Catholic Diocese of Spokane, Washington

From the

Official News Magazine of the Diocese of Spokane

Deacon Eric Meisfjord, Editor
P.O. Box 48, Spokane WA 99210
(509) 358-7340; FAX: (509) 358-7302

Letters to the Editor

(From the Oct. 21, 2004 edition of the Inland Register)

(The Inland Register welcomes letters to the editor. Letters must be signed, and include an address and contact phone number; names may be withheld upon request. Please limit letters to no more than 500 words. Remember to be charitable.

Address letters to:

Inland Register
P.O. Box 48
Spokane, WA 99210-0048
Fax: (509) 358-7302

Voting no to ‘more of the same’


More Americans as well as Iraqi civilians are killed and wounded every day in a war which has been called unjust and unnecessary by millions of people, including the pope. The torture at Abu Ghraib is an affront to the dignity of the soldiers as well as the prisoners. Our nation has amassed a huge debt while at the same time many families have no health care and many live in poverty. All life is not being held sacred by our leaders. I cannot vote for more of the same.

Judy Butler, Spokane

Vote for moderation


I’m a college student, and when I graduate, I need a job. I’m supporting Don Barbieri in his quest to lead our region in Congress, simply because he is the best candidate to grow new jobs here in the Inland Northwest.

If you’ve looked at Don’s record of experience, you know that in the 30 years during which Don ran his family business, WestCoast Hospitality grew from 5 to 5,000 employees. This is more than a slogan; this is a huge asset to greater Spokane’s economy. Just think about it: by the time he retired from WestCoast Hospitality and began his quest to help our region grow in a new direction, his business employed 100,000 percent more people than when he joined it. Yes, 100,000 percent more jobs in just one business, thanks to Don Barbieri and his team of leaders.

Let’s take advantage of the skills Barbieri has gained from his successful career. Let’s take advantage of all the experience he has gained from his years of bringing diverse people together for common causes. We need a Congressman who can represent all of us, liberal and conservative alike. We need this talented, deliberate, man in Congress.

Let’s elect a moderate man for this moderate district. Let’s elect Don Barbieri.

David Freeburg, Spokane

‘Disingenuous’ columnist


Patricia Zapor’s column (“Kerry, Bush at near-opposite extremes on death penalty,” IR 9/30/04) praised Sen. John Kerry’s stand against capital punishment. What she failed to mention is that his opposition to the death penalty only extends to those already born.

Kerry has stated that he is Catholic and believes that life begins at conception, but two decades of his votes in the Senate say otherwise. There were 65 criminal executions in the U.S. during 2003. Meanwhile, more than one million innocent unborn children were put to death by abortion and John Kerry, by his vote against the ban on partial-birth abortion, refused to grant a reprieve to even a few of them.

Ms. Zapor is disingenuous in her praise of someone who has no sense of the proportionality of evil.

John G. Murry, Walla Walla, Wash.

Pray, teach, lead


Over a period of time, spanning a score of years, I have had the advantage of obtaining an education entirely within Spokane’s Catholic schools and Gonzaga University. From the Baltimore Catechism to the Summa Theologica and beyond into the secular world of divergent ideas and thought, a central doctrine that stands out in my mind is that we were created in the image and likeness of God. This image and likeness of God is that we are created with a free will and an immortal soul. In the exercise of our free will, we are to be guided by a well-informed conscience.

The decision to terminate the life of an unborn child in a post-Roe vs. Wade era is made by the woman, and the decision to perform the procedure is made by one or more medical people. These decisions are being made in a medical facility, and each is exercising free will.

Turning to the courts, the U.S. Supreme Court in Roe vs. Wade (93 SCT.705) states: “...we need not resolve the difficult question of when life begins when those trained in the respective disciplines of medicine, philosophy, and theology are unable to arrive at any consensus, the judiciary, at this point in the development of man’s knowledge, is not in a position to speculate as to the answer.... The law has been reluctant to endorse any theory that life, as we recognize it, begins before live birth or to accord legal rights to the unborn, except in narrowly defined situations and except when the rights are contingent on live birth.”

