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.
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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.
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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