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Thursday, Oct. 4, 2012 10:39 am

Letters to the Editor 10/04/12


In recent statements, Bishop Thomas John Paprocki of the Springfield Catholic diocese has told parishioners that how they vote may affect their eternal salvation.

I am sitting here on a Sunday morning contemplating the words of my bishop. Strong words they were indeed and well worth contemplating. Last week I, along with everyone else, was admonished by Bishop Thomas John Paprocki to contemplate seriously how to vote in the upcoming November election. Himself, having examined both the Democrat and Republican platforms, proclaimed the former to come up wanting while granting an informal imprimatur to the latter. According to the bishop, a grave sin that imperils the immortal soul is now attached to anyone associating themselves with candidates aligned with the repugnant platforms of the Democrat Party.

Being satirical, I might ask the good bishop if retroactive absolution is available to any who unwittingly voted an absentee ballot before he published his edict and became aware of their grievous error. Or, once they’d had the chance to analyze the individual candidate’s positions, they found only 40 percent of them in full agreement with anything repugnant to the bishop. Can 60 percent of the soul be salvaged for the afterlife or is this an all or nothing deal? I need help in this area of catechetical instruction, because I must have slept through the “voting as going to hell” portion of my Catholic education.

But this isn’t satirical. It’s serious. The U. S. Catholic bishops are taking deliberate steps to take control of the people’s politics through whatever means are at their disposal, even threats. All this meddling in politics takes place while the church enjoys tax-exempt status which mandates a clear separation of church and state.

In the case of this bishop’s edict, one might call an authority figure threatening the loss of one’s eternal salvation over the support of a political candidate, coercion. In bygone days, men just stood on street corners and bought votes outright. Alas, gone are the days of honest corruption.

Ed Wollet

I was glad to see that the intersection of MacArthur and Lawrence was again in the news with the article, “The Guardian of Lawrence Avenue,” written by Patrick Yeagle. It is reassuring that a trained person is near the intersection to provide appropriate aid to crash victims. However, there is an improvement that can be done to alleviate this crash problem. One of the reasons people go through the intersection late is because of the lack of capacity at the intersection. A second problem is the lack of left turn lanes. The drivers waiting to turn left many times cannot see vehicles coming from the opposite direction and turn in front of approaching traffic. Installation of left turn lanes addresses both problems by providing additional capacity, since there will always be two clear through lanes each direction, and by providing directly opposed turn lanes to provide the sight lines necessary for turning vehicles to see opposing through vehicles. People will continue to be maimed and vehicles wrecked at a higher rate than necessary at this intersection until city officials develop the backbone needed to fund and construct this badly needed improvement. 

Tyre W. Rees

Tyre Rees is the former Springfield traffic engineer, now retired.

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