Letters to the Editor

Letters to the editor on Methodists, abortion and health care (Feb. 23, 2019)


This weekend, United Methodist leaders will come together for their national Conference. At the crux of it is a thorny issue: How will the UMC Church officially proclaim its stance on heterosexual versus homosexual marriages, as well as the ordaining of openly gay clergy.

I’m a cradle Roman Catholic who also goes to a Methodist church. I must say from the beginning, I am straight. I personally believe that Almighty God intended matrimony to be between a man and woman. I’m becoming less critical of others with differing opinions. I am mellowing, yet I don’t want the Bible contorted to fit a trendy culture-choice.

Some churches such as the Episcopals and Presbyterians have embraced gay rights; a great many mainstream denominations interpret the Bible as written. I grew up in an era when the definitions of men, women and marriage were pretty clear. While I don’t want to shove my views down anyone’s throat, I don’t want anyone doing that tactic to me. In many ways, the Methodists are facing a different, yet similar, crisis as the Catholics faced during the Reformation 500 years ago. Time will tell how it turns out. As for “belief,” that is rock solid in my own heart and the hearts of others.

James A. Marples, Esbon

Abortion debate

The Eagle should not print letters that mischaracterize an issue to advance an opinion. A recently published example states that NY’s new abortion law allows third trimester “infanticide” and implies that such abortions are legal without conditions.

In truth, the law permits abortions after 24 weeks providing a health care professional determines the health or life of the mother is at risk, or the fetus is not viable.

If the letter writer has an opinion about these medically based decisions, that should be the basis for argument. She could for example say, “All pregnancies must be carried to term regardless of risk to mother or viability of fetus and NY is wrong to allow exceptions.” That is an honest argument and an opinion based on the facts of the new law. She could continue with her reasons for allowing a mother to die delivering a non-viable fetus.

By printing letters from readers who do not intend to fight fairly, the Eagle diminishes public debate. It becomes more difficult for reasonable people to disagree without escalation to name calling and extreme rhetoric.

Jerry Cooper, Wichita

Health plan

The Sedgwick County Farm Bureau Agricultural Association urges Kansas legislators to vote yes on Senate Bill 32. The legislation would allow Kansas Farm Bureau to offer members a health coverage plan that would be 30 percent less expensive than current market options.

When we ask our farmers and ranchers what the greatest threat to their operation is, the majority answer the cost of health care. The cost of purchasing individual coverage has led many farm families to take a “town job” to secure health insurance and has prevented sons and daughters from coming back to farm. In the face of increasing health insurance costs, eight percent of our members chose to remain uninsured, putting their health and operations at incredible risk.

If we as a state care about the future of family farms, we need more options for affordable health care. KFB’s health benefit will offer members a straight-forward option to receive the care they need in the communities where they live.

We appreciate the support that Kansas legislators have shown to farmers and ranchers in the past and urge them to allow KFB to offer this coverage to its members.

Anthony Seiler, executive director, Sedgwick County Farm Bureau