click to enlarge Letter writer reminds that some faith traditions welcome people regardless of their sexual orientation, and that reproductive choices are best made by women and their doctors.
Letter writer reminds that some faith traditions welcome people regardless of their sexual orientation, and that reproductive choices are best made by women and their doctors.

As a former Catholic, I was not surprised by Bishop Paprocki’s recent public statements. In my youth, I heard similar admonishments from the pulpit. Indeed, that is one of the reasons why I left Catholicism. In hindsight, I owe that tradition much, for Catholics taught me to love like a Universalist, and Jesuits taught me to think like a Unitarian.

After ordination, I have occasionally been called to speak out on social issues. I for one do not ever endorse any particular candidates or party; such is generally considered “beyond the Pale.” Still, I have come to appreciate the preachers’ proverb that whenever one discusses contemporary issues from the pulpit, should a member agree with the views expressed, he/she will describe the talk as “spiritual,” yet when a listener disagrees, he/she is apt to respond that the preacher has crossed the line into politics.

That said, I must take issue with his assertion that sexual orientation and the freedom to make reproductive choices are “intrinsic evils.” I would remind your readers that other faith traditions defend different conclusions. For example, UUs welcome people regardless of their sexual orientation. We believe that reproductive choices, including birth control, are best made by the women affected and their doctors. We believe that men and women alike should be ordained. We believe that deeds, not creeds, define what it means to be authentically religious. We believe that freedom and democracy are essential to the religious life; which is to say that people should govern their religious communities and be free to prove all things and hold fast to that which is true.

Rev. Martin Woulfe
Abraham Lincoln UU Congregation


Jim Krohe Jr. was quoted in the newsweekly The Week (Sept. 28, page 15). Jim’s piece on cheating was quoted in an article entitled “Cheating in school: Why it’s on the rise.” Pretty nice! With the Journal-Register in decline, Illinois Times is even more our source of news and events. Keep up the great work!

Richard Leary

At the recent first round of the presidential debates, our champion, Obama, must have entered the ring expecting the fight to follow the rules of fair play similar to those for prizefighting: one of which is to use the proper gloves. It must have come as a surprise to him that his opponent, the challenger, fidgeted as though the contest was to be fought under the rules of kickboxing, which involves more than fisticuffs. While our champion fought as though he was at a sherry party in the Harvard Yard, the challenger resorted to a verbal version of that popular Thai sport involving strategic kicks, now known fondly as zingers.

Thus unfolded Round One: punches, kicks, wrestling, and an infrequent whack from our side. The champ had better finish his sherry and get down to serious business; he has no excuse now not to know the foe.

The debate did raise a question about the fate of “Big Bird.” The challenger distinctly let 60 million listeners understand that as president he would fire Big Bird. Does he plan to lease it to a private corporation to operate at a profit? It would be an attractive property for a private-equity firm.

Robert Crowley

This growing season, we’ve seen many community members step forward and donate excess produce from their gardens to help feed hungry families. These are people who spend hours weeding, watering and carefully watching over their plants with the goal in mind to help others. Dan Strick tends the garden at Rochester United Methodist, which grows produce for seniors and church members. Anything left over comes to the Foodbank. It is volunteers like Dan and many others who make what we do at the Foodbank possible. By working together, we’re providing increased access to fresh, nutritious food. And for that, we can’t say, “Thank you,” enough.

Kaleigh Friend
Central Illinois Foodbank

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