Correspondence

Correspondence Garvey excels Garvey Washington, D.C. To the Editors: In the numerous statements that have been written and spoken in recent months on "religion in politics," I have seen or heard...

...JOHN TRACY ELLIS Catholic University of America 'Case lor untidiness' Buffalo, N.Y...
...17 issues of In These Times...
...In a global world we desperately need writers, thinkers, and teachers who will articulate the direction in which we must move...
...One is freedom of will...
...Likewise, in the context of his argument the maternal-health issue is a smokescreen...
...To the Editors: Thank you for publishing ' "The Case for Untidiness'' by Rabbi Arthur Hertzberg [Nov...
...To the Editors: Contrary to Commonweal's editorial "Shortchanging the Pastoral" [November 30], the American Catholic Committee's "lay commission" did attempt to enlist the participation of people who are neither corporation executives nor right-leaning political activists...
...WILLIAM H. BURKE Labor's love lost Chicago, 111...
...We are faced with a question of individual liberty...
...To the Editors: In the numerous statements that have been written and spoken in recent months on "religion in politics," I have seen or heard nothing that equals that of John Garvey in Commonweal [November 2-16...
...BETH MASOBNOT Commonweal: 34...
...It struck me as one of the really helpful ways to look at church-state relations...
...A slave owner had life-and-death power over his chattels...
...This was covered in the Sept...
...By dwelling on the moral side of the issue to the exclusion of political considerations he ignores the steady progress Western democracies have made over the years in the area of individual rights...
...12 and Oct...
...Our cosmos depends on it...
...Another is surely the right to live, from the earliest moment of existence as a human being...
...Even on the moral question the rabbi's position betrays a disturbing dependence on an ethical imperative stemming from primitive biological knowledge and on worst-case debating tactics...
...In today's political climate natural-law concepts have been largely superseded by human-rights terminology...
...what we tend to define by consent does bear relationship to the biblical roots of our common culture...
...Is he saying that belief is not circumscribed by knowledge...
...What bearing does it have on abortion-by-choice...
...Sophocles understood this, and manifested it in King Oedipus...
...After the many biased, inaccurate, and at times bizarre interpretations of that controversial theme, it is gratifying to read an enlightened judgment that demonstrates not only a realistic approach, but as well a nuance and discernment that take account of important factors all too often overlooked in the heated exchanges of the recent political campaign...
...Thanks to the rabbi for seeing creatively...
...In the early nineteenth century the Dred Scott decision relegated blacks to subhuman status...
...The Roe v. Wade decision gives one individual the same authority over another...
...Does he maintain that his Talmudic forebears would be as unequivocal as he describes them if they had access to modern embryology...
...But the two labor leaders it tried to woo Edward Cleary of the New York AFL-CIO and John Henning of the California Labor Federation dropped out when they sized up the committee's direction...
...It points to exactly the opposite of the position he takes: no human being should be expected to sacrifice her life for the continuing existence let alone for the convenience of another...
...ADELE BUTLER NASH The cose for rights Commerce, Tex...
...Since Rabbi Hertzberg has grave difficulties with the concept of natural law, he might consider the proposition that there are some principles which, although difficult or impossible to prove, must be observed as if true if there is to be any possibility of dignity and self-respect for human beings...
...If there is indeed a' 'right to be born,'' then it is of course universal, and can come into tragic conflict only with an equally weighty right: the right to continue living...
...EDWARD M. CORBETT A who becomes a which Kalamazoo, Mich...
...to deny it is to force oneself, willy-nilly, into the sort of unworthy word game in which Rabbi Hertzberg has been caught...
...To the Editors: Arthur Hertzberg's article [November 30] reflects prevailing media confusion on the human-rights aspect of abortion...
...Defining truth for all people is not at issue...
...The footwork, none the less shifty for being apparently unconscious, by which a right becomes a privilege (and a who becomes a which) is even more egregious coming from Rabbi Hertzberg, at least than the familiar transformation of "my (wanted) baby" into "the (unwanted) fetus...
...Garvey is always worth reading, but this time he has risen above his normal high level of reasoned discourse...
...In the light of current embryological knowledge can we rationally justify retrogression to Justice Taney's perceptions of humanity...
...To the Editors: Rabbi Hertzberg states his' 'case for untidiness'' [November 30] clearly too clearly for his own good in the following sentence: "What I cannot do is to battle for a law in which I universalize for everybody my own anguish both for thousands of fetuses whose right to be born should be protected and over the occasional one which should in fact be denied that privilege...

Vol. 112 • January 1985 • No. 2


 
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