Who decides which politicians are devout?

Why does reporter John Fritze refer to Andy Harris as a "devout Catholic” (“From Baltimore County, Rep. Harris takes an active role in District of Columbia,” Sept. 13)? I think of Dr. Harris as sanctimonious, arrogant, egotistical and authoritarian. Obviously, I can't read Dr. Harris' conscience, but I can go by his record.

I've heard other reporters refer to some Catholic politicians as devout. How are we to know that this adjective is accurate? House Speaker Paul Ryan has been referred to as a "devout Catholic," yet he advocates gutting the so called entitlement programs: Social Security, Medicare and Medicare in order to cut taxes for the wealthy. Mr. Ryan claims that the programs are not sustainable, which is probably true if you reduce taxes for the rich.

Some of these Catholics are more familiar with arcane doctrinal issues than they are with the very simple Gospel message. One does not have to be a genius to be devout. I am offended when reporters call reactionary Catholics devout. The word devout should probably only be used by family members and close friends who really know more about the substance of the person being described.

Edward McCarey McDonnell, Baltimore

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