Abortion laws part of political agenda
The abortion rate for women in Kansas has fluctuated over the years, but it generally hovers around 10,000 procedures annually. This was the case even back in the 1980s and early '90s, when Kansas didn't have all the anti-choice laws on the books.
So let's review the facts: about the same number of abortions annually, with the same low complication rate of 0.05 percent for first-trimester procedures (which make up 90 percent of abortion procedures).
I don't see how these anti-choice laws have helped women, and I particularly don't see how the new TRAP law (targeted regulations against abortion providers) is going to do anything other than make the practice prohibitive for doctors.
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The pregnancy police — including Gov. Sam Brownback's administration — cannot legislate women into compulsory pregnancy. Women are the givers of life, and women know with each and every pregnancy what is right for them.
These laws serve nothing but a political agenda and don't further the lives of women and their families. Women don't need to be dictated to. Women need good jobs to support their families, quality child care for their children and quality education so they and their kids can prosper.
A recent meeting of the Wichita school board provided an illustration as to how little meaningful discussion or debate takes place at board meetings.
Walt Chappell, a member of the Kansas State Board of Education, used a slot on the public agenda to address the board. Chappell received a chilly reception, to say the least, from board president Connie Dietz. This was not the first time he had been treated this way.
The board's treatment of Chappell is worse than a simple lack of courtesy. It is shutting up your critics and those with alternative views because you control the gavel, and that's contrary to good government.
At meetings, citizens may speak for a short period of time. Then board members and district staff may speak at length without fear of being held accountable for their remarks.
Those who question or disagree with school district orthodoxy may be scolded and lectured, with no chance to defend themselves or rebut false statements and nonsensical arguments from board members or district staff.
Despite this, the district believes there is debate. But it's not inclusive or fruitful. Few citizens are aware of the level of school spending, whether spending is going up or down, and how spending relates to student achievement — all important issues.
A letter writer suggested that intercessory prayer would diminish God's sovereignty and power ("No difference," July 7 Letters to the Editor). Intercession was modeled by Jesus. Also, God Himself commanded Abimelech to have recourse to Abraham's intercession (Genesis 20:7, 17). Further, God told Job's friends to ask Job to pray for them (Job 42:8). Moses even said he was the mediator between people and the Lord (Deuteronomy 5:5).
There is no indication that the invocation and intercession of saints are excluded. This idea is supported by the fact that all merit comes through Jesus. An apostle also asked for the prayers of his brethren (Romans 15:30; Philippians 1:3-4).
Because God and Christ commanded that we love one another, would they not want the living to pray to the saintly deceased in addition to addressing both of them? Believers in heaven and on Earth are members of Christ's body. As such, it is logical that the living and the dead would want to help each other.
W. ROBERT HETRICK
A letter writer was concerned about biblical evidence for praying to the dead ("No difference," July 7 Letters to the Editor). The Bible states on many occasions that all the faithful form the mystical body of Christ (Galatians 3:28, Romans 12:4-5). This also can be seen in the parable of the vine and the branches (John 15:1-5). This parable teaches that we are all connected to Christ and to one another through Christ. Since Jesus conquered death with his Crucifixion and Resurrection, death cannot separate the members of the mystical body of Christ in heaven and on Earth.
There are instances in the Bible where one asks others to pray for him (Romans 15:30, Ephesians 6:18-19). This is exactly what is done when people pray to saints; they are asking the saints in heaven to intercede for them with their own prayers to God.
There is no difference between asking a living person to pray for another and asking a saint to pray for someone. The saints do not perform miraculous deeds or impinge on God's omnipotence and omnipresence; they are the servants of God who do His will by praying to Him and interceding for humanity.