The hypocrisy of Justice Antonin Scalia never ceases to amaze me ("Split ruling on immigration," Tuesday). In his narrow-minded dissent from the Supreme Court's decision striking down parts of Arizona's draconian new immigration law, Scalia raises his voice on the evils of illegal immigration.
The justice forgets that hundreds of thousands, perhaps millions, of his countrymen's families also entered this nation without passports, and probably illegally, in the early 20th century. During those waves of immigration, the WASP majority reacted with the same ignorance and intolerance as Scalia does today.
Today, much of the hatred directed at Latino immigrants, whether their status is legal or illegal, comes from neoconservative ranks that have swelled with new members whose own Irish and Italian ancestors suffered the same intolerance and bigotry of which they are now guilty.
I was mildly horrified after reading "Apathy, panic over pedophilia" (Tuesday). As a former prosecutor who has dedicated the lion's share of my career to cases involving domestic violence and sexual assault, I found Jonathan Zimmerman's piece distasteful — at minimum.
That he could think that anyone with the slightest hint of humanity could laugh at pedophilia is astounding. Zimmerman sadly mistakes immaturity and ignorance for reasonable assessment.
I question his motives in writing such an offensive piece, and the decision to publish it, while remaining at a complete loss as to why he would voice such reprehensible thoughts and ignore the fact that victims of the assumed pedophile might have read his piece and would have most assuredly been offended and injured by it.
Shame on Jonathan Zimmerman for even suggesting that we have adversely "affected American childhood" by becoming so vigilant over pedophilia. How can he, on one hand, say that abuse "likely subjected them [victims] to significant and lasting suffering," and then lament that we no longer "laugh" at pedophilia, instead letting it consume us.
Just because we have become more aware of what is actually happening, and no longer shamefully sweep it under the rug doesn't mean we are "obsessed" by it.
I work in a school and I am glad there are mandatory clearances for anyone working around children. I am happy to have to undergo these checks, including fingerprinting, if it will protect even one child.
Almost every week, we read in the newspaper about some other adult working with children who has been found to have abused one or more.
I've raised three children and do not feel I ruined their childhoods by teaching them about inappropriate adult behavior and what to do about it if it happens to them. Quite the contrary.
Pedophilia is no laughing matter and I for one am glad we are no longer laughing.
Not an attack
There's been much misinformation regarding the Catholic Church's doctrinal assessment of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR). False perceptions were prevalent in Farah Stockman's op-ed ("Church's nun attack is ahistorical," June 18).
Stockman asserts that the Vatican wants only to punish nuns and to launch a sweeping attack on women religious while devaluing their work on behalf of the poor. Nothing could be further from the truth. The only fact the author gets right is that Catholic women religious throughout the world contribute to the welfare of society in the name of Jesus.
The LCWR does not lead all women religious, so a doctrinal assessment of their activity isn't a blanket "attack on nuns." Additionally, anyone who joins a religious community professes an obedience encompassing faith in Jesus Christ and adherence to church teaching. It was this faith that fueled the past heroic works that Stockman rightly praises.
By contrast, speakers at LCWR's national conferences have questioned whether all nuns need to share the same faith and have stated that religious communities could move beyond Jesus. Where, then, is the unity of faith and the adherence to Christ that distinguishes religious communities from other entities admittedly doing good social works?
Actions of Church authorities toward the LCWR do not constitute an "attack," but rather are a challenge to return to the fundamental tenets of faith that lay at the root of a history they rightly cherish. Such a return is always the key to authentic reform in the church, in religious communities, and in other areas of church life where reform is needed.
The solution to the rise in violence in Philadelphia and other cities is not to go hat in hand to the federal government begging for more funding ("25 officers aren't enough," Wednesday). Hasn't anyone noticed that the federal government doesn't have any money either, and is borrowing more than a trillion dollars each year?
Local violence is a problem that cities and states need to deal with themselves. Rather than bemoan that the federal government is providing money for only 25 more police, we should wonder why the federal government is providing any funds.
I was struck by the juxtaposition of Monica Yant Kinney's article on Gov. Corbett's cut in funding for the most fragile people in the state ("Man ill-served by Corbett's cuts," Wednesday), and "Camp Face-Hair-Nails," a weeklong program for kids aged 9-15 to learn about facials, mani-pedis, hairdos, and makeup, at a cost of $360.
Steven Schwartz's mother is worried about how to keep her special-needs adult son off the streets and well cared for. Other mothers have money to throw at personal pampering for their children.