And a Christian is a believer: a believer that the Christ is God Incarnate—God Himself become a Man—who was killed and then in body rose from the dead. Firm and clear. If you believe that, you are a Christian. If not, not. Those who think of Jesus as merely a dead teacher of morality are not Christians and ought to have a different appellation—Jesuits perhaps. The Catholics and Orthodox and evangelicals who do share this enormous faith, far greater than their real differences, should stand together as fellow Christians against the secular world.

But what is it that sets Catholic Christians apart? Once again in the fewest possible words—a minimal definition—what specifically is a Catholic? First of all, he is a Christian as defined. It has been pointed out that Protestants retain a very Catholic understanding of the Incarnation and the Trinity, but what they have lost is all understanding of the meaning of the Church. The Church is, in a word, what makes Catholics different. A Catholic Christian, therefore, must be defined as a believing Christian who further believes that the Universal Church was founded by Christ on the rock that was Peter, to be guided infallibly by the Holy Spirit on matters of faith and morals, to stand like a rock indeed against the energy of human skepticism. That belief is the mark of the Catholic Christian. Those who call themselves Catholics but do not believe that the Church under Our Lord the Spirit is the arbiter of faith and morals have simply ceased to be Catholics.

It is often pointed out that there have been sinful, immoral popes, as though that denied the guidance of the Holy Spirit. What is remarkable is not what the good popes did, but what the bad popes did not do: they did not attempt to alter or twist the faith and morals in all the nearly 2000 years of the Church. The more one thinks about its history, the harder it is to doubt that the Holy Spirit does guide the Church in faith and morals.

But the Catholic belief in the Church does not prevent all believing Christians from standing together against the anti-Christ.

Sheldon Vanauken

PARTISAN VIEWS

British poet and Nobel laureate Philip Larkin was recently asked about his political beliefs. “I’ve always been right-wing,” he answered. “It’s difficult to say why, but I suppose I identify the right with certain virtues and the left with certain vices. All very unfair, no doubt.” Asked for particulars, Larkin responded, “Well, thrift, hard work, reverence, desire to preserve—those are the virtues and on the other hand, idleness, greed and treason.”

REBUILDING LIVES

“Public policy should encourage individuals to create and operate their own institutions that will help them rebuild or better their lives.” So says Robert Hawkins, the president of the Institute for Contemporary Studies (ICS), a San Francisco-based think tank. On this premise ICS has developed a “self-governance” program and has set up seminars to help local communities solve various social problems themselves.

Recently ICS came to the aid of tenants at two drug-infested San Francisco housing projects, Hunters View and Alemany. The residents for months had been trying to gain local political support for their efforts to start a program of self-management and private ownership in their projects, but they had been rebuffed by officials refusing to alter the usual programs. ICS met with them and advised them to contact the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), which has been enlarging its own tenant-management assistance program. The tenants’ subsequent efforts resulted in the award of $40,000 worth of grants from HUD to hire consultants and to train residents.

Local praise for ICS’s efforts could not have been more forthcoming. As one resident explains, “ICS had a conservative reputation, but they wanted us to really progress. We have gotten no support from the so-called liberals on concepts like tenant management councils. We want to get away from the plantation system maintained in this city by the liberal politicians.” People’s needs, rather than bureaucratic solutions, have become the focus of ICS’s efforts, and only with such a focus can people find the hope and encouragement needed to improve their communities.

ICS’s goal of breaking poor communities’ dependence on state and federal assistance and instilling a sense of community responsibility seems to be part of a growing trend. Indeed, momentum has recently been building for the idea that individuals can and must take responsibility for their lives and that such self-reliance benefits them and their communities far more than bureaucratic programs can. Efforts by groups like ics should not be neglected in national political debate, for they suggest vibrant solutions to lingering problems.

Daniel Gordon

AMERICA’S VIRTUE

Political scientist Harvey C. Mansfield, Jr., has argued that America is “not based on virtue but depends on virtue.” Unfortunately, our colleges and universities, permeated with the ideology of multiculturalism and politically correct thinking, are leading the assault against all manner of virtue, which we in the republic so dearly depend on.

