"He instinctively can find the shining greatness of our American culture and does a good job of highlighting it (although he also does have those rare lapses when he writes about hockey, but that is something caused by impurities in the Eastern waters or something)." Erik Keilholtz
Under the patronage of St. Tammany
Mark C. N. Sullivan is an editor at a Massachusetts university. He is married and the father of three children. Email
The moral test of government is how it treats those who are in the dawn of life, the children; those who are in the twilight of life, the aged; and those who are in the shadows of life, the sick, the needy, and the handicapped.
I am writing this open letter to you, Senator, on the outside chance that one of your National Catholic Advisory Council members might read America and pass it on to you.
You have an abortion problem, especially with pro-life Catholics who would like to vote for you—something to keep in mind when you ponder the fact that there has been up to a 15 percent rise in Catholics voting Republican in the past two elections.
Catholic voters do not think monolithically. That should come as no surprise to you, since you have many Senate colleagues with a Catholic background who have supported every bill insuring a “woman’s right to choose.” But if you are interested in the respectful hearing of opposing positions, as you often note, it will be valuable for you to have serious conversations with groups like Democrats for Life of America and Feminists for Life...
A vociferous cadre in the Democratic Party has for too long wielded a dogmatic veto over any discussion of limiting abortions. With your commitment to reasoned, evidence-based and respectful discourse, are you able to challenge your party to welcome pro-life Catholics into its supposed big tent?
Personally, I am growing increasingly tired of the efforts of those commentators who are, like me, Irish Catholics from the Northeast who grew up when there was a discernible blue collar Catholic Culture in those major metropolitan centers. They have decided to equate their nostalgia with the past with what it means to be a Catholic today. It is questionable whether their image is even an accurate account of what it really meant to be a Catholic back then.
For example, Chris Matthews, the feisty Irish Catholic who hosts “Hardball”, has been attempting to join the chorus of those who maintain that the Vice Presidential nominee of the Democratic Party, Joe Biden, is a “blue collar Catholic kind of guy”. In other words, Matthews is arguing that Biden will attract people like me back to the Party I grew up in and somehow capture my vote. He won’t Chris - and you won’t succeed in your nostalgic effort to paint Catholic faith in this manner. I would be happy to vote for a Democratic candidate who was pro-life. In fact, I watch with eagerness and hope as groups like Democrats for Life try to help that once great Party recover their soul and hear the cry of all the poor, including our neighbors in the first home of the whole human race, the first neighborhood, our mother's womb.