LETTER TO THE EDITOR: The Rev. Idema's response

Mar 27, 2012

(1) I called myself an Eisenhower Republican and then ended by stating I am an independent. No contradiction! Eisenhower Republicans no longer exist. No GOP president after Nixon has balanced the budget, or paid for the wars they started. The GOP does not welcome people like me: a fiscal conservative, antiwar and appalled by the current GOP's slate of candidates (with the exception of Ron Paul) who seem obsessed with social issues such as birth control, or forcing a woman to deliver a child conceived by rape and incest. That should be her choice, not the state's.

(2) If religious organizations want to discriminate in their health care plans, they are free to do so if they decline federal money. Churches can discriminate all they want in their health care plans. They get no federal money, but do get generous tax breaks; but that is another issue for another day.

(3) I did not say Rush Limbaugh did not have the right to speak out on issues. I just questioned his credibility.

(4) Since you detest government health care, I assume you will decline your benefits from Medicare when you turn 65.

(5) You did not address the main point of the article, the Blunt Amendment, which imposes religious beliefs on people. Religious influence in our politics is a good thing, but imposing religious beliefs on a pluralistic society is dangerous.

(6) The word "politics" means the business of the city. Thus, morality and religion should come into play when debating issues like health care or our wars. Too many pulpits are silent on the moral issues of the day. Clergy should not endorse candidates in their sermons, but they must take stands on the issues Jesus took stands on; e.g., war and peace, hunger, poverty, religious prejudice, bigotry, helping the sick, etc.

I salute the Tribune for making it possible for the reading public to express various points of view.

— The Rev. Henry Idema, Grand Haven Township

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