published Monday, February 27th, 2012

Letters to the Editors: Rick Santorum using religion as wedge

Santorum using religion as wedge

The time has come for Americans to speak out against the use of religion as a wedge issue in politics.

As an American, it matters not what, if any, religion a candidate professes. What does matter is if said candidate demeans religion by using it to attack others, and this is what Rick Santorum is doing.

Also, Americans also have the right to freedom from religion.

For Santorum, having to wear his religion on his sleeve shows a shallowness of character. It is a sign of moral weakness.

To compare 2012 to 1939 -- a Nazi smear on Obama -- is a sign of Santorum's desperation. He feels that he cannot win without calling to his base using the lowest common denominator -- hate.

I advise as an antidote for hate that he read the New Testament and witness the compassion of Jesus Christ.

A Gordon Gekko he was not; rather a minister to the needs of the poor. Deeds are what are important.

Santorum has given 1.7 percent of his income to charity while President Obama has given 14.7 percent of his income to charity.

MIKE C. BODINE

Constitution not the Bible

Regarding a letter saying the Catholic church is still relevant (Feb. 16), I'd like to respond.

Comparing the Catholic church's sexual abuse to the Boy Scouts, other churches, next door neighbors and weird uncles is a temporary mental disturbance at best.

For more than two decades the Catholic church has fought with a series of clergy sexual abuse scandals and lawsuits. The cases have cost an estimated $2 billion in settlements. As the sexual abuse crisis has unfolded, it has become clear the issue is more than a passing storm.

After reviewing the letter of Feb. 16, what was learned? The writer was concerned about the victims. No wonder the mention of religion or God makes some people sick. Also the Constitution is not the Bible, in case anyone asks.

MARK PROCTOR

There's no intent to shut TWRA

Why would your paper make no attempt to contact Rep. Jim Cobb before publishing an editorial (Feb. 14) filled with everything but the truth?

When TWRC's bill came to Rep. Cobb's committee, there were so many complaints from hunters, fishermen and state representatives about how "non-responsive" TWRC, (Tennessee Wildlife Resources Commission, a group of politically appointed persons who may have never hunted or fished in their life), there wasn't enough time to address them.

Rep. Cobb met with caucus leadership who agreed to place the TWRC in wind-down to address complaints at a later date. At the end of the session (May 2011), Speaker Harwell told the TWRC their bill would be extended in January 2012. After TWRC received this information, the commission never responded to any complaints.

This attitude prompted Rep. Cobb to file HB3215 to reduce the number of commissioners, saving consumer's money, and place representation of the average hunter and/or fisherman on the commission. No intention of shutting down TWRA or TWRC!

HB 2776 doesn't represent the people.

Rep. Cobb represents the "people" and not a politically appointed commission operating with no accountability!

JOHN LANDRETH

Spring City, Tenn.

Reduce Medicare premiums too

All appear pleased 100 million workers' FICA payroll deductions for Social Security will continue to be reduced by 2 percent, as will their employers'. This is no problem. U.S. will increase borrowing/debt to cover this. Just place another IOU in "lock box."

Why not follow same approach with Medicare B? Seniors need a break. Those dollars contributed for years were dollars that could buy something. Krystal hamburgers, as I recall, were about 12 cents! Cokes were a nickel.

Stop deducting Medicare B premiums from approximately 50 million retirees. An extra $100 per month could help retiree's lost purchasing power. Just have Congress do it before the president decides to do it before election to buy retiree votes!

No problem, just do as with Social Security -- borrow to pay for it. Democrats can't vote against it.

It would only cost about $60 billion per year and would be renewed! Who could vote NO?

JOHN A. LYNCH JR.

Whitwell, Tenn.

Driver center needs signs at building

Where's the sign at the new Driver Service Center?

A sign still stands outside the vacant Driver Service Center at 530 Cherokee Blvd.

There is no sign outside the new center at 4873 Dayton Blvd. -- just a mailbox with the street numbers by a driveway.

Some 50 yards down the driveway is an unmarked one-story brick building.

You need to find this building to get your government-issued photo ID to vote in the March 6 presidential and Hamilton County primaries. Good luck!

ANNIE HALL

Some leave because of tax

I am glad someone else thinks like I do. I have been paying Tennessee's "Hall Income Taxes" since 1993.

My husband and I moved here because we were told they didn't have state income taxes here.

But when we paid our income taxes, we had to pay Hall taxes.

My husband passed away in 2002. I still pay income taxes even as my income gets smaller.

They still make me pay Hall taxes. They talked about giving Hall taxes up. That lasted one day.

All they care about is how much they can get away with.