A telling example of this assault upon the basic principles of Western civilization is an open letter to the American University community written by assistant professor of law, self-proclaimed lesbian, and committed feminist Nancy D. Polikoff. An excerpt states:

I had hoped that long ago all thoughtful people had abandoned the fantasy of the so-called “traditional” family of one mother, one father, and their children as the source of goodness and happiness for all. This is the family that has treated children as property and has perpetuated male domination, that breeds physical violence against women, marital rape, child abuse, and incest.

Contrast this with the view of our Founders in the Northwest Ordinance that “religion, morality, and knowledge, being necessary to good government and the happiness of mankind, schools and the means of education shall forever be encouraged.”

Just as the Left has abandoned the idea of constitutional interpretation according to the original understanding of the Framers, they have also abandoned the Framers’ original understanding of education, for statements like Dr. Polikoff’s contribute neither to religion, morality, or knowledge. Instead, these statements simply burn with a hatred of America and the principles on which it is based.

Aaron D. Hoffman

MAGIC’S ILLUSIONS

Those of us who are tempted by the publicity campaign attending Magic Johnson’s positive test for the AIDS virus would do well to pause for a moment before acquiescing in the notion that “AIDS is an equal opportunity killer.” As Michael Fumento documents in his book The Heterosexual AIDS Myth and in subsequent articles, out of 188,348 cases of AIDS in this country, so far only 727 persons have contracted the disease through heterosexual sex. That’s less than half of one percent. Fumento concludes that heterosexuals are about as likely to get AIDS as males are likely to suffer from breast cancer—it’s possible, but extremely unlikely. It seems that the national panic over AIDS is being generated to increase support for AIDS funding. Many homosexual activists worry that Americans won’t want to spend more on AIDS than on research into cancer and heart disease, unless they are frightened into believing that, virtually regardless of how promiscuous they are, or where their sexual preferences lie, it could happen to them.

JUSTICE FOR THE POOR

Michael Novak’s article “Liberation Theology—What’s Left?” in First Things interested me as a student of liberation theology. Having been a missionary in Guatemala for over 20 years, and spent another few years travelling to Venezuela and Chile, I agree that with the downfall of Eastern Europe’s socialist states, liberation theology’s credibility has suffered a severe blow, yet few analyses have clarified the issues.

First, while socialism is bad economics, the primary problem is with its erroneous view of man. Socialists assume that man is basically good, which negates the traditional view of man as on the one hand created in the image of God, but at the same time a sinner. The idea that evil in man only comes from the evil influence of society is at the base of socialism. Changing society, then, will make man good.

In the traditional view, each person is given his vocation by God, and if that person fits into his appropriate place in society, he will be fulfilled and voluntarily contribute to the well-being of all others, a wonderful thought. By contrast, under socialism someone has to assign each person his place, i.e., someone has to take the place of God, and so this person or persons tend to be dictators. For no one can really occupy this position; pride and the ingrained self-centeredness of man render this impossible. Part of the socialist vision of community comes from the Gospels, but socialists ignore the other of the two aspects of man that have to be included in a realistic view of the world. Lacking the second aspect, socialism cannot work.

Democracy, too, can only work when sin is taken seriously. Because of this, it seems to me that democracy must include a political system that opposes the sinful tendencies of some against the sinful tendencies of others—the balance of powers in a democratic society. This is where in Latin America, as in the imperfect system in America, we do not live near the ideal. The fact is that there is not, and never has been, a “capitalist” system in Latin America. The legal, government systems have been so closely linked with the commercial and business world that no “level playing field” has ever existed. For instance, on one occasion a group formed a cooperative in Guatemala for the purpose of canning fruit juices, which provided jobs and made use of the agricultural harvests of poor farmers in the highlands. One company with a large canning operation had a monopoly on the importation of cans, and it held the price to such a level that others could not make a profit and so ended by losing their invested capital when the co-op failed. In another example in Venezuela, some individuals tried to begin a company to make and sell ice cream. They were able to begin importing the raw material, but when they began to undercut the existing monopoly, their vehicles were run off the road, wrecked, etc. until the company collapsed. No legal recourse was possible in either case, since the legal profession was “owned” by the wealthy. There is no way this type of system can be called “capitalism” in my understanding, if by that we mean open and free competition in the marketplace. The courts and the rest of the political system must operate properly to provide a basis for truly free enterprise.

