From the Delta Democrat Times Newspaper
Just who's the thug? The pope or the professor?
To the editor:
Does professor Walter E. Williams of George Mason University write like a thug?
This is the question I pose after reading Professor Williams' column, “Pope Benedict XVI sanctions the OECD thugs” on Aug. 29, 2007.
According to Webster's Dictionary, a thug is a “thief, brutal ruffian or assassin: Gangster, killer.”
Has the OECD ever killed, beaten up or stolen something from anyone?Are the members of the OECD wanted by the law enforcement agencies around the world?
If the answer to these questions is no, then the thug title doesn't fit them. In a free society, we can disagree with other people's politics and philosophies of life, but that doesn't give us the right to call them names and cast aspersions on them. The mere inference that Pope Benedict supports or sanctions thugs in some way, shape or form is over the top. One might even say that an attempt to smear, steal or kill another person's good name whom we disagree with is a thuggish act.
In our society today, many writers engage in attention-grabbing headlines to entice people to read their work. It seems that professor Williams in his article doesn't understand what “tax evasion” means, why it is bad for a society governed by the rule of law and why Pope Benedict is against this type of behavior.
Maybe we should call Professor Williams “the nutty professor” for his own myopic world view and critique of an unfinished document that he hasn't even read. The nutty professor is complaining about an encyclical that is still in the writing stage, and his sources are based on hearsay information. A true gentleman and scholar would at least reserve judgment and not engage in such thuggery until after reading the finished encyclical.
I think one answer to the tax evasion/tax avoidance question that Professor Williams might want to consider can be found in the Bible. Jesus was asked if it was right to pay taxes to the emperor, and he responded that we should give to God what is God's and give to Caesar what is Caesar's.
Father Eric Groner, SVDSacred Heart ChurchGreenville