I know there are a lot of people leaving Tennessee, and there will be more going away.

IRENE ROSE

Hixson

Make all entities take all insurance

If ObamaCare is going to require all people to have medical insurance or be penalized financially for not having insurance, then ObamaCare should also require all medical entities, such as ambulance services, to participate in all insurance programs or be penalized financially.

JOANNE LEACH

Rossville, Ga.

TVA could use funds in better way

I have a real problem with TVA. They raise our rates, want more money from the campsite, etc., so they can earn millions of dollars to give to their upper echelon employees.

I believe those bonuses they just gave out were over the top. They could have used that money in a much better way and made friends with their customers.

Giving each homeowner who pays electric bills just 1 percent of their yearly electric bill back to them would surely have painted a much friendlier picture with their customers.

TVA employees make a decent wage and should live within their means as the rest of us have to.

BERNICE HARTMAN

Spring City, Tenn.

Contraception fuss all about handouts

Regarding the contraception controversy:

I find it somewhat puzzling that in all the fuss over the feds' contraception ideas, there has been no mention by any of the networks that the hospitals that are owned by churches take federal dollars.

This has nothing to do with religious freedom, as some are declaring. It has to do with good, old-fashioned handouts from Washington.

DR. GEORGE A. MILLER

Ooltewah

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Drake said...

KEEP IT UP RICK! You know when this many liberal goons have their undies in knot you're doing a great job.

efyou back at you libs for your boy Barack's attempt ERODE our religious freedom!

February 27, 2012 at 1:34 a.m.
lkeithlu said...

What religious freedom have you lost, Drake? Is your church chained closed? Have you been arrested for your faith? Have you been forced to take viagra against your beliefs?

February 27, 2012 at 8:06 a.m.
riverman said...

Santorum makes me embarrassed to be a Republican. This country is in sad shape if we end up with Obama against Ricky. Why can't we have a Phil Bredesen running against a Mitch Daniels or Bobby Jindal?

February 27, 2012 at 8:46 a.m.
lkeithlu said...

Mitch Daniels would be great. Jindal? Just "Santorum lite" really.

February 27, 2012 at 8:49 a.m.
moon4kat said...

Great letters from Mike Bodine, Mark Proctor, and George Miller. The anachronistic Catholic Church pays NO taxes on its income, including $2.9 billion its charities took from the federal treasury in 2010. I'd prefer that church organizations get none of our tax money. But, since they do, at the very least, they should be required to provide full medical coverage for their female employees, including contraceptive services.

February 27, 2012 at 9:49 a.m.
riverman said...

Most Churches operate under a 501 3 c charter that allows donations to be tax deductible. Also they don't pay property taxes which denies city and counties a lot of tax revenue. However even though I would offer contraceptive coverages to my employees I don't think the government has any business telling any organization what coverage they have to offer their employees.

February 27, 2012 at 10:35 a.m.

Sorry riverman, but the government does, since...the employees are citizens, and it's the government's job to protect the citizens. Isn't it? Or does government exist for some other reason in your world?

That means if the organization won't cover the employee's health care needs in an appropriate fashion, then you know what? The government has to pay to keep them alive. That has gotten expensive.

Or should we just let people die in the streets because they couldn't pick and choose their employer as freely as the libertarian ideal insists they can? No thank you, I do not agree with that option.

The Catholic Church wants all the protections of the state, but none of the obligations. They don't get that ability to dictate to the rest of us. They exist with the rest of us, and that means we will require things of them.

Fortunately for everybody, the required things have to stand up to some objective scrutiny, not just whatever somebody else thinks a book has to say.

Otherwise we'd be executing people by fire just because they might be heretical. If you're going to push for a libertarian paradise, don't side with an organization that has a history of centuries long organized persecution.

February 27, 2012 at 11:07 a.m.
01centare said...

@an organization that has a history of centuries long organized persecution.

The brutal, hideous Spanish Inquisition comes to mind. Not to mention that even unto this day missionaries are still teaching a brutal extreme form of Christianity in parts of Africa...where little children are sometimes brutalized/sexually assaulted to exorcise the devil out of them.

February 27, 2012 at 7:17 p.m.
chet123 said...

DRAKE SOUNDS LIKE A REAL SOUTHERN BAPTIST....I REMEMBER THAT TYPE THINKING WHEN THE SOUTHERN BAPTIST WAS TRYING TO JUSTIFY SEGREGATION AND VOTER SUPPRESSION ALONG WITH JIM CROW LAWS.....SOME THINGS NEVER CHANGES HA HA HA

March 7, 2012 at 2:49 p.m.
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