Reviews | Religious beliefs and abortion laws

The Bible teaches us that in an ideal world, “mercy and truth meet, justice and peace are embraced.” Instead, Texas has become the barometer of a world where justice spits on mercy. We can and must do better.

Rosemary C. McDonough
Narberth, Pennsylvania.

For the publisher:

Re “God has no place at the Supreme Court”, by Linda Greenhouse (Sunday Review, September 12):

As a minister for 35 years, I am distressed by the continued reference to “God” in letters, opinion pieces, and nonsensical articles to which God refers. Ms. Greenhouse is one of the best commentators, and she’s right that God does not belong to the Supreme Court, that’s for sure, but what God is she referring to, or is the Supreme Court referring to?

Is this the God of the Hebrew Bible or the New Testament? Allah or Gaia, Thor or Kali, Elihino of the Cherokee tradition, the Buddha or Shiva? There are thousands of Gods. Is this the God of Paul Tillich, Dietrich Bonhoeffer or Jerry Falwell? It would be so helpful to identify which God is cited, as there is certainly more than one.

Jim nelson
Pasadena, California

For the publisher:

Having argued constitutional law issues and as a former member of the board of directors of New Jersey Right to Choose, I must (alas) challenge “God has no place on the Supreme Court”.

The reality is that since our founding, “God” has always held a place in the public arena (often against my agnostic preferences). The famous Declaration of Independence declares that it is not the “government”, but our “Creator” who endowed us with “certain inalienable rights”.

Indeed, the courtroom of the Supreme Court is adorned with religious images such as Moses holding the Ten Commandments. So while I sympathize very much with the philosophy of Linda Greenhouse, I cannot ignore the facts that work against it.

Two-thirds of Americans want abortion to remain safe and legal, if not entirely at least to some extent. Thus, the pro-choice movement would do well to focus its energies on securing abortion rights through the legislative process. Although there may unfortunately be aberrant states such as Texas and Mississippi, if two-thirds of Americans want to preserve some degree of abortion rights, they should persuade their elected lawmakers to do just that, and not to not rely on the whims of unelected judges.