published Monday, February 13th, 2012

Letters to the Editor

Catholic employers abusing power

Is the Catholic church relevant in the post-modern world?

Based on their history, no.

They have been at the business of repressing women for centuries. Mother Teresa could become a saint after her death, but could never hope to become pope while alive.

Most recently they have experienced the disgrace of harboring pedophiles in the priesthood. You would think, given the magnitude of their failures, they would focus on reforming themselves.

Today, not content to just browbeat their own membership, they want to force their dogma on their employees both Catholic and non-Catholic. Ironically, this dogma is rejected by their own membership. They don't want their insurers to cover birth control even though the majority of Catholic women use it and 58 percent of all Catholics believe it should be covered by insurance of Catholic organizations.

Catholic employers should understand that their religious preferences end where the constitutional rights of employees begin. I suggest that they focus on ridding the priesthood of pedophiles rather than forcing their dogma on employees by abusing their power as employers.

TERRY STULCE

* * * * *

Health mandate violates rights

Your headline (Feb. 8) poses the HHS Mandate as "Catholics clash with President." You imply by the ink given to statistics that, if enough people approve this mandate, it ought to be done.

This is a matter of free exercise of religion. Constitutional rights are not subject to popular opinion. The exercise of religious faith is necessarily corporate. Modern secularists want to make religion entirely personal. It is unconscionable that the federal government is mandating that Catholics in Catholic institutions "sin" to comply with this mandate.

The free exercise of religion already has been compromised. Institutions and individuals have been sued for refusing to provide services to same sex "marriages." Catholic adoption services have had to close shop because they declined to place children in same-sex households, and the children they served languish.

This is not an issue of women's health, a "Catholic" issue, or an issue to be decided by majority opinion. Everyone of good conscience, religious or not, Catholic or not, approving of contraception or not, should see this as an unprecedented infringement on our constitutional rights and stand visibly, constantly, vocally and persistently against it. If not, the next group attacked may very well be your own.

BARBARA HARTY GOLDER, Lookout Mountain

* * * * *

Haynes' service sets him apart

In a day where community service seems attractive only around election time, Marty Haynes has set himself apart from others as he seeks the County Commission District 3 seat vacated just over a year ago.

A brief snapshot of Marty's community involvement includes years of volunteer work with Hixson's Youth Athletic Association, PTA, Sports Boosters and Kiwanis Club. Marty is a Hixson High Hall of Fame member active with his church, the Pachyderm Club and the Ronald McDonald House.

Marty is no stranger to our community. He is a lifelong resident and grandson of a family that includes four generations of Hixson High graduates and counting.

I believe voters should feel confident those seeking to represent them have their neighborhoods' and communities' best interest at heart. I can assure you, nobody is more passionate about our community than Marty Haynes.

As a lifelong resident of Hixson myself, it has been my pleasure to serve our community and local schools with Marty for over 20 years. Please join me by voting in the Republican primary for Marty Haynes County Commission, District 3. Don't forget, early voting begins Feb. 15.

MICHAEL S. KIRK

* * * * *

Garbage litters area roadways

What is going on recently with garbage trucks leaving trash scattered on our roadways? I see it everywhere, but Ramseytown Road in Harrison and Hickory Valley Road are two of the worst examples.

The interstate also has papers and bottles along the road, sending an embarrassing message to visitors about our area. Something needs to be done before the symbol of Chattanooga changes from a train to a filled garbage bag decorating our roads.

DIANE ELROD, Harrison

* * * * *

Report falsehoods coming from Fox

In a letter to the paper, Jim Sims asks that those who claim Fox News is false and misleading give specific examples to support their claims. I agree 100 percent with Mr. Sims. It is getting old to hear these blanket accusations against Fox News with nothing to back them up.

I am a regular viewer of Fox News and also watch news programs on other channels. Would some of the complainers please share any falsehoods or fabricated and slanted stories they have seen on FNC? I don't believe they can do it, but I will be glad to hear what they come up with.

CAROLYN McCRARY, Hixson

* * * * *

Use common sense on economy

Re: the rhetoric and misconceptions on the economy by some in politics to scare others into voting their agenda:

The economy should be studied with a little common sense before you cast your vote.

