County budget is shortsighted
I am writing as a private citizen as well as co-chairwoman of the Business and Education Alliance, chairwoman of the Via Christi Hospitals board of directors, and a member of the 4-Wichita board at the University of Kansas School of Medicine. Newman University, where I am president, receives no funding from Sedgwick County, and so I am not writing out of that self-interest.
The “transformative” budget cuts that are being proposed are incredibly shortsighted, ill-conceived and, I believe, will do harm to our educational and health care communities – two sectors vital to economic development for our region. At a time when we need to be investing in job growth, the proposed budget cuts off funds for economic development that may well drive businesses out of the region.
In terms of culture and the arts, the proposed cuts will make the quality of life in our region less attractive for young professionals as well as young families. In terms of health care, we have the most generous medical community perhaps in the country. We have physicians who donate thousands of hours of their time training our medical students and residents. In addition, through Project Access our medical professionals again donate thousands of hours to care for our poor who cannot afford health care otherwise.
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The above are just a few examples of why I find it so unreasonable to dismantle what the outgoing county manager submitted to the county commissioners as a balanced budget for next year. I urge the commissioners to keep the common good of all citizens of our county in mind.
The claim that religious freedom requires that individuals and institutions must be allowed to exercise all their sincerely held religious beliefs is obviously mistaken.
Sincere religious beliefs are not only sometimes mistaken, sometimes they are actually immoral. Examples such as the sincere religious belief that slavery is legitimate, that Jim Crow laws are good, that interracial marriage should be forbidden, and that women should not be allowed to vote are so obvious that this point is beyond question.
The underlying issue – the relationship between secular governments and religious institutions – is of enormous importance, and it is a very complicated matter. History shows that sometimes religious objections to government are quite valid. An example is the civil rights movement led by the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.
The tension between government and religious institutions will always be present in any democratic secular society. Government must be open to religious objections to its laws, because such objections have sometimes been correct. In such cases, the government, as it has done with regard to civil rights, must be prepared to recognize that it has been woefully mistaken.
On the other hand, sometimes religion has been woefully mistaken, as it has been with regard to gay rights. Religious institutions and individuals should be at least as open to admitting their errors as is the government. Of course, that is extremely difficult for “serious” religious institutions and individuals to do, unless they are willing to critically examine their own beliefs.
GERALD H. PASKE
What it really is
The CEO of South Wind Women’s Center justified abortion by implying that the science is settled on when babies can feel pain (“Junk science,” July 29 Letters to the Editor). Does that mean it’s OK to kill an adult who is on morphine because he can’t feel the pain? What she failed to tell you is that science is settled on the fact that every human life begins at conception. When has it ever been OK to take the life of any human for any reason?
She also uses terms that sound nicer. It’s time to stop the semantics and not relabel everything. She uses the term “fetal” rather than admit it’s a baby. She uses the term “anti-choice” when what we are really against is abortion.
Doctors in recently released Planned Parenthood videos do the same thing. They refer to fetal tissue when what they are really doing is harvesting and selling human body parts such as livers, hearts, brains, arms and legs. How disgusting.
Let’s call it what it really is. Abortion is the intentional decapitation, dismemberment and ripping of a baby from its mother’s womb. How can that ever be safe for the baby?
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