Giant cross should be tasteful, Cunniffe should promote campus unity

To the Daily:

Peter Cunniffe”s column, The World”s Biggest What? (2/5/02) and the letters printed yesterday, should be of great concern to anyone seeking to justify a cause through rational thought. The issue in question a 250-foot tall crucifix would be a poor reflection on the aesthetic standards of the Ann Arbor community. It is important to remember the context in which this crucifix would be placed. A highway intersection is the place for the signs of gas stations and fast food restaurants for non-Christians, the concern surrounds what would amount to the presence of a garish advertisement ten times the size of any in the area. For Christians, there should be some thought given to how tasteful we should be when pursuing evangelistic goals.

Tom Monaghan”s crucifix would be so unavoidable that I would argue that much of the meaning would be lost. It is not much different than the Christian billboards lining our highways that are pretentiously signed, “God.” I think that Catholics/Christians should be more judicious when deciding what messages they wish to send when representing their faith.

That said, I would like to criticize Peter Cunniffe”s use of this issue as an excuse to voice his opinions regarding religion and abortion. There are better ways to express those views in this case, he has merely hidden behind an issue which is more about good taste and property development than religious stance. Unfortunately, all he has accomplished is division between Christians and non-Christians when there should be unity to keep Ann Arbor a pleasant and beautiful place to study, work and live.

Joshua Simanskey

Junior Taubman College of

Architecture and Urban Planning

Cunniffe”s arguments cause readers brain to spin in circles

To the Daily:

In Peter Cunniffe”s column The World”s Biggest What? (2/5/02) he states that “Most people in Ann Arbor respect those of other faiths.” His words would carry more weight if he could claim to respect them all himself. Unfortunately, Cunniffe”s words carry an appalling anti-Catholic view that seems fueled by his ignorance of what true Catholics really believe. (By true Catholics I mean those whose belief systems comply with the doctrines of Catholicism laid out in the Catechism).

Cunniffe cites Tom Monaghan”s views opposing divorce and abortion, apparently with the intent of illustrating that Monaghan subscribes to his own “brand of overly politicized religion.” As a Catholic, I am disgusted by others” merciless attempts to turn my moral beliefs into political issues. The Catechism of the Church clearly forbids divorce and abortion Tom Monaghan and I are both Catholic and therefore opposed to divorce and abortion. We also vote in accordance with our beliefs, not because our spiritual lives are politicized, but because our morals require that all parts of our lives, including our voting habits, correspond with our spiritual beliefs.

Cunniffe”s argument in regard to the crucifix that Monaghan wants to put up on his property sends my brain in circles. He states that “Monaghan is likely smart enough to know that the spectacle is unlikely to convince anyone to start following Catholicism that it can”t possibly be erected to proselytize.” If Monaghan isn”t expecting to convert anyone with the crucifix, then why does Cunniffe think it”s “a giant middle finger pointed right at our going-straight-to-hell campus?” Is he implying that Monaghan has no intention of evangelizing people, but simply wants to condemn them? Wouldn”t a few billboards and a mailing of flyers saying “You”re going to hell” be a cheaper, more effective way to do that? If condemnation is Monaghan”s goal, why should he be so subtle?

Obviously, because it”s not his goal. He doesn”t want to condemn and he doesn”t believe he has the right to do so (check out the Catechism on that one). He doesn”t, according to Cunniffe, hope to evangelize. He”s simply building a symbol of his faith, on his property, with his money. What”s the problem with that?

Arwen Thomas

Engineering Sophomore

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