Writing a letter to your confirmation candidate

It seems that one of the biggest events in confirmation preparation in this country is the letters of support to be given to the confirmation candidates during their mandatory retreats.

I have three such letters saved on this blog:

Confirmation letter to my daughterConfirmation letter to my fourth sonConfirmation letter to to my third son
I've asked my children what they remember about the letter they got from me and their dad, and also what they remembered about the letters they received. 
The answer was not much, or at least nothing specific. In general they were happy to have gotten a bag full of letters and there was a sense of feeling loved and supported. I guess that's the main thing - for them to have a sense that this is an important step in their spiritual growth, and that people they know, love and respect have taken the time out of their lives to let them know that! So here are some tips on procuring and writing letters for young confirmation candidates. Start thinkin…

The sensitivity of the left - The View and Bill O'Reilly showdown

In case you missed the big blowout on The View yesterday - here's the link.  It gives the entire debate in context.  To summarize, the ladies of the view (representing the liberal left Whoopi Goldberg, Barbara Walters, Joy Behar and the silent moderate and right wing Sherri Shephered and Elisabeth Hasselbeck) welcomed Bill O'Reilly to their show yesterday.  The discussion started out being about why President Obama is no longer connecting with the majority of Americans and O'Reilly used the subject of the mosque at ground zero as an example.  
After a lot of speculation and a long silence from the White House on the Ground Zero Mosque controversy, Obama did finally come out strongly supporting the Mosque for legal reasons, but backed down a bit when asked about the wisdom of building the mosque there.

"I was not commenting and I will not comment on the wisdom of making the decision to put a mosque there," Obama said. "I was commenting very specifically on the right people have that dates back to our founding. That's what our country is about."

O'Reilly pointed out that according to a CNN poll, almost 70% of the people opposed the construction of the mosque at Ground Zero. And while probably a lot of people were interested in hearing what the president thought on the topic, it was a puzzling to hear him support the construction so forcefully but then decline to speak out with any authority at all on the wisdom of building the structure there. O'Reilly was using the incident as an example of how Obama is not connecting with the people.

But Behar, Goldberg and Walters are lock step with the president and it seems to me they don't really know or care why anyone else has a difference of opinion.  O'Reilly was continuously interrupted while he tried to explain the feeling that building the mosque was inappropriate at that site.  When Goldberg asked, why it was inappropriate, it was O'Reilly's answer that set off the storm, "Because muslims killed us there."   She reacted to his choice of words - or rather his lack of a particular choice word. It appears that their entire beef with him was that he didn't put the word "extremist" in front of the word muslims, and because of that ommission, cussing and walking off ensued.

The discussion without Behar and Goldberg was productive.  Barbara Walters chastized her colleagues for walking off without attempting to continue the discussion.  She also chastized O'Reilly for not being sensitive and for seemingly demeaning an entire religion. In his defense, on his program that evening O"Reilly pointed out that when we were fighting the Japanese and Germans in World War II we didn't specify "extremist Japanese or German fanatics."  It's probably a good thing that we do now. It was a lack of differentiation that lead to the Japenese internment camps in this country for Japanese Americans.

But still as a viewer, I didn't come away with the idea that it was O'Reilly's faux pax that set off Behar and Goldberg but rather their frustration that everyone isn't as sensitive as they believe they are to feelings of Muslim Americans.  Which made me think, why does that sensitivity extend in only one direction.  Why is the sympathy and sensitivity on the left only to the Muslim community and not to the feelings of those affected by 9/11? 

Incidentally, I note that prior to walking off Goldberg insinuated that Americans were too stupid to get it and that's why Obama's approval ratings are down.

"So you're saying that Americans are not smart enough to recognize that while it is part of our constitution to say free religion and freedom to worship and there were 70 families who were Muslim and also died in that building, so you're saying that his saying that they have the right to do it and not saying any more than that is why his approval rating is down?"

Apparently sensitivity is not a two way street.

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