Jayson Jacoby
The Baker City Herald

Feds force Catholics to violate beliefs

To the editor:

The Department of Human and Health Services has issued a mandate which will force the Catholic Church to act against its own teachings by providing insurance coverage for contraception, sterilization, and some abortifacient drugs to its employees.

This "contraception mandate" strikes not only against the "conscience rights" of the Catholic Church, but also against religious freedom in this country - a freedom guaranteed by the First Amendment. Every American - regardless of religious affiliation - should stand against it.

I encourage you to write to your senators and representatives and demand that this mandate be repealed; failure to act now will only result in more attacks on our liberties later.

I also encourage you to consider this: the Catholic Church has taught for the past 2,000-plus years that artificial contraception and abortion are intrinsically evil. This teaching is rooted in the natural law as well as in the religious codes of the Church. In addition, the use of artificial contraception was condemned by virtually all Christian churches until the 1930s.Then, though it had been the exception, contraception became the rule in a matter of a few decades. Yet, a great deal of research indicates that artificial contraception can have abortifacient effects and can be very dangerous to women's physical well-being. Do the research. Contraception is not good for women (or society).

Unfortunately, it is true that Catholics are woefully misinformed as to what - and why - their church teaches about the immorality of contraception; consequently, Catholics use artificial contraception in the same proportion as the general population. But this does not condone the HSS mandate, nor does it mean the religious beliefs of Protestant denominations are safe from government interference.

Thus, two points are important to remember here. First, artificial contraception is morally wrong, as well as physically unhealthy. Second, we must not stand for the trampling of religious liberty and conscience rights. Assert your constitutional rights. Take action now.

Jay Boyd

Baker City

Don't forget to tell those you love

To the editor:

February is the month of St. Valentine's Day - a time to remember and to pay special tribute to the one you love. This is for the person that means the most to you, in every way - in sickness and in health. Someone you should never take for granted because a day will come when they are gone, and regret will be too late.

Tell them now how special they are and surprise them once in a while with an unexpected gift or note that says I love you and you're a part of me. Kindness and real caring is usually returned, and what a nice feeling it is.

If you are lucky enough to have someone's love and friendship, you are indeed blessed, and you and yours will be happy because you'll endure the sands of time.

Be sincerely in love.

Jim Smeraglio

Baker County