Editor, Commonwealth:

It is difficult to read the very liberal Cynthia Tucker’s columns, though sometimes I glean something with which I can agree.

However, this week’s column (“Pro-life only until birth,” April 2) first made me angry, then after a while I began to sense her frustration and have a “little” empathy for her. I, too, am frustrated with the poverty of many of Mississippi’s children. I want more and better for them, and I want it now.

However, she is wrong in many of her conclusions. There are so many people, and not just Catholics, who care deeply about the issues she describes. We are not all hypocrites who don’t care about the child once he is out of the womb.

So many people throughout our state, both liberal and conservative, volunteer, read to poor children, mentor, teach and tutor. They give money to the state’s children’s hospital, where our children get care whether or not they can pay. They visit prisons, and they help prisoners’ children have gifts at Christmas. They are foster parents and adoptive parents. They are teachers who really care about their poorer students, enough to be sure they have a ride to take the ACT, a warm coat or a homecoming dress, and to fill many other needs.

I could tell of many such actions, but it would take too much space in this paper. In our area alone, I couldn’t begin to name all of the people who volunteer in countless ways to make life better for others less fortunate than themselves. These volunteers are all ethnicities, and all political and religious stripes. Clubs, churches and civic organizations do many good works. No, we have not arrived. We have a long way to go. But to say we conservatives and Christians don’t care about children after they leave the womb is incorrect and insulting.

I care enough to want them to survive the womb first of all, and, yes, I wish all children had well-prepared parents to care for them. I am pro-life all the way, but that is from conception to natural death, and I am willing to do what I can for those among us who need help. So were my parents, who are gone now. And so are many other Mississippians. I am proud to be a part of the most charitable state in the union.

Ruth Jensen

(1) comment


I'm a Christian as well, but I agree with Cynthia Tucker. Her beef has more to do with state governments' lack of support for these children. Not to say those states do nothing for the children, but obviously more can be done given the longstanding state of things. She also implies that constituents are voting those legislators into office instead of those who support expanding government funding/involvement. So yes, every citizen in those states bears responsibility for the statistics as well. The general mentality in the South is that welfare and government assistance are bad, bad, bad. The hard reality is there are less fortunate people who truly need help through government funding and programs. If the South wants to rise from the bottom of the barrel, they need to invest in their people instead of leaving them behind. So yeah, that column is more about the lack of government support. Yes, volunteers are doing wonderful things every day, but it's clearly not enough. Government involvement can make more impactful and sweeping improvement if people let it.

(Edited by staff.)

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