In the light of such experiences I must admit having some sympathy for revolution, though in the end it is always the poor who lose. My contention is that for most of the Third World, what is needed is a system where the poor can obtain justice, where the powerful of the business and governmental worlds cannot destroy the small entrepreneur. Otherwise, there can be no opportunity for the hundreds or thousands of small businesses to succeed, businesses Novak rightly sees as the only means for employing the mass of unemployed and underemployed in Latin America, as in many other parts of the world.

While liberation theology does not cut it, neither does the typical American attitude, which does not understand the way powerful and rich groups obstruct the possibilities of poor but creative entrepreneurs. American government and American business, as well as multinationals, have a hand in these anti-capitalistic, monopolistic practices. How can these be counterbalanced to give capitalism and democracy a chance? That is my concern.

James H. Emery

PRESSURE TO CONFORM

As the ’92 presidential election draws closer, the Democrats and Republicans are both scrambling to formulate their parties’ platforms. One issue which has normally served to polarize the two parties has been abortion. Since the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision, the Democrats have pledged to uphold the “reproductive choice” of women, while the Republicans have concentrated on the “right to life for unborn children.”

The Democratic party may be faced with internal conflict in ’92 based on the one-third of Democratic Congressmen who are pro-life. Representative Timothy Penny, a Minnesota Democrat, has felt a “party pressure to be quiet about pro-life views.” Consequently, this pro-life minority has remained relatively silent, although they have provided President Bush with the votes necessary to block legislation seeking to loosen abortion restrictions.

Pro-choice Democrats have normally categorized their pro-life brethren as Southerners or urban Catholics, despite the fact that of the 50 House Democrats who wrote Democratic National Committee Chairman Ron Brown to urge that abortion rights be dropped from the party’s platform fewer than half are Roman Catholic, and of the remaining 19, only 13 represent Southern states.

ENFORCED ANDROGYNY

Here’s how one professor’s “politically correct” ideas are being enforced at Washburn University in Topeka Kansas. In an effort to ban racist, discriminatory, or sexist language from the classroom, Professor Roy Sheldon has come up with a strict set of guidelines prescribing the use of “inclusive language” in all written assignments for his business writing class. Students who fail to adhere to Sheldon’s rigid standards will, after one warning, be docked a minimum of one letter grade.

In his class syllabus Sheldon warns students against using so-called sexist terms. He disapproves of virtually any use of the word man, and his guidelines for inclusive language offer alternatives to be used in place of such seemingly innocuous terms as mankind, man-made, chairman, and mailman.

In addition, he proscribes the use of masculine pronouns. He, his, and him should never be used as gender-neutral terms. The guidelines even include a cartoon designed to illustrate inappropriate usage of masculine pronouns. The cartoon depicts a female executive accompanied by a male secretary, and the caption reads, “This ought to be good. The boss has been expecting a J.P. Blivins and his secretary.” According to Sheldon the pervasive use of masculine pronouns excludes women from written and spoken dialogue and thereby undermines their role in society.

Students at Washburn have complained about Sheldon’s policies. Many think them a serious infringement on their First Amendment right to free speech. University officials are said to be looking into the matter, but no action has yet been taken.

FEAR OF FALLING

America is going through a process of despondency far greater than its current economic predicament justifies. Here are a few reasons for modern cheer.

First, the recession is over. By virtually all major indicators, the economy is climbing out of its woes. Low interest rates make it possible for businesses to borrow and invest, and also for consumers to buy homes and other necessities. The prospects for growth brighten ever further when we consider that inflation seems to be a slain dragon, or at least a hibernating one.

Second, the recession has been, by all historical or objective standards, unusually mild. Typically recessions produce unemployment levels in the double digits; throughout the recession of 1991, and continuing through early 1992, unemployment is around 7 percent, not dramatically higher than what economists consider a normal or even desirable rate of 4-5 percent.

Third, while President Bush highlighted the uncompetiveness of American industry by taking its leading losers like Lee Iacocca to Japan, there is another side to the story. Countless American firms are fully competitive with their European and Asian peers, including General Electric, Microsoft, Apple, Motorola, Cray Computer, Exxon, Eli Lilly, Bristol-Myers Squibb, and Dow Chemical. But these companies don’t get the spotlight because they aren’t twisting the arm of government to bail them out.

