Xavier Magazine

Letters to the Editor

Future Influences
Thank you so much for the article written by Kenneth R. Overberg, S.J., professor of theology [War & Peace]. I feel more hopeful about the future of our country and the workd knowing that this man is influencing students at Xavier.
—Elaine M. Sullivan

A Call for International Law
Thank you for publishing Father Ben Urmston’s article on peacemaking in the aftermath of Sept. 11. The Xavier community is fortunate to have Father Ben’s constant challenge to what Walter Wink has called “the myth of redemptive violence.”

At the same time, Father Ben suggests appealing to the World Court as a possible alternative, and pragmatists may rightly question the effectiveness of that approach at this time, since the World Court has no enforcement authority. The solution, however, is not to resign ourselves to perpetual war, but to create a genuinely effective international system of law and justice. As President John Kennedy once said, “We must create worldwide law and law enforcement as we outlaw worldwide war and weapons.”

For details, readers are encouraged to visit the World Federalist Association at
—Robert Gervasi

Give Peace a Chance
Thank you for the articles by Father Ben Urmston and Father Overberg. Both articles offer us Christians specific ways of seeking justice and not revenge, specific ways of following the teaching of Jesus in the Sermon on the Mount. I find it so disappointing that the vast majority of Christians have followed the unchristian leadership of President George W. Bush. He did not seek the advice of truly religious leaders who could have saved him and our country from the terrible future that will subject our children, their children and their grandchildren to fear, suspicion and acts of terrorism for at least a hundred years. As long as the United States is in denial of its own sins against Third World countries, we will have no peace. Violence is exploding all over the world right now because of our bad example.
—Richard Middendorf


Inspiring Discovery
Bouncing around the Internet, I stumbled across the short essay by Benjamin J. Urmston, S.J., titled “Seeking Peace,” which I found inspiring and insightful. Thank you for including it on line and in your magazine.
—Aaron Knight

In Defense
Thank you for posting Fr. Urmston’s “Seeking Peace.” It’s refreshing to see that as the smoke from Ground Zero still snakes its way past my apartment window, Fr. Urmston is concerened more with the “innocents” in Afghanistan and the Arab world than dead here in America. Yet as student in one of Fr. Urmston’s classes a few years back, I learned that America is responsible for all the evil in the world. I learned a lot in that class and I thank Fr. Urmston for transforming me into a proud card carrying Republican Conservative.
—Peter Patton

(A response from Ben Urmston: As I reread my article on “Seeking Peace,” I’m perplexed by Peter Patton’s conclusion that I value the lives of those in Afghanistan more than those who are U.S. citizens. I believe that all of us are created in the image and likeness of God, and that each person has dignity, value and worth. We are one human family, created by the same God, destined for the same goal, bound together by the same basic human rights and responsibilities. The lives of those in Afghanistan are not more valuable that those of us in the US—nor any less. The U.S. has great military, economic and political power. As U.S. citizens, this gives us a crucial responsibility to act morally. God bless America. God bless our world. When we sing “America the Beautiful” we sing “God mend thy every flaw. Confirm thy soul in self-control, thy liberty in law.”)

West’s World
Before giving you my take, a compilation of thoughts not only mine but other “X” grads, on David West’s place in the school’s Hall of Fame, I got some bad vibes about other parts of your article.

Seems like David went to all of TWO classes that day, making me question how many hours he was taking and his academic pursuits. Further, when you pictured David in his school garb [sweat pants, sweat shirt and basketball shoes], I came to the conclusion that is the usual dress these days, much different than in my day and really not the way a college student should dress for his studies. But then again, considering the makeup of the student body at “X,” not unlike, I guess, so many other schools, respect and dignity in one’s dress habits are out the window. Clothes are a reflection of what’s underneath, and the picture you painted hardly bodes well.

You have gotta be kidding, Skip, by already declaring, in as many words, that Mr. West is the greatest Xavier player ever. Do the words Larkin, Strong, Hill, Posey and Grant… and others mean anything to you? You’re putting a crown on someone’s head who #1 hasn’t played a minute of NBA ball and #2 someone who hasn’t, perhaps can’t, lead Xavier to any important victories, or at least I haven’t seen the “boys” beat anyone, any school rated above them. Until that happens, David’s overall value and abilities must be challenged.

No, Skip, David West is, obviously, a good player but THE best? Hardly, at least not yet. Too, as most athletes these days, without doubt, he’s there for the BB, not academics and that in itself is a turnoff. Things have changed with sports, especially on a college level where academics always take 2nd place behind sports, and that’s a shame.
—“Sock” Sokolowski, Class of 1957
(Editor’s note: David West is taking 12 credit hours this semester. He finished the previous semester with a 3.0 grade point average and is actually on target to graduate early with a degree in communication arts. The interview was intentionally planned by the University’s sports information department for a day when West’s academic schedule was light so to be less intrusive and afford more time for interviewing.)

Foul Called on West
Just a little FYI: As great of a ball player and student Dave West might be, your article proved that he, too, is human. Candles and amps are illegal in all on-campus housing. Thanks for pointing out to every student reading the article that he gets away with many things on campus, something we pretty much knew but now are definitely aware of.
—Kristen Habash

School Lessons Continue
I just wanted to thank you for running the article on Michael and myself. It feels good to know that others now know about his story-his as much as mine. GOOD NEWS! We just got the results of his latest tests…he is CANCER FREE! This is nothing short of miraculous! Faith, hope, love…the greatest of these IS love.
—Colleen Lynch, Class of 1999

Asia Update
In this article [The Heart of the Matter, Fall 2001] it was mentioned how Becky Scheve “gathered with a medical team around the hospital bed of Asia Miller.” I am Asia’s grandmother and legal guardian. I enjoyed reading the article, and I just wanted to send a note about something important that was not mentioned in the article. It’s been 13 months since her transplant, and she is thriving and being very much a normal 2-year-old. Her story has, and continues to, impact many people. Lisa [Beckelhimer] wrote a very nice story about a very important topic. I just want people to know that the work that people like Becky does is extremely important, and that Asia did get her heart and is now a healthy and happy toddler.
—Dawn D. Miller, grandmother and guardian of Asia Miller


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