I am responding to Thomas Paris’ article entitled “Pope Intrudes On American”. This article is malformed, ignorant, and arrogant.In his article, he states “I take umbrage at both the [church’s] document itself as well as their regular attempts to force their beliefs on a sovereign nation that is founded on the idea of separation between church and state.” The argument here is simply malformed. What happened to the first amendment? You are saying that the church does not have a right to voice its opinion merely because you disagree with it. That is a violation of the church’s first amendment right. So, are you arguing for the abolishment of the very same amendment that allowed you to write your column? The church is not trying to force their beliefs on anyone. They are merely stating their opinion, as you stated yours.Later in the article, he states “Even some priests don’t believe the assertion [made in the document] is warranted.” Why then do you believe that the elected officials, who are arguably less associated with the church than priests, will believe and take to heart the very same assertions? The only explanation I could come up with is that you are completely ignorant to the ways and teachings of the Catholic Church.Lastly, he states, “What is unacceptable is its attempts to force Catholics engaged in secular work to disregard their mandate and responsibility to the people who elected them in favor of enforcing the policies of the Catholic Church.” No sir, what is unacceptable is your arrogance. You believe that the church should not attempt to sway public opinion simply because you don’t agree with them. That is fascism. Maybe everyone that agreed with your article should gather at the steps of the Rush Rhees Library and have a good old fashion Nazi book burning bonfire. You could throw in all the articles and books that don’t coincide with your beliefs.I respect your right to voice your opinion. You should respect the church’s right to voice their opinion. I am neither for nor against gay/lesbian marriage and adoption. What I am for is the rights of people and institutions to express themselves. To state that its “unacceptable” for the Catholic Church to attempt to sway public opinion is tantamount to deleting the first amendment, and I object to that on the grounds of everything that makes this country not North Korea.

God Bless America!

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