Fourth, immigration is actually proving to enhance national productivity and wealth, as economist Julian Simon and others have documented. An estimated one-third of engineers now working in Silicon Valley were born in Asia but are American citizens. One source told the Economist that in the so-called trade war, “America will win because our Asians will beat their Asians.”

None of this is intended to dispel concerns about real problems that need to be faced, or to lessen sympathy with those who are suffering, but it is aimed at providing some balance to amplified media fears, so that prophecies of doom do not become self-fulfilling.

PRO-LIFE TRAVAILS

The November issue of CRISIS came, and I eagerly picked it up at the first opportunity and read the lead article. Soon I had to put it down. As I read Monica Migliorino Miller’s “Severed Ties,” the tears came, and I could no longer see the paper. It was the first time this had ever happened. That night my husband was away, and, alone, I broke into sobs.

I have worked hard against the Equal Rights Amendment so that abortion rights would not be enshrined in the Constitution. I have gone to Washington for Nellie Gray’s pro-life March several times. I have sent many pro-life letters to the newspaper and worked with our local Right to Life group. I have even been on radio talk shows defending the pro-life position.

Yet, through all my pro-life work and reading there came the suspicion—and once it crept into my mind it came again and again—that my second miscarriage may have been an abortion in a hospital around 1959. I simply could not erase the idea.

Before reading “Severed Ties,” I had always been able to dismiss my thought with the assurance that I never meant to have an abortion; there was no “sufficient reflection.” I was surprised when the doctor said on the telephone, “Meet me at the hospital,” and even more surprised that he never examined me before I was wheeled into surgery. I was always able to dismiss the remembrance with a rather abstract “One can’t turn the clock back. I probably would have lost the baby anyway.” But this time it was different.

The poignancy of the article, the manner of expressing the unique “human relatedness” of mother and child, somehow struck a chord more deeply felt than anything I’d read in many scores of pro-life article and books. Something touched me.

I thought of what many women must go through, their regrets probably worse than mine if they had freely chosen to rid themselves of their baby. Of course, it’s difficult to know how free choices are, with all the propaganda and lies printed on the subject. Nevertheless, I hated myself for being too stupid or scared to shout to some competent looking nurse or intern, “You’re not taking me in there! I haven’t seen a doctor yet.” But the sterile atmosphere, the efficient speed, the professionalism intimidated me—and I was very shy and naïve and trusting.

God was so good to me and gave me another child. All the nausea, all the inconvenience of having to lay in bed to prevent a miscarriage (while trying to run a family at the same time), all were forgotten; but my son—never! How good our Creator is to have given me several children and now many grandchildren. I cherish them all— their laughter, their tears, their jokes, helping with school projects, helping them learn to read. How fortunate I am in today’s world to be so blest.

And yet, once the thought came to mind that I might have had another child, I could not lose that knowledge. When the uncontrollable tears came, I identified more closely than ever before with women who have had abortions. It can safely be said that reality will hit them sooner or later. Also, the knowledge, the awful knowledge, that one cannot go back. One cannot undo what has been done. It is so final.

Perhaps, if anyone else with regrets reads this, it might help them to know that the other night at a pro-life talk about “The Helpers of God’s Precious Infants,” the speaker, Monsignor Reilly, said it was his belief that God could recreate a baby if he wished. What was just as important as the baby was the soul of the mother. It was the first time I’d heard it expressed that God could recreate the baby, and it was a most consoling thought. If God wants, He can recreate a baby. If I ask for forgiveness, he can forgive—even if I can’t forgive myself for my stupidity.

How helpful if women who have regrets could cling to that thought. The depths of their sorrow would not be so unbearable. It is understandable why so many turn to pro-life work and try to help others so that they will not make the same mistake.

I thank Monica Migliorino Miller for her article because what she says is so true. Reflecting on the issues has made me appreciate my Catholic faith as never before. Where else does woman hold so high a place as in Holy Mother Church? Where else is creation asserted as a positive good? Where else are our sins put as far away from us as East and West. Rarely, if ever, can one find the word forgiveness in a psychology book!

I’m happy I wept and will let God lead me. I pray that in this age when radical feminism is finally being seen for what it is—harmful to women, men, children, family, and the whole social order—the venom and fury of those who shout and scream at us as we pray at the misnamed “reproductive health center” will turn to tears. I pray they, too, will feel the lightening of their burden as they cry and make peace with our Lord.

Elizabeth White

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