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Letters to the editor on anti-gay bill, GOP family plan, attacks on Catholic Church, no soliciting

  • Published Tuesday, Feb. 18, 2014, at 12 a.m.

Letters to the Editor

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Mail: Letters to the Editor, The Wichita Eagle, 825 E. Douglas, Wichita, KS 67202

E-mail: letters@wichitaeagle.com

Fax: 316-269-6799

For more information, contact Phillip Brownlee at 316-268-6262, pbrownlee@wichitaeagle.com.

Bill legalizes discrimination

I read the commentary by Rep. Steve Brunk, R-Wichita, with fascination, as I wanted to hear from the chairman of the committee that passed House Bill 2453 exactly how he interpreted this legislative action (“Bill protects religious liberties,” Feb. 13 Opinion).

The opening lines from HB 2453 say: “Notwithstanding any other provision of law, no individual or religious entity shall be required by any governmental entity to do any of the following, if it would be contrary to the sincerely held religious beliefs of the individual or religious entity regarding sex or gender: (a) Provide any services, accommodations, advantages, facilities, goods, or privileges; provide counseling, adoption, foster care and other social services; or provide employment or employment benefits, related to, or related to the celebration of, any marriage, domestic partnership, civil union or similar arrangement.”

Brunk claims that the bill isn’t legalizing discriminatory actions against gays and lesbians. He must have a different definition of discrimination than Webster or I have. The bill does in fact say it is OK and your protected right to withhold a lengthy list of services solely because you disagree with a person’s lifestyle. This is discrimination.

Our representatives who voted to support this bill can try to hide behind carefully crafted words. The truth is that HB 2453 legalizes discrimination of a targeted group of people. It has absolutely nothing to do with religious freedom.

CONNIE DIETZ

Wichita

Narrow road

It is so wrong to degrade and discriminate against fellow human beings, but to hide behind religious beliefs for justification is truly an abomination. Thus, I could not believe my eyes when I read House Bill 2453 (“House passes bill to allow service refusal,” Feb. 12 Eagle). Then I read about a bill trying to control personal choices during a divorce (“Kansas bill would end ‘no-fault’ divorces,” Feb. 8 Eagle).

I will never support any politician whose goal is to force me down a narrow moral road.

SUE LASSEN

Wichita

GOP family plan

At last I understand the Republican family plan for Kansas residents.

First, have government take control of women’s uteruses to determine who shall have children and when, but deny women health care for the rest of their bodies. Loudly proclaim love for children, but deny them their food allocation. Refuse to allow our federal tax dollars to be returned to Kansas to provide health insurance for about 78,000 poor working adults. Have government decide who is allowed to love whom and who will be permitted to marry whom. Allow discrimination by government and private employees against certain Kansas residents in the name of “sincerely held religious beliefs.” Have government decide who is allowed to get a divorce, when and on what grounds.

Wow – what next?

PAT LEHMAN

Wichita

Attacks a distraction

When the seminal article on child sexual abuse appeared in pediatric literature in the late 1970s, there already was a social and legal structure that had been established after the first report on the shaken baby syndrome. This report, also in the pediatric literature, came in the early 1960s and was authored by the same doctor, Henry Kempe.

To its horror, the Catholic Church became aware of priests who sexually abused children. When removal from ministry and intensive psychiatric treatment failed to correct the problem, the individuals were permanently removed from the clerical ranks. In addition, an intensive remediation program was instituted. Everyone, lay or clergy, with contact with children was compelled to receive training on sexual abuse. Lay boards were established in every diocese to supervise this project, and an independent agency was contracted to monitor these programs.

For at least three decades, the Catholic Church has been on the receiving end of endless criticism in this area. Much current attention is focused on an ideological attack by a United Nations agency focused on the rights of the child. Though it is appropriate to call attention to this problem, which is growing in part due to the progressive loss of the protections provided by marriage, attacking the Catholic Church is a distraction. Would it not be more appropriate to call attention to the programs of the church and suggest that similar programs be initiated?

RICHARD GILMARTIN

Wichita

Respect privacy

Our children are not being taught some of the fundamental values. Respect of others’ privacy is one of them.

If people have a “no-soliciting” sign attached anywhere on the front of their homes, it means that they value their privacy. It means that they do not wish to be disturbed by somebody trying to sell them something.

People older than 18 don’t seem to know what “no soliciting” means (or just don’t care). And, parents, if you see a sign on a house that your children are approaching, let them know what it means.

In the past six months, my door has been banged on several times. I have dogs that don’t like noises at the doors. The last time was somebody trying to sell me siding. When I have the money to make repairs to my home, I know where to get what I want. And chances are that it won’t be from someone who came to my door and disrupted my day.

PAUL FREELAND

Wichita

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