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Joyous Christian Greetings!

Is "nuanced" a code word for "fraudulent" in general, or just for "anti-Catholic" in particular?

Michael Miner presents the "nuanced" interpretation that Onan was struck dead by God for violating the Levirate law, not for practicing coitus interruptus [Letters, January 30]. How then does Mr. Miner "nuance" the fact that neither Onan's father, Judah, nor his brother, Shelah, both of whom also broke the Levirate law, were not struck dead? Is it not compelling that, among the violators of the Levirate law, only Onan practiced coitus interruptus and only Onan was struck dead?

I resent being accused of being "someone who interprets the Bible literally but doesn't read it carefully." This is not my personal interpretation, but that of Saint Augustine of Hippo and Saint Thomas Aquinas, as well as being the consistent teaching of the church for the last 20 centuries. One of the central points of my previous letter was that personal biblical interpretation is inherently flawed and that faithful Catholics look to the church's magisterium for guidance.

But rather than squabble over particular issues, I would prefer to hear Mr. Miner explain why he gives so much credence, as an expert on Catholicism, to so obviously failed a Catholic as an ex-priest? [Hot Type, January 11.] Can't he find anyone more objective than that?

R.M. Schultz

W. Delaware

Michael Miner replies:

I apologize for supposing that you were thinking for yourself.

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