Regarding Michael Gerson's column "The GOP Must Embrace the Catholic Value of Social Concern" (Nov. 17): Mr. Gerson's criticism of President Barack Obama's first term being "a period of unexpected aggression against the rights of religious institutions" is a questionable if not a fallacious interpretive statement. The United States has myriad citizens representing various religious beliefs under the umbrella of religious freedom. President Obama is the president of all these individuals, including the Catholic Church, not just a select orthodoxy, and "forcing" is not the same as "available"; there is a choice.
During the campaign, much attention was given to abortion, an extremely difficult decision for some who may find themselves in a position to consider such an action. I would offer that very, very few persons treat abortion nonchalantly, although that's the impression too often perpetuated by pro-life advocates. Unfortunately, power and position have helped some of these pro-lifers cover their own transgressions while they publicly chastise others.
Gay marriage has been in the political forefront as well as the contraceptive and abortion issues. The Catholic Church argues that marriage is between one man and one woman and is considered sacred, consecrated under the eyes of God for the purpose of procreation -- that is, until a spouse, usually the man, decides that he wants an annulment, declaring the marriage null and void. When marriages of 20 and 30 years complete with children and grandchildren become nonexistent, "social concern" obviously takes a back seat for the affected family.
Rome has many other problems which should be addressed before admonishing the faithful regarding political decisions affecting their lives.