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Sunday letters: Day deserves credit for helping the poor

In his speech to Congress on Thursday, Pope Francis made reference to Dorothy Day, seen here in this 1960 file photo, and her advocacy for the poor.

As a longtime follower of Dorothy Day and her Catholic Worker Movement, I was surprised to read Mona Charen’s column, “Pope follows Day down wrong road” (Sept. 25). Day was an infinitely more complex and subtle thinker than Charen grasps.

After her conversion to Roman Catholicism, Day made a radical commitment to the poor. She never advocated state ownership of the means of productions. She did not shy from recognizing those whose efforts did help those in need. Day always stood on the side of the oppressed everywhere.

As for Day’s opposition to World War II, she was simply a consistent pacifist, a tradition of great antiquity in Roman Catholicism and one she followed to her death.

Dorothy Day not only advocated the values of radical peace and charity as a thinker, but she lived them out as an activist for close to five decades. She started and lived in a series of Catholic Worker houses, where the residents did not simply seek to serve the poorest of the poor, but to reside with them in lives of voluntary poverty. These Catholic Worker houses still dot our nation today, a living testament to Dorothy Day and her values, yet Charen never mentions these venerable institutions. May I suggest she visit one, to see the values of Dorothy Day still in action every day?

Richard Sasso, Northlake

SEND LETTERS TO: letters@suntimes.com. Please include your neighborhood or hometown and a phone number for verification purposes.

Most support higher taxes on rich

Isn’t it time our representatives in Springfield raise enough revenue to protect our people and strengthen our state’s failing finances? Shouldn’t our representatives do this in ways that most of us want? Here are two revenue sources most of us support:

1. Increasing revenue from the wealthy. Majorities have supported this revenue source in national polls. In Illinois last November more than 60 percent of us voted for a 3-percent tax on million-dollar incomes. Though we can’t yet get that particular tax, can’t our representatives find another way to raise more revenue from the wealthy?

2. Raising corporate taxes. In at least 15 national surveys over the years, majorities also have agreed that corporations don’t pay enough taxes.

I believe that Illinoisans are decent enough to support representatives who work to resolve our state’s urgent needs with revenue that is popular and fair.

Michael Brennan, West Ridge

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