First, the study of the tax structure. All working folks are on the same IRS criteria, rich and poor.

Our tax structure is based on net income, not gross, so after all our deductions we pay a percentage on the rest.

These scare tactics are trying to put into our heads that raising taxes on the rich would cause job losses. First, taxing income on working folks, both rich and poor, is not the same as taxing a business.

A business pays on his net gains and taxes after all of his expenses are deducted, so he pays on profit only. Hiring a worker is part of his expense so he doesn't pay extra taxes for his hiring. A smart business will hire if they're turning a profit and want to expand.

In the last 60 years, Republicans have been in office 35 years and Democrats 24. The economy grew at a higher rate on average during the years Democrats were in office.

Check this out for yourself and vote your conscience.

JACK PINE, Dunlap, Tenn.

* * * * *

Cold War covers actions in Syria

In February 1982, Hafez al-Assad ordered the massacre of Hama, executed by his brother Rifaat, who claimed to have slaughtered 38,000 during a three-week artillery barrage and cleanup operation by the army.

In July of 2011, U.S Ambassador Robert Ford stood in Hama as a physical symbol of protest to the current violence.

With a mild threat put in play by Putin, the Cold War remains an icy reality that provides cover for the real military advisers to project their operational expertise in the Syrian war room. The commander of the Revolutionary Guard from Iran is currently providing tactical assistance while Hezbollah reinforces the Syrian army with unmerciful skill.

The tragedy of Homs continues with ironic dysfunction as Bashar Assad bombs the hometown of his wife's Sunni family. Asma Assad, a Kings College graduate from London, stands by her husband. The Syrian first lady has the intelligence to be in dialogue with Hillary Clinton.

With Iran desperate to keep its grid square in Syria, a military operation would be more than Civil War. As we shadow box Iran with sanctions, the geography illumines a mean calculus for the whole region in desperate need of peace.

KEMMER ANDERSON, Signal Mountain

13
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sandyonsignal said...

Carolyn McCrary, here are two sources on Faux news watch: href="http://newscorpse.com/">NewsCor... and Media Matters.org Media matters has been on Fox watch for years. Every day they publish several lies and distortions by Fox.

February 13, 2012 at 6:28 a.m.
Livn4life said...

Well sandyonsignal, you just blindly assume that MSNBC,CNN and all the liberal/leftist faux news programs never falsify anything. Well not only do they falsify they also never retract their falsehoods even when exposed. So keep drinking the Kool-aid thinking you and your side have all the answers. By the way, from what perspective is newscorpse.com coming? Yeah I bet I know but then there I go being biased. It's all sadly a joke of what is real reporting of truth and what is Spin City from any angle.

February 13, 2012 at 6:40 a.m.
lkeithlu said...

From Media Matters: "Media Matters for America is a Web-based, not-for-profit, 501(c)(3) progressive research and information center dedicated to comprehensively monitoring, analyzing, and correcting conservative misinformation in the U.S. media." Note that it does not specify FOX. They look at all media. But they have found Fox the most dishonest by a significant margin.

February 13, 2012 at 7:50 a.m.
acerigger said...

December 15, 2010 |

Yet another study has been released proving that watching Fox News is detrimental to your intelligence. World Public Opinion, a project managed by the Program on International Policy Attitudes at the University of Maryland, conducted a survey of American voters that shows that Fox News viewers are significantly more misinformed than consumers of news from other sources. What’s more, the study shows that greater exposure to Fox News increases misinformation.

So the more you watch, the less you know. Or to be precise, the more you think you know that is actually false. This study corroborates a previous PIPA study that focused on the Iraq war with similar results. And there was an NBC/Wall Street Journal poll that demonstrated the break with reality on the part of Fox viewers with regard to health care. The body of evidence that Fox News is nothing but a propaganda machine dedicated to lies is growing by the day.

By the way, the rest of the media was not blameless. CNN and the broadcast network news operations fared only slightly better in many cases. Even MSNBC, which had the best record of accurately informing viewers, has a ways to go before it can brag about it.

