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Letters to the Editor
Letter to the Editor ~Wrasman PDF Print
Monday, September 17, 2012 9:43 AM

Reading Mr. Donaldson’s letter reminds me of the Jewish persecution during Nazi Germany. At first, Jewish businesses were boycotted. Then Jewish authors had their works turned down by publishers, Jewish teachers and professors were dismissed from schools and universities, as well as Jewish actors being dismissed from theatres. To isolate the Jews, they were isolated from one cultural thing after another. But some still had hope and considered themselves loyal Germans. So were the trade unionists and Catholics and Protestants who opposed the Nazi regime.
Then came the Nuremberg Laws, which stripped the Jews of their citizenship and forbade interreligious marriage. Later came the “final solution” and the Kristallnacht and the rest we know is history. People, including trade unionists, and people from other faiths and occupied countries other than Jews populated and died in those concentration camps.
My husband and I are ones with those “Protect Religious Freedom” signs in our yard. I attend these meetings shoulder-to-shoulder with Catholics and Protestants. They all know from history that persecution can start in little ways and spread quickly. Just as the Jews were slowly squeezed out, the Catholic Church and its social services are being squeezed out.
“It can’t happen in America!” Blacks have had their churches bombed, as well as Catholics. Jews have had their synagogues destroyed and blood has flowed. Native Americans have been pushed around by treaties. America has its sins. It could certainly happen here. As it goes now, in some countries you can be put to death for having a Bible.
Since this is all related to the Affordable Care Act, I never considered being female a pre-existing condition, yet I have received the same quality health care as any man.
But, ah yes, the abortion issue…which is a sacrament in the Democratic Party, as proven by the speakers and the platform of the 2012 convention. Pregnancy is not a disease. Pregnancy is a privilege from God to help bring a precious life to the world. Instead of wiping it away, as your mother could have done to you, Mr. Donaldson, my husband and I are childless and so long for children. Give the child to a couple who so longs for one. That is a positive decision toward a woman’s own health.
The butchery of a child being ripped out of the mother’s womb…that’s an antiquated attitude.
Marlene Wrasman

Letter to the Editor ~Donaldson PDF Print
Thursday, September 13, 2012 12:05 PM

There are numerous signs posted across the area that read, “Protect Religious Freedom.” This is a nice sentiment but it also begs the question, “What religious freedoms need protecting?” Is there a torch-carrying group somewhere that is going door-to-door demanding that citizens turn over their prayer books, bibles, rosaries, crucifixes, religious pictures, etc.? Or is there a group that is crashing prayer meetings or church services demanding that they stop? I don’t think so, and I also don’t believe that those people posting these signs have an all-encompassing concern about the religious freedoms of U.S. citizens who practice the Islamic, Sikh, Hindu, etc. faiths/religions.
My belief is that these signs stem from a need to find fault with the newly supreme court – approved Affordable Care Act (ACA) health care law and the coverage it affords citizens of the female persuasion. When will people open their God-given minds and see that being a female is not a pre-existing condition and that they are entitled to have the same rights as any male citizens have to good, affordable health care.
Without being able to read minds, I have a strong suspicion that delving even further into this subject, I will find that since the ACA includes health care screenings and access to contraceptive care for women - that this is the real point of contention. This misogynistic attitude throws our country back into the dark ages where women were told, just like children, to be seen and not heard.
Well, times change and with it these antiquated attitudes toward women need to be thrown out. They have the right to make decisions concerning their own health.

Larry Donaldson

Letter to the Editor ~Hohlman PDF Print
Wednesday, September 12, 2012 12:07 PM


With both parties now having presented their platforms for the 2012 election, it is clear who was united from the beginning. Having to amend the platform after the fact, only to appease the man in power, makes it look like more of the same for four more years if Obama is re-elected. This unrest in the Democratic Party only shows that one needs to educate him/herself as to what is at stake.
One of the true details of the HHS mandate are exposed, it shows that freedoms are being taken away from every citizen. Some citizens will give up their religious freedom and medical treatment freedom by voting their party line. I say vote your conscience. The HHS mandate will only add financial burden to taxpayers. Do we want more financial burden? No!
Citizens can stand up for their rights; vote as if your life depends on it — it does. There will be no medical assistance for many as someone else will decide if treatment is needed for your illness, not you. There is no “free lunch” in today’s world. Many people are third generation welfare recipients and will vote to keep it that way.
It’s time to pray about the issues and educate oneself on the issues. Don’t listen to a biased conversation from a liberal news media as a way to decide how you vote. The news article by Mike Ford in The Herald on Aug. 29 regarding religious freedom was an unfair representation of the HHS mandate and how it attacks our religious freedom. Vote your conscience and vote for the person you want to represent you in government.
For more information, visit usccb.org/conscience and meetup.com/Faith4Freedom.

