Wow — a lot of mail from all of you about the parish priest who booted hundreds of kids from religion class because their parents weren't attending church regularly. So far your comments are running about 85 percent in favor of the priest and only 15 percent in favor of the outraged parents. Some examples from both sides:
When a person freely chooses to practice the Catholic faith, they take on the responsibility of obeying ALL of its teachings. There is no "Chinese menu" where we can pick one from column A and two from column B. It is our obligation to attend Sunday Mass. It is not an option! It is the duty of parents to make sure children get to Mass EACH week.
—Pat in New Jersey
It sounds like Fr. Cichon has proclaimed himself God! Isn't it God's job to judge people? The church is losing people left and right due to abuse issues. The church is losing people left and right due to absurd Papal decisions re: women in the church, stem cells, etc. I think I hear the pitter-patter of feet...leaving the church for good!
It is sad to say that the Catholic Church (search) is running a business. Who do you think pays for all the maintenance for the church & school buildings and salaries for the teachers. I am totally for the priest refusing those children. If you are not going to practice your faith and take your children to mass every Sunday & Holy day, why bother to send your kids to CCD. What so you can have a 1st Communion party? You would not believe how many parents pull their kids out of CCD after the sacraments are made. If you want your kids to learn and practice the Catholic faith they need to see you doing it.
—Eleanore, Upper Darby, Pennsylvania
Another example of organized religion displaying hypocrisy, greed and mean spirited nature. Church is supposed to be about building a strong relationship with God. Not about chastising and bullying. It should be an institution where examples are set with love and kindness and people learn to be as "God like" as is humanly possible. I can't help but wonder; maybe if the parents had little boys, instead of little girls, the priest would be willing to let them come back.
—Heather in Florida
Now on to the President Bush's (search) speech to the nation Tuesday night about Iraq. I'd like to ask you all to watch it, then drop me an e-mail with your reaction after the speech is over. Did he tell you what you needed / wanted to hear about the situation in Iraq? Let me know. In the meantime, here are some e-mails that came in after today's show:
WWII was over in 1945 but we are still there. The Korean War (search) was over in 1953 but we are still there. The Iraq War was over a year ago and war with the insurgents continues. Why does anybody think we should now pull out of Iraq now?
I am terribly disappointed in Bush and the Iraq situation. There is chaos and disillusion. There seems to be no end and no plan except "Stay the course.
—Anonymous in Phoenix, Arizona
I think we have an instant society. Instant mash potato's, one-hour photo, instant information on the Internet and T.V. We are not a very patient society. My family in England lost three houses in the Second World War, even after all the bombings the English people didn't give up. I think we thought over here this was going to be an instant war, we have to be patient, it's better over there than fighting it over here. President Bush has said from the beginning this is going to be a long haul.
—Jackie, North Hills, California
As for Wednesday's show, I'm hoping to have a special guest who was on that congressional trip to our prison at Guantanamo Bay (search) — this person is not a congressman, though. He has eye-opening information about what he personally saw detainees say and do, as well as a dramatic account of what he saw a female American soldier do to a prisoner. And I guarantee this is an interview you won't see on the other networks!
See you Wednesday.
Watch "DaySide with Linda Vester" weekdays at 1 p.m. ET
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