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Letters: Conflating morality and religion

March 21, 2013

Re "Remodeling the world's moral map," Opinion, March 17

Shame on Richard Rodriguez. Drug addiction is not immoral, and neither is what he terms "depleted biological energy."

He writes that "as religious belief declines, so does the biological dynamism of a nation." With increased education comes more enlightened and intentional decision making. Rodriguez's caricatured white European isn't so much choosing "between a Volvo and a Saab" as much as choosing between a single college-educated child enjoying the same standard of living in the middle class of his parents and three ill-prepared children struggling in the lower class.

The truth is, both drug addiction and religion flourish in the slums. One day, the children of Latin America and Africa will educate themselves beyond the limits of their parents, and they too will plan their families with care. Until then, when we look south, we see the violence of poverty, and we know for sure we are looking backward.

Kevin T. Freeman

Anaheim

Equating religiosity with morality is wrong, as is assuming that the number of immigrants from Latin America or elsewhere is positive "biological dynamism" because of numbers present in the churches.

The "cultural left" is troubled about Pope Francis because of his "sexual conservatism," which refuses reproductive autonomy and equal status to women and gays. Caring about the poor matters little when civil rights for the majority of the population is ignored.

Contrary to Rodriguez's view, Muslim families in Europe don't "choose" to have children in the sense that the woman involved exercises voluntary choice. Rather, where religions impose control over secular health policy and fundamental social and gender equality, women are denied access to reliable and safe birth control and abortions.

No religion or society that wants to think of itself as moral should seek a bigger population filled with involuntary childbirth and second-class citizenry.

Pamela Koslyn

Hollywood

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