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We still have the power to change the course of the country
As a result of decisions supported this month by three Trump-nominated, McConnell-manipulated justices to the U.S. Supreme Court (Neil M. Gorsuch, Brett Kavanaugh and Amy Coney-Barrett), Americans have lost two major freedoms.
Women will be denied the freedom to plan the births of their babies, and all Americans will be denied the safety of being in gun-free environments as we go about our daily lives in the midst of those allowed to wear and carry deadly weapons.
In these over-reaching rulings by a court more guided by political ideology than justice and more responsive to their biases than to the common good of American citizens, the separation of church and state and the health of our democratic republic are threatened.
We can strengthen the health of our democratic republic by informing ourselves about the views and plans expressed by candidates and voting in all elections.
Please, Bill Huizenga, prove your claimed stance on Roe
U.S. Rep. Bill Huizenga has applauded the recent 5-4 decision by the Supreme Court to overturn Roe v. Wade, stating the issue belongs with the states and not the federal government.
Therefore, we are asking he pledge, in writing, not to introduce any bills in Congress, or vote for any bills proposed by others, that would ban abortion nationwide and/or make it a federal crime to obtain or be involved in an abortion.
That would be consistent with his views on states’ rights so it should not be difficult for him to make such a pledge, in writing.
Ann McGlothlin Weller
We citizens need to take back control from politicians
The June 23 U.S. Supreme Court decision to overturn Roe v. Wade has added fuel to the fire of our increasingly polarized republic.
It was leaked May 3 the decision to overturn Roe v. Wade was going to happen — and it did.
As a result, there were protests across our country for and against this decision.
We now have men against women, women against men, men against men, women against women.
Polls show 59 percent of Americans and 67 percent of women oppose this decision.
This is nothing new. Americans across the board disagree with our elected politicians, most particularly on gun control — 59 percent of Americans believe it is important for stricter gun control laws.
I recall from my high school government class that the justice systems role is to interpret the law, the legislative branch to make the law, and the executive to carry out the laws.
That is no longer the case.
I long for a nation that President Abraham Lincoln stated so eloquently in his 1863 Gettysburg address, "that this nation, under God, shall have a new burst of freedom, and that government of the people, for the people shall not perish from the earth."
My fellow Americans, I believe we are on a rapidly accelerating path toward an autocratic, totalitarian and dictatorial form of government. Do you want a government that will tell you what, when and how you can act?
No matter what your political persuasion, it's time we citizens to take back control of our political system and elect people who will represent "we the people" and not that of politicians who do only what their party and special interests tell them how to vote.
Spring Lake Township
Founders were smarter than the custodians of today
The U.S. is not a Christian nation — even if 65 percent of Americans call themselves Christians. The Constitution’s authors knew the history of religious conflicts: Catholics massacred Huguenots, Spain and Belgium banished Jews, English Protestants rooting out Catholics, etc.
Conversely, they also knew the prosperity of the Netherlands was partially due to their religious diversity and acceptance. So, they wrote the First Amendment to ban religious meddling by government. The Constitution has no direct religious references to God.
It's hard to think that five practicing Catholic Supreme Court justices didn’t use their common religious doctrines to repeal abortion as a constitutional right.
Calling abortion “egregiously wrong and deeply damaging” is a value statement, not a legal opinion, values contrary to those held by the majority of Americans. As a branch of government, they were establishing their brand of religious dogma, contrary to the First Amendment’s intent. Ironically, one legal pillar for their decision was “abortion” is not in the Constitution, but it’s not in the Bible either.
Do abortions kill babies? The answer is contingent on when personhood begins. Christians will find the Bible offers little guidance. For every biblical verse like “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you,” there are stories where life begins with the first breath (birth.) Exodus 21:22-23 treats the fetus as property, not an individual, according to the Talmud.
Deciding that life begins with conception is not biblical or constitutional, it is an arbitrary extra-religious belief. The problem with this rigid, simplistic thinking is that the mother, whose fetus is literally a part of her body, is ignored. Rape, incest, health, welfare: ignored, as is the massive intrusion by government into the mother’s life. The argument that insists a single, fertilized cell is the same as a 37-trillion-celled person is zealotry, not reason.
Grand Haven Township
We need to be smarter about farming animals
When we think about our independence and freedom in the U.S., I wonder how many people think of the freedom of farmed animals.
There are currently 1.6 billion animals in our nation’s 25,000 factory farms who often never see the light of day.
Cows, chickens, pigs and more are subjected to unnecessary breeding, overfeeding, abuse and slaughter each and every day. The majority of these animals are raised in environments unfit for any beings and there seems to be no end in sight.
But releasing animals from cages, crates and the psychological torment of BigAg and slaughterhouses can happen and is truly a step toward independence for all. When we stop treating animals as commodities, overall suffering in the world reduces, the Earth can heal, pandemic and antibiotic-resistance risks are reduced and human health will improve.
Luckily, there are options. Browse any grocery store or food co-op and you’ll uncover a variety of delicious, and nutritious, plant-based burgers and more. Companies like Beyond Meat, Impossible Foods, Gardein and Field Roast are showing up at cookouts across the country and are proving that this Fourth of July there can be freedom for all.
This article originally appeared on The Holland Sentinel: Letters to the Editor: Fall of Roe a huge overreach of government