The question then falls back to medicine and science in general. By all the characteristics by which life is defined, the unborn is a living being. In attacking this situation, many in science arguing viability and the condition and appearance of the early development of the unborn child, deny the fact of human life and refer to life beginning with live birth.

The discovery of heredity and the development of its laws by Father Gregor Johan Mendel in 1865, and the further development of these scientific works, has brought us to the science of the study and use of DNA. The genetic code is established at conception, for as Hillel Hoffman in the October 2003 edition of National Geographic stated: “DNA pattern is constant from day one to death.” The human genetic code, by this principle, is established: “from day one to death.” It is the duty of the scientific community to establish and defend this principle.

It is the duty of the Christian Community, and all mankind who cherish life, to pray for those making the decision to have and perform the abortion, and teach them and lead them away from that action. It is by our prayer and work that we can stand against the culture of death. We are instructed by our Christian faith, and our shared humanity, to pray for all God’s children, and pray for the Holy Spirit to strengthen and guide. As Scripture tells us, the Good Shepherd did not chastise his dog for the missing sheep. He went out into the wilderness to bring his precious lost sheep back into the fold. And similarly, the Father of the Prodigal Son did not demand retribution from his errant son, but rather received and embraced him, for he believed his son to be dead, but found him alive.

Emmett J. Shearer Sr., Spokane

Shocked, disillusioned


I was in in shock and disillusionment over the Inland Register’s ad for Don Barbieri and supportive article in favor of John Kerry (“Kerry, Bush at near-opposite extremes on death penalty,” IR 9/30/04) printed in the last issue.

I have a difficult time trusting someone who does not try to live the teachings of their faith. John Kerry and Don Barbieri are two of those men. Both are practicing Catholics and pro-abortion advocates. This is a contradiction.

Since his time in office, John Kerry has voted six times in favor of partial birth abortion. In his last 20 years in the senate, John Kerry has voted 79 times to support abortion on demand and against notifying a parent before performing an abortion on a minor.

Don Barbieri admitted to me personally that he was pro-choice and Catholic. Why should that send up red flags? Because if a man cannot uphold and defend the teachings of the church he has freely chosen and represents, then how can we possibly trust him to uphold the values of the State of Washington and of the United States of America?

President Bush has voted continually in support of life. He has signed The Born Alive Infants Protection Act of 2002, The Partial Birth Abortion Ban 2003, and The Unborn Victims of Violence Act 2004.

There is more than one kind of war. I appeal to all Catholics: Have you brought to mind the war being waged against the unborn child in this country? There are over 4,000 casualties daily. The rights of human beings should begin at the start of their existence, which is at conception.

There should be five non-negotiables in choosing a candidate for any serious Catholic, because they are always morally wrong. They include abortion, euthanasia, fetal stem cell research, human cloning and homosexual marriage. Clear your minds from the hooting and ranting of the liberal media, and vote for life!

Terri Neal, Walla Walla, Wash.

Natural Law


Amazing, isn’t it? Yes, amazing that some judges and ministers are able to interpret the wording of the law and Scriptures to meet their own needs or the needs of their special interest groups.

But there is a law that they cannot misinterpret, because it is not written – it just is and has been from the beginning of existence: the Natural Law. This law governs all forms of life – vegetation, wildlife, human life, etc.

The common theme of this law is preservation, multiplication, or procreation, which are the cornerstones of our institution of marriage. What if the Biblical story of Adam and Eve were changed to Adam and Edward or Adele and Eve? Not just the story changes, but actual events. Guess what! We would not exist!

What can be the force that promotes gay marriages to the same level of heterosexual marriages? Money! The monetary gain they would receive: tax breaks, medical and retirement benefits, et al, by the legalization of their cohabitation. They claim their “rights” are being violated. What rights? To be different? They certainly are!

Consider also the role of some of our members of Congress and State Legislators. Are they pro-gay marriages as a matter of principle or rights, or are they primarily attempting to sweeten their re-election coffers?

Don Dehmer, Spokane

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