Catholics and Protestants sometimes remind me of Captain Quint and Chief Brody on board the Orca.  While they are at odds with each other, a monstrous thing is circling their beat-up old boat and threatening to swallow them whole, to paraphrase Quint.  Pretty soon we mackerel-snappers and our Protestant brethren may very well find ourselves in some sort of 21st-century arena entertaining crowds of pagans tweeting, texting, and clamoring for ever more blood sport.  We can thank fallen human nature and Abraham Lincoln for our bleak prospects.  But Honest Abe would not likely have paid any more attention to a Constitution that mentioned Christ or even a generic Creator as he fashioned his unitary state and waged war on the South.  And America would still likely find herself today standing on the brink of total madness and enormities brought about by a ruling class of “pale creatures that once were men.”

Christopher Ferrara (Polemics & Exchanges, March) is wrong when he contends that secession is not a legitimate course because men died when the South tried it in 1861.  The validity of secession is independent of how many perished in what the Yankees call the Civil War.  He also errs when he says that Lee changed his mind about secession.  He did not.  He opposed it even on the day he resigned his commission from the U.S. Army.  He left the Yankee forces to defend his country, which had seceded.  His country was not the South; it was Virginia.  Those who do not understand this point will not understand why America is failing, has failed.

And to Dr. Clyde Wilson, I pray you know how much we real Catholics have in common with our Protestant brothers and sisters and how much we love them.  Those outside our Faith may not be as aware as are we pitiful conservative remnant of the Old Church of the de facto schism in Catholicism today.  Dr. Wilson’s comment on the leftist bent of the Church is indicative of this tragic and relatively recent dichotomy.  But we bona fide Catholics are not socialists, not relativists; we are advocates of subsidiarity; we are Christians.

And, Mr. Ferrara, sometimes we are even revolutionaries or, more accurately, secessionists.  (I would contend that these terms are not coextensive.)  Catholics from Louisiana, South Carolina, Kentucky, and Maryland during the American internecine conflict fought dutifully and died to repel an aggressive invader who would impose upon them a godless tyranny.

—Joyce Bennett

Clements, Maryland