This is not an isolated review of Fox’s performance. It has been corroborated time and time again. The fact that Fox News is so blatantly dishonest, and the effects of that dishonesty have become ingrained in an electorate that has been been purposefully deceived, needs to be made known to every American. Our democracy cannot function if voters are making choices based on lies. We have the evidence that Fox is tilting the scales and we must now make certain its corporate owners do not get away with it.Mark Howard is an artist and author and the publisher of News Corpse.

February 13, 2012 at 9:36 a.m.
moon4kat said...

The Catholic Bishops are the only group refusing to accept the compromise on contraception. Why, one wonders, would anyone listen to what these old men think about anything? These "pillars of Christendom" -- who will never marry or have children, who dress in funny clothes, and who have covered up myriad cases of child molestation -- have no right to an opinion on what birth control options are available to women. Women should have a right to contraceptive options, a right that cannot be thwarted by Catholic dogma molded by the likes of Bishops who do not live in the real world.

February 13, 2012 at 10 a.m.
maddawg said...

Carolyn McCrary.....While news reporting on FOX such as Shepard Smith is truthful it is the talking heads on FOX such as O'Reily, Hannity etc that distort and cherry pick the facts they want you to hear and shout down or dismiss anything that does not fit the message they are trying to send.

February 13, 2012 at 12:06 p.m.
maddawg said...

BTW, I'm not saying the other side doesn't do it also but this was about FOX.

February 13, 2012 at 12:07 p.m.
Rickaroo said...

Barbara Golder:

There is nothing unfair or unconstitutional about this health care directive of which you speak. But so many Obama haters are trying desperately to fan the flames of their hate with issues that just don't exist.

If you're Catholic and you want to cling to the silly notion that birth control is some kind of "sin," then fine, stay within the confines of your church or the walls of your home and you can believe however you want and refrain from taking birth control all the days of your life. BUT as soon as a church or religious establishment establishes itself in the BUSINESS of providing health care (of which birth control is an integral part for many) to people of all denominations and beliefs, and it also hires people of other denominations and beliefs, then you are no longer a church, per se, but a BUSINESS, and you must abide by the labor laws that every other BUSINESS must abide by. Period. This is not a matter of Catholics being denied their freedom of religion but more a matter of Catholics (more accurately the clown pope and his out-of-touch minions) trying to insert their beliefs on others in the market place.

Obama has agreed to a compromise on it when one is not really needed. He shouldn't cave at all on this matter.

All of you whiners about how our "free exercise of religion" is being infringed need to find something else to whine about. This is a non-issue.

February 13, 2012 at 12:53 p.m.
Rickaroo said...

Excellent points, m4k. I agree completely.

February 13, 2012 at 1:08 p.m.
potcat said...

That the Catholic church takes in well over $2 billion a year from the federal goverment for its schools, Universities, hospitals, social service programs, etc. etc. etc.

If you feed at the public trough, you play by the same rules as everybody else. If the church is playing politics here, that is their right but they should lose their tax exempt status and pay insurance to its employees like any other business and STOP taking taxpayers money.

February 13, 2012 at 2:24 p.m.
AndrewLohr said...

If a majority of US Roman Catholics (and Protestants) have fornicated, should the Church stop saying fornication is sin? The standard remains the standard even if only Jesus Christ ever kept it perfectly. Anyone who wants birth control can get it. There's no need to force some people to buy it for others. The Roman Catholic hospitals surely do more good than their refusal of birth control does harm. Why force them to do what they consider sin? Isn't our government supposed to defend freedom? Should D.C. start telling Mormons what underwear to wear?

February 13, 2012 at 3:57 p.m.
lkeithlu said...

US Catholics ARE using birth control, Andrew, 98% of women Catholics do. In addition, no one can claim the the Catholic Church itself has rights protected under the constitution. No one is forcing Catholics to use birth control (no one has to, apparently). As for fornication, are you ready for the Catholic Church to enforce a ban on fornication? Can they do this without violating their members constitutional freedom of privacy?

February 13, 2012 at 4:09 p.m.
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