News From Terre Haute, Indiana

October 12, 2013

Readers’ Forum: October 12, 2013


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TERRE HAUTE — Examining moral failure of proposal

I thank Rick Noorlag for his letter (Sept. 30) in response to my claim that House Joint Resolution 06 proposing to amend the Indiana constitution to ban gay marriage is immoral (”Gay marriage ban is immoral,” Sept. 24 Readers’ Forum). I also thank the Tribune-Star for publishing letters related to this controversial legislative proposal.

The moral question I addressed in my letter was not whether gay behavior was moral or not. I addressed the moral question of a government — one founded on the principle of liberty and justice for all of its citizens — denying equal rights through legislative action to a significant population of its law-abiding citizenry.

While Mr. Noorlag’s letter questions whether gay marriage is “right or wrong” and answers that question based on beliefs he finds in scripture, the fact is that gay behavior is not illegal. This is why the framers of our Constitution proscribed the influence of religious beliefs over the determination of governmental justice.

Gay and lesbian behavior is not illegal in our society and is not illegal in the eyes of government policy. For a government to make a law that denies law-abiding gay citizens a right that is guaranteed by law to all other non-gay citizens is blatantly discriminatory. Therein lies the moral failure of HJR 06.

— Prof. William J. Wilhelm

Indiana State University

Health service costs hit hard

In July I suffered an injury in a fall. I went to a local hospital emergency room to have my damages addressed. I had a broken rib and bruises to my back.

Yesterday I got a notice of what was billed and who paid what. I am very lucky to have the coverage I have, but question the high costs to Medicare from the hospital — $1,495 for three X-rays. That $6.65 for the gown to wear in the X-ray room was fine, someone had to wash it for the next person. But $1,401 for a doctor to tell me I had a broken rib and proscribe 10 pain pills? The total bill was $2,902.65.

Without wanting to open a can of worms, I realize that we have a “health care industry” which is in business to make money, but how much is enough? They do have overhead , buildings, equipment and people to pay. Now the government, through Obamacare is forcing everyone to pay the “insurance industry” a for-profit group for insurance. If one doesn’t pay, he is fined/taxed by the IRS for not complying. Fined or taxed, what is the difference? Already many have had hours cut to 30 or less and income reduced, yet must pay it or else.

I feel that the government is interfering too much in our lives, telling us what light bulbs to use, insurance to buy and fuel to burn in our power plants. Next will be cars to drive and so on. I fear for the future generation that the “spend and borrow more” will ruin our nation. What if the dollar is devalued, the retired people like me may have to live on half of what we have now. We as a nation are going under. When you dig yourself into a deep hole, stop digging!

— David Marter

Terre Haute

Food stamp fraud not the real story

I wish to say I agree with your position on food stamps. Most elderly are locked into trying to live on $720 a month. The editorial was dead on.

As to the way it is, there are all sorts of stories where a town clerk or a trustee or some other person made off with $50,000. In one case a town clerk hit the town for over $500,000. A school employee secretary out-did that though by wiping out the school in Vevay. The stories are endless. Why are some of these not highlighted.

I did read some federal judge was going to bring the hammer down on a trustee. When they do get caught they end up living in a club type of place. In Rockford, Ill., the clerk made off with over $53 million over 30 years. There is no outcry on them, just a few bad apples on food stamps, which is not the real story.

— Glen Arvin

Odon