Lou Hohlman

Letter to the Editor ~“Faith 4 Freedom” committee PDF Print
Monday, September 10, 2012 4:07 PM

We are writing this letter on behalf of our “Faith 4 Freedom” group in response to the article written by Mike Ford on Aug. 29 titled “Christians rally to protect their religious freedom.”
Ford’s article portrayed an unfair representation of the Health and Human Services Mandate and how it attacks our religious freedom and gave no concrete information as to what our group is all about, even though this information was given to him ahead of time. We are a non-partisan, multi-denominational, grassroots organization focused on prayer, education and action in support of religious freedom. We are not trying to push any political agenda or church doctrine onto others.
Mr. Ford attended part of our meeting, listening to our local members giving testimony and progress of our outreach. As our guest speaker, Chris Long, director of the Ohio Christian Alliance, came up to speak, Mr. Ford took a photo and left the building. He didn’t extend the courtesy to stay and listen to our guest speaker, much less report any information about our group. Only a couple quotes from Mr. Long were added in the article from a previous brief interview.
Ford’s article centered on the opinions of Joanne Brant, a law professor from Ohio Northern University, who supposedly specializes in how the law applies to religious freedom. Most disturbing was the highlighted quote by Brant that is not only false but entirely twists the conversation to insinuate that religious organizations are trying to take over all employer health care and push them to their own church doctrine. This quote displays her bias and/or lack of knowledge as to why numerous religious institutions object to the Dept. of Health and Human Services Mandate forcing virtually all employer health plans to provide 100-percent coverage with no co-pay for contraceptives, sterilizations, abortion-inducing drugs and any FDA-approved contraceptive methods, regardless of moral or religious objections. On family plans, minors will have these services available without parental consent. The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act originally contained a religious-employer exemption for these services.
The article softens the language in the bill, stating “includes birth control.” Details involve more than what can be written in this letter. The most important detail in this is not a contraceptive issue. This is a religious freedom issue. It’s a matter of whether religious people and institutions may be FORCED by the government to provide coverage for contraception, abortion or sterilization, even if that violates their religious beliefs.
Brant stated, “In a secular society, all religious groups must live in Caesar’s world and under Caesar’s rules.” We don’t live in Caesar’s world. Caesar was a dictator. We live in the United States of America, a republic, which guarantees its citizens certain rights through our Constitution: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.” America is great because America is free.
In the article, Brant’s shocking statement, “Just as a Muslim can’t claim religious freedom to engage in honor killing and expect to avoid murder charges, a religious person can’t violate a neutral, generally-applicable law with impunity,” most certainly needs to be addressed. Her comparison of Muslims being denied freedom to engage in honor killings without murder charges to religious institutions being denied their freedom to oppose paying for 100-percent abortion coverage which forces them to violate established religious beliefs is absolutely ludicrous.
We welcome an opportunity to educate you and the public about “Faith 4 Freedom.” Our next meeting is at 7 p.m. on Tuesday with details posted on our web site.
Lisa Rahrig
Tess Rahrig
Laura Wilson
Jane & Randy Hemker
Carol Brinkman
Dodie Seller
“Faith 4 Freedom” committee

Letter to the Editor ~ Coffey PDF Print
Saturday, September 08, 2012 12:28 AM

The World Suicide Prevention Day is on Sept. 10 and the National Suicide Prevention Week is Sept. 9-15. 
Do you know what to do or where to get timely treatment and follow-up care for those at risk or actively suicidal? Locally 1-800-567-HOPE(4673) connects to crisis specialists. 
The Mental Health and Recovery Services Board of Allen, Auglaize and Hardin Counties support the three county coalitions specifically targeting ways to prevent further suicides. GRASSP survivor groups meet in Allen and Auglaize counties to meet the needs of those grieving a suicide loss. 
In Lima, the 2012 Summit on Suicide Awareness and Prevention is slated for Sept. 18 and the 6th Annual Remembrance Walk will happen Sept. 29. There is help right here for each of us whether a worried friend, interested citizen, grieving parent or someone at risk.
It is extremely difficult to survive a loved one in a world content to ignore the tragedy unfolding before its eyes. Cultural attitudes and taboo coupled with the lack of awareness that suicide is a top 10 health threat fuel the increasing numbers. This is everybody’s problem. It is killing the young and old, friends and coworkers, skilled and unskilled — only the very young appear exempt. 
Educate yourself and get involved in prevention so that someone you know and love might keep living.

GRASSP Support Group Facilitator
Valerie Coffey


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