Dear Editor, Might I refer to ‘The View’ written by Breda O’Brien (21/11/19) in which she states that “Donald Trump is the least religious president ever” and goes on to laud the faith of the Democrat hopefuls seeking the nomination for the 2020 election and especially one particular individual whose lifestyle would not be in keeping with the Christian faith.
Surely Ms O’Brien must be aware that all those candidates are totally committed pro-choice and supportive of the abortion industry. The Democratic Party has shifted its position on abortion from ‘safe, legal and rare’ to ‘on demand and without restriction’.
To say that President Trump “is the least religious president ever” is not in keeping with the facts and can be construed as ‘fake news’.
One of his first actions after his election was to withdraw federal funding from Planned Parenthood, the principal abortion provider in the US, an organisation which was the subject of the recent film Unplanned.
He continues to nominate conservative pro-life judges to the Federal, Appeals and Supreme Courts of the US.
He strongly supports the first amendment to the Constitution which guarantees freedom of religion.
Both himself and his Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, regularly speak internationally on the need for religious freedom in all parts of the world and he addressed the UN General Assembly on the subject in New York last September.
His government is now actively considering the question of withholding overseas development aid to countries with excessive restrictions on religious freedom.
His Attorney General, William Barr, a devout Catholic, in a recent address at Notre Dame University, spoke at length on religious values and faith. He assured his audience that the Trump administration firmly supports freedom of religion.
Ballymote, Co. Sligo.
Sad to see columnist sign up ‘hate Trump’ brigade
Dear Editor, It’s difficult to know where to start with a critique of Breda O’Brien’s column (IC 21/11/19).
The shared headline and her column headline is all about Donald Trump whereas the entire piece is about a little known Democrat, someone called Pete Buttigleg who is, she tells us, a cradle Catholic who abandoned his faith in favour of Anglicanism ostensibly because that Church looked benignly on his homosexuality, also probably on the fact that he has a ‘husband’!
This guy’s CV is ‘enhanced’ by his support for abortion up to birth.
Interesting that Breda lauds Pete for his ‘Christian Faith’ despite his very non-Christian baggage yet vilified Trump, an avowed Presbyterian, and the most pro-life president since Ronald Reagan.
He is a man who, most unpolitically, actually fulfils his pre-election promises much to the chagrin of those who have hated him since 2015 when his campaign kicked off and have gone into overdrive since his unexpected election win.
I just love Breda’s line “keeping Hillary Clinton out does not mean endorsing everything Donald Trump does while in office”.
Democracy requires of its adherents the ability, the common sense to criticise even those one has voted for when one feels the elected one is doing something one doesn’t like – happens all the time Breda!
The reader might gather that I admire Trump – and the reader would be right, which means Breda, that while I don’t approve of everything he does, he has presided over an unprecedented economic revival and given thousands of Americans back the dignity of having a job again.
The majority of journalists, to put it mildly, do not like Trump for many reasons but mainly because he has confounded their predictions, laughed at their lying vitriol and please God, he’ll continue doing so until 2024.
Sad to see Breda O’Brien rowing in with the ‘hate Trump’ brigade majority in her trade.
A handshake or hug still has a special place
Dear Editor, On reading Fr Bernard Cotter’s article, ‘When prayers can replace on-the-run handshakes’ (IC 14/11/19), I was surprised that he seemed to place equal or more value on various ways of expressing sympathy to a bereaved family over attendance at a Funeral Mass.
I always understood that participating in a Funeral Mass far exceeded all other forms of sympathy. The Funeral Mass is the final great prayer of entrusting a loved one to God’s mercy. A lot of preparation goes into the choosing of readings, music and prayers of the faithful, all of which involve the bereaved family in a special way.
All other gestures of sympathy are indeed greatly appreciated, attendance at wake, phone-calls and Mass/sympathy cards as well as practical support and offers of help and of course, it is not always possible or convenient to attend a Funeral Mass.
I disagree with Fr Cotter’s statement expressing fear that attendance at funerals boils down to: “A fleeting moment, without a prayer or hardly a thought for the person who had died.”
From my observation the opposite is the case. I see sincere Catholics making a great effort to attend funerals, offering the Mass for deceased person’s soul while supporting the bereaved by their very presence. In fact the handshake or hug at the graveside, though brief, conveys genuine sympathy and goodwill.
May Irish funerals continue to reflect the reverent and dignified way of honouring the dead which has been upheld throughout the centuries.