Religion was not the cause of 20th century casualties

It is sad that Jo chose the most devout procession outside of Holy Week to attack religion and the Catholic Church. I always find it mystifying when people move to a predominantly Catholic country and then complain about the Church, which is something I see very often on English-language Web sites from places like Costa Rica.

I’ll see articles telling newly arrived expatriates that they are now living in a country that doesn’t do things like they’re used to and new expats are urged to patiently accept the new culture they’ve arrived in – except, of course, if religion is involved. A letter to the editor is too limited a space to explain the Church’s teaching on sexuality, abortion, IVF, and marriage, so I would encourage people to buy the Catechism of the Catholic Church (or find a free copy online) and read the teachings themselves.

These teachings help us treat each other with respect and dignity (including the new life inside the womb). The state rightly-so must deal with civil issues, but the Church is well within her right to deal with issues of faith and morals. It is the state that is interfering with the Church’s role in society and not vice-versa. To then call it a theocracy when the Church is performing their God-given duty is incredibly biased and inaccurate. In fact, it is precisely because of the state’s interference (and manipulation) of religion that has been any of the so-called religious wars you mention in your op-ed.

I therefore reject the inaccurate claim of Jo and others that religion has caused so many wars and destruction. In just the 20th century, communism (an atheist ideology) was responsible for roughly 100 million deaths (that we know of). Hitler killed 6 million Jews and 5 million non-Jews in the death camps, all based on their race. Additionally, World War II resulted in nearly 100 million deaths (and countless wounded). World War 1, based on nationalism and political alliances, caused over 65 million casualties. These 276 million casualties are from just a few non-religious conflicts of the 20th Century. If Jo still insists that this is nothing compared to the death and destruction in the name of religion, then she has a major and irrational bias against religion because her views are clearly not based on reality.

The Church teaches that chastity is the key to every state in our lives. If we’re not married, we should abstain from sex, and if we are married, we should engage in sex only with our spouse. This is how you end the spread of sexual transmitted diseases and the occurrences of unplanned pregnancies of single teenage mothers. The problem isn’t a lack of sex education. The problem is that people aren’t living their faith or being taught the faith correctly, and that’s the fault of the parents and, sadly, the Church. And instead of calling for the further collapse of morals in civil society, the Baby Boomers who gave us legalized contraception, abortion-on-demand, the sexual revolution, no-fault divorce, swinging, and God only knows how much more sexual deviancy and diseases, need to just retire in peace and allow this future generation to clean up the mess they’ve created.
Jason Edwards
South Bound Brook, New Jersey

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