Regarding “Go nonpartisan,” Jan. 22, Page 31:

I find myself more than surprised that such a mild editorial should generate such a body of responses.

I value vigorous debate and diverse opinions. However, many of these letters protest too much. They come across as promoting an ideology rather than searching for truth, as seeking salvation in a political party rather than in the paschal mystery.

The principles of the sacredness of human life and the dignity of the human person constitute the core of both the social teaching of the church and the natural law that is the bedrock of Catholic moral teaching. These principles apply to all human life and all human persons. So it is disconcerting to see so many of these letters suggest that, because the life of the unborn is of core importance, other issues of human life and dignity can be neglected.

We Catholics do not do either/or. Instead we choose both/and, including working for the common good, decent health care, appropriate housing and shelter, sound education, dignified work with a livable wage, a peaceful and just society, nourishing food, and clean water, all these especially for the poor. A strong ethic for the sacredness and dignity of human life is not narrowly focused. It is broad, joyful and generous.

John O’Donoghue