Union Democrat staff

Religious freedom marginalized

To the Editor:

Steve Chapman's editorial "Does gay marriage pose a threat to freedom?", requires a response with examples of how it has already threatened our religious freedom. He claims opponents to same-sex marriage harbor fears of losing religious freedom. He states, "The likelihood that any of these fears will come to pass ranges from minimal to zero."

It's already begun. When Chick-Fil-A expressed its opposition to gay marriage based on religious beliefs, in 2012, the mayor of Boston, refused to allow CFA to open franchises in the city.

In 2012, a New Jersey Judge, Solomon A. Metzger, found the United Methodist Church violated New Jersey's "Law Against Discrimination" when they refused to allow a homosexual couple to rent it's facilities for a wedding.

Catholic Charities in Illinois discontinued its adoption and foster care services when the state required adoption and placement of children with homosexuals. No religious exemption was granted.

Is marriage worth protecting? The question is, what distinguishes marriage from other loving relationships? What is different from the love between, a parent- child, friends, or siblings? The only plausible answer is sexual intercourse. So, what is the biological objective of sexual intercourse? The only complete answer is the children who continue our species. Humans, unlike other animals, require years of care and raising to reach adulthood. A marriage that brings the two great halves of humanity together, a man and a woman, is the only natural unit for this. Our species spanning all societies has recognized and protected marriage before any religion emerged.

Homosexuals, are called to a more noble state; the state of celibacy. The very difficult and narrow path of a complete giving of oneself to the good of others. That's truth. So in love and respect, let's support them and help them live it.

Mary Anderson-Wisehart


More taxes won't fix the problem

To the Editor:

Referring to the "The Common Good" letter, Dick Peterson, July 8.

Mr. Peterson's "thought exercise" sounds familiar - more spending by local government, to provide for the "common good," needs to replace the "shrink-the government-no-new-taxes-mindset." That's what the Obama Administration and Democrats in general want to do.

Let's review. Our national debt is just under $18 trillion; the U.S. Department of Agriculture estimates that a total of 101,000,000 people currently participate in at least one of the 15 food programs offered by the agency, at a cost of $114 billion in fiscal year 2012. That means the number of Americans receiving food assistance has surpassed the number of full-time private sector workers in the U.S. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were 97,180,000 full-time private sector workers in 2012. The population of the U.S. is 316.2 million people, meaning nearly a third of Americans receive food aid from the government.

Local high schools received bond approval that will add hundreds of dollars to property tax; the state received approval to increase taxes in several areas, including sales tax (.25 percent); rural property owners are now charged $150 fire protection fee; we all continue to pay for the ongoing new building and renovations at Columbia Junior College.

Citizens have been very supportive of local government in the past few years.

Mr. Peterson wants more spending, higher taxes - an increase in the sales tax. The sales tax is a regressive tax - it takes a larger percentage from low-income people than from high-income people.

There comes a time, however, when squeezing more regressive tax dollars is not the answer. This is that time, while we are in the midst of our worst economic downturn since the Great Depression.

